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These pointers will help you find (and arrow) more carp, suckers, and gar
Bowfishing is a hunting season for the summer months, and it’s extremely addicting. Hunting carp, gar, and suckers on the river is a great way to get outdoors and keep your archery skills sharp. And, it’s a whole lot of fun. But after you get into it, you’ll soon want to step up your game and start piling up a lot of fish.
Here are a few tips to help you kill it on the water this summer.
1. Get Good Glass
If you bowfish a lot in the daytime, make sure your polarized sunglasses are, in fact, polarized. I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of buying that $5 pair of “polarized” sunglasses at the drug store or Walmart, thinking, What the heck, I’m just going to break them anyway. But to be honest, these cheap glasses aren’t even worth $5 to a bowfisherman. Before purchasing a pair, try them on and compare them. Most sporting goods stores will have a hologram to test the glasses so you can see what strength they are. I’ve always preferred a warm tint, but it all comes down to personal preference. Ensuring the glasses fit your face and you don’t get a glare at the edges is also crucial. If you can’t see the fish, you can’t shoot the fish.
2. Pick the Right Tip
Make sure you are using the right bowfishing tips for the species of fish you are targeting. I’ve learned this the hard way: I’ve lost a lot of fish and some big gar by simply using the wrong tips. Small-prong tips don’t work well on large, soft-bodied carp and will rip right out. Flimsy blades will snap off in big gar, thanks to extremely tough scales. My go-to is a 2- or 3-prong with sturdy, spring-loaded blades that are wide enough to hold a carp and stout enough to hold a big gar. Cajun Garpoon or Cajun Sting-A-Ree Tournament points are two of my favorites. Test out a few different tips to decide which work best for you.
3. Stay Sharp
Keep your bowfishing tips sharp! If you shoot in rocky, shallow areas, you’re going to eventually dull your tips. Once the tip dulls, it will create a much larger hole on impact, allowing the arrow to pull out more easily and the fish to slip off. The points on the end of a lot of bowfishing tips can screw off and be replaced, or you can simply use a file or grinder to sharpen them.
4. Switch It Up
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone—and out of the boat. If you are primarily bowfishing from a boat, you are missing out on a lot of great shooting in small coves and creeks that are too tight for a boat. These small waters can hold a lot of fish and, occasionally, some really big fish. My biggest gar to date was shot out of a little creek inaccessible to any boat. Likewise, if you are primarily wading and bank fishing, you are also missing out on all the access a boat can get you. This situation can be a bit harder to remedy—boats are expensive and it’s not always possible to just run over to Bass Pro and buy one on a whim. But, there are cheaper alternatives. Canoes, row boats, kayaks and even paddle boards are great choices for bowfishing. They’ll get you onto new waters without breaking the bank.
5. Dial in Your Reel
If your bowfishing spots hold a lot of fish, make sure you’re using a reel that won’t bird’s nest the line. For high-volume shooting, you need a reel that allows you to get off a lot of quick shots. Maybe that hand reel isn’t ideal for you, or maybe you need to clean and oil your spinner reel from last year. Consider replacing the line in your bottle reel before the season starts. Nothing is worse than spotting a giant carp and having your line tangle or the push-button release stick because it’s dirty.
6. Learn to Scout
Explore new bowfishing areas. Don’t be afraid to get online and pull up maps. Your state’s DNR website should have maps of public waters with a list of the fish that are in each body of water. If you’re driving down the road and see a public water that looks like it would hold fish, pull over and check it out. It helps to become familiar with what species of fish are common in your state and what types of water they inhabit. For example, suckers prefer clear running water, where common carp prefer murky, muddy water. Gar and buffalo fish prefer rivers and creeks. I’ve happened into some of my best bowfishing spots by accident, so get out and explore.
This tip might draw a little ire from the archery-form fanatics out there, but snap shooting is a really useful skill for bowfishing. Snap shooting really only works if you are shooting a recurve or a bow with no letoff. To those unfamiliar with the term, I consider snap shooting to be when you only draw your bow back part of the way and release without coming to full draw. Without worrying about having perfect aim, you can shoot much faster, which can be the key to killing those quick-swimming grass carp. No, you don’t want to use this shooting method during deer season,but it can be absolutely deadly on carp.
Boys in Big Country: A Father-Son Fishing Trip to Alaska
On a trip full of fish and bears and adventure, a couple of dads try to figure out what it takes to make an outdoorsman
When we came off the trail onto the overlook at the falls, the two kids stood open-mouthed and wide-eyed, their heads swiveling as they said to Steve and me things like: “Dad, look! Look! Wow. Dad!”
A dozen brown bears patrolled the river, some only yards from the elevated platform we were standing on. The “smaller,” younger bears roamed the banks, picking over half-eaten salmon. The river seethed as dense pods of red salmon surged upstream. Huge mature bears staked out the prime fishing spots, some catching salmon as they leapt the cataracts. Others charged into the water, coming up with salmon flopping in their jaws while the river around them exploded in a spray of panicked fish.
We were at Brooks Camp, the world-famous bear-viewing spot in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. My son, Oliver, age 9, and I were there with my buddy Steve McGrath and his 11-year-old son, Aidan, taking time out from our weeklong fishing trip for what Steve and I recognized as a bucket-list experience.
Steve and I have traveled enough in Alaska and elsewhere that we’ve both been around our fair share of bears. But we’d never seen anything like this.
A constant stream of salmon launched themselves several feet in the air trying to clear the falls—there were at least 10 in midair at any given time—and more bears than I’d seen in my life were there to catch them. We watched one massive boar take up a position at the base of the falls where one salmon after another slithered across a rock in a few inches water. He’d slam down a paw, chomp on the fish, eat the head, tear away some guts and skin, then let what was left of the flayed sockeye drift down the current for the birds and young bears to fight over. We stopped counting after he caught 36.
Maybe that’s what made the boys so hungry. After two hours of a front-row seat to the most awesome nature show, Aidan and Oliver started to fade. They got grumpy. They wanted lunch and were ready to go.
Snacks. If there is one thing I’ve learned while trying to raise my son as an outdoorsman, it’s that nothing will hold a kid’s attention if there are no snacks. Carrying food is strictly forbidden in Brooks Camp—sound policy when you’re in close quarters with brown bears on a feeding frenzy. I could’ve stayed all day, and I tried to make the boys understand that they would most likely never see this again, but kids don’t think like that.
Steve, the brains behind our adventure, gracefully reminded me what this trip was all about.
“All right, let’s get out of here without running into a bear on the trail and get some food into you two cubs,” he said with a smile. “Then we’ll drop in on a lake on the flight back to the lodge because we have a lot more fish to catch.”
Grayling, Lakers, Char, Pike, Salmon, and Rainbows
When you’re trying to get a kid to love the outdoors, is there such a thing as too much, too soon? Steve and I were going to find out.
The two of us love to hunt, fish, hike, and camp so much that we’ve each built careers around the outdoors. We’ve been lucky to share camps in some of the best places to hunt and fish in North America, but for the past few years, we’ve each been focused on something both more rewarding and more challenging: passing our love for the outdoors on to our children. These days, instead of swapping stories about our hunting and fishing adventures, Steve and I end up mostly talking about catching panfish with our sons or sharing stories of little, unremarkable hikes close to home. Realizing how desperately we want to share this lifestyle with our kids, and struggling with how to mentor a young outdoorsman in a life packed with work, school, sports, friends, and all kinds of modern distractions that we never faced, we hatched a plan. We’d take the boys to Alaska on the kind of trip of a lifetime that we could only dream about when we were their age. Would they realize how lucky they were? Did that even matter?
And so, after a day of indoor mini golf and chicken wings in Anchorage while the boys became fast friends in the pure and near-instant way that only kids can, we landed in Port Alsworth, smack in the middle of Lake Clark National Park in south-central Alaska.
We’d be staying in a cabin at the Farm Lodge, and our guide would be Glen Alsworth, the third generation in a clan of legendary bush pilots. His grandfather Babe had homesteaded the spot in the 1940s, developing the airstrip and playing a prominent role in the history of the area. Glen’s father runs Lake Clark Air, the regional air service based out of Port Alsworth, and Glen and his children run the lodge. It is a family affair, and it’s one reason why the Farm Lodge makes for a perfect family vacation spot. The other reason is the incredible fishing in Lake Clark National Park.
We’d spend the week using bush planes to reach remote spots where the fish rarely, if ever, have seen a lure or fly. We would hike from the lodge up the wilderness rivers, catching grayling in the riffles and pools. We’d camp on remote shorelines, casting to cruising lake trout and char. We’d take a boat to shallow bays on Lake Clark, sight-fishing to huge pike lurking in the weeds. And we’d land on the tundra, catching salmon, grayling, and rainbow trout in a river where the only other anglers are brown bears. We dads thought it sounded like an awesome plan.
A half-hour after landing at the lodge, we were back in the air, this time in a Cessna floatplane loaded with rods (and plenty of snacks), headed to a cove where a stream poured into the lake. It was a perfect spot to warm up with our first fish.
The grayling’s sail-like dorsal stood high over its spotted back.
Steve and I got the boys set up with spinning rods and Vibrax spinners, and within 10 minutes, Aidan hooked and landed a beautiful lake trout. Oliver followed with a fat Arctic char and then a grayling, its saillike dorsal fin standing high over its spotted back.
“Dad, do we have these in New Jersey?” he asked. No buddy, we don’t.
Both boys smiled and laughed, marveling at the hard, bright fish in their hands and posing for the obligatory pictures. They each caught and released several fish over the course of an hour. Then they set down their rods and started horsing around along the shoreline, turning over rocks, throwing sticks, and putting their new waders to use by braving the water as deep as they dared. I had a feeling we’d have to leave this spot once one of those two jokers pushed his luck and soaked his clothes, and by the looks of things, it might be soon.
Steve smiled, shrugged, and said, “The boys are having fun,” as he tied an egg-sucking leech on his leader. He bombed out a fly cast into the wind, and quickly hooked a lake trout of his own. I rigged my 5-weight and started catching a mixed bag of trout, char, and grayling.
