Fly Fishing Stories

Joshua Hutchins
Artifishal
The road to extinction is paved with good intentions
79:59
Watch
Power Shift on the Columbia
After a century of conflict on the Columbia between salmon and dams, the fates of these two iconic energy systems are now intertwined.
After a century of conflict on the Columbia between salmon and dams, the fates of these two iconic energy systems are now intertwined.
Jim Norton
7 min Read
Paddling Past The Graveyard
An intimate canoe trip through The Boundary Waters with Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate.
An intimate canoe trip through The Boundary Waters with Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate.
Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate
6 min Read
How Actor Jasper Pääkkönen Advocates for Wild Fish
Lately, Jasper Pääkkönen has been struggling to maintain his fish-life balance: high-profile acting projects keep interfering with days spent on the water. Pääkkönen had been working, and winning awards, as an actor in Finland long before recent roles on the television series Vikings and in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman brought him international recognition. This winter he is set to appear…
Lately, Jasper Pääkkönen has been struggling to maintain his fish-life balance: high-profile acting projects keep interfering with days spent on the water. Pääkkönen had been working, and winning awards, as an actor in Finland long before recent roles on the television series Vikings and in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman brought him international recognition. This winter he is set to appear…
Gregory Fitz
8 min Read
The Best Hatchery Is a Healthy River
We are killing what we love. The vast system of hatcheries and open-water fish farms we’ve built is an expression of our affection for cold-water fish—as food, as recreation, as commercial resource. And yet, despite our best intentions, these human-engineered attempts to make up for resource extraction, development and dam building—to somehow do better than…
We are killing what we love. The vast system of hatcheries and open-water fish farms we’ve built is an expression of our affection for cold-water fish—as food, as recreation, as commercial resource. And yet, despite our best intentions, these human-engineered attempts to make up for resource extraction, development and dam building—to somehow do better than…
Dylan Tomine
2 min Read
Home Pool, Sulphur Creek: Losing a Favorite Fishing Spot to Climate Change
When you lose your trout stream to climate change, where do you go to find yourself? It was late September and the creek ran clear and low out of the West Elks in southwestern Colorado. My favorite time of year: Through the V of the ravine upstream I could see the shoulders of Mount Gunnison…
When you lose your trout stream to climate change, where do you go to find yourself? It was late September and the creek ran clear and low out of the West Elks in southwestern Colorado. My favorite time of year: Through the V of the ravine upstream I could see the shoulders of Mount Gunnison…
Peter Heller
7 min Read
Bahamas Bonefish Conservation with Aaron Adams
I recently had the opportunity to tag along with two of the world’s leading bonefish researchers for a weekend of fishing Grand Bahama Island out of East End Lodge. Dr. Aaron Adams serves as the director of science and conservation for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), a non-profit based in Miami whose mission is to conserve…
I recently had the opportunity to tag along with two of the world’s leading bonefish researchers for a weekend of fishing Grand Bahama Island out of East End Lodge. Dr. Aaron Adams serves as the director of science and conservation for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), a non-profit based in Miami whose mission is to conserve…
Nick Roberts
9 min Read
Civil Rights and Bonefishing in Bimini
“It happened right there—just off that mangrove island,” Ansil Saunders points, recollecting the day in 1971 that his client, Jerry Lavenstein, a now-deceased sportsman from Virginia Beach, Virginia, caught a 16-pound bonefish on eight-pound test and a live shrimp. That fish was an all-tackle world record, one that still stands. Saunders is a lanky man…
“It happened right there—just off that mangrove island,” Ansil Saunders points, recollecting the day in 1971 that his client, Jerry Lavenstein, a now-deceased sportsman from Virginia Beach, Virginia, caught a 16-pound bonefish on eight-pound test and a live shrimp. That fish was an all-tackle world record, one that still stands. Saunders is a lanky man…
