Monday, November 21, 2005

Blackfoot River Cutt

Here is a photo of one of the beautiful Yellowstone Cutts caught on the Blackfoot River this fall.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Last Days of Autumn

Here in Southeast Idaho, the cool autumn days have virtually left the rivers and streams void of fishing activit as most people head to the hills and forest searching for the elusive big game trophy. Regretfully, I am one of those individuals and as a result lose the opportunity to enjoy some of the wonderous fall fishing. I think I need to change my ways since so many hunting trips end with dissapointment of never seeing anything worthy of a flyfishing trip on any Idaho river/stream. I'll spend the next 6 months dreaming about fishing and waiting for the next opportunity to catch some trout. Maybe it'll give me some time to tie flies and quite relying on the often poorly crafted store bought flies that fall apart after one fish or twenty casts.

As a final note, after spending as much time outdoors as possible, I have noticed that in the past 10 years much has changed - there are less trout in the streams (for example, Cottonwood Creek by our family ranch used to be loaded with Bonneville Cutthroat Trout but the last time we went we saw a big zero) and there are far fewer trophy big game in the mountains (in a place where we used to see trophy mule deer and 40-50 deer in one spot, we saw none). Granted, some of the lack of game may be to my own deficiencies, but I would bet that the natural world that so many cherish and which brings renewal to our souls is quickly diminishing to the point of no return. Between cattle grazing, ATV's, stream dewatering, and other things, there won't be much left for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. Take a stand wherever you may be and preserve what's left of our natural resources.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Upper Blackfoot

My father and I went back to the upper BLackfoot again this last weekend and after suffering through a cold-wet morning where our hands were so stiff that tying on a fly was a 20 minute task, we caught probably around 50 fish - mostly 8-12" cutts. We also landed two 20" inch cutts, two 17" rainbows and a couple of cutts in the 15-17" range. Overall, it was another great day of fly fishing. There is nothing better than to hear the line zipping of the reel as a native cutthroat rips downstream.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Upper Blackfoot

Saturday morning my dad and I went to the Blackfoot river and had an amazing day of fishing. We caught probably 60+ fish between the two of us between 8-24". I landed one 24 inch cutthroat and a 22 inch cutthroat and lost a rainbow that was even bigger than the 24" cutt. A lot of the fish were in the 8-12" range but there was a fair number of larger fish as well. It was an awesome day. One to log into the memory books to be recalled whenever the big fish story rises to the occasion. We caught all the fish on bead-headed prince nymphs and hares ears; and hoppers (para hoppers with tan/cream/yellow bodies)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Small Stream excellence

Two weekends ago I went to central Idaho for the weekend and spent some time fishing one of Idaho's gems - a small 'unnamed' mountain stream. After enduring a few thunderstorms, my father and I caught a few beautiful 10 inch cutthroats with vibrant colors. We also ran into a few steelhead smolt. The highlight of the trip was when I hooked into a 24+ inch trout in a deep hole amidst the dense pine-covered stream. We fought for about 20 minutes when after about a 30 yard run downstream in fast, brushy water, my line snapped. Thrill and dissappointment - everything a fly fisherman lives for and everything that keeps me going back for more every chance I get.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Upper Blackfoot River

For the first time in years there was actually water in the upper Blackfoot. Water tempatures were fairly warm and, with the hot weather coming these next weeks, will likely get warmer. FIshing was ok. Between my father and I, we caught 18-20 trout, mostly in the 8-10 inch range but a few 16-20 inchers and I lost one that was likely 20+. Most of the larger fish were rainbows with a few cutts. The hoppers are out now so don't go on the stream without a stockpile of hoppers.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Eastern Idaho Streams

Streams in Eastern Idaho by Wyoming are still high with runoff/thunderstorms and will propbably not be fishable for a few more weeks. On Wednesday we went to one stream