We had told ourselves that this trip was all about the kids, but part of mentoring a young angler is showing him or her how it’s done, isn’t it? As we cast and caught and hooted and hollered, Steve and I were teaching them that a wilderness lake full of aggressive fish is among the most wonderful places in the world.
A Man Among Boys
I figured an added bonus of this trip would be impressing our boys with our outdoors skills. Here in the wilderness, I’d get to show off a kind of quiet but confident backwoods competence, and Oliver would be proud of his old man. But as we set up camp on a remote stretch of the Lake Clark shoreline, I realized I was hopelessly outclassed. Caleb Alsworth, Glen’s 14-year-old son, was helping the boys start a fire, and they looked at him with pure awe. When Steve and I had tried to get the boys to pitch in and help out, they sulked, but they jumped to impress Caleb, gathering wood, running for the matches.
Only a few years younger than Caleb, Oliver and Aidan could look at him and see a peer but also something much more impressive. He wore a revolver chambered in .44 Magnum slung across his chest, providing us with protection from the bears that are always a concern in the Alaskan bush. Back at the lodge, they had watched him practicing his “touch-and-goes” on the airstrip, a fourth-generation bush pilot in training. And here, at our wilderness camp, Caleb was clearly in charge.
“Dude,” Steve whispered to me as Caleb led the boys on a hike up the shoreline, “Caleb is twice the man that you or I are.”
I had no argument there. He was also a great kid—unfailingly polite, funny, and focused on making sure Oliver and Aidan were having a blast.
With the two of them busy hanging out with Caleb, Steve and I waded out into the lake. We were camped at a narrow neck in the shoreline, where the lake trout cruised along a channel within reach of a long fly cast.
One of the great things about summertime in Alaska is how much more time you get because of the long days. It was almost like being able to fit two weeks’ worth of activities into one week. And now, at 9 p.m., camp was all squared away. The boys had caught their fill of fish. We had eaten hot dogs and sausages roasted over the fire. We still had at least three hours of daylight left, so Steve and I rigged up our fly rods with big articulated streamers.
In most places, most of the time, lake trout are a deepwater fish, so the opportunity to catch them shallow on a fly was an opportunity we were going to make the most of.
I looked up at the peak looming on the other side of the lake, spotted a black bear working through an open slide, and made my first cast. Three strips into the retrieve, the fly stopped with a jolt. I struck hard, came tight, and then held on as the fish tore line from the reel. When I brought the fish to hand, it was a chunky laker with a fat belly and bright markings.
Over the next few hours, Steve and I each caught several, almost all of them clones of that first fish. We each landed more lake trout than we’d caught on a fly in our whole lives. It was still light when we cried uncle and climbed into our sleeping bags, the boys already out cold.
How to Raise a Fly Snob
Before the trip, Oliver had been begging me to teach him how to flyfish. He was already pretty skilled with a spinning rod, and I figured Alaska was about the best place to put a fly rod in his hands. I had big plans for casting lessons in the yard and trips to the local pond to catch bluegills on flies before the trip, but I blew it. I was busy with work, he had school and other activities—all the usual excuses that Steve and I came here to get away from.
Two days in, after he had caught a lot of fish on spinning tackle, Oliver was asking me to let him use his fly rods. I hesitated. Things were going so well, and I didn’t want him to get frustrated and discouraged with the flailing and tangles and difficulty of learning to flyfish. But wasn’t expanding his fishing horizons the point of this trip? Was I worried about him getting frustrated, or did I not want to waste any of my time dealing with the hassle of teaching someone to flyfish?
I grabbed the fly rods and took him down to the docks at the lodge for a quick casting lesson before we started out for the day’s fishing, a hike up the river to a waterfall where grayling hung stacked in the current. After about 20 minutes, he was making decent casts.
The hike there was gorgeous, climbing steep timbered bluffs along the river, but it was also one of the times when we pushed the boys with results that at first weren’t gratifying. At various times along the 5-mile hike, each one of them complained and sulked and seemed miserable. When Steve and I planned the trip, we’d imagined that having a buddy along for our sons would ensure they had a partner to share in the fun with. That certainly proved true, but it worked the other way as well. When one of them dragged, he brought the other down with him.
But once we reached the falls, everything changed. The river poured over the cliff face in a spectacular wall of sound and spray, and when we began fishing in the pools and riffles below, the boys started catching grayling one after another.
Oliver started with a nymph and quickly caught his first fly-rod fish. He switched to a dry and caught another, then another. Grayling are perfect for a new fly angler. They’re not picky, and they aggressively attack nymphs, streamers, and dries. Watching them come up and slam his fly hooked Oliver. He wouldn’t touch his spinning tackle the rest of the trip. I want to raise a fisherman, not a fly snob, but he loved the fly rod so much, and used it so well, that I couldn’t help but be thrilled.
That night over supper, we didn’t hear any complaints. They boys talked about the falls and the fish, and bragged about how far they hiked. They also ate like grizzly bears and then passed out, dead tired.
In general, the toothier, meaner, and more aggressive a fish is, the more kids like catching it. I guess some adults feel the same way.
On the second to last day of the trip, we took a boat to a shallow cove on Lake Clark that was full of pike. We let the boys start—this trip was about them, right? And each quickly caught a big pike. The fish slashed at their lures and flies, blowing up on the surface. When these mean-looking predators came in, the boys were a little afraid to handle them—with good reason.
After watching the boys catch a bunch of pike from the shore, we piled into the boat and silently drifted through the shallows, spotting fish from the bow. We took turns casting lures and big streamers at pike we saw lurking in the weeds, hearts thumping as we watched the mugging take place. I’d see a big one following my big rabbit-fur streamer, stripping faster and faster until it pounced in a last-minute rush of aggression. It was one of those days of fishing when I forgot to eat, but so did the boys. We talked only to point out targets. We were all shocked when we realized we’d been doing it for hours and that the day was over. We sat smiling and stunned, on a total fishing high.
The banks were covered in bear tracks, piles of scat, and half-eaten salmon.
The last day was one we’d been looking forward to all week. We flew early in the morning in two small, light planes: Stinsons equipped with tundra tires and able to take off and land in small spots. The destination was a tundra river that should hold lots of salmon at that time of year. From the air we saw a big brown bear fishing a couple hundred yards from the landing spot, and when we first looked down into the clear river from the bluff, we could see why. The water pulsed with dense pods of red and chum salmon, moving like a mob through the pools and charging through the shallows, their dorsal fins waving in the air.
Climb aboard the northwoods express for a unique way to enjoy world-class fishing in the Canadian wilderness
I crack open a nondescript Canadian pilsner and look out over the train platform, past clumps of men with their gear piled high into mountains, past a group of paddlers with two canoes bound for the freight car, past a large contingent from Detroit with matching ball caps and bug nets—even though it’s late May and we are still pre-blackfly. There, beyond the curve of track, is our shared destination: the unpaved, off-the-grid country of the Canadian Shield. This is the first time I’ve approached the hinterland this way. I’ve been dumped off on fishing trips from pretty much every other conceivable form of transport—by floatplane, car, truck, and canoe, or on foot. I even once did 30 miles of logging road on a mountain bike behind a wolf pack I took great pains not to gain on. But never have I taken a train.
This trainlessness is a shame given the importance of rail lines in shaping the modern sporting imagination. The first Canadian rail lines followed in the footsteps of the fur trade, connecting rivers like the St. Lawrence and Richelieu and essentially functioning as an elaborate portage. They then expanded west with the timber industry, pushing into the frontier farther year by year. And when the great harvest industries petered out, these same trains freighted sportsmen north, in an era that coincided with the first outdoor magazines and the dreams they stoked: of remoteness, solitude, a quality of hunting and fishing unavailable in the backyards of civilization.
No other form of transport smacks as clearly of destiny as the train. Bush planes can change course and destination at leisure. Trucks and jeeps can do as they please. But trains have a sense of fatedness about them, and none more so than this particular line, which travels in only one direction per day. Today, it’s west through outposts like Larchwood, Ramsey, Missanabie, and Woman River; tomorrow, it’s east toward Esher, Azilda, Nemegos, and, finally, Sudbury. In a modern life that pulls you in so many directions that you fear quartering regularly, there’s a deep comfort in the idea of a one-direction ride.
The train pulls up, and there’s a bum’s rush to throw gear into the freight car. Even after the canoes and cases of beer, it’s still only marginally filled. I ask the conductor how far off Lake Esnagi is.
“Little under three hours, as the train flies.”
It’s rare, in the boreal North, for spring to show the type of clemency for which it’s elsewhere reputed. Here, it’s less a season than a struggle, with most days striving hard in the direction of either winter or summer, and generally achieving the goal by noon. Our arrival at Lodge 88 coincides with an extended stretch of cold weather that has the walleye and brook trout fishing a little behind schedule. The pike, on other hand, are in full flush. We ask Brent, the head guide, which bay is best. “Pick one,” is his reply.
“A violent day of pike fishing recalibrates the angler’s nervous system to a generalized expectation of an ambush.”
Under low clouds, we explore the long, narrow bays fingering out from the main lake and the countless tributaries that seep into them. Pike with fresh spawning scars are recuperating in the vicinity of these outflows, and we fish them all in a slow circuit, catching smaller fish first and then, as pike fishing goes, feeling our way out to the larger specimens. The biggest females are hanging back on the edge of the deeper drop-offs, having finished their procreative business and wanting nothing more to do with the bumptious males.
To my knowledge, no one has yet assembled a complete compendium of pike bites, but by the end of the first day, we have cataloged several dozen, from slow stalks to sudden razorings to the toothy arches of airborne Esox. A violent day of pike fishing recalibrates the angler’s nervous system to a generalized expectation of ambush. Dark closets, blind corners, and even lidded toilets are afterward approached with extreme caution.