Brian Irwin
9 min Read
A Fisherman Reflects on Global Warming
I’m not a scientist. But I am a fisherman of more than 70 years, and I’ve seen firsthand that of the myriad threats facing cold-water fish all over the world, global warming is the most dire. Water all over the planet is heating up in response to climate change, and our cold-water fish are in…
I’m not a scientist. But I am a fisherman of more than 70 years, and I’ve seen firsthand that of the myriad threats facing cold-water fish all over the world, global warming is the most dire. Water all over the planet is heating up in response to climate change, and our cold-water fish are in…
Yvon Chouinard
3 min Read
How Yvon Chouinard Taught My Kids About Trout Fishing
As the kids grow older, it becomes clearer and clearer to me how precious, and short, our time is together. It’s also become more important than ever to me that they spend time with key people in my life—friends and mentors who’ve inspired me and helped along the way—in the hopes that a little wisdom…
As the kids grow older, it becomes clearer and clearer to me how precious, and short, our time is together. It’s also become more important than ever to me that they spend time with key people in my life—friends and mentors who’ve inspired me and helped along the way—in the hopes that a little wisdom…
Dylan Tomine
5 min Read
Almost Two Decades Watching Wild Salmon from the Same Perch
As I wake, I become aware of the shovel-scraping-asphalt croak of a blue heron, or the brilliant complex cascading song of the winter wren, or the yammering calls of the kingfisher being chased by an accipiter. In the fall a flock of kinglets, moving through the trees and shrubs surrounding our camp, deliver their pure,…
As I wake, I become aware of the shovel-scraping-asphalt croak of a blue heron, or the brilliant complex cascading song of the winter wren, or the yammering calls of the kingfisher being chased by an accipiter. In the fall a flock of kinglets, moving through the trees and shrubs surrounding our camp, deliver their pure,…
Lee Spencer
4 min Read
The Salmon Foxtrot: The Wisdom of Fishermen
Back in Tokyo, for a break. Just in need of a change, you know, “to get away from things.” Having worked hard all summer long, there couldn’t be more of a contrast between reeling in salmon on a river in Swedish Lapland and heading to Tokyo. For me, working hard means fishing hard and playing…
Back in Tokyo, for a break. Just in need of a change, you know, “to get away from things.” Having worked hard all summer long, there couldn’t be more of a contrast between reeling in salmon on a river in Swedish Lapland and heading to Tokyo. For me, working hard means fishing hard and playing…
Håkan Stenlund
6 min Read
Lessons from a Simple Fly
Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear and a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle. The newly revised second edition of our book Simple Fly Fishing,  written by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and fishermen Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo, reveals that the best way to catch trout is simply—with…
Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear and a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle. The newly revised second edition of our book Simple Fly Fishing,  written by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and fishermen Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo, reveals that the best way to catch trout is simply—with…
Yvon Chouinard
11 min Read
Finding Excuses to Extend a Fly-Fishing Trip in Argentina
At first light, a toucan comes flying over the patio and sits in an old tree in front of the house. The bird stares at me as I have my first sip of coffee. Then another toucan lands in the tree, followed by a whole flock. I get up and snap a picture of the…
At first light, a toucan comes flying over the patio and sits in an old tree in front of the house. The bird stares at me as I have my first sip of coffee. Then another toucan lands in the tree, followed by a whole flock. I get up and snap a picture of the…
Håkan Stenlund
5 min Read
Curacao’s Big Oil and Big Tarpon
“Fish, two o’clock,” shouted Norman Chumaceiro, my guide to tarpon on the idyllic island of Curacao, 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. “Now they’re at nine! And six. They’re everywhere!” he exclaimed. If anyone could help me come tight on a tarpon it’s Chumaceiro, who, along with his friend Albert Macares, are the only…
