During the golden weeks of late September and early October, few places offer a greater fly-fishing spectacle than the short tidal rivers on the edge of the Bering Glacier, an ice field larger than Rhode Island. These rivers are packed with coho salmon–silvers, as Alaskans call them.
You’ll find brook trout in countless alder-lined beaver bogs and tumbling canopy-forest brooks along the spine of the Appalachians, throughout the New England backwoods and over to Michigan’s sandy upper peninsula. All of them are delicate and tiny.
“I’ve never had a day when we didn’t catch lots of fish,” said Brad Frankhouser, one of 20 fly-fishing guides at Spring Ridge Club in rural Spruce Creek, Pa. “Some days are tougher than others, but if people do what I suggest, they’re going to have a great day.”
Stand in a trout stream holding a fly rod for as many hours and days as the patience of your partner back home and the indulgence of your boss, employees or stockholders will permit. Sooner or later, you’ll catch a spotted porpoise of a fish so improbably outsized for the shallow confines of the freshwater creek where it swims that you won’t believe it.
To refer to Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge as a fishing resort is like calling a Rolls-Royce a car. The description is correct, but it doesn’t begin to do justice to the place.
“You can buy fish in a store,” said Garry “Red” Edson, lead guide for the lodge, which gets its name from the boardwalk that connects its buildings and stretches down to its dock. “This isn’t about taking home a bunch of fish; it’s about the total experience.
Magic happens during quiet late-June evenings on Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. Ideally, the day has been sunny and warm, with little or no wind. That’s what the bugs like. And the trout like the bugs.
Think you’ve caught some spirited fish before? Think again. Consider the Pacific sailfish. On a fly. Not a real fly, of course–or more precisely, a whimsy of fluff on a hook posing as a natural insect–but rather a 10-inch-long gob of chicken feathers dyed hot pink and lashed to a miniature harpoon. Behind the eye of the hook and in front of the fluttering hackles is a chunk of foam stuck with a pair of comical-looking cartoon rattle eyes.