The next day, we go walleye jigging with Brent, who totes along a deep cast-iron pan, a sack of potatoes and onions, and a few cans of pork and beans. To this we’ll add enough fish for a shore lunch, a great ritual of the North and the high tea of the angling class. Everyone participates. Even diehard catch-and-release anglers understand that they are far enough from civilization that the typical rules of engagement do not apply. And it’s a good thing too, since in all the world you could not find a landscape better suited to shore lunch than northern Ontario. Labrador is too thick with sphagnum and spruce, Alaska often too marshy and alluvial. But the Ontario Shield is perfect and provides everything you need: an endless supply of dry wood, plenty of glacial rubble for architecting whatever fashion of stove you require, and perfectly sized islands—big enough to stretch your legs and walk around, but small enough that you’re never out of earshot of the fire popping or the waves lapping on the rocks. But first, we need fish.
I had been nursing a surface-fishing habit and hadn’t jigged for walleyes in years. I’d forgotten the sweet anticipation that builds with each lift and fall of the jig as you thump it down a contour—any second, any second, any second. And then there’s the electric tap-tap of the eat. Much has been made of the steelhead’s take to a swung fly, the toilet-bowl whoosh by which a bass Houdinis a hair bug, but the take of a walleye directly beneath the boat has a primal poetry all its own, with your rod serving not only as a hook-setting tool but as a primitive scale. How heavy is this one? A good eater? Or even too big for a shore lunch?
At high noon we go ashore with a few eater walleyes and one smaller pike for variety’s sake, and Chef Brent goes to work—or tries to. We prowl around the fire like the fish we’ve been hunting, snatching up morsels whenever we can. Patience is not one of the virtues of the angler who has fished hard all day in the open spray of a Shield lake and is then confronted by golden morsels of fresh fish. You pick them up much too hot for your hands and dance them around on your tongue, and simply accept that this week your mouth will remain chronically scorched. Brent’s potatoes, for their part, are otherworldly, coming off the mandoline so thin that you can see through them, then fried crispy burnt at the edges while still retaining a soft gooeyness in the middle. And then, of course, there are the omnipresent pork and beans. If you’re new to the art of the shore lunch, the trick is to regard these not as a side dish but as a condiment, one that improves the taste of everything it comes in contact with. Along with hungry walleyes and rapacious pike, Brent’s five-star lunches become a part of our daily cadence, and by the end of our stay, we have eaten and napped on four of the lake’s dozen or so islands. But then it’s time to go.
Lucky are the anglers, already slaked from several days of good fishing, who find themselves waiting in the woods for a train that will deliver them to many more. Our next stop is Loch Island Lodge on Wabatongushi Lake, which lies on the threshold of that country the early fur traders called Le Petit Nord, a continental divide of sorts that steers the rivers not south to Lake Superior but north toward the Hudson Bay. Over a lunch of pork chops and cherry pie, a group of departing anglers tells us about the largest pike they’d ever seen in one of the bays, a fish that had closely inspected everyone’s spoons and spinners but committed to none. Ryan, the head guide, confirms the story and lays a map of the lake on the table. Holding a pen like an ice pick in a heavily bandaged hand—dock-repair injuries are an Ontario rite of spring—he makes a few scratches on a small bay in the northwest corner of the lake. At first glance it looks like the jagged scrawl of a lie-detector test, but when I rotate the map, I see he’s written the simple, honest word “Big.”
“If an icicle and a baitfish had a love child, this would be it.”
All fishing trips have their own unique reflective interludes. Sometimes it’s a long paddle or portage, other times an endless hike through the thick brambles of a mountain valley, or, in those parts of the world where the heat is severe enough to gum up the hands of your watch, a lemonade siesta in the shade. But on the big lakes of Ontario, your dreamy reveries come in the form of 10-mile boat rides between islands of jack pine and great looming promontories of Precambrian rock. Cruising on the big open water of Wabatongushi on our way to see Big, we glimpse our first sunlight in days, puddles of golden light that glide alongside the boat like manta rays before dissolving again into winter gloom. But it’s a false alarm: By the time we arrive at Big’s bay, it’s as cold as it’s been all week. In the early dusk, a few snowflakes swirl about like midges.
There’s a fundamental difference in approach between casting at random and targeting a known fish. Every action becomes more deliberate, starting with choosing the offering. I open my pike box and pick over the mess of feathers and flash. Selecting the correct size is easy—for a fish named Big, only the biggest will do—but there is color and profile to consider. I decide to heed the wisdom of the late Gary LaFontaine, a brilliant and eccentric fly-tier who argued for matching not the hatch, but the colors of the prevailing light, which in this case means a steely blue and magenta. I finally settle on a Murdich Minnow I had tied years ago to imitate my brother’s Purpledescent Rapala—a lake trout slayer if there ever was one. I give it a few twitches boatside to check out its colors. If an icicle and a baitfish had a love child, this would be it.
Tom and Dan start at one side of the bay, while Brian and I take the other. The idea is to work the shoreline inward and meet in the middle. Twenty minutes pass uneventfully, which is good because it suggests that smaller fish don’t see the area as safe. Then, without warning, it happens.
There’s a moment unique to pike and muskie fishing—the sudden heave of water when a fish of mammoth proportions pushes through the shallows. You know something is coming, and you know that this something is big. What’s unclear, at least to a certain vestigial reptilian part of the brain, is whether the beast is coming after your fly or you. In this case, it happens on my second cast to a grassy peninsula where the shallow water quickly drops to deep. “Big!” I yell as I set the hook again and again, holding on and not giving an inch as the fish digs and rolls. It tapes out at 41 inches, my biggest pike ever. Returning to the lodge, I’m met with all the fanfare of a dragon slayer, beginning with beer and culminating in a trip to the bait house, where with a nub of chalk I add my name and the date to the Loch Island Lodge pike fishing hall of fame.
Thus do we pass several blissful days of walleye afternoons, pike evenings, and cold wood-stove nights. We had all largely accepted by this point that our gamble to fish the first warm-weather pattern of the year had failed, and that the trip would end without our partaking of any warm-weather fishing. Then, on our last full day, we wake to something different: enough heat that our first thought of the morning doesn’t involve fire. A quick step outside onto the deck confirms that the cold spell has broken at last. Today will be high sun and blackflies—and, we hope and pray, brook trout. At breakfast, Ryan maps out a small lake deep in the woods that is full of nothing but char, on the hike to which we find the year’s first morels, which we cram into all available pockets. We find the old johnboat hibernating in the grass, then flip it over and push off into the blue, shimmering bay. For the first half-hour, we twitch dry flies on likely looking water, but to no avail.
Then we start to get our eyes. Past the oars, just beyond the visible, the shadows of brook trout dart about in the sunlit depths, crushing minnows. We go to sinking lines and weighted Muddlers, and start catching them in rapid succession. They’re all beautiful fish, and all more or less the same size and shape—plump bordering on corpulent. One of them coughs up a heap of scuds, which explains their fatness and promises a particularly succulent lunch: Few fish are as sweet as those finished on crustaceans. We fish for a few hours, and after catching dozens of fish, we retire to a shady island to build our lunch fire.
There’s a deep comfort in the sizzle of four whole char baking over a wood fire, especially when those chars’ bellies have been plumped with black morels and spruce tips. The eating is a revelation in the literal sense of the word: All respective sets of bones are picked clean, first with jack-pine chopsticks, then with greedy fingers. Afterward I go down to the water with the carcasses and look out over the lake. The sun is soft and warm, and there’s a feeling that, this time, the warmth is here to stay. The blackflies agree. They aren’t quite eating me alive yet, but they are getting in some mighty good bites.
I toss the brook trout spines into the water, and immediately they’re besieged by minnows, a swarm so sudden and thick, you’d think they had some piranha DNA. It strikes me how quickly these bits of brook trout will find their way back into brook trout—quite possibly this evening when the big fish come shallow to hunt. The Canadian Shield in springtime is hungry country, where bits and pieces of one thing quickly find their way into the next. And in the end, this is perhaps the greatest charm and utility of the backcountry, to clarify the connections between the creatures of the world, all losing and gaining themselves at turns. Sometimes the food, and sometimes the fed. Sometimes—I swat at a blackfly and dab at a dribble of blood—both at once.
Finally, we come to the end. On our last morning, we get up extra early and load all the gear onto the pontoon that will ferry us to the depot. I’m down one camo Croc and a pint of blood, though I’ve made up for my loss with the kind of extra poundage that comes from eating dessert every night for a week straight. The train is late, but the blackflies are not. Each man attempts a different defense against the bloodthirsty marauders. Dan dons all of his layers, losing triple in sweat what he otherwise would in blood. Tom takes out his camera and attempts to capture visually pleasing constellations of the critters. Brian opts for a more aggressive tactic, loading his e-cigarette to the hilt and doing his best dragon imitation. Finally the train shows up. I lean my head against the window and try to count moose in the swamps blurring by, an arithmetic far more soporific than that involving sheep. Just as on loud, windy nights when you’re camped in the middle of nowhere, phantom sounds start to emerge from the white noise of the tracks: the scream of a fish putting a hurt on the drag, the clunk of the cedar boat hitting dock, the wet thunder of a big pike the first time it breaches. But as I slip into true sleep, there’s a new sound too, not quite a murmur and not quite a hush—the sound of all the unfished water calling out to me, calling after me, as the train hauls east toward home.
Strive For Five
In addition to your fishing gear, these five items will make a difference in your comfort and safety on the big lakes of the Canadian Shield.
1. Grayl water filter
This French press-style water filter should be standard on absolutely any and every fishing trip. It’s lightweight and carabiner-friendly, and it makes clean, potable water in a jiff. ($60; Grayl)
2. Aluminum foil
Fillets fried in oil are great, and your guide will take care of that for you. But for those days when you want to DIY more-remote water, some foil (along with garlic and olive oil) makes baking a whole walleye or brook trout easy.
3. Buff neck gaiters
Buff’s line of neckwear is great for thermal management and bug control. ($18; Buff)
4. A GPS with an Ontario-specific topo map
A trusty unit will make wayfinding much easier, and comes in especially handy for exploring portage-to-backcountry lakes.
