As we pen this update (late November 2010), Chi Wulff has once again come back from the dead in now what is to be its third iteration.
One friend has claimed we (Team Chi Wulff) have more lives than the archetypal star(s) of the cheap Hollywood zombie flicks that ooze onto the screen every October. So be it.
Why crank the blog back up again?
The best short answer is that we’ve missed many of the friends that we’ve made over the years first running Best Fly Fishing Yellowstone (July 07 -April 09) which morphed into Chi Wulff (we called the transition our witness relocation program).
We’ve also elected to make Chi Wulff the unofficial / official blog of a media company that we’re involved with – Dry Fly Media.
A few things have changed since April 09; here’s how we opened our team page back then:
Each and every member of the Chi Wulff team readily admits that living and working in Montana is somewhat of a dream come true for folks who love fly fishing.
Most of us live in southwest Montana in the territory roughly stretching from Bozeman and Yellowstone country to Missoula ‘over on the west side’. Collectively we live within two hours of some of the most renowned fly fishing waters in the world: the Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin, the multiple and varied waters of Yellowstone National Park, the Missouri, Big Hole, Beaverhead, Rock Creek, Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork, with the Big Horn and Henry’s Fork maybe just another hour down the road.
Ah, those were the good old days.
Much to the amazement of most fly fisher folk that we talk to, both Jake and Mark and his wife are splitting time between Montana and Texas due to development of another business project. Jake is ensconced outside of San Antonio and Mark and the Mrs. are living west of Austin very near the shores of Lake Travis. It’s a far cry from Montana but Central and Coastal Texas do have their amenities.
We’re in and out of Montana and the Intermountain West with some regularity and are spending a fair amount of time ranging from Texas along the Gulf Coast to Georgia and Florida.
While we’ve found ourselves missing Montana’s summer and fall of 2010 with gusto this year, we’ve reluctantly admitted that we got a bit spoiled living in Bozeman for years.
We’ve also re-discovered the immense world that is salt water fly fishing and have been having (much) more fun than we’d admit in Bozeman brown-lining for various species here in Central Texas and across the Gulf Coast.
Dammit – we had gotten a bit complacent living and fishing in our little corner of fly fishing mecca, and it’s been jarringly refreshing to have some new experiences and perspectives tossed our way.
In some respects the paragraph above may embody the most driving reason we’re cranking the blog back up again – there’s a big fly fishing world out there and we truly enjoy writing about it and sharing it with our friends.
We’re planning to repent from our Montana / YNP centric ways and broaden the blog’s perspective.
Some things from our ‘old Team Page’ haven’t changed (and won’t, other than lampooning your $50K salt water bay rig):
There are several things about our team we feel it’s important for you to know.
First, none of us own an outfitter or guide service, a fly shop, or a lodge catering to fly fishermen. Not that some of us wouldn’t like to, and perhaps down the road one or more of us may venture into the business end of fly fishing. No question – there are some great fly fishing web sites out there that are sponsored and run by guides, shop owners, lodges, and outfitters; we’re pleased to call many of them our friends. But by not having a “hand in the business” so to speak, we feel we can (and do) speak with objectivity and clarity about conditions and services in the neighborhood.
Secondly, we feel it’s very important to note that none of us claim to be an expert in the world of fly fishing; we’re far from it. There are dozens and dozens of truly notable fly fishing experts living and fishing right in our neighborhood, and hundreds more who visit every year. We’re not fit to clean their gear on most days, and we stand in awe of these men and women who stand and work hip dip in the fly fishing world each and every day, dealing not only with wily fish and challenging waters, but the unpredictable human elements of the fly fishing arena as well.
Nope, we’re not experts, but we share with the genuine experts a love and passion for Montana and the Yellowstone region, fabulous fly fishing waters, the great outdoors, creative food, fly fishing friends, and the West in general.
Thirdly, none of us are trust-funders living on the largess of previous generations, massive lottery winnings, wealthy spouses, or stolen gems and securities from a prior nefarious life. We’re all pretty much regular guys and gals who hold down ‘real world jobs’ to pay the bills; some of us more than one.
We fish with rods we’ve built, flies we’ve tied, wear patched waders and frumpy clothes, make our own jerky and eat stale sandwiches out of the cooler, drive aging and dirty vehicles, and enjoy making fun of folks we see on the river wearing and carrying $5 grand worth of new gear. Sorry if we laughed at your brand-spanking new, shamefully clean Simms gear on the river or tried to splash mud, coffee or other fluids on your shiny Escalade or Hummer recently.
We just can’t help it.
The Principals (from the Dry Fly Media Site)
Trout have always been his game, but recently he has come to realize that the world has a damn lot of fish out there. He’s looking forward to expanding his knowledge of Spey casting and two handed rods, and chasing the fish of the PNW.
He is our principle still photographer and runs the business side of the Dry Fly Media operation. His love affair with freestone rivers started after buying his first film SLR (a ‘manual everything’ Mamiya Sekor) as a freshman in high school way back in 1973. Life is a lot different these days shooting a Canon 5D Mark II and processing images in Lightroom and Photoshop. He first learned to throw a fly back in 1984 in Salt Lake City, caught his first native Cutthroat in Yellowstone in 1985, and has been fly fishing from Texas to Montana since. Taking an early out from a practice in the biomedical sciences Mark has his hand in several businesses that keep him roaming the West and South fairly consistently.
Shane is the newest member of the Chi Wulff team. He and Jake have shared many good days on the water. A passion for Montana and for fly fishing rules his days, and you can see it in his work with a camera. Look for lots more to come from Shane in the coming months. Check out more of his photographic work at Shane Rickert Photography.
Jess finds herself most at home behind the camera or on top of a dressage horse.
She is the founder / owner of Fire Girl Photography, a photojournalism and fine art photography business. She also runs a pretty popular photography oriented blog here, very creatively named The Fire Girl Photography Blog. Jess was chosen as one of the featured photographers of the year for Cowboys & Indians magazine and will be featured in the March 2011 issue of the mag. She is a frequent contributor to American Angler as well as several other outdoor, Western, and equestrian magazines.
When she is not behind the camera or penning articles; Jess works a day job in outdoor retail in Austin and travels here and there to take pictures of places and things.
Her passions are split between photojournalism, life in the outdoor spaces of the American West, and the sport of dressage. She apparently likes a manic lifestyle.
He is an Idaho-based writer/photographer/English instructor/desk jockey/dreamer of trout. Quinn published his first fly fishing article in 2003 and quickly tired of telling other people how to catch fish in his favorite rivers. Since then he has embarked on a crooked journey to write anything other than destination feature articles. He joined Chi Wulff in 2011 after several years spent writing rambling, semi-coherent posts for his own blog (In The Back Eddy). Follow Quinn on Twitter @inthebackeddy.
We’ll be adding to the list as our blog team expands….