Dedicated to the relentless pursuit of fish on the fly. Welcome to the obsession, I hope you enjoy the pics and ramblings. If you like what you see (or really don't), feel free to drop me an email at And when you're done, get your waders on and get out there, cause the only way to catch 'em is with your bug in the water.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Freakin Cold, Put on a Coat

It's the end of December, another year gone and a new one on the way. It's about time. As I sit here in front of the fire with a glass of red and think back to all that's happened in '09 it makes my head spin. Between economic turmoil, major political upheaval (well, depending on who you ask), explosive job, relationship, and housing issues, global conflicts, and crazy antics and escapades of all sorts it's a wonder some of us are still sane. I suppose that's pretty subjective as well since there are plenty of folks out there that might think I'm nuts. Maybe I am. Or maybe you are. Because the way I see it, among the toughest decisions I really have to make on any given day are which little buggy looking things to tie on to the end of my line and how I'm going to present them. When it comes down to it, everything really is that simple. If my choices are how they like it that day, I'm rewarded with some sort of success. If not, I learn something new and file that knowledge away for the future.

A very good friend of mine and long time fishing companion sometimes lets a slow day get to him. I've seen rods flying through the air, smashed reels, and miles of broken off tippet stuffed into vest pockets when it gets to "that point." It's honestly a bit entertaining to watch and I think we can all admit that we've been, if not right there, at least somewhere close when times have gotten tough. No, this isn't the mortgage market, but a busted reel is a busted reel and you're going to pay for a new one. Your rod might be reparable but it's going to cost a few bucks. Eventually you figure it out. My buddy did for the most part. What was once a tough day is now a study in the inner workings of water and bugs and fish. I'd say it's better that way.

It's winter now in Wyoming and its damn cold out there. Almost all the water is frozen over. Times are tough for us bug-slinging kind but not completely hopeless. It's going to be slow and hard most days but if you can draw up what you know and really put it to the test, you'll find the reward. Sure, you might have to work harder than before and put up with frozen guides, numb fingers, and a serious lack of companionship. But every day gets a little longer. Your skin gets a little tougher. Every gleaming fish gets prettier under the storm clouds. And before you know it the first little skwalas are showing up among the midges. So go get your coat and get ready to take a beating. And remember, if you freak out, some of us just might be chuckling behind that snow bank.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cast and Blast

It's a good thing I brought a rod along today as there was absolutely nothing to shoot. It's probably a good thing the game warden didn't swing by either because he would probably have been a bit confused. It's definitely a great thing I had the world's best photographer along with me for the great shots and company. It's not a good thing that I'm running out of the unstoppable bug because I'm going to have to figure out how to tie more and what exactly they're tied out of, and that's not going to be easy. It's tough to argue with using the exact same bug all the time and always having it work. Always. Also, some bug porn from a recent October Caddis hatch (in November) that the fish seemed completely indifferent to. They were more into the midges. Go figure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Transcendentalism and such

I ran across an email a minute ago that I sent a while back to a friend when she commented on fishing being "sexy." At the time, for whatever reason, I didn't post it but apparently had the foresight to save it for future use, and now, since I don't have any recent pics to put up (still sans camera) I'll post it instead. The fishing of late has been pretty good although somewhat limited to midday with a lot of the fish being very sluggish. When it does turn on, however, it's on. I've been out with Tina and Mark a few times recently and we've done very well with a bunch of large browns and bows. Also, apparently whitefish can grow to an astounding size as I recently discovered. Anyhow, here's my rant on fly fishing being "sexy."