5. Stanley Classic extra-large thermos
Cram your pockets with packets of instant coffee, and your boat will double as a coffee shop. ($40; Stanley)
The fishing season runs from mid-May to early October, with June being the sweet spot for walleyes, pike, and brook trout.
Start planning your trip by getting in touch with the following lodges that operate along the rail line. Per-person package rates given below are for the American Plan (room and three full meals provided) and Housekeeping Plan (room only). Rates are for a three-night stay, though prices vary slightly depending on whether you’re traveling from White River or Sudbury; the varying train arrival and departure times will affect fishing time. Check in with the lodges as your itinerary unfolds.
Lodge Eighty-Eight; $1,159/$999
Mar Mac Lodge; $1,132/$973
Camp Esnagi; $660/$640
Loch Island Lodge; $820/$490
Buy your train tickets on the White River-Sudbury line at VIA Rail Canada. Two-way fares will range from between $40 and $110, depending on your starting point. To get a sense of other opportunities in the region, check out Algoma Country.
A Farewell to Pat McManus, One of Outdoor Life’s Most Beloved Writers
If ever there were a Mount Rushmore of historically significant outdoor writers, Pat McManus’ face would certainly be chiseled into it. It could be argued, I guess, that the likes of Townsend Whelen, Jack O’Connor, Joe Brooks, A.J. McClane, Jim Corbett, and Peter Hathaway Capstick—among others—would be more deserving, but the self-effacing McManus always made the outdoors fun for everyone.
Today, the outdoor world mourns the passing of Pat, arguably the most famous outdoor writer of his day—but more than that, my dearest friend. He was, of course, a talented writer, but he was also the nicest man I’ve ever known. He would talk to strangers at length, even offering to buy them lunch. His audience was composed of not only hunters, but nonhunters as well. He appealed to everyone with his wonderful stories about his wife, Bun, his sister, The Troll, Rancid Crabtree, and many others. His books and columns achieved national acclaim. Many of his books were on The New York Times Best Sellers list, and several of his articles were published in Reader’s Digest.
I was blessed to have met Pat some 30 years ago. We shared tents and cabins together on many hunting and fishing trips. Of all our adventures, one stands out in my mind as the most memorable.
On one of our Outdoor Life field trips, which included every employee of the magazine, including the entire New York office and the columnists, we enjoyed a three-day horseback ride to a remote tent camp in the Montana wilderness. Prior to heading into the mountains, we spent an evening in a local saloon. Word got out among the locals that Pat was present, and there was a line to the pay phone to spread the news. In no time, the saloon was jam-packed with fans from 9 to 90 years old. Pat loved it, as did we all.
That was Pat. A wonderful man beloved by everyone, whether they knew him personally or through his writings. Rest In peace, good buddy. An entire nation of outdoorsmen will forever miss you.
Sometimes catching a mess of fish just isn’t enough. Here are five state fish records within relatively easy reach of virtually any angler
Richard “The King” Petty won an astounding 200 NASCAR races. Decades earlier, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak inspired another generation. Both records still stand today. But records are meant to be broken. That includes NASCAR, baseball, and, yes, angling records. Which records? No one knows for sure, but several angling records are primed to fall this season, and with a little planning, you just might be the angler who pulls off the feat. Here’s a closer look at the hottest destinations and how you can top the charts this summer.
1. Crack the Muskie Mark
Top Spot: Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota
Fish to Beat: State-record muskies—56 ⁷⁄₈ inches catch-and-release or 56 lb. certified weight
Comprising more than 130,000 acres of water, Lake Mille Lacs can be daunting to fish. But the rewards are great when it comes to trophy muskies.
“Mille Lacs has its own standards,” says Minnesota guide John Hoyer. “A fish isn’t considered to be big until it reaches 55 inches.”
According to Hoyer, there have been eight to 10 fish caught on the lake that would have toppled the state record, which is 56 pounds. But all of those anglers released their fish.
“Anglers have recently patterned these big fish in open water during the early season. They are trolling open-water mud flats that were previously known to walleye anglers.” Hoyer recommends Headlock cranks by Supernatural Baits.
The catch-and-release record is susceptible to falling at any point in the season, and that’s really the record that you want to target. Just make sure to have a measuring board in your boat that runs to 60 inches and that you get the fish back in the water quickly.
For more information: For lodging, check out McQuoids Resort’s website. For fishing information, contact John Hoyer.
2. Whale Away on Giant Walleyes
Top Spot: Western Basin of Lake Erie, Ohio
Fish to Beat: State-record walleye (16.19 lb.)
According to Ohio Division of Wildlife Fisheries biologist Matthew Faust, Lake Erie’s 2003 walleye class was one of the best ever—and it’s that class of fish that is now large enough to threaten the current state record of 16.19 pounds. Recent catches seem to indicate that the record mark could fall soon.
“During a fishing tournament this past fall,” says Faust, “the winning fish weighed in at 14.97—that’s a big fish.”
Port Clinton, Ohio, guide Kevin Swartz agrees that the 2003 class is peaking right now when it comes to yielding trophy fish. The best chance to break the record will be in the western basin, where giant females spawn.
Swartz recommends slow-trolling crankbaits at less than 1 mile per hour. Slender baits are more effective than banana-shaped baits for spawning fish. When fishing 30 feet or deeper, Swartz hits the upper two-thirds the hardest.
For more information: Port Clinton, Ohio, is an excellent home base for visitors. There are plenty of places to stay and eat. Catawba Island State Park is nearby and provides boat launching facilities. For fishing information, contact guide Kevin Swartz.
3. Flatheads Fantastic
Top Spot: Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania
Fish to Beat: State-record flathead (48 lb. 6 oz.)
According to Pennsylvania guide Dave Shindler, hooking Pennsylvania’s next state-record flathead is the easy part. Landing the giant is the problem.
“The biggest that I’ve landed was 42 pounds 6 ounces, but we had a bigger fish at the boat four times before he busted off,” says Shindler. “That one was 52 to 53 pounds.”
Shindler has hooked several other flatheads that weighed in the mid- to upper 40s while fishing the Susquehanna. Some of those fish could have challenged the state record too.
“Once a flathead tips the mid-40s, they become difficult to turn,” he says. “The hook will pop loose. I have tried using circle hooks, but we are fishing current—they eat the bait, and they don’t turn; they just settle and let the current pull them to their position. So I prefer the Kahle hook.”
Shindler points state-record seekers to the lower stretches of the river from Harrisburg to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The 12- to 60-foot depths in this stretch will support the biggest fish.
4. Pop a Proper Panfish
Top Spot: Upper Mississippi River, Minnesota and Wisconsin
Fish to Beat: State-record crappies (3 lb. 15 oz. MN, and 3 lb. 13.1 oz. WI)
Anglers in the Upper Midwest take their crappie fishing seriously, so don’t be so quick to scoff at those who might want to lay claim to a state-record fish. And Minnesota guide Brian Brosdahl knows just where to do it: the Upper Mississippi River.
“The waters are fertile, and they are deeper south of the Twin Cities,” says Brosdahl. “I think if the record falls, it will be somewhere between lock and dam 3 and the Iowa border.”
In both Minnesota and Wisconsin, the white-crappie record is much easier to break than the black-crappie records. While the black-crappie state records are at or near 5 pounds, the white-crappie’s are less than 4 pounds. If you land a trophy white in Minnesota, you’ll need to topple 3 pounds 15 ounces. In Wisconsin, the white-crappie record is 3 pounds 13.1 ounces.
Brosdahl recommends any of the creeks, or slack-water pools during summer.
For more information: Wabasha and Lake City, MN are prime tourist locations with excellent lodgings. For fishing information, contact Breakwall Outfitters or call Bob’s Bait in Lacrosse, Wisconsin (608-782-5552).
5. A Plan for Perch
Top Spot: Devils Lake, North Dakota
Fish to Beat: State-record perch (2 lb. 15 oz.)
North Dakota’s current state-record perch mark, set in 1982, stands at 2 pounds 15 ounces. The huge fish was taken from Devils Lake, but bigger fish are there for the taking.
“I was with some anglers who caught some 2 ½-pound fish,” says guide Brian Brosdahl. “Those fish exceeded 16 inches.”
The state-record fish measured 15 inches. So the lake is producing big perch that are on the verge of toppling that mark.
Brosdahl recommends targeting the flooded roads and ditches in 4 to 6 feet of water. The biggest perch will tuck in close to the edges of cover to avoid predators such as northern pike.
Tips for Catching Trophy Flathead Catfish
To take a true trophy flathead catfish, listen up, here are some game-changing lessons
o, you want to catch a big flathead catfish. That’s a laudable goal. These brutes commonly exceed 50 pounds. World-record-class fish top 120. While in the same family as channel and blue catfish, these shovel-headed giants differ so much in their habits and physical characteristics, they’ve been placed in the genus Pylodictis, to which no other fish belongs. Learning how they differ from their kin allows you to fish for them properly, increasing your success rate.
Lesson 1: Think Like a Predator
The first concept to grasp is that flatheads are bushwhackers. In daytime, they hide around or within submerged logs, driftwood piles, toppled trees, snags, and riverbank cavities, waiting to ambush passing prey. Flatheads aren’t built for extended chases like their streamlined cousins, preferring instead to dart out from hiding and devour unwary prey. Flatheads roam very little, and when they do, they roam at night or when rains create turbid, high-water conditions, never venturing far from their preferred home quarters.
Channel cats and blues sometimes act likewise, but not nearly as often as their big brown cousins. Knowing just these things can immediately improve your odds for flathead-catching success—focus your daytime fishing efforts on dense, shady near-shore cover such as blowdowns and drift piles, and continue to fish near such cover at night. Extracting fat flatties from these spots isn’t easy, but it can be done if you fish with heavy line on tough tackle. Drift in a bait beneath a float or on a tight line, and stay alert.
Lesson 2: Learn About Loners
Jumbo flatheads are testy beasts. Unlike blues and channel cats, which frequently gather in loose schools, flatheads are aggressive toward others of their kind. As a result, a prime piece of flathead real estate rarely harbors more than one heavyweight adult, so you’ll probably find it fruitless to continue fishing a single spot of cover after catching a good fish.
