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The Drake

The Drake

Winter 2020/21
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The Drake is a quarterly magazine for people who love flyfishing, and also love quality writing and photography. The Drake is informative, educational, and entertaining, but it is not a "how-to" magazine. Many of the stories are about the "culture" of flyfishing—the people, the places, and of course, the fish.

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United States
Bie Media
4 Issues

in this issue

6 min.

AFTER ONE PARTICULARLY hot and fishless day on Québec’s Bonaventure River, my friend Jonas was driving out the dirt road and came across a group of parked cars. He stopped to take a look and, by his telling, before he knew it he was seated at a table being fed local fare of cheeses, cured meats, and chocolate, followed by a flute of champagne. His impromptu hosts were a group of young flyfishing women. He hardly understood the French Canadian being spoken, but he quickly realized a few things: Everyone was having a great time, there were cameras rolling, and no one would believe this had happened when he got back to camp. My friend had stumbled onto the filming of the first video for Pêches—a group started by Québécois Marie-Eve…

2 min.
on finding solitude

THERE ARE MORE OF US NOW. In fact, there are far more. More than ever before. We aren’t guessing; we know the number of fishing licenses sold in 2020 vs. 2019, and frankly, it isn’t even close. Two examples: Colorado’s fishing license sales increased by more than 200,000 from 2019 to 2020. And California sold 1,201,237 fishing licenses in the “resident annual” category alone last year—an increase of 19 percent. These numbers are consistent with research by the American Sportfishing Association, and backed by a nationwide survey released in November by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Most estimates place the number of new U.S. anglers in 2020 at somewhere north of nine million. This growth was of course true across the greater outdoors community. Nobody could find an RV or…

3 min.
letters from the faithful

KNOWS THE VALUE OF WILD FISH Your content is really what draws me to The Drake. I work as a Conservation Officer up in northwestern Ontario, about an hour from Lake Nipigon, a massive freshwater lake that produces some of the biggest wild brook trout in North America. I really love your conservation-focused editorial. Davis Viehbeck, Thunder Bay, Ont THAT DAMN LAMESTREAM MEDIA I’m happy to see an editor with guts. The piece about synthetic marijuana, where you quote the letter you received from an attorney, was a nice piece of journalism—I wasn’t expecting that in The Drake. As a former newspaper editor, I know it’s easier to pull punches and kill pieces when the letter comes in from a lawyer, but I commend you for putting together a quality magazine. Corey Morris, Seattle, WA PAIN…

9 min.
the life of ryan

UNTIL JANUARY 4, I’d never even heard the term “float-n-fly.” It sounded like a kid’s ride at the fairground, or the street name for some illicit new drug. But I Googled it that day—the same day Oroville, California-based flyfishing guide Ryan Williams, and his partner, Logan McDaniel, won the Shasta Lake Wild West Bass Trail tournament. The first thing that popped up was a 2008 video produced by Kentucky Afield, a fishing and hunting show. And the first words out of the host’s mouth were these: “Everybody in the world is talking about the float-n-fly.” Apparently, it was time I reached out to Williams. “I learned from a guy who did it with a spin rod, a friend I took out steelheading about ten years ago,” he told me. “He saw…

4 min.
one win for the menominee river

ON JANUARY 4TH, a disputed Wetlands Permit for the Aquila Resources “Back Forty” Sulfide Mine along the Menominee River was denied by a Michigan Administrative Law Judge. The ruling by Judge Daniel Pulter ends a heavily contested two-year review process that brought together multiple parties in a petition to defend the Menominee watershed, including the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the Coalition to Save the Menominee River, and a landowner whose property borders the proposed mine site. For years, the Menominee River was referred to as, “The River We Don’t Speak Of.” This trophy smallmouth bass fishery along the easternmost boundary between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was always a well-kept secret. But, when an 84-acre open-pit sulfide mine was proposed along the banks of the Menominee, the watershed…

3 min.
the bold effort

Salmon need a river, and right now, they don’t have one. We’ve spent 17 billion dollars trying to restore salmon runs, and the fact is, it’s not happening. And if we don’t do something soon, we can write off Idaho salmon to history. I think we’ll have a bill ready to go, possibly in the first quarter of this coming year. It will obviously be controversial. For the past three years, we’ve been asking the “what if” questions. If you took the dams out to restore salmon runs, how would you handle the grain getting to Portland? How would you handle the power loss? We’ve had more than 300 meetings with different organizations and stakeholders, but this time it’s going to be different. The stars are kind of aligned, also. The BPA (Bonneville Power…