America’s Favorite Flies Now Available

America's Favorite Flies

After much anticipation, America’s Favorite Flies is now available.

This book is quite the accomplishment. After years of work, John Bryan and Rob Carter have brought together more than 200 anglers who have shared their favorite flies in a gorgeous 656 page book that is rich with images and testimonials about why each fly is a favorite. Contributors include everyone from President Jimmy Carter to Yvon Chouinard to yours truly. It’s certainly an honor to be part of this book, and as icing on the cake, the book benefits the James River Association and the Native Fish Society.

To learn more about America’s Favorite Flies, please click here.

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Take Action on Pebble Mine


The time to act is now. The Pebble Limited Partnership has applied for permits to make Pebble Mine happen. It’s looking scary …

To send a message to Governor Walker, Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Representative Young, please click here.

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“Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul …”

rod and reel 2

When I started my own website/blog, one thought I had was, “Who wants to read my unpolished ramblings?!” Maybe no one, but keeping tabs on goals, plans, etc. were enough rationale to get the ball rolling. And for what it’s worth (for me), I can look back and see how things have been going.

Two years ago, at about this time of year, I resolved to focus on fly fishing in California as a goal for 2016. Within weeks, I was in Nicaragua, and within months, I was in Alaska, and things didn’t slow down much after that. Despite failing with my goals, I’ve remained  intent on having some degree of focus on my home waters. So perhaps 2018 is the year.

I’m not one to simply make annual resolutions for the new year. In fact, every day I make a list of goals. However, new year’s resolutions are useful for taking a bigger look at goals. Here’s what I’ve come up with for 2018:

Focus on the surf

I already have plans to travel, but the challenge of chasing stripers in the surf remains a game I want to focus on. Living about 20 minutes from the beach, there’s no excuse this year.

Take environmental activism up a level

These are critical times. Have to.

Write more

This is a creative outlet for me. I’ve been comfortable writing for blogs. Time to finally get back to writing for print.


I am bionic. This has kept me from being 100% on the water. I need to correct that. My goal: Be fit enough that I can lift weights in jeans and Timberlands.

Here’s to 2018.

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Take Action: Defend National Monuments


The Nature Conservancy is encouraging folks to speak up for National Monuments. As you may know, the Trump Administration is butchering up National Monuments and it looks like uranium mines will be getting their way with some of these (soon-to-be former) public lands.

To add your voice, please click here.

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Podcast: Restoring the Delta with Michael Frost

The Venturing Angler Podcast

The Delta is an incredible ecosystem and fishery in California that faces numerous substantial threats. In this episode of The Venturing Angler Podcast — sponsored by Nautilus Reels — Michael Frost of Restore the Delta discuses a range of issues related to the Delta.

To check out more from Restore the Delta, please click here.

And to check out the podcast, please click below or download The Venturing Angler Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud:

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Gear Review: The Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag

Patagonia sleeping bag

Patagonia is world-renowned for what it makes but is also known for what it doesn’t make. Shying away from tents, fanny packs, and shoes, Patagonia is known to keep a narrow focus. With that, it came as a surprise when they announced they are getting into the sleeping bag game.

For Patagonia, getting into sleeping bags wasn’t a plunge into new territory. In fact, decades of consideration went into creating an innovative design that would make their wading into new territory an event that is well thought out and impactful. And with that, Patagonia created a sleeping bag that is now widely considered a “game changer.”

Patagonia entered the sleeping bag market with three different options: The Hybrid and the 850 Down Sleeping Bag in 19- and 30-degrees. For me, the 850 Down Sleeping Bag was the void in my gear shed and the one I decided to try out.

Man, is this sleeping bag great! First, let’s look at comfort. Two design features that immediately stand out are at the foot box and the hood. When camping in cold-weather conditions (which is frequent at altitude), my feet and head are the body parts that I am most concerned about keeping warm so that I can keep my body warm overall. The anatomically-shaped foot box reduces bulk and keeps the feet warm with a shape that allows the feet to remain warmed by the down. At the head, the bag can be cinched to give a snug fit to allow you to sleep soundly without constantly trying to keep covered. (When you put effort into keeping your head covered, you’re losing sleep, and you’re likely already cold.) And despite an emphasis on a snug fit, there is plenty of room for movement through the body of the bag.

What’s also noteworthy are the materials. While new to the sleeping bag scene, Patagonia is not new to the down world, and their down jackets have been crushing it for years. Additionally, Patagonia uses ethically-sourced down that does not come from force-fed geese that are live-plucked. The 850-fill-power down in this sleeping bag is incredibly warm, and the overall construction of the bag further ensures warmth and comfort. (See the video above.)

When laid out, the Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag is quite puffy and and with this comes additional comfort. Despite its puffy nature, the bag can compress into a small stuffsack and is impressively lightweight.

Patagonia sleeping bag

Overall, this is the best sleeping bag I’ve ever owned. And admittedly, with so much technology, design, down, and ethical manufacturing, the sleeping bag isn’t cheap, as this one clocked in at $499. However, I don’t know of anyone that stands behind their products for the long-term like Patagonia. Also, I can now camp later into the season thereby cutting out enough money in motel expenses to pay for the bag pretty quickly. It really pays for itself.

To check out more on the Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag, please click here.

– Tim Harden

Disclosure: Patagonia is in a professional relationship with the The Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.

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Trump Stealing Public Lands — Take Action!


They’re at it again! Trump flew around the country today announcing plans to take more of our public lands to make them available to the highest bidder. In this case, likely mining and oil companies. (Side note: the EPA is also easing requirements for mining companies to clean their toxic waste on public lands!)

Every voice is needed on this!

To take action, please click here.

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