Catch one here; move over there. That’s another key to success.
Lesson 3: Don’t Drop Deads
Many anglers are under the impression that big flatheads will eat virtually anything.
Flatheads often scavenge and aren’t picky about their food. But this applies primarily to small individuals. Juvenile fish up to a few pounds will hit stinkbaits, chicken livers, worms, crawfish, and other normal catfish baits without hesitation.
If you’re seeking heavyweight flatheads, however, these baits rarely work. The big guys seldom eat invertebrates or rummage for dinner. A meat-and-potatoes meal for a giant flathead is another fish—a live fish—so that’s what you should use to entice them. Good choices include live sunfish, suckers, bullheads, carp, goldfish, and chubs.
Lesson 4: Keep It Clean
Flatheads can taste and smell certain compounds in the water in extremely minute quantities. This can be good because it helps them zero in on your bait. But be sure to avoid handling things such as gasoline, sunscreen, tobacco, and insect repellent, which will send them scurrying away from even the most tantalizing baits.
Lesson 5: Feed the Bear
Today’s anglers have learned that channel cats and blue cats feed actively throughout winter, even when lakes and rivers ice over. Not so big flatheads. These fish enter a hibernation-like state when the water temperature drops below 45 degrees, lying inactively on river and lake bottoms until spring warms things again.
To compensate for winter’s period of lean rations, however, flatties gorge in spring to ease their wake-up hunger pangs and again in fall to gain weight like bears preparing for hibernation. Fish these seasons for an increased chance of a hookup.
Derided for years by salmon-seeking Great Lakes anglers, lakers on light tackle have become a spring-time treat
ur boat steers a course parallel to a break wall along Lake Michigan’s western shoreline. Early April water temperatures register in the mid 40s and air temperatures hover near freezing. The fish finder reads 28 feet deep. Where rock turns to sand, a steady procession of long, inverted V-shaped marks reveals the presence of giant lake trout. They resemble mini submarines stealthily positioned within a few feet of the bottom.
Lake trout can be temperamental feeders, but not on this day. I work a gold-colored blade bait on 20-pound-test braided line and medium spinning gear, and give the rod a flick after the lure hits the bottom. Through the rod tip, I can feel the lure jump off the sandy bottom and careen into an adjacent boulder. It flutters and flashes on the fall. The line goes slack as the lure settles back down. With the next snap of the rod, the lure rises just inches and is instantly swallowed up by one of the “mini submarines.”
Lighter Side of Lakers
On walleye-size spinning gear, the lake trout might as well be a nuclear submarine. There is no budging the fish. It motors off as though oblivious to the new gold piercing in its mouth. The fish puts an uncomfortable bend in the rod and unrelentingly strips line from the reel. After several minutes of losing line, putting greater pressure on the fish and trying to move it off the bottom seem like a good strategy.
This merely agitates the fish. I lose more line. The trout violently tosses its head in an attempt to dislodge the lure—the thin braided line perfectly telegraphing it all. As the battle wears on, the length of the fish’s runs become shorter but remain powerful. He’s finally netted and then quickly released after a few photos.
This scene can be played out across all the Great Lakes (absent the relatively shallow waters of Lake Erie) and on many inland lakes across the United States each spring. Lake trout are the longest lived and largest of all the trout species in North America. These leviathans of the deep can live 70 years and have been caught weighing up to 100 pounds in the immense waters of Saskatchewan’s Lake Athabasca. In the United States, some of the more consistent lake trout fishing takes place in the Great Lakes. Record fish surpassing 60 pounds have been caught from Lake Superior, as well as fish topping 40 pounds from Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario.
Many anglers associate Great Lakes trout fishing with heavy conventional trolling gear and downriggers to get baits down 100 to 200 feet, where lake trout reside during the warm summer months. This technique results in a much-diminished fight and a less-enjoyable experience for anglers. Flip the script, and target these same tenacious fighters with equipment on par with walleye or bass gear, in water less than 40 feet deep, and you have the recipe for some of the most exciting early-season fishing to be had anywhere.
Where regulations permit, lake trout fishing begins in March and continues strong through April. As soon as boat ramps become accessible and shoreline ice recedes enough for safe navigation, lake trout hungrily await well-placed baits. Prime locations include any nearshore reefs, break walls, harbor mouths, pier heads, and discharges adjacent to spawning sites. Many of these structural elements form barriers that create current. These current seams funnel in baitfish and other prey items for trout.
Lake trout are first drawn to these areas during late fall in anticipation of the spawn. Large pods of mature fish concentrate in these areas in November. Here, they reside for as long as nearshore water temperatures remain within their preferred comfort range of 40 to 52 degrees and prey continues to be ample.
To locate pods of lakers along miles of relatively featureless shoreline structure, down-scan and side-scan sonar are invaluable. Pods of fish might contain as few as a couple of trout or as many as several dozen fish. Look specifically for rubble piles along break walls and transition areas between hard and soft bottom to attract the greatest aggregations of fish.
Since lake trout spend much of their time near the bottom, lure presentations should be precise and focused within the bottom 2 to 5 feet of the water column. On the waters of Lake Michigan, lake trout routinely target gobies that scurry along the bottom and take shelter among rocks and mussel colonies. In these settings, small blade baits like the B Fish N B3, Wolf’s Big Dude Blade, or Sebile Vibrato, as well as soft-plastics such as a 4-inch Kalin Lunker Grub or a Live Target Goby Paddle Tail can be convincingly hopped across the bottom to mimic gobies and draw a reaction from hungry trout. When it’s reacting to small baits, a lake trout can have a rather subtle bite—almost as though it knows how much energy is needed to capture and kill small prey. For this reason, a sensitive rod and low-stretch braided line with a fluorocarbon leader will help detect light bites and instantly drive home the hook in anywhere from 15 to 40 feet of water. The lack of elasticity in braided line also lets you feel the fight of the fish better, which is a plus when it comes to lakers.
In settings where lakers are focused on larger prey, such as whitefish, ciscoes, or other trout, a bigger presentation—such as 7-inch Water Wolf Lures Gator Tubes or Bondy Bait Mini Wobblers worked vertically on heavy bass-style gear—will serve as a better triggering bait. Work these baits with a lift-shake-and-hold presentation. After holding the bait stationary for several seconds, repeat the process. The pause part of the technique is critical.
If lakers fail to react to this subtle presentation, work the bait wildly for several seconds with big sweeping jigging motions, and then quickly reel the lure halfway up the water column. Stop the bait. Hold it motionless for a second, and then let it fall back to the bottom. Repeat the process several times. At times, lakers can be forced into a competitive chase-and-catch mode. Strikes from chasing fish can be savage. These cold-water fish are eager to attack baits both big and small. And once they’re hooked from a stationary boat, their pulling power and stamina is on full display.
Beach Driving 101: How to Get to Your Surf Fishing Spot Without Getting Stuck
Surf fishing is an exceptionally rewarding experience. But finding feeding fish along an open expanse of beach means covering lots of ground. Luckily you can drive on many beaches, with the right gear and proper permits. It also takes some know-how to make sure your rig doesn’t become the next piece of structure to grace the sand.
If you’re going to drive along beach, be sure to pack:
Tools—Tows off the sand are expensive. Save yourself some money by keeping enough tools onboard to get you back to the blacktop.
Jack and Jack Board—A jack will sink into the sand; a three-foot by two-foot piece of ¾-inch plywood will keep it on top.
Water—Driving slowly on the sand is taxing, and the lack of airflow can lead to overheating. Keep a few gallons of water (potable, so you can drink it in a pinch) on board in case of overheating.
Fire Extinguisher—Rocking your vehicle back and forth is a good way to get it unstuck. It’s also a good way to heat up your transmission fluid enough that it leaks out a vent hole and onto an exhaust system component, causing a fire.
Recovery Gear—Tow straps, chains, shackles, and other means to get your rig going again if you do succumb to the sand. Recovery points front and rear makes it easy on whoever helps you out of the jam.
Emergency Gear—I always have enough supplies to get me through a few nights should the unthinkable happen. This includes tarps, blankets, extra clothes, fire making kit, and plenty of nonperishable food.
Full-Size Shovel—Save the E-tool for latrine duty. A full-size shovel is much easier on your back if you need to dig your rig out.
Traction Aid—Some sort of traction aid goes a long way in getting you out of trouble. Sand ladders, like those carried in the Camel Cup, are great, though lower-cost options such as fiberglass-reinforced grate discarded from an industrial site also works. In a pinch, floor mats can get the job done.
Full-Size Spare—The beach is no place for a donut. A smaller tire will only get you stuck, and possibly damage your four-wheel drive system in the process.
Tire Repair Kit—If you have a compressor in your truck, it is often easier to plug a tire than it is to change it. Practice on some old tires before you go off-road. Spare valve cores are useful because you will lose some if you loosen them to deflate your tires.
To keep from burying your truck to the frame, follow these guidelines:
Air down–Lowering tire pressure keeps you floating on top. The reduced air pressure increases your tire’s contact patch and keeps you floating on the sand’s surface. Start at 15 PSI and drop even lower if you start to get stuck. Just don’t go too low as you run the risk of breaking a bead; consider 10 PSI to be lower limit for full-size trucks. You can purchase purpose-made deflators, or loosen the valve cores to let air out.
Shift into Four-Wheel Drive—There are certain situations where you can get away with two-wheel drive, but don’t push your luck. Shift into four-high to start, reserving four-low for when the tires start to spin.
Stay Above the High Tide Line—Time and tide wait for no man, even if that means swallowing your brand new truck. Staying above the tide line means avoiding rising waters if you do get stuck.
Call Your Congressman: The Bipartisan Land & Water Conservation Fund Needs to Be Renewed
Hunters and anglers know it takes teamwork to get something done, from netting a friend’s trophy pike to hauling a bull elk out of the backcountry. The same is true for protecting access.
