• Busted, Rusted and in the River

    Lately the underbelly of less heralded waters has garnered my attention.

  • Aggression

    “In any collision someone is the hammer, and someone the nail. Be the hammer.”

  • Wyoming Ain’t For Everyone

    Yesterday I was risking sunburn and drinking gin and tonics. Today a chain law was in effect.

  • Keeping Up With The Clousers

    I’m not sure which was more embarrassing, tethering some red string to a hook and calling it “fly tying” or resorting to the worm and calling it “angling”.

We were a couple hours into a five day river trip when the current grabbed his rod and pulled under. I looked behind the boat just in time to see it sink to the bottom. There would be no recovery. You would think the rod was an heirloom based upon the tantrum that followed. To the three year, old it didn’t matter that it was a freebie from a local thrift store. It… Read More

They are the gullible rubes of the trout family; the hayseeds, hicks, hillbillies, yokels, rustics, provincials, buffoons, bumpkins, country cousins and clodhoppers. Mountain cutthroat, convention holds, are so unsophisticated that even novice anglers had better brace for action. Why then were they giving four capable fishermen fits? “Riser. Four o’clock. About 10 feet further,” came direction from the ledge above.  On arrival at the rushing little inlet from points uphill, we were… Read More

“Not a chance” I told my wife, when first approached with the idea. Born and raised on a Montana ranch, I wouldn’t be caught dead with a bunch of camelids. But with two small children and a wife who is highly persuasive my bravado quickly waned. Three years ago we embarked on our first Llama packing trip as a family and it has been a game changer. We had been exploring the… Read More

A strong do it yourself current runs through the fly fishing community. It’s powerful enough to pull a decidedly unhandy Andy like myself into tying my own flies and building my own leaders. The more talented among us even build their own rods, boats and landing-nets. The technology and engineering required of much modern gear provides a firm backstop to the madness though. Waterproof breathable waders and carbon fiber oars, for example,… Read More

Toeing the dirt reality set in. No one else was around. The ranch was deserted. For a thirteen year old with a short attention span that spelled trouble. A whitetail doe tag was burning a hole in my pocket and I had hunting on my mind. Four and a half miles of dirt, and a nonexistent driver’s license stood between me a good whitetail country, but I had an idea. Grabbing a halter I went into… Read More

“Seriously, we didn’t bring any duct tape!? Sewing needle anyone?” I asked, hopeful but not optimistic. “Nope,” replied Louis, “but we’ve got plenty of fish hooks.” “Huh… interesting… thread?” I pressed, sensing potential. “I have a little dental floss,” offered Steven. “Tippet!” I exclaimed, suddenly inspired. And with that I had a plan. Knowledge and skill were still in short supply, but I rarely let such minor details hold me back. I’m… Read More

When I’m headed to the nearest tailwater I rack for bear. The drift boat is loaded with coolers, boat bag, camera bag, dry bag, extra layers and several rods. A small tool box, first aid kit and bins with fishing essentials live in the boat. I’m probably missing something else and I haven’t even let the other two anglers set foot in the boat with their gear yet. However, if I’m heading into… Read More

“Whoa ho ho! Dada did you see that one?” asked my four year old, going rigid for an instant with surprise and excitement. “We just missed him!” I replied. “Yeah cause that was a nibble and I felt the nibble and he wanted our bug real bad.” He was right about the desire, but not the nibble.  It was a four-inch brook trout launching himself headlong, Trident missile style, at our two-inch cicada pattern…… Read More

The fireworks have already begun, not in earnest yet, but occasional pops and cracks are audible throughout the city. Coolers are filled with cold beer and lawn chairs line main streets across America. It’s our collective birthday and we have a lot to celebrate. This year my family was fortunate enough to be asked to join some friends on a Smith River trip with a July 5th launch date. So we are pointing… Read More

Cherry cheeks, gaudy red flanks, a painted belly and that alluring blue aura, this fish cruised the bank like a super-model on a catwalk. Who knew that golden trout could strut?…

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