I don't believe that anyone can look at fishing in and of itself as sexy in any way unless they get off on people tormenting small creatures for fun. If so, I would worry about this person. I do believe, however, that there is a beauty that comes with the transition from hobby to art form. When this happens, there is a total connection of mind, body, and soul and the activity itself becomes secondary
to the true nature of the thing. (Mikhail Czeksimihyli or however he spells it would have a field day with this, for all you rec theory people). It is no longer simply an activity for the sake of fun but a deeply meaningful transcendence of state of mind. The true artist creates a thing of beauty that stems from his or her soul. There is no longer a person, a rod, a fly, some water, a fish, and whatever other untold fortune worth of gear is involved. They are all connected as a whole where each piece is at the same time deeply meaningful in itself and meaningless without the others. When this happens, it is as though the universe itself is made up wholly of the moment and there is nothing else. The whole purpose of being at this point is fulfilled. There is no meaning of life except for this moment of complete connection of mind, body, and soul. Wise men, philosophers, and holy men have spent untold lifetimes searching for "enlightenment" in terms of being at one with the universe, God, or whatever you want to call it. It is simply a state of mind achieved through the complete dedication of one's self to that moment, regardless of the activity itself. Most people never experience such a thing because their lives are perhaps too complicated and their minds are too busy to bring the pieces together. So how the hell is this sexy? People witnessing such a thing will sometimes be able to see the deeper meaning behind the act and if so have a natural sense of awe and attraction to the person, perhaps out of some desire to experience such a thing, perhaps out of respect or appreciation of what is occurring. Perhaps an experience such as this allows a person's true nature to show forth in its most unclouded, undistracted form. And if that form is something pleasing to the witnessing person, I guess they might look at it as "sexy." Of course if you're a guy and there's a hottie in a bikini just slayin' it, you won't get any argument from me and this may all be completely irrelevant.

Till next time, get out there and get after it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What a season

Well, here we are at the end of September with nothing posted since July. In a world of broken cameras and limited internet access, what else is there to do except go fish and worry about it later? After a few months of cloak and dagger secrecy, I've finally gotten a pile of pictures that aren't supposed to exist together from the varied excursions. In the past three months I've covered a few thousand miles of road and fished in some pretty cool places in the Wyoming/Idaho/Montana area. Of course some curious minds have wanted to know where and how and if it was good, let's just say I don't remember, with some kind of fly, and it's always good. With a nice little trip back east coming up here (with some fishing mixed in of course) and the first snow of the season touching down today, I'll bid summer farewell with the slideshow on the right there. It's been awesome, thanks all of you who made it so (fish included) and I hope to see you all out there again.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The fishing on the rivers is finally coming into shape with lots of drakes and stones of various sizes hatching daily. The fish are looking up and taking the dries. PMX's, Chernobyls, and drake cripples seem to be the ticket for the mornings with good streamer action through the afternoons.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pinedale once more

Ok, it's been a while. After relocating back to Pinedale there has been no time wasted in getting after it. Most of the rivers are blown for the time being and the lakes are where it's at. And the lakes have been good. It started with Eric B. landing a monster (12lb. or so) bow shortly after the move and has continued with consistent large browns and even a trip over to Idaho to get Andrew D. on some carp. He giggled like a schoolgirl the entire time. Looks like the lakes are going to be where it's at for a while longer with a heavy snow year prolonging the runoff and a running vendetta with the grayling at Meadow.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Goldfish Flats

Spent the last two days over in Idaho with some pretty questionable characters prospecting for gold. Sanchez, Mike Whitcomb, and Larry D. came over with me on Monday to check out the goldfish flats and test out some new patterns. While the weather was pretty bad we did manage to spot a good number of fish and bring some in. I'll be fishing with Mike in the carp classic in a few weeks so a bit of practice and no small amount of hilarity was a good thing. Today I met up with Andy Ward and Maximus LaPrade and went back under more favorable conditions. Although it took a while to find some active fish it turned into the best day I've had out there. By the afternoon large pods were cruising and taking flies with more regularity than I've ever seen before. By six or so, with sore arms and a darkening sky we decided to head around a point for one last look and what we found was unbelievable. Glassy calm water with a massive pod of fish vigorously tailing in less than two feet of water. This wasn't your typical vague dark shape cruising lazily through the murk. These piggies were hungry and readily took flies. All three of us were able to cast to tailers and landed several fish in a matter of minutes before the wind picked up again and the pod moved out. Anyone who doesn't respect these things or thinks it can't possibly be fun fishing to them needs to go try it. They're abundant, strong as hell and challenging as all get out. Oh yeah, they're also a lot bigger than any trout you're ever going to catch. Just make sure you've got plenty of backing and a spare rod.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Custom rod madness