Now is the time for some of that can-do spirit. The clock is ticking on one of the most successful conservation and access legislation in American history: the Land & Water Conservation Fund. The axe falls on Sept. 30—unless we stop it.
“There is a long, long list of LWCF projects all across the country that have benefited hunters and anglers for decades,” said Steve Kline, government relations director for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “There is wide and bipartisan support for the program.”
Sadly, LWCF has become a political football. Despite its long success record, some politicians are happy to let it die or twist it beyond recognition.
The Land & Water Conservation Fund takes money from offshore oil and gas development and funnels it into access and conservation: keeping forests in production instead of becoming strip malls and subdivisions; providing fishing access sites and family fishing ponds, and thousands of other projects that benefit outdoor families nationwide.
The good news is, a bipartisan team of leaders is pushing a package of bills to not only save LWCF, but to make it stronger.
• In the House of Representatives, HR 502 would permanently reauthorize LWCF and guarantee a portion of that funding for hunting and fishing access. Co-sponsors are Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Patrick Meehan, R-Penn. • In the Senate, S 896, would likewise reauthorize LWCF. It’s sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina. and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. • Also in the Senate, S 569 not only reauthorize LWCF, but permanently fund it, to keep Congress from raiding the LWCF piggy bank for other purposes. That bill is sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Sen. Burr.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been very hard for Congress to pass ANY legislation lately. But this is a rare case of bipartisan cooperation. Expect elected officials to try to connect LWCF language to a larger issue like federal flood insurance, the Farm Bill or the like.
The fun of fishing In my memory, there have been many interesting things that are full of fun. The most memorable thing was that I went fishing with my father that time. The
On a sunny Sunday, Dad said to me, “It’s so good today. Can we go fishing?” I said excitedly: “OK.” I think: Dad never fished and fished. A lot of fun.
We took fishing equipment and came to the lake of the park. Dad took out the fishing equipment, taught me how to put the line, and how to take the line. So, my father and I took out the fishing rods, respectively, and hung a hook on the hook. Then, slowly put the fishing line into the lake and wait quietly.
After a long time, the sun rose and got hotter. I was sweating hot and I wanted to ask my father to buy a bottle of water for me. At this time, I saw my father sweating hot, but did not say a hot word, so I also sit quietly fishing. After a while, the buoy on my dad’s fishing rod suddenly moved. So he stood up and took care of it. “What a big fish!” I cried in surprise. Dad took the fish off the hook and put it in the fish, and then said to me, “Look, I’ve caught one, you’re going to refuel!” I said unconvincingly: “Oh, don’t be small Look at me, I will be able to catch a big fish.” After a long time, the buoy on my fish’s fins also moved. I was very happy in my heart: It must be a big fish. As a result, I slowly picked up the fishing line. As a result, it was a fish smaller than the palm of my hand, not the big fish I imagined. At this time, I was discouraged and thought that fishing was not that fun. Daddy saw my mind and said, “Kid, don’t be discouraged. Persistence is victory. You must be able to catch a big fish.” After listening to my father, I regained my confidence and continued to fish. I sat by the lake and waited patiently. After a long time, the buoy flickered. I learned my dad that way, carefully and carefully. The fish on the hook jumped. It turned out to be a big fish. I was very happy.
On that day, Dad and I caught a lot of fish and we were all very happy. From that fishing, I knew that fishing was a very interesting thing. It also understood that fishing should be insisted on and patience should be used to catch big fish.
I don’t know when I like to go fishing. Whenever I have time, I will throw a few shots on the fish. After lunch, the outside weather, the time when the shade, look at the treetops is like the east wind, in fact, the wind is very small, almost do not show up. Well, it’s a bit boring and it’s cool to go to the reservoir! I am a little self-talking person and I have an excuse for fishing.
Say away, pick up and pack up, then drive away, fishing always likes to find a new fishing spot, always feel the big fish in the new place, get closer and closer to the reservoir, drive the car to no longer Wherever he went, he saw that there was a fork in front of the reservoir, and there were many trees on both sides of the ditch. At this place, he made up his mind and he walked without hesitation. Few people in this place seem to come, no even the narrow lanes, everywhere weeds, walked more than two miles, still just saw the trees, did not see the water in the ditch, but my trouser legs have been covered with Poplars mane and cocklebur. Going forward, just a ditch full of poplar trees on both sides, some disappointment, wipe the sweat on the face, helplessly look at the day, can not be so halfway, look for. Another turn over a ridge, came to another trench fork, far from looking at a lot of poplar, there are many plants, that is, I do not know if there is water. People who fish are always like this and like to take risks. At the end of the day, there was water in the bottom of the tree, and I didn’t know how shallow it was. Then open the bait, smash the line, try to drift, find the bottom, and a series of familiar actions will soon be completed.
Some people do not use the Air Force for fishing. They always like to play nests and introduce fish. For me, it is irrelevant to regard fishing as a pleasure. Whether or not to catch fish does not matter. At the beginning, a few shots were bigger and more diligent, which was also a nest. Floats stand quietly in the water and occasionally stand upright. I lay leisurely on the bank, light a cigarette, wait for the fish to float, for one second, two seconds, three seconds… Suddenly the float floats up slightly, and immediately raises it, haha, and the conqueror knows whether or not he has it. Fish, fish scurrying around the bottom of the water, this is the most exciting time for fishermen. If the fish is too small, they can immediately raise the water surface. This time, I can’t afford to pick up fish. I know that the fish is big. Fish. The line was made tight, and from time to time the sound of squeaking was as if the silver dollar was blown to the ear, the same voice, the same pleasure, and the hearts of people were excited with the flowing of the fish. When the fish slammed hard, I loosened the fish in my hand and watched the fish run away. I took the line again and the fish turned to continue to smash, retract the rods, and then lay the line until the fish became more powerful in the water. When you are reduced, exhausted, and no longer able to struggle, your fishing rod is like a baton, pulling the fish to where it is going, and finally leading the fish to the shore. live.
The fish still tampered with in the dip net, copied it to a place far away from the water, saved it by hand, slipped the hand, and fish blew it into the water again. Carefully removed the hooks, one hand clasped the fish gills and lifted the fish up for a moment to see if the fish was more than half a meter long and there were six or seven pounds of weight. There was a kind of unspeakable happiness in the heart, but Bring the fish to a foolish smile, let the accomplices take a few photos, put the fish in the fish, let the fish run in it, at this time it is a bag of things, and then take the photos to the circle of friends Once a show is made, Oh, the person’s vanity is satisfied. The time was lost and the people were so excited that the harvest always came with pleasure. At that time, what happiness? What is happiness? You can feel it from your heart and feel it from your face. This is exactly what happens: happiness and happiness coexist.
Today is the “May 1st” Labor Day. Just yesterday, my mother said to me with enthusiasm: “My son, tomorrow we will go fishing with Xinbo Town together with Zhang Bobo and Li Shushu. This is your first time fishing, so you Get ready.” After I listened to it, I was happy to be three feet tall and prepare things quickly… Due to the rain just yesterday, today’s weather is still somewhat cold, looking out through the balcony and sky. Without a cloud, I thought: This is a good omen for fishing! After hurrying to eat breakfast, we drove on the car and set off on a fishing trip with a big bag. About half an hour later, we arrived at the destination and put things in place. Zhang Bobo rented five fishing rods and sent me one, and then placed bait on my hook. When everything was ready, Uncle helped me shake the scorpion toss. I saw a line of fish and a fish’s food falling into the water. The fish floated on the water. Uncle whispered to me: You should pay attention to the movement of the fish drift, as long as it sinks to the next, indicating that the fish has been hooked, then you will pull back along the water.” I nodded knowingly, sat down quietly, waiting for the arrival of the fish, but no For too long, I was impatient. Uncle Zhang and Uncle Li had very good luck. After a short while, they caught three squid and I looked at some of them. They sighed and sighed. My mother saw me and said to me, “Fish is very smart. As long as your fishing rod moves slightly, it knows that it is a trap and it will not be fooled. Fishing is a practice child and you shouldn’t worry too much, otherwise you can’t catch one.” I nodded hard and looked back. Looking at his uncle’s posture, he learned how to do so, and he really caught one. I yelled happily: “I’ll fish, I’ll be successful!” Straighten them up. In this way, I made a slap in the air and caught two more in a row. It was already afternoon. We took the fish to the boss and let them bake it. After a while, I smelled the fish and fished the fish I caught. I was very happy. By the way, the team next to us, even a fish, did not patronize. We gave them two of them and they were very grateful! When the meal is full and the days are dark, we go home. On my way home, I realized a truth: Only when you work, there will be rewards. At the same time, there is also a corresponding sentence: Regardless of what you do, you must be careful and meticulous to complete it. Otherwise, nothing will happen. !
Helen Turner is one of a few female pit masters in the south. People travel from all over the world to the small town of Brownsville, TN to try her barbecue.
I arrive at Helen’s Bar B Q in Brownsville, Tennessee just after an early morning storm. I’m thankful the rain had come early, before we started shooting. Helen Turner pulls up in her white Chevy Suburban, smoking a cigarette and finishing up a call on her bluetooth headset.
I introduce myself, not realizing she was still on the phone. She says “hey” and continues her call while she quickly leads me back to the smokehouse. Still talking on the phone, she starts piling hickory and oak, and then lights the fire to get it going for the day.
Helen’s been doing this for 21 years. It’s her routine: Get there early, light the fire, shovel hickory and oak coals under her 12 to 15 lb pork shoulders, smoke them for over 12 hours or until she feels they’re done. She defies almost everything I thought I knew about barbecue. Helen doesn’t season her meat at all—instead, she lets smoke get on it for 3 to 4 hours before wrapping it in foil. The result is a smoky, juicy flavor that really comes through in the sandwich. You’d never know the meat isn’t seasoned. Helen is also one of the few female pit masters in the South, and the only one I’ve ever met.
Exterior of Helen’s Bar B Q in Brownsville, TN, about an hour outside of Memphis.
Two huge piles of wood sit out back. The left pile is all hickory, and the right side is all oak.
Helen uses a mix of each to get her signature smoke flavor. She grabs a few logs to add to the first fire of the morning.
