Lately the underbelly of less heralded waters has garnered my attention.
“In any collision someone is the hammer, and someone the nail. Be the hammer.”
Yesterday I was risking sunburn and drinking gin and tonics. Today a chain law was in effect.
Cords of wood that still need collecting: 4 Log structures that need refinished: 2 Square feet of home-office that needs finishing: 500 Minutes of sunlight lost everyday: 3 Elk tags: 2 Deer tags: 2 Antelope tags:1 Hunt areas to scout: 5 Rifles that need sighting-in: 1 Days until antelope rifle season: 23 Days until dove season: 5 Ratio of hours spent prepping for winter to hours prepping for hunting season: 1:5 Rank of Autumn among… Read More
I was once told that speaking critically of girlfriends and spouses was one thing, but to do the same about someones gun dog is crossing the line. There are a ton of great hunting dog breeds out there but most of us settle on one or two. From that point on we espouse the virtues of our particular breed with little regard for logic. Heck, I had a person recently spend thirty… Read More
Almost imperceptible streaks of water seep through jacket cuffs, working their way up my arms. With every sweep it creeps just a tad farther. Squinting through drops of rain on my sunglasses I aim another cast to where tree line meets a cloudy mist. The fly hits the water and I strive to maintain focus. Confidence is key, but after several days without touching a fish it is hard to hold onto. I feel a slight bump. I… Read More
Drift boats are all the rage, and with good reason. Oar-rigged rafts also enjoy a well-earned popularity. And what fisherman doesn’t, in his heart of hearts, covet a flats skiff? Among the adventure minded, the attraction of watercraft seems to be a genetic predisposition, the expression of which begins in preadolescence and expands through adulthood. And nowadays a bigger menu of innovative conveyances holds our imaginations than ever before. It occurs to… Read More
Considered a complete nuisance by most, and something akin to rotting garbage by others, (which pretty much becomes true with time), pinks are at the bottom of the salmon totem pole. In some places they are considered worthy of targeting, but anywhere where there are more majestic fish, such as steelhead, they are a scourge. As someone who spends most of the year chasing trout, where I am lucky when a fish tops the… Read More
Tenkara has been around and reliably catching fish, more or less unchanged, for centuries. Distilled to the basics – rod, line and fly – the design is every bit as beautiful as it is effective. Only a fool or an egoist would presume to “improve” upon the system’s classically simple, perfectly harmonized, nearly mystical trinity of elements. Lucky for you, I’m just the guy to fix it. The line, in my humble… Read More
Big Horn, Shoshone, Yellowstone, Madison, Gibbon, Firehole, Snake, Wind. This could be a tick list of must fish Western trout water or the index of a fly fishing guide book. Instead it’s a list of rivers I passed by this past weekend, without stringing up a rod. Yet I couldn’t be happier. With a truck full of camping gear, a stocked cooler and plenty of optics, the kids and I made a… Read More
They’re hell on a hay crop, and they wreak havoc in the garden, but I don’t grow alfalfa and my wife tends the veggies. That leaves me free to enjoy a pure and purely selfish love of grasshoppers. And about this time of year, anglers in my part of the world can reasonably expect to enjoy them to excess. Great clacka-clacking clouds of bugs bounce in the heat of the day, often… Read More
Keeping your food cold and ice frozen is a challenge on multi day trips. My wife is smarter and more meticulous than I am. She is in charge when it comes to packing our cooler. Through trial, error and advice from others, she has developed a good system for maximizing the potential of our cooler and keeping ice for as long as possible. Here’s her method: Freeze any food ahead of time that can be… Read More
“Hey Dada look, a exoskeleton!” said my four year old, thigh deep in the river, pointing to a stonefly husk on a midstream boulder. “Seriously?” I asked, incredulous. “Of course, it’s from the molting, cause see,” he continued quite conversationally. “Did you actually just drop exoskeleton… and molting in casual conversation? Who’s kid are you?” I asked, realizing with a jolt that I was very nearly out of my depth, and with… Read More