“Fish, two o’clock,” shouted Norman Chumaceiro, my guide to tarpon on the idyllic island of Curacao, 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. “Now they’re at nine! And six. They’re everywhere!” he exclaimed. If anyone could help me come tight on a tarpon it’s Chumaceiro, who, along with his friend Albert Macares, are the only…
Brian Irwin
10 min Read
“Real Life” Science with the Wild Fish Conservancy
Both of my kids love their science classes in school, and Skyla often mentions wanting to be a marine biologist when she grows up. So when the field biologists from the Wild Fish Conservancy invited us to participate in some beach-seine sampling, as part of their project to assess juvenile salmon habitat around Puget Sound, we jumped…
Both of my kids love their science classes in school, and Skyla often mentions wanting to be a marine biologist when she grows up. So when the field biologists from the Wild Fish Conservancy invited us to participate in some beach-seine sampling, as part of their project to assess juvenile salmon habitat around Puget Sound, we jumped…
Dylan Tomine
3 min Read
How Puget Sound Wild Steelhead Gene Banks Give Salmon a Fighting Chance
The cacophonous boom of that explosion will forever resonate within me. With the flip of a switch, one hundred years of destructive history began to wash away. It was a new day—a day in which the Elwha was finally free. At long last, its waters could once again run unabated to the sea and its…
The cacophonous boom of that explosion will forever resonate within me. With the flip of a switch, one hundred years of destructive history began to wash away. It was a new day—a day in which the Elwha was finally free. At long last, its waters could once again run unabated to the sea and its…
Dave McCoy
5 min Read
The Release: Fundamentals of Fish and the Path to Responsible Angling
Recreational angling is an incredibly popular leisure activity in North America, spanning a wide demographic of our society and occurring almost every place fish can be found. Tools and techniques for recreational angling are also vast and selecting the right gear often consumes a lot of our leisure time, basements, and wallets. It is not…
Recreational angling is an incredibly popular leisure activity in North America, spanning a wide demographic of our society and occurring almost every place fish can be found. Tools and techniques for recreational angling are also vast and selecting the right gear often consumes a lot of our leisure time, basements, and wallets. It is not…
Andy J. Danylchuk, PhD PhD
9 min Read
Fear and Self-Loathing in Punta Allen
“Push the button.” “No, you push the button.” “What the hell, push it Ellen!” She did. I knew I was going to be profiled as a narcotraficante even though the contraband I was trying to sneak past the customs officer was anything but drugs. In fact, it was several thousand dollars worth of fishing goodies…
“Push the button.” “No, you push the button.” “What the hell, push it Ellen!” She did. I knew I was going to be profiled as a narcotraficante even though the contraband I was trying to sneak past the customs officer was anything but drugs. In fact, it was several thousand dollars worth of fishing goodies…
Mike Thompson
9 min Read
Tenkara with Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia [Updated with Video]
My watch battery died within ten minutes of setting foot on the plane about to whisk me out of Great Falls, Montana. I should have realized it for what it was: a sign things were about to change. I had left behind an increasingly weird existence on the Missouri River front and hopped a plane…
My watch battery died within ten minutes of setting foot on the plane about to whisk me out of Great Falls, Montana. I should have realized it for what it was: a sign things were about to change. I had left behind an increasingly weird existence on the Missouri River front and hopped a plane…
Jessica McGlothlin
4 min Read
Tributaries – An International Fly Fishing Film of Contrast and Commonality
By Here I am in the middle of the hair-pulling, eye-bulging screen time that is post production. Another 14-hour day and I need fresh air. I go for long walks under the stars and think about the night skies of the Bahamas, Iceland and Patagonia. After my last film, Breathe, I really wanted to explore…
By Here I am in the middle of the hair-pulling, eye-bulging screen time that is post production. Another 14-hour day and I need fresh air. I go for long walks under the stars and think about the night skies of the Bahamas, Iceland and Patagonia. After my last film, Breathe, I really wanted to explore…
3 min Read
Excerpt from “Closer to the Ground” by Dylan Tomine
