Friday, August 12, 2016


What is left of the Big Hole.
This spring as I cranked out a blog post about once a month I kept thinking to myself that i'd sure have a lot to blog about this summer when the guide season picked up.  It's always easier to write about fishing when you're actually going fishing.  Unfortunately for some reason this summer that was not the case.   As I enter into a couple-week break from fishing, the desire to write is finally coming back.

However the desire to fish is currently being squelched by historically low water.  Sure there are options around as there always is (this is trout mecca after all), but it's incredibly depressing to drive to work and look at the shell of my favorite river, trout crammed into puddles and gasping for cold water, while sprinklers light up the river banks from one end of the valley to the other.  I get it for the local guys, the ranchers who great grandparents settled the land. They make a living off of the land, and are typically the first ones to contribute water back into the river in times of need.  It is their way of life just like it is the way of life of a fishing guide to fish.  What I don't understand is the hobby ranchers that are drying up the rivers that are typically the reason that they moved here for.  We need to come to an agreement to get their waters in the river rather than into a cow that gets shipped to iowa to get fattened up along with the economic value.  It always takes a major event for any real change to take place, and if this summer isn't it I'm scared to see what is.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Comfort Zone

Entering my fourth year as a hobby guide, i got to return to (what I think I'll be dubbing "the fun desk" for the summer) the center of my boat and run a few guide trips this past weekend.  I realize my fishing and guiding is becoming more cliche by the minute, and to say "I just enjoy being out there" and "wow, where has the time gone" couldn't be more accurate.  Even though it's only sometimes these days, the familiar acts of cleaning the boat and rigging rods and connecting with friends at fly shops is all very comforting, especially after a winter that wouldn't stop.

Of all the things I miss about guiding every day of course sitting in my boat instead of an office is high on the list, but much more than that is getting to spend time with my friends I guided.  Throughout the season there were so many groups that I looked forward to seeing, catching up on life back home, and catching some fish.  Watching anglers improve every year, and reminiscing about how things started made up a good portion of my summer.  When i was still guiding full time I started every season with my friends Larry and Betsy, on the Big Hole.  Some starts were better than others (reference:  leaving my gear bag at home) but it was always a ton of fun and always the start of trout season.  As luck would have it I was able to float with them to start of season 14, and although fishing was very average, it felt great to be on familiar water continuing our relationship that was built in a drift boat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


My friends I respect the most see a picture of a big fish and immediately ask "what did it eat?"
Fishing the salt is something that is very new to me, especially when compared to my experience in freshwater.  Growing up fishing mountain streams and lakes, I learned the history of much of what I was doing.  The patterns were classics and the fishing was simple.  As I moved on to steelhead, I searched out the history of the patterns I was fishing, the style of lines I was fishing, and knowledge about what I was doing from any available source.

The ability to restart and experience change is one of the most exciting aspects of fishing to me.  No matter how much fishing you do, there is always something new somewhere you can be doing.  That is one of the most alluring aspects of saltwater fishing to me.  As I began to tie for my most recent trip, I started to look up patterns.  Past years I've just tied what looked good to me from pictures from friends, and came up with replications that worked fine, and looked good enough.  This year my flies had a purpose.  The tying techniques I used were deliberate, and the end result were flies that not only looked better (although still for fishing not a fly shop bin) but were tied in a way that gave me a connection, and a confidence that patterns in years past did not possess.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Welcome to Winston

I promised myself a year ago that I would only share content on my blog that was valuable, and would not simply write a blog post to drive up views.  As you can tell my number of posts has gone down dramatically but I feel the content has increased (Check my FB or Instagram if you want the random fish pic).

This video was something I couldn't simply share on Facebook without a little more detail.  Winston and Twin Bridges are inextricably linked, and both for good reason.  This video gives insight into what a world class rod maker is all about, and the story that it tells is brief but important. Obviously Twin benefits tremendously from having Winston, but the opposite is true too.  As I transition from boat paddler to desk jockey and economic developer, I spend as much time talking about business location as I do trout patterns, and to see a business like this strategically located in such an amazing spot is incredible.  Twin Bridges has been home for my wife and kids for nearly 8 years now, and it's very cool to show off a little bit of it in video format.  Enjoy!