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Chris Santella

Chris Santella is a regular contributor to The New York Times and the author of ten books, including Why I Fly Fish and The Tug Is The Drug, as well as the “Fifty Places” series—titles in the series cover fly fishing, golf, diving, sailing, and hiking. His writing also has appeared in The New Yorker, Travel & Leisure, Travel & Leisure Golf, Golf, San Jose Mercury News, Fly Rod & Reel, The Flyfish Journal, The Drake, and many other publications. Chris Santella is the author of the best selling, Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die series, Why I Fly Fish and The Tug Is The Drug, among many other books and articles.

Author Articles

Fly Fishing Collaborative Offers Accessories, Trips to Raise Money for At-Risk Kids

It began with a realization that struck Bucky Buchstaber like a lightning bolt as he was approaching a favorite steelhead spot on Oregon’s Clackamas River one morning in 2012, only to find another angler in the run:  “I realized it was a waste of time to get frustrated about something like finding someone fishing in a run I wanted to fish,” he...

Future of Chicago’s Historic Lincoln Park Casting Pier in Question

Chicagoans zipping along Lake Shore Drive may not realize that they’re just a few double hauls away from an important piece of American angling history:  the casting pier at Lincoln Park’s North Pond.  With roots dating back to 1893 and the Chicago World’s Fair, the current pier – which was constructed in 1946 – now sees over 11,000 annual users...

Book Review: "Fly Fishing Belize"

To a large extent, commercial publishing is a numbers game.  When a book includes the words “fly fishing” in the title (as opposed to “bass fishing” or “Kardashian”), expectations are immediately ratcheted back, as there’s only an estimated one to three million fly fishers in the United States.  Allude to salt water fly fishing in the title...

The Karma of Broken Trailers

Every generation or so, the subject of paving the Deschutes River access road from Sherars Falls to Mack’s Canyon is brought up for discussion. The notion is always quickly shot down, with the guide community leading the charge. “The crowds will be unbearable on an already crowded river,” is the sentiment. Prospects for a paved road are tabled for...

New Conservation Group Addresses Uncertain Future of the Deschutes

As I write in early June, the famed salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes River is all but done.  Some days the fishing was absolutely silly; others, the bugs (and fish) seemed to be taking a break.  Either way, anglers swarm to the section of river near the town of Warm Springs from Portland, roughly 100 miles away, and points much further afield, drawn by...

Mexico–Baja California Sur: “Fifty More Places To Fly Fish Before You Die”

AT THE OUTSET of the award-winning short film Running Down the Man, angler Frank Smethurst offers the following summation: For the longest time, everybody has told my brother and I that you cannot catch a roosterfish on a fly. Here you are in this giant ocean, in big water, with a silly little fly rod, trying to catch this giant, pretty, brilliant fish. I...

Llano River, Texas Hill Country: “Fifty More Places To Fly Fish Before You Die”

“WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE think of freshwater and Texas, they think of farm ponds and muddy creeks,” Tim Romano began. “That’s not the case in the Hill Country. The rivers there are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Most are spring fed by the Edwards Aquifer. Some are gin clear, even at depths of 20 feet. Others have a remarkable aquamarine...

Norway's Målselv River: “Fifty More Places To Fly Fish Before You Die”

“WORKING AROUND the fly-fishing travel world, I meet many international anglers who have checklists of the fisheries they must visit before they die,” Mark Hewetson-Brown began. “The Målselv is not one of the Atlantic salmon rivers that appear on their radar—but for me, that’s part of its appeal. It’s not one of the big well-known rivers in...

Casco Bay, Maine: "Fifty More Places To Fly Fish Before You Die"

YOU'RE STANDING IN THE BOW of an Action Craft skiff as your guide poles you along flats that seem to stretch for miles. A warm sun lights the way. Suddenly several V-wakes appear at one o’clock, and the guide calls out, “Drop it on ‘em, 40 feet!” As you backcast, a lobster boat chugs into view, and distinctive Downeast accents can be heard over the...