blacktarpermit

Black Tar Permit

T HE INSIDE OF my Buff smells like socks. Five days into a Mexican flats fishing trip, with only the local graywater to wash clothes in, things start getting a little funky.  You notice stuff like this during your seventh hour of standing on a flats boat, like a statue, musing over …

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Swing Away

  F ly line rips the river’s surface like scissors sliding across silk as Michael McLellan propels his two-handed, Scottish-style fly rod across the blue-green waters of the upper White River. As the line slices through the air, its loop unrolls gracefully until the fly plunks, momentum spent, into the …

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Track & Field

Don’t miss my cover story in January 2015’s Arkansas Life magazine, a collaboration with the spectacular photographers of Hatch & Maas Collective, on hunters and the dogs who love them: I T IS 5:58 A.M., AND THE BIRDS begin to fly. First, a solitary drake, cutting across the deep cobalt of the …

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Water Cycle

T he waters below Beaver Dam, tucked into the Ozark hills northeast of Fayetteville, are icy even in the heart of summer. …

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Bamboo Roots

This article originally ran in the Spring 2014 issue of Life Refined magazine. Today’s bamboo fly rod makers connect anglers to the history …

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Swinesong

Note: This article originally ran in the September 2013 issue of Arkansas Life magazine.  It has nothing to do with fishing. “WOOOOOOO. …

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DIY Adventure

This article originally ran in the Angling Adventures 2012 issue of Fly Rod & Reel Magazine. All of us dream of adventure—the three-day …

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True War Stories

As told on Arkansas’ White River. (This story originally ran in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of The Drake). TAKE A MINUTE to consider …

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Premium Cooler Throwdown

This article originally ran in the summer 2014 issue of Fly Rod & Reel magazine. ROTO-MOLDED COOLERS are all the rage these days. In …

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How They Run Morgan Falls Dam

A few weeks ago I got a little frustrated with the unpredictability of the generation schedule at Morgan Falls Dam on the …

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Shades of Glory

T here, it just rose. You still don’t see it? I asked my buddy in exasperation as the 18-inch trout took a …

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High Times on the Cumberland

THE FIRE CRACKLED and threw shadows against the opposite bank as I methodically shot fly line into the dark water. With only …

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Make an Antler Tying Tool Rack

I NEARLY TRIPPED OVER the shed antler, one side of what had been an impressive 10-point whitetail buck’s rack. It was concealed …

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Line Hacking

“SNICK!” I felt—more than heard—the sound, as the tension on my fly line suddenly gave way, sending it rebounding in puddles through …

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Foreign Tied

“DEAR SIRS,” the e-mail started, “My name is Reginald Kibugi, and I am seeking to sell you excellent-quality fishing flies.” My cursor …

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Microskiff Mania

BACK IN THE SIXTIES, a designer at the Kennedy Space Center named Harley Gheen was looking for a better way to fish …

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Birds in There

IN 1983 the new “He-Man” cartoon series was the most impor- tant thing in my life. At my preschool that year, we …

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Groundhog Day

ICE encased the gunnels of the long white jon boat as we motored into position beneath the looming shadow of Bull Shoals …

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Bomb the Bass

F ighting a striped bass is like fighting a person. The take feels like a reverse punch, like a human being grabbed …

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Striped Bass Cryptology

Our boat decks were awash in a sickly green light, like nuclear phosphorescence. I played out cord, lowering the submersible fish light …

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Stand Up, Guys

10 tips to make your stand-up fishing from any small craft more fun and effective. I had just blown my second shot …

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Top Ten Fly Fishing Colleges

F or some, it’s the roar of the crowd in the Big House—100,000 strong, all bellowing for the maize-and-blue. For others, it’s …