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.
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
I’m not ready to concede the cliche “it’s the journey not the destination that matters” is true in all cases. I’m usually headed somewhere for a reason, so to say it simply doesn’t matter seems overstated. Generally speaking though it’s a good axiom for life; a metaphor that you can tip your hat to when it’s convenient and leave at the door when you please. Putting on miles for work, or to… Read More
It’s a ghost town; a scene from the twilight zone. The riffles babble and splash, pools flood the bends, soft water lurks behind rocks and foam spins in the eddies, but the river is abandoned. No signs of life. Nobody home. It must be an illusion, maybe a misunderstanding. Has to be. The water is cold and clean and just fast enough. The structure is varied and plentiful and inviting. The canyon… Read More
Summer is in full swing. Runoff is over and water is shaping up in most parts of the country. Early morning tricos, attractor dries and hoppers will be the name of the game for the rest of the season. In short it’s a good time to be fishing. But something else is afoot. I stopped in at a friends house and found two of my buddies huddled around a cardboard box at the… Read More