Before reading the excerpt, see what Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, has to say about Closer to the Ground. A note from the publisher: Why I love this book Dylan Tomine’s Closer to the Ground is a lot more than your usual tribute to local food or to a local sense of place, or how to…
Before reading the excerpt, see what Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, has to say about Closer to the Ground. A note from the publisher: Why I love this book Dylan Tomine’s Closer to the Ground is a lot more than your usual tribute to local food or to a local sense of place, or how to…
Dylan Tomine
6 min Read
Veteran Anglers of New York Fly Fishing Adventure in the Abacos, Bahamas
On the final evening of our trip, we enjoyed a feast prepared by expert saltwater fly fisher, FFF-certified casting instructor and Veteran Anglers of New York (VANY) volunteer, David Blinken. We called it “Bahamian Thanksgiving” with native conch salad, sautéed grouper, brown rice with chicken from the Abaco Big Bird poultry farm and spiny lobster or “crawfish” tails. We…
On the final evening of our trip, we enjoyed a feast prepared by expert saltwater fly fisher, FFF-certified casting instructor and Veteran Anglers of New York (VANY) volunteer, David Blinken. We called it “Bahamian Thanksgiving” with native conch salad, sautéed grouper, brown rice with chicken from the Abaco Big Bird poultry farm and spiny lobster or “crawfish” tails. We…
Richard Franklin
9 min Read
One in Winter – Fly Fishing for Winter-Run Steelhead
We understand mere fragments – of most things really, but especially of a fish called steelhead. Its nominal definition goes that it’s a rainbow trout that migrates from river to ocean and back again to spawn, like a salmon. But like most living things, after you dedicate time to deep observation, their essential superpowers transcend…
We understand mere fragments – of most things really, but especially of a fish called steelhead. Its nominal definition goes that it’s a rainbow trout that migrates from river to ocean and back again to spawn, like a salmon. But like most living things, after you dedicate time to deep observation, their essential superpowers transcend…
Ryan Peterson
3 min Read
Family Fishing Operation Live Release on the Miramichi River: Photos
Most of our photo-centric "Picture Story" posts have been about climbing. Today, the fishing guys get in on the action with an encouraging report from one of eastern Canada's iconic salmon streams, and a family fishing operation that depends on the health of the river's fish populations: – Ed Live Release of Atlantic salmon is…
Most of our photo-centric "Picture Story" posts have been about climbing. Today, the fishing guys get in on the action with an encouraging report from one of eastern Canada's iconic salmon streams, and a family fishing operation that depends on the health of the river's fish populations: – Ed Live Release of Atlantic salmon is…
Keith Wilson
2 min Read
Just Released: SoulFish 2 – Fish Mode
Good news to all you trout-chasers sidelined by swollen creeks this season: SoulFish2, Fish Mode from the Burl Productions is now available on DVD. Fire up the video while you're waiting for the waters to mellow out and enjoy footage from choice locations around the world. Here's a note from Burl Productions' founder and Patagonia…
Good news to all you trout-chasers sidelined by swollen creeks this season: SoulFish2, Fish Mode from the Burl Productions is now available on DVD. Fire up the video while you're waiting for the waters to mellow out and enjoy footage from choice locations around the world. Here's a note from Burl Productions' founder and Patagonia…
Mikey Weir
2 min Read
Tenkara USA Joins in Sharing Time-Honored Fishing Techniques with Patagonia Japan Employees
Fishing has always been about being simple, but 15 minutes of trout talk with a czech-nyphing double dropper can sometimes be enough to have you thinking precisely the opposite. A masterful style of fishing recently brought to Western rivers from the mountain waters of Japan presents a welcome antidote to the elaborate (and oftentimes extravagant)…
Fishing has always been about being simple, but 15 minutes of trout talk with a czech-nyphing double dropper can sometimes be enough to have you thinking precisely the opposite. A masterful style of fishing recently brought to Western rivers from the mountain waters of Japan presents a welcome antidote to the elaborate (and oftentimes extravagant)…
Daniel W. Galhardo
2 min Read
May 1 and 9 – Two Important Dates for Salmon and Free Flowing Rivers