Helen’s right shoulder has been giving her trouble. “My doctor asked me if I do anything with my right arm a lot more than my left. I told em, “Yeah, I chop barbecue sandwiches every day for last 20 years.” He said I might wanna stop doing that so much. I told em “nah.” Even though she still chops every day, she’s started to let her sister, Linda Davis, help with the chopping, and she lets her brother Mikey Miller put the pork shoulders on the pit. “He ain’t worth a quarter, but he can at least help me with that!”
Helen lets the pork shoulders get 2-3 hours of smoke on them before she wraps them in foil for the remainder of the cook.
The exterior of Helen’s smokehouse behind the restaurant right after she gets the pit going. “You ain’t ever been in a smokehouse like mine,” she warned me when I got there. I told her I had been in my fair share of them and was used to the smoke by now. “Uh huh, we’ll see once I get this going. You’ll be runnin’ out.” She was right. My eyes watered the whole time we were in there. It was the smokiest place I’ve ever been in.
Ambassadors April Vokey and Maddie Brenneman travel to Australia’s famed remote saltwater destination Exmouth, home to countless flats-roaming species.
It was four years, one marriage, a shit-ton of paperwork, and an unhealthy amount of saltwater fishing earlier when I replaced winter steelhead with marlin, white snow soon to be forgotten by pale yellow sand. Splitting my life between both countries — a “summer chaser” as they called me — I had the best of both worlds and I knew it.
It’s a simple enough puzzle to piece together if one understands fish migrations and seasons. Permit don’t only live in the western Pacific, marlin are creatures of habit, milkfish frustrate more than just the Seychellois, and giant trevally inhabit all sorts of islands — even the big one we call a continent.
Then there’s the rest of the species: queenfish, small tarpon, barramundi, Murray cod, cobia, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, bonefish, blue bastards, tuna, bass, barracuda, golden trevally, jewfish, sailfish, brown and rainbow trout. Hell, there are even red stag here, though I’m sure New Zealand hunting operators would like to keep that tidbit under wraps. Australia has everything, but it took some digging to figure this out.
A “sheila”, I came prepared to start over, but the chauvinism never came and the fisheries never disappointed. I felt like I’d discovered buried treasure. In typical steelheader fashion, my favorite Australian fishery ended up being the one farthest from where I live: on the opposite coast near a small town called Exmouth, where whale shark tourism is thriving, hippy dreads are abundant, permit have mouths, and there are only three flats guides operating — the most established of them having been in business for just fifteen years. A place that is, quite possibly, one of the last places on earth where the fishing is as it may have been hundreds of years ago; an angler’s Disneyland, complete with rides in the mangroves, the flats, the surf, the gulf, and the blue-water.
My inbox lit up one sunny December day with an email from talented photographer, Nick Kelley. One year earlier, I’d had him and his girlfriend, Maddie Brenneman, over for dinner as they passed through Oz on a trip to New Zealand. When he asked if I wanted to team up to do some some fishing with the two of them as a “project for Yeti”, there was little resistance on my end. I put together an itinerary with Exmouth at the top of the list.
We were able to secure dates with flats guide, Allan Donald, as well as a day of marlin fishing with blue-water rockstar Eddy Lawler. Flying from Sydney to Perth, then Perth to Exmouth, we were met by Allan at the airport as he proceeded to be hammered by our questions about tides, wind, species, and access to the grocery store from where we were staying at the Exmouth Escape Resort. The answers were as they always are: tides looked good, wind looked like it could get gnarly, species were plentiful, the grocery store was just around the corner.
The next morning came soon. Allan dodged roos and emus on our way to the boat launch, his boat (specifically engineered for fly-fishers) in tow. I expressed my agenda for the day: get Maddie her first queenfish. It was Maddie’s fourth flats trip, her first being French Polynesia. Even the most seasoned of flats fishers fall apart as the yellow glow of an indo-Pacific permit closes in, let alone the nastiness of a hundred pound GT. Queenies, in my opinion, are the perfect fish. Big, aggressive, visible, fly-hungry, hard-pulling, aerial, and one of the most beautiful animals in the world, I couldn’t think of anything that would make me happier than to watch Maddie’s famous smile light up with the reflection of a queenfish’s sheen. We set out with that in mind.
The week went as so many flats trips do…We saw fish, but didn’t hook them. We had shots, but somehow missed. We caught fish, but nothing huge. I hooked a 300 pound blue marlin, and ‘ol Murphy put his law into full effect. And while poor Nick, I’m sure, was stressing about the lack of fish photos, Maddie and I were like two peas in a pod, complete with hilarity, girl talk, and the grand idea of going on a desert hike with a 2pm start time. Her enthusiasm for every animal we encountered brought me to life and, more than ever before, I wore the pride for my newfound home on my sleeve.
I always knew I was proud of what Australia had to offer. In my travels, I’d learned that the majority of North Americans (myself included) are relatively unaware of the incredible fishing we have here. Anglers passing through Sydney en route to New Zealand without extending their layovers, opera house tourists who never think to explore the harbour’s kingfish, parents visiting their children abroad without realizing that there’s great fishing just around the corner. Selfishly, I’d always delighted in having an entire continent to myself and a figurative handful of other fly fishermen. But now, aware of my eagerness to share the experience with like-minded people, I have no problem admitting the countless opportunities available to anglers willing to put in the time. We may not be able to prove it with endless photos of toothy beasts, however, that certainly doesn’t mean they’re not there. But who’re we kidding anyway? That’s fishing.
Long day desert essentials: Rambler 36 oz Bottle
One year ago Grant Langmore did something no one had ever done — he caught Lady Bird Lake’s record largemouth bass at age 13.
Fishing Lady Bird Lake is beyond addicting. Above the water you have a modern urban setting. Below the water you have a distorted arrangement of man-made structures. The hunt for the giant, elusive, largemouth bass living in the lake means you have to fish among fallen bridges, dormant power plants and the occasional snagging anchor rope. You just never know what a day will hold.
Having Lady Bird Lake so close to my house is a luxury but fishing it without a boat makes targeting Lady Bird’s giant bass difficult. It means stomping the banks for countless hours through poison ivy and everything else you find on the shores of an urban lake. Like every fisherman, I’ve always dreamed of having a bass boat. At the end of an especially frustrating day without a bite, my friend Will and I tried one last spot where we’d caught fish before. Crawling through our urban jungle knowing I would probably be covered in poison ivy the next day, out of the corner of my eye, sitting in a tangle of weeds and covered in trash and leaves, I spotted an aluminum jon boat. It wasn’t a bass boat but as Will and I dredged the beat down boat out of its cocoon we were beyond excited to see if she would float. We were shocked to find it in perfect working order, even if it was old and dirty. Every evening after that we dragged it out to fish and then just before dark dragged it back into its hiding place. Eventually, one day we went back to find it no longer there, but, I can still tell you just about every fish I caught out of that hidden treasure of a boat.
About 4,000 miles west of mainland United States you’ll find the legendary paniolo – the cowboys of
Hawaii. What began with a gift of a few cows and a bull to the King in the 1700s has grown into a ranch community that’s passed down their hunting, cowboying, and fishing styles for generations. YETI Ambassador Chris Malloy visits the Big Island to learn from the legends
Ranch & Rodeo
When we were kids, my dad told my brothers and me a legend about a great ranch out in the middle of the South Pacific. It spanned the flanks of a snow-covered volcano, and the people who worked its cattle were called the paniolo. He said we wouldn’t recognize their ways of roping, hunting, or fishing, and that they often did all three in the same day.
None of this seemed possible to us brothers growing up on a small ranch in California. But Dad skirted our skepticism and just said that if we ever got invited to a hukilau with the paniolo, we’d eat food and hear music we’d never forget.
I first traveled to Hawaii in 1987 to surf in the U.S. championships and found myself daydreaming about that ranch. In 1990, I moved to Oahu to chase tall-sounding tales of even taller waves. I explored the islands and eventually found myself just outside the fence of the legendary Parker Ranch.
Twenty-five years later, I got the invite to spend a week with the paniolo as they roped, rode, hunted, and fished. My dad’s mythology was about to run up against reality.
That first morning, a crew of paniolo set out to mark 400 calves, saying they’d have them all gathered, sorted, branded, and back with their moms by lunch. I scratched my head, counting but one branding pen with six ropers, two fires, and maybe 12 guys on the ground. They were dreaming. Or so I thought.
The ropers rode cleverly, swinging backhand loops and holding their ropes by the honda, no spoke. This was the Ke’hele style my dad told us about. Each roper would follow a calf into the corner, pass the loop over its head, and let it walk through until he could pull tight on the calf’s heels. With two wraps around his saddle horn, he’d spur his horse and drag the calf hind feet first to the fire with its glowing iron.
By 1 p.m., 400 worked calves were back suckling, and the paniolo were eating lunch. I was stunned.
That afternoon, true to my dad’s word, they fished. We went to a place where pasture meets the volcanic coastline. The swells rose 6 to 8 feet and roared against razor-sharp rocks and barnacles, and though they ought to have been exhausted from wrestling calves, these guys hopped around in the violent surf, throwing homemade nets to bring home fish for their families. In all my years of stalking waves, I’ve never spent that kind of time in water like that. But they didn’t seem to think anything of it.
The next day at dawn, the paniolo were prepared to hunt hogs with quads, dogs, ropes, and knives. The dogs bayed their first boar early, and one guy threw a head loop while another grabbed the hind legs. They had it mugged in seconds. That day, they caught a total of five boars, releasing three and taking home the two largest.
I’ve skinned plenty of hogs over the years, but back at the barn, I got schooled. These guys made hundreds of tiny cuts, and in minutes, the whole hide came off inside out and looking like fish scales, completely clean of meat and fat.
The legend of the paniolo was coming to life, just as my dad had told it, and I wondered: How had this people and their ways come to be? How had the Old West jumped land and gone westward still?
