• Steelhead, Dean River British Columbia.

    The Steelhead With A Thousand Faces

    Maybe if I take five more steps, throw one more mend, skate one more fly, a hero will appear, armored in chrome, and dance to the music of my singing reel.

  • Grey Reef section of the North Platte

    The Birth of A Fishing Town

    Calf deep now in the cold river, Trent’s completed his prelude of silky false casts and is ready to start the show in earnest.

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    In The End, Style Might Be All We Have

    Over the course of 6 trips, in and out, and nearly 40 miles, I question whether or not it’s worth it.

  • Photo by Steven Brutger

    Banded

    Folding neatly the greenhead splashed soundly onto the water. The old lady made quick work of the retrieve.

Spring in the Northern Rockies brings dynamic, often challenging, conditions to the river. One can, and should, expect a two-day float in April or May to serve up a buffet of Mother Nature’s finest – not all of it necessarily palatable. A little forethought and planning, though, along with the essential provisions listed below,, Read More

My wife and I had the opportunity to go on a real vacation for the first time, and without the kids nonetheless. Remembering the value of getting a break when I was little my parents wanted to give us the same gift. Thanks are in order to my grandparents for setting the stage! With the, Read More

  “Fish on?” asked Steven from the oars. “Snagged,” I answered from the stern. “Looked fishy,” said Steven, looking dubious. “I thought so too,” I replied, annoyed and disappointed. “Dude, your snag is headed for river left,” said Steven. That should have been our first clue. In the bow, Brendon reeled in and reached for, Read More

The text messages started at 6:59 am: “I might have to bail. I will find out just before 8. See you at store.” “I have been cramping in my calf all night. Damn sore.” “Did the river blow out due to rain last night?” The writing appeared to be on the wall. Throwing out, Read More

If I’d had a pipe and an Irish setter, we could have been in a Norman Rockwell painting. Puffy white clouds floated in a bluebird sky above vibrant green sage and the rolling red-dirt prairie. A man, at ease with the world and confident in his forthcoming conquest, strides forth, a shotgun cradled across, Read More

For months we had our fingers crossed. Eying snow reports and talking to the few who had been in the mountains, we were cautiously optimistic. Despite a big snow year we had a shot at hitting it right. A few days too early and ice would cover the high alpine lakes we hoped to, Read More

The horizon dropped away from the bow and for six long seconds the world contracted into torque and turbulence, angles and adrenaline, surges and slides. Then stillness.

All day I had been swinging my fly through some of the best steelhead water on the planet, but I hadn’t connected with a fish. The Dean had been kind to me over the past few days and I was utterly spoiled on what was my first steelhead trip. Still, I was addicted to the pull and, Read More

“It’s okay,” said Steven in a clipped, slightly strangled tone. He was kneeling in the riverbed, gazing into the middle distance as he spoke, as though looking for his happy place. I’d had it by the tail four seconds earlier – if not his happy place exactly, certainly a reasonable five-pound stand-in. But like, Read More

My son was giddy when I picked him up early from school. We’d been talking about this day for months, uncertain when it would finally come. It snuck up on us at last. Driving together in the pickup we had thirty minutes until we were all reunited. I’ll admit, I was giddy too. There are, Read More