I've been working the past several days on some custom rods for some folks in the area and finished up one last night. It's a Winston BIIx 9'6" 6wt that I would love to fish myself. It didn't come easy, however, with seemingly never ending problems with parts manufacturers as well as no small amount of parts modifications on my part, it was a nail-biter to say the least. With all the problems as well as some serious personal issues coinciding with the build there's a lot of heart and soul in this one and I'm going to be proud to present this fine rod to the customer tomorrow. Hopefully it means a lot to him because it certainly does to me. With spring runoff approaching I've got one more to finish for a good friend before I can even think about starting on my lake rod which will be a serious departure from the traditional. If progress continues as it has in the past few days I should be able to get out and fish this week for a few days and maybe get over to the Henry's Fork with Burkhart.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Boooo. Yaaaaaaaaay!!

After a few weeks of not fishing, I headed south and met up with Andrew D. to fish for a few days. Monday was brutal, we fished hard in off-color conditions all day and came back with only a small bow and a whitey to show for it. For an area reputed to hold big browns, we didn't see anything to excite us. There was even a good midge hatch going and no signs of fish. Disheartened, we decided to change up the game plan and switch rivers Tuesday. It turned out to be a great idea and we spent the entire day on a stretch less than a mile long. Throwing nymphs and leeches was the ticket and within ten minutes of hitting the river the first big brown came in, followed by several more hard-fighting cuts, browns, and bows of good size. Actually, one cut caught twice on different flies which fought harder the second time. The water temp was in the mid forties all day and it seemed to be about right to get the fish out of slow mode. The whiteys seemed to be in a frenzy as well and couldn't keep off our flies, so much so that nearly every cast brought one in. Oddly enough, the whiteys may have made the day because we were catching so many that the entire time fishing we were cracking up at the absurdity and every few minutes one of us would hook something else. The action stayed on nymphs throughout the day and although some errant BWO's were in the air we saw only a few scattered rises and didn't bother with dries. This was certainly not the creep around in the bushes and stalk fish kind of day that is typical on this river. When the last big brown came in around 6, we decided to pack it in and go get a cold one, satisfied with our comeback from the serious ass kicking we took the previous day. And to add to how good it was, Andrew lost his net at some point and received a call a few hours later from some dude who found it. He said he'd found "one of them trout scoopin nets." I'm not kidding. I may have to put a sign up in the shop that says "Trout Scoopin Nets".

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cutty Redemption

Ok, so after trashing Cuts all day Monday and Tuesday, I stand corrected and hereby apologize to the Snake River Cutthroat for being so down on them. I headed down the canyon today and brought the 7wt. to get out to a riffle that I couldn't reach last time with the 3wt. As before, fish were bouncing all over slamming midges. Two absurdly long casts (and one very frustrating tree snag) into the far riffle and I watch the indicator jump sideways and disappear. I set the hook and discover that pigs can fly. This girl jumped three times before coming in. Figuring the fish was securely hooked, I grabbed the camera and went for the underwater shot. It's a lot easier to do this when you don't have a bouncing rod in the other hand, as I found out. I was only able to get one halfway distinguishable shot of her before I gave up and figured I better land the fish before she got off. She measured just shy of twenty two and was lean and mean. I don't normally measure but figured this one was worth it. A few minutes after releasing her the wind and snow picked up and it got noticeably colder. I figured I wasn't going to top that and packed it in. So accept this as my apology, cutties everywhere, and kindly keep eating my flies.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Upper Green Overnight

In the past two days Josh Graffam, Andrew D. and myself headed into the upper Green to check out open water caused by a hot spring flowing into the river. We skiid in and set up camp under bluebird skies and hit the river around noon. Between the three of us we caught a lot of browns and bows in the 10-16" range using mostly nymphs. Josh got one cutty on Monday. Princes and San Juans seemed to be the ticket. Andrew got the largest of the trip with a nice bow late Monday as it was getting dark. This morning we set out with temps in the high 30's. Josh and Andew both headed downstream of camp and pulled some decent fish each. I headed upstream to fish the inlet of the spring and fished anything that looked good on the way up, pulling a fish or two out of each hole, but not the monster I was looking for. I was able to pull eight small fish from the inlet area before the wind picked up and made casting a bit of a chore. None of us pulled any pigs but we had a great time nonetheless. It was really nice to get away from the Snake and hook into some fish that actually try to get away. I'll take a 10 inch bow or brown over a 16" Snake River Cut any day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hunt for the Big Iron

Getting geared up for next week. It looks like Andrew D, Josh Graffam and myself are going to be heading into the upper Green on Monday. Andrew and I have been talking about doing this in the winter for a couple years now and with some recently heard rumors, it sounds like we need to get there. I've been working on some patterns for an endangered baitfish species that lives in the area and is supposedly high on the trout hitlist. Hopefully we'll find something worthwhile (double digit browns are the goal) but however it goes, I have a feeling it's going to be good. Who knows, Josh might finally get his monster...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snake River Canyon Feb. 17

I still can't figure out why everbody goes all the way to the South Fork in the winter. Andrew D. and I headed down the Snake canyon today for a shot at some areas that practically never get fished. After a long snowshoe in and no small amount of fumbling through deadfall on snowshoes, we started working some runs with nymph rigs. By midday, after catching nothing despite bein able to spot fish, we had worked up to some bouldery pocket water that Andrew had spotted on the hike in. After about a minute of checking it out fish started porpoising all across the river. With a pretty steady snow coming down, we opted for midge nymps and proceeded to beat up on the large pod of cuts and whities. I was throwing a #18 zebra midge with a gray bodied emerger and andrew was throwing a blood midge nymph unweighted. We pulled a few dozen cuts to 18" as well as a pile of whitefish that started to be a nuisance after a while. Having to pick them up nearly every cast made for some very wet gloves that went really well with the steady wind and snow blowing on us. We headed in once the cuts seemed to slow down their feeding around 2:30 but were still seeing sporadic rises as we started the hike out. Andrew finally got his redemption after being skunked the past few times out on the Snake.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Historical Weirdness

Weird to say the least.  There is an incredibly slim chance that there is a remnant population of landlocked atlantic salmon floating around the upper Snake river.  Absurd?  Maybe.  My research indicates that there were stocking attempts in Yellowstone and Duck lakes in 1890.  Based on some recently heard stories and a recent personal experience on the Snake, I'm not convinced the stocking efforts completely failed.  In fact, the current theory is that a small population of these fish survived and have been mistakenly identified as Loch Leven strain brown trout over the years when they are occasionally caught.  The only way to be sure at this point is to catch another one.....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blackfoot Carp Tournament

Got the official word a few days ago, the Blackfoot Reservoir Carp Classic will be May 15-16 this year.  The info isn't up on the web just yet, but check out for previous years' info.  Brooks Montgomery seems to be planning some sort of extravagant (I know, that word doesn't really fit in the same paragraph as "carp") shindig this year that he's hinted at calling Carp-a-palooza.  Whatever happens, it's sure to be a good time.

The Fishin Dog

Introducing the Fishin Dog, Jessie the wonder mutt.

Latest ridiculousness

It's winter in Jackson, but I'm not skiing.  No sir, this nut is out fishing.  Does a 300 grain sinking line make sense around here?  Probably not, but dragging streamers on the bottom of the Snake seems to be the ticket these days.  Sure, there are some sporadic midge hatches from time to time which can be pretty darn productive, but most of the time it's too cold and the only way to get a tug on the line is to put some meat where the fish are.  Andrew D. looks to be joining in the insanity for the next few days in the Snake Canyon.  Snowshoes, guide grease, and numb fingers, here we come.....

And so it begins

Hey y'all, here it is, the beginning of Fishin Dog, bringing you the latest from a Wyoming based fly fishing fiend and related scuttlebutt.
Quit reading this now and go fishing