• Come by it Honestly: Born into Bull Riding, by Sam Raetz
  • Wilderness, a River, and My Old Man, by Peter Hall
  • Blue Heron Lodge, Forks, WA
  • Westland Distillery: Seattle's source for single malt whiskey
 
   
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Life of a Guide




Alaska's Alagnak River is a place where there are no roads. A place where the weather does what it wants. A place where humans are no longer the apex predator. The life of a guide on this river is one of resourcefulness, persistence, and dedication.

Video by Josh Fletcher for Filson.

A Fool's Errand

A Fool's Errand

At times, shed hunting can seem a fool's errand. It can make you wonder why in the hell you’d ever thought it was a reasonable idea. Other times it is quite the opposite; miles hiked and time spent behind glass equate handsomely to fresh brown elk antlers. This trip would lean harshly to the fool's-errand end of the spectrum.


“Hey, man. I think we might have missed our turn,” Kyle mumbled over the prattle of ATV engines. I cast a sideways glance back the way we’d come. “Hmm… shit. Okay.”

For the second time that morning, we turned the four-wheelers and headed back toward the trucks. It was 9:30 a.m., and our best-laid plans for an early start were finished. Up ahead, David clung to the back of...

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Shed Hunting: Tips and Tactics

Shed Hunting: Tips and Tactics

Last week we shared a beginner's perspective on springtime shed hunting and what you might encounter when heading into the hills for your first time in search of antlers. This week, we hear from Sam Averett, a seasoned western hunter, who shares a few more detailed tips and tactics on the search for spring sheds.


Springtime shed hunting can provide a host of challenges and opportunities. Often, weather is unpredictable, and snow levels haven’t receded enough to allow for easy access. However, animals are often active during daylight hours and visible in areas they wouldn't be caught dead in during fall hunting seasons. It’s a great time to watch animals, learn their habits, and figure out whi...Read More

Sheds, Snow, and Steeps: A First-Timer's Notes on Shed Hunting


I grew up in the hardwood forests of the southeastern U.S. hunting whitetail deer with my grandfather. Much of what I consider valuable I learned from him, about life and about hunting. As a boy he told me stories of traveling left on the map to chase mule deer and elk in the American West. I’ve long dreamt of moving West, and when presented with a job opportunity in Washington state a few months ago, I knew I’d be within striking distance of the critters I’d so long thought about.

Now, I don’t know the first thing about hunting big Western country, but I do know that serious Western hunting folks spend much of the spring looking for shed antlers. Shed hunting, for the uninitiated, means to g...Read More

Solitude and Steelhead

Solitude and Steelhead

Many a man has felt the pace and stress of life wash from his soul while standing mid-river, fly rod in hand. Solitude is perhaps the thing most often sought by the seasoned fly-fishermen; the thrill of landing a fish is a welcome addition to an already fine experience. Read along as we follow once such fisherman, swinging for Steelhead on the Klamath River.


It’s often said that fishing isn’t always about the catch, but rather the experience as a whole. It’s my personal belief that the majority of times that statement has been uttered come fresh on the heels of being skunked. That’s not to say there’s zero truth in the colloquialism, but when the air freezes your boot laces stiff and you’re s...

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Family At Sea

Family At Sea

Morgan Lohrey has been sailing for as long as she can remember. Suppose it to say that a sailing life has not been an unlikely outcome given that her father is a boat captain himself. Together, they have restored the Dirigo II and now can be found at sea, amidst the winds both fair and foul. Read on below as Morgan shares a look at her life aboard a sailboat.


The cold, clear emerald water parts in foaming crests and valleys, silently sliced by the ship’s bow, as it rises to meet the next wave. Back on deck, the captain grasps the helm and adjusts his gaze on the horizon. Salt and sea mist have collected in his beard over the last four hours of his watch. He pulls his wool hat further down on ...Read More

Washed Ashore in Port Townsend

Washed Ashore in Port Townsend

Olivier Huin has spent his life amongst salt air and sawdust. A seafarer and wooden boat builder, he has travelled around the world by sailboat, often built by his own hand. Now an instructor at the Northwest School of  Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Townsend, WA, he is passing along his passion, teaching the students the art and love for crafting the soul of a boat.


In December 2014, Olivier Huin walked into Sunrise Coffee Company in Port Townsend, Washington, with his wife and daughter, wearing his distinctive white beard, to perform a ritual he’s conducted on four continents. Bill Curtsinger, co-owner of the coffee shop in this seaport community two hours north of Seattle by ferry and car, no...Read More

Salmon Centric: at the Core of a Life Purposefully Cast


Early in the long days of summer here in Bristol Bay, I constantly feel as if I am holding my breath. Our family’s 32-foot drift boat has sat on blocks all winter, and the anxiety for the moment when my husband will turn the engine over for the first time each spring is incomparable. Commercial vessels here log a full year’s worth of hours in 4-6 short weeks only to sit dormant for months in the freezing cracks and thaws of winter.

Invariably in early summer, at least one cussing injury will occur, some type of frustration will spring up, grease will permeate every load of laundry we run, and in every conversation will be the silent, lingering question, “When will the boat be ready?” The batt...

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Red Gold: The Livelihood of Bristol Bay

Red Gold: The Livelihood of Bristol Bay




The Bristol Bay salmon run attracts people from all over the globe, who work around the clock from late May until the end of July. They harvest sockeye salmon, known as "Red Gold" for the fish's deep unique color, it's sought-after flavor, and it's lucrative value to the men and women who work feverishly in the fishery.

Video by Brother for Filson

How To Get on a Fishing Boat

How To Get on a Fishing Boat


Some are born into it, some stumble upon it, and some, like me, seek it out.

The lure of Alaska's "Red Gold," the Sockeye salmon run of Bristol Bay, hit me when I was twenty. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I often heard how rewarding a summer spent fishing in Alaska can be, so I decided to give it a go. Now at twenty-eight, with five fishing seasons under my belt, I have learned that commercial fishing is a lot of hard work with very little sleep, oftentimes rewarding, and incredibly addicting. If you are willing to endure the physical and mental stress of a season for that gamble, here are some tips on how to start fishing.


First, choose your fishery.  You'll need to learn the duration ...Read More

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