Salmon are anadromous. They live mostly in the ocean, but return to distant, fresh mountain headwaters to spawn. This term that describes their biological ties to seemingly disparate environments (ocean and mountain) might just as easily describe the ways in which salmon bring together competing cultures and histories. Their power, their story, have earned salmon…
Salmon are anadromous. They live mostly in the ocean, but return to distant, fresh mountain headwaters to spawn. This term that describes their biological ties to seemingly disparate environments (ocean and mountain) might just as easily describe the ways in which salmon bring together competing cultures and histories. Their power, their story, have earned salmon…
Emily Nuchols
5 min Read
Traveling the Baja Peninsula in a Truck That Runs on Vegetable Oil
When last we left the fly-fishing filmmakers of MOTIV Fishing, they had converted a mid-'90s F250 to run on used vegetable oil and successfully crossed the Mexican border. Today, we pick up their scent in Baja as they continue traveling south in their pursuit of tight lines. Over 2500 miles behind us and we were…
When last we left the fly-fishing filmmakers of MOTIV Fishing, they had converted a mid-'90s F250 to run on used vegetable oil and successfully crossed the Mexican border. Today, we pick up their scent in Baja as they continue traveling south in their pursuit of tight lines. Over 2500 miles behind us and we were…
MOTIV Fishing
6 min Read
Viva La Vegetal – Fly Fishing through Mexico under Power of Vegetable Oil
It started out as an idea and later became a vision while on a trip across Argentina seven years ago. Former members of AEG Media, creators of The Trout Bum Diaries and Fish Bum Diaries DVDs, have collaborated once again to document a new expedition throughout Mexico. The crew is operating under MOTIV Fishing these…
It started out as an idea and later became a vision while on a trip across Argentina seven years ago. Former members of AEG Media, creators of The Trout Bum Diaries and Fish Bum Diaries DVDs, have collaborated once again to document a new expedition throughout Mexico. The crew is operating under MOTIV Fishing these…
6 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Fishing Eastern Virginia
Another installment of the Backyard Adventures for TCL readers today. This time, we're heading back East a bit, and a little back in time, to eastern Virginia in early January. Folks who live along the mid-Atlantic seaboard know this is one of the few places on earth that didn't get the memo – the one…
Another installment of the Backyard Adventures for TCL readers today. This time, we're heading back East a bit, and a little back in time, to eastern Virginia in early January. Folks who live along the mid-Atlantic seaboard know this is one of the few places on earth that didn't get the memo – the one…
3 min Read
Man Plans, Mother Nature Laughs – Fly Fishing B.C.’s North Coast
Patagonia fly fishing ambassador Dylan Tomine recently returned from a trip to British Columbia. The conditions weren't ideal for fishing but they were ideal for some cold-weather gear testing. Dylan shares his thoughts here along with some great shots from photographer Tim Pask. Just back from our North Coast, British Columbia spring steelhead expedition and…
Patagonia fly fishing ambassador Dylan Tomine recently returned from a trip to British Columbia. The conditions weren't ideal for fishing but they were ideal for some cold-weather gear testing. Dylan shares his thoughts here along with some great shots from photographer Tim Pask. Just back from our North Coast, British Columbia spring steelhead expedition and…
2 min Read
Core Angling: Science and Fly Fishing Combined
[Update: Added a bunch of photos after the jump.] Patagonia Fly Fishing Marketer, Bill Klyn, shares his experience with a new kind of fly fishing trip. Core Angling offers world-class bonefishing in the Bahamas combined with the opportunity to help scientists study the fish and hopefully preserve their numbers for good. If you’re an angler,…
[Update: Added a bunch of photos after the jump.] Patagonia Fly Fishing Marketer, Bill Klyn, shares his experience with a new kind of fly fishing trip. Core Angling offers world-class bonefishing in the Bahamas combined with the opportunity to help scientists study the fish and hopefully preserve their numbers for good. If you’re an angler,…
5 min Read
A Different Fish Story
Regular readers of The Cleanest Line have learned to rely on regular product posts from our committed Customer Service representatives. They’re “Field Reports” of a sort . . . notes from the field about their adventures in our back-yard and beyond. This story’s a little different. It comes to us from Michelle L., one of…
