Why I Fish

For a 12-year old kid growing up in public land impoverished Texas, the concept of the wide open swaths of public land in the West was pretty much incomprehensible during my first whirlwind sweep of the Western national parks one early 70’s summer. When She Who Must Be Obeyed and I first moved to Utah […]


That moment when you release a fish is pretty special.   You convince him it eat, fight him quickly, take the hook out in a careful manner and then gently hold him underwater as he catches his breath.  His world just got rocked, it takes a moment or two to figure things out.  Then you […]

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You know there is a fish in there.  You’ve carefully observed, and by years of knowledge, practice, and many hours on the river, you know that there is a fish right there, just waiting to eat your fly.  The fly on the end of your line has been carefully chosen.  Confidence is high.  You feel […]


Take a look at that sign.  What’s the biggest, boldest word on it?  Wilderness. Fly fishing is something special in that it can take you to some truly wild places.  Sure, Bear Trap isn’t a true “wilderness” in the sense that most of us think of it, but you get my point.  As the world […]


There’s a stroke of sheer genius manifest in the current tenkara movement. More and more I hear tenkara being marketed, often to fly-curious non-fishers, as the simple way to fly fish. It’s you, the rod, a fixed length line and a fly. You have to admit, it is a profoundly beautiful, simple construct and barriers […]


A couple of days ago we got a pretty big storm in Bozeman.  It dumped almost a foot of snow in places in town and iced up the roads pretty badly.  Even getting back and forth from work was a challenge, especially with all the people who just moved to Bozeman and have never seen […]


Every Fall in Mosquito Lagoon redfish begin their hunt for mullet, killifish and other small fry along shorelines throughout the estuary. They move with purpose, their intent singular, to eat. Sometimes its more rewarding to simply lay down your fly rod, show some restraint and watch them. – Larry Littrell, Salt Bum Contrary to what […]


Watch any skilled fisher working the crick, creek, river or flat, whether he be on foot, in the bow of the drifter or perched on the casting deck, and you’ll spy a symphony of motion geared to fling a lump of feather and fur effortlessly to a watery target the size of a sandwich. Far, […]

Growing up, I was not a morning person.   In fact, it took me quite a long time to really appreciate mornings.  Fishing trips were one of the things I would happily rise early for, and still do to this day.  Work and other things, eh, maybe not so much. It’s in the foggy headed […]

You know you’re probably doing something right with your life when you wake up hours earlier on your days off than on work days.  For many, weekends and days off mean sleeping in, laying around the house, watching a movie.  But it seems like fishermen always see the world a little differently. Steve and I […]

Admittedly it does sound counterintuitive for a fly fisherman to proclaim a love for rowing. Without a doubt it’s nigh on impossible to beat the intimacy of wading a small stream (far Upper Gallatin, Firehole or even the Upper Gibbon, I’m thinking of you…) or a coastal tidal flat at sunrise with tails popping all […]

It seems like I write about going fishing because of women problems more than I should.  (Here and here, for past reference).  Today I seem to be singing the same song.  There’s no major damage, but it’s still pretty damn frustrating.  No one wants to hear that “there just isn’t a spark”. That has got […]

Those living in more Southern regions of the country (for that matter you could say those living nearer the Tropic of Cancer) simply cannot fathom the joy that long summer days bring to those of us anchored in the northern tier. After grinding through December days with less than eight hours of daylight in the […]

This morning a chiding email popped up from an unhappy family member (CS, non-fisher living a big hat, no cattle existence down south) asking why, among other failures, I continue to waste so much time fly fishing. I told him that (ironically) just yesterday I’d had an email exchange with a friend (Guide Jim to […]

It’s been a few months since I’ve been asked why I fish, specifically why I fly fish. In response to this most recent query, after thinking about it for a moment, I simply replied ‘fly fishing is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get’ on any given day. My droll […]