Near the end of my trip, I asked Sonny Keakealani, a fifth-generation paniolo. He looked up at the snow-capped volcano and said that around 1788, the British naval captain George Vancouver brought four cows and a bull to the Big Island, presenting them as a gift to King Kamehameha I. The king turned them out on his lush land, and in a couple of decades his herd numbered in the tens of thousands.
When he sent warriors to hunt the wild cattle, several of them were gored and killed. The king requested help from the mainland, and a crew of Spanish vaqueros from California sailed with their horses to teach the native Hawaiians their ways. The natives called them “Espaniolos,” or Spaniards, but with no “s” sound in the Hawaiian language, it came out “paniolo.” Hawaiian cowboys have been known by that name ever since.
Chris Malloy, Surfer / YETI Ambassador
Sonny also told of a 19-year-old sailor from Massachusetts named John Palmer Parker, who traveled to the islands in 1809. He brought a musket and won permission to harvest cattle, which he turned into a booming salt beef business.
Salt beef quickly became Hawaii’s biggest export, and in 1816, Parker married the granddaughter of King Kamehameha I. They were granted a small parcel in the rolling hills of Mauna Kea, where they raised three children and started what would become, at its peak, the 500,000-acre Parker Ranch.
As my time with the paniolo ran short, it seemed one of dad’s stories would still have to go unconfirmed. But then, on the last evening, I got an invitation. In an old barn, I shared a meal with my new friends. They sang traditional paniolo songs, and we ate the wild boar and fish they’d caught. I admired their families — all the tradition, hard work, and self-reliance gathered under that old, moss-covered roof.
The Parker Ranch and its people were unembellishable. And Dad was right all along. I will never forget that hukilau.
In 1986, my dad set foot on Christmas Island for the first time. It was a grand spectacle with a lagoon teeming with life that had seen little to no angling pressure on it’s seemingly endless fishable flats
It’s difficult to comprehend how something located in the deepest reaches of the South Pacific can influence your life to the point where it changes it. At the same time, it seems as though it was meant to be and even long before you were born, it was already making it’s mark. For me, that place is Kiritimati or more commonly known as, Christmas Island.
In 1986, my dad set foot on Christmas Island for the first time. It was a grand spectacle with a lagoon teeming with life that had seen little to no angling pressure on it’s seemingly endless fishable flats. Dressed in cotton shirts and an occasional speedo, my dad fell in love with the place and over the next few years, returned to the island 3 more times before I was born in ’89.
Tales of Christmas Island filled my childhood and as I grew older, I dreamt of creating my own. In fall of 2013, those dreams came true as I stepped off the plane on CXI as a destination travel host for the very first time. Today, I help over 100 anglers a year visit the ‘mythical’ location of my dad’s bedtime stories as Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures’ Christmas Island program director.
There’s something captivating about looking through old photos that offer a glimpse into life decades ago.
I can sift through these old slides for hours.
You can never have too many GT flies, especially if you’re hosting a group of 16 anglers for one whole week. Better to have and not need than to need and not have.
There is only one flight per week to Christmas Island, which is operated by Fiji Airways. Being on time to the check in stand is crucial. If you miss that flight, you’re not going at all.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, Christmas Island was used as a nuclear bomb test site for both the United Kingdom and the United States. Hydrogen bombs were hoisted into the sky by large tethered balloons then detonated. Today, there is little to no evidence of the testing or any radioactivity.
The days are long and arduous here. 99.9% of your 9+ hour day is spent walking the flats searching for whatever species you prefer. This place is not for the faint of heart and having good footwear is vital.
The bonefish: a petite, timid and seemingly fragile fish that has captured the hearts of many anglers across the globe. They’re infinite intricacies have made them the ghosts of the flats where they can literally disappear at the fraction of a blink. They’re perfectly adapted to living a life on sandy flats feeding on crabs and other small crustaceans, making them easy targets for hopeful anglers.
Giant Trevally – or more commonly called GT, is the apex predator of the flats. Everything about this fish is designed for the hunt. Their tall, narrow shape is built for speed and agility. Their mouth armed with dog-like teeth to hold prey. It’s eye’s big for maximum vision and an attitude to match it’s appetite.
A broken rod is inevitable which is why it’s important to have backups – even for others.
The people of Christmas Island are among the happiest and most kind I’ve ever known. Dancing and singing play a major role in their lives and throughout our week, they were kind enough to share that passion with our group.
Being off the grid away from society where the world is at your fingertips is a special feeling. Going through a day where your only worry is about where you’ll be fishing harbors a feeling similar to being a kid again. Occasional calls home are definitely important though.
Among some of Christmas Island’s most esteemed species is the triggerfish, a weird yet beautiful fish that has a reputation for driving anglers mad. They’re witty, stubborn and spooky making them incredibly difficult to catch.
Thoroughly convinced Hollywood got an alien character inspiration from these things, the Mantis Shrimp. While scary looking, they are very good to eat and our group dined on these nearly every night.
The kids of Christmas Island have very little and resort to the ocean and the palm trees for entertainment. A soccer ball is a rare thing. Watching their eyes light up in excitement at the sight of a brand new ball was powerful.
In the end, experiences shared with others are what make life meaningful. Being able to share places like Christmas Island with others brings a sense of purpose to what I do. Seeing someone experience something the first time brings me great joy and it’s what keeps me going everyday. Life is so much better when it is shared.
In the early morning, I gently pushed open the door and window. A warm sun kissed my cheek mischievously. I was so shameful that I was like a tiny red apple. I bowed my head and smiled and accepted the infinite warm sunshine that nature gave me unconditionally. I walked toward my desk with a light shredding, and my favorite cup was placed on the upper left side of the desk. I was also interested in this ordinary Yeti cup.
There are many different types of drinking cups in life. Some people like their colors. Some people like their appearance. Others like its use. But I just like the cup of plain, inclusive. There is also a cup story.
How many people in the vast sea have lost in the world of feelings that they could not find East and West and could not find their way out. Some people devoted their love for a lifetime of loyal love without regrets. Some people, in order to keep a promise of love, are willing to spend each winter alone in the cycle of coming to spring.
There are many different types of drinking cups in life. Some people like their colors. Some people like their appearance. Others like its use. But I just like the cup of plain, inclusive. There is also a cup story.
How many sick men and women in real life have feelings like cups and water, mouths telling you to walk away, they are still deeply in love with each other, and when the water in the cup is too full, they will overflow the cup, and the water No longer belongs to the cup, can not be deeply loved by the cup. Maybe the cup wants to leave some free space for the water of deep love not to be bound by oneself, but also leave a blank space for the cup itself. Every day, the cup and the water make us deeply sigh, and the mutual tolerance between them makes you and I have to praise. Water’s understanding of the cup is something we ordinary people can’t do, and the cup’s persistent love for water is something ordinary people can’t imagine.
When the water ruthlessly abandoned his deep love for the cup, the cup is not sad but silently chose to wait indefinitely. Waiting for its loved water one day outside to play enough wandering enough to return to its warm embrace again, waiting for the water to turn back and the cup never leaves. The cup is always using its tolerance to accept the mistakes made by the fun of water. At the same time, it allows the water to understand that it is the end of one’s life. Whoever is dependent on his life.
No matter where and when, the cup never favors the limelight. He is always watching the bustling crowd quietly. When you need it to call it, he will rush to you for you. Get a cup of warm water to help you quench your thirst. On cold winter days, people always like to use a cup filled with hot water to warm up and offer their true feelings. Although the cup does not have a gorgeous appearance, it does nothing for work.
People say that sending a cup to give a present is of special significance. The “harmonic” of “a cup” is “a lifetime.” When a person delivers a drinking cup for a beloved person, it means that he will spend the rest of his life with the Iraqi people in his heart. . There are many things in the world that you and I choose, and the cup is my favorite in my life.
How many lovers are ruthlessly divided by the cruel distance between the two places, but their hearts are like a cup to live together forever, how many loved ones are rejected by secular shackles and their love is like a cup, like a lifetime, how many When a person is tempted to be dazzled, another person chooses to wait like a cup for a lifetime without regrets.
Maybe cups will be used in our lives for many times, but only once in a person’s life. We hope that we will cherish our cup and treat ourselves for a lifetime. Learn the cup’s tolerance for water and comprehend the unique meaning of life in life. An item does not lie in how expensive it is, but in the use of objects for real people. The loss of expensive things is useless. The person’s life does not depend on how rich he is, but on his value to his life. I would like to be a plain and plain cup, doing something of value and significance to my life.
Was at BBQ Outfitters on 520 in Austin, Texas a couple weekends ago. Saw the 2XL egg. Holy smokes! Didn’t know that existed.
Picked up a Cheap Yeti Cups 30oz insulated tumbler. It’s been my permanent ice water glass since.
It actually does keep your ice as ice and water cold for lots longer than plastic or glass.
It’s surprising to add ice and water before going to bed, and then still have the water be very cold at noon the next day.
Directions say to hand wash. It’s not dishwasher safe. Odd. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be dishwasher safe. Looks like a big mound of stainless steel.
Regarding dishwasher safe:
Likely due to the abrasives found in most dishwasher soaps. Over time and repeated washings, Hydroxides with grit can play a number on various types of stainless steel. Hand wash soft soap is better.
I’ve since tried to order the 30oz off their website.
If you’re shopping for a new insulated cup, read this first. We’re putting the most popular brands to a test: how cold does the water stay in extreme heat.
We’re comparing a trio of 30-ounce tumblers.
Our first cup is the Yeti Cups 30 oz, which costs $35.
The second cup, which we paid $19.
Our final and perhaps less-known cup is Wellness. It cost a whopping $13.
We put ice water in all three cups and let them sit out in the Houston heat for 24 hours.
We also took the same cups and placed them in an infrared sauna at Planet Beach in Kingwood. All the cups started at 57 degrees with the temperature in the sauna a steamy 142 degrees.
Here’s how they fared:
The Yeti won the sauna test with a water temp of 60 degrees, while second cups won the 24-hour Houston-heat test with an inside temp of 57 degrees.
So, which brand is best?
It really comes down to what you’re willing to pay—and if brand name matters to you.