Regular readers of The Cleanest Line have learned to rely on regular product posts from our committed Customer Service representatives. They’re “Field Reports” of a sort . . . notes from the field about their adventures in our back-yard and beyond. This story’s a little different. It comes to us from Michelle L., one of…
localcrew
4 min Read
Kalmiopsis – Fly Fisherman Mikey Wier Searches for Steelhead in the Oregon Wilderness
Even if you’re not an angler, I highly recommend taking the time to read this story. It comes from Mikey Wier, a professional snowboarder and fly fishing guide who founded Burl Productions. Mikey’s words are thick with the aura of appreciation that comes from having just returned from a Wilderness area. As you read this…
Even if you’re not an angler, I highly recommend taking the time to read this story. It comes from Mikey Wier, a professional snowboarder and fly fishing guide who founded Burl Productions. Mikey’s words are thick with the aura of appreciation that comes from having just returned from a Wilderness area. As you read this…
Mikey Wier
17 min Read
Take a Last Look
Rare to see YC holding a fish out of water for even a second but this 26 pound Zolotaya River chromer required closer inspection. This Russian beauty had been caught on the nearby Rynda two summers ago and blue-tagged to identify it as a product of Rynda waters — proof of salmo salar’s wandering capabilities,…
Rare to see YC holding a fish out of water for even a second but this 26 pound Zolotaya River chromer required closer inspection. This Russian beauty had been caught on the nearby Rynda two summers ago and blue-tagged to identify it as a product of Rynda waters — proof of salmo salar’s wandering capabilities,…
1 min Read
The Escape
This story comes from Shawn Kelly, a friend of Patagonia who works for the California Coastal Conservancy’s Wetlands Recovery Project.  He is a husband, father of two boys and an avid fly-fisherman. The Escape The van climbs through the warm night, away from the sun-baked, Central Valley leaving behind the traffic, the strip malls, and…
This story comes from Shawn Kelly, a friend of Patagonia who works for the California Coastal Conservancy’s Wetlands Recovery Project.  He is a husband, father of two boys and an avid fly-fisherman. The Escape The van climbs through the warm night, away from the sun-baked, Central Valley leaving behind the traffic, the strip malls, and…
2 min Read
Good Times at Fly Fishing Retailer
Trade shows are a part of life for many folks around Patagonia. They’re a great way for us to meet up with all the wonderful Patagonia Dealers who sell our gear in your hometown, and see what’s happening with the rest of the industry. Many of you probably attend a trade show or two for…
Trade shows are a part of life for many folks around Patagonia. They’re a great way for us to meet up with all the wonderful Patagonia Dealers who sell our gear in your hometown, and see what’s happening with the rest of the industry. Many of you probably attend a trade show or two for…
3 min Read
Lending Out a Beloved Fly
The elusive Corbina are running close to shore this time of the year near Ventura and a few of us are surfcasting countless times trying, hoping, and wishing to land this ghost of the ocean. Yesterday, Mark, one of our buyers at Patagonia and good friend, was on a mission to catch a Bean near…
The elusive Corbina are running close to shore this time of the year near Ventura and a few of us are surfcasting countless times trying, hoping, and wishing to land this ghost of the ocean. Yesterday, Mark, one of our buyers at Patagonia and good friend, was on a mission to catch a Bean near…
1 min Read
Why You Need a Fish Dog
Talk all you want about so-called “advancements in fly fishing” — ozone hole-depleting fluorocarbon leaders, boron rods with price tags equivalent to your monthly mortgage, and now waders with front zippers so you can relieve yourself while never having to vacate your coveted spot on the river… Forget the fancy gear! What you really need…
Talk all you want about so-called “advancements in fly fishing” — ozone hole-depleting fluorocarbon leaders, boron rods with price tags equivalent to your monthly mortgage, and now waders with front zippers so you can relieve yourself while never having to vacate your coveted spot on the river… Forget the fancy gear! What you really need…
3 min Read

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