Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Paying Your Gear Forward...

The box arrived at my door in 2009 and I couldn't believe what it contained

A gentlemen that I had spoken to via a fly fishing forum found out that I was headed to Belize in a couple weeks but didn't have a suitable 10 wt set up for the bigger quarry that I would be encountering.

So without me asking, he paid his gear forward.

Inside that box was a top shelf set up that I could have never afforded at that time in my life.  It was one of the first big lessons in how giving our community is and what role karma can have on a trip.

Over the years other boxes have shown up at my doorstep with fly fishing gear to accompany me on trips abroad, without much of a stipulation or question of when I'd return it.  10 and 12 weight rods, gigantic large arbored reels to put the brakes on thuggish fish, flies tied with the utmost precision, pre tied leaders to corral the biggest of oversized gigantic herring, so on and so forth.

Finally it's my turn to return the favor.  A buddy called and said he's going to Talum, Mexico and asked if there were fishing opportunities there.

Yes my friend, yes.   Lots and lots of Bonefish

My bonefish box and associative big flies for big fish aren't getting used any time soon.   The 10 wt is currently collecting dust in the closet.  I have warranties on the reels.

Time to pay my gear forward

I'm getting excited for him with his trip approaching, almost like a part of me is going with him on that trip.  It's fun to be on the other side of the karmic equation and cant wait to see him grinning ear to ear with his first bonefish to hand.

If you get the chance to put your gear in someone else's hand.  Give it a shot.  It may bring you great luck when your time comes to chase exotic fish in some beautiful exotic place.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Wild Trout: A Montana Fish Story

Wild Trout: A Montana Fish Story from Trout Unlimited on Vimeo.

Dick Vincent stepped away from the normal policy of his day and advocated for wild fish management in Montana decades ago.  Now, most say that fishing is better today than it was when they stocked rivers and streams in Montana.

Maybe a lesson to be learned within the Steelhead arena.....

Monday, December 19, 2016


The mall parking lots will be jammed packed this week in anticipation of the big day.  Stress levels are as raised as they get as folks clammer around to find and give the best gifts they possibly can for their loved ones

Here's an idea.

Maybe stay out of the mall and contact a few of the artisan craftsmen or women you follow on social media.

Give a gift with soul, that might come alive on a river and connect them with something that breathes life into the person who's using it.

Maybe find a gift from a company that gives back to your favorite conservation organizations,..or a print from an artist who's work is stamped with the soul of British Columbia....

How about a hat or a shirt from a guy who's taking care of disadvantaged youths and returning war veterans?

Or a guy that makes ridiculous fish art, 

Or give a book that can awaken the soul of river stewards around the world

Want to go big and really make an impression?

What about a bench made classic reel, or perhaps the gift of experience with a guided trip...?

Perhaps a subscription to one of the best magazines out there that captures the essence of steelhead and atlantic salmon craziness?

Even better, donate in the name of someone to a cause worth fighting for.

You see, there's so many options out there that keeps you out of the stores that end in Mart or rhymes with  Bacy's.  I bet there's even time and shipping options to make it happen before December 25th.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

If You've Ever Owned a Hunting Dog...

I challenge you to not cry when you watch this video.

Hunting dogs are the best.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Snow Day....

Another day up in the canyons, another day to ply the waters in winter.

Typically, the valley floor stays snow free.  The ridge tops get the brunt of winter, but the drop in elevation brings a 5-7 degree temperature difference that cancels out the brunt of winter's wrath

Absent of wind, the snow lightly fell on us all day creating a silent escape on mid week day where work's responsibilities were put on the back burner.

The massive wild hen that took me on a sprint down the river's edge was everything we could hope for.  The grab to break the monotony and light up my nerves.  A big jump to show her size,  the powerful runs and unwillingness to give up decrying her wild origin.   She gave me the middle fin as she popped the leader with a head shake at my feat and escaped quickly back into the flow.

OMR's mouth was agape as I felt the tinge of disappointment.   I reconciled it with a celebratory shot of whiskey with my old man and the realization that I don't really need another hero shot.  It was a caught fish and my ego would survive.

The dogs jumped around and bounded into the fresh powder all day long.  The world was quite and we had the river to ourselves.

Just like grade school kids, we all need a snow day now and again.

Monday, December 5, 2016


There's no cellophane to unwrap here.  No sale pricing to look for

No club cards to scan, no choice of paper or plastic.

No finding that good parking space and picking up lunch meat at the deli counter

Nope, this is get your hands dirty meat procurement. 50 pounds of super organic venison that families share around the dinner table, connect and tell stories about.

It's messy, it's labor intensive and you viscerally feel every pound you push through the grinder

If you do have to go to the store, make sure to pick up a nice red wine or a hoppy IPA, as they do well to bring the flavors out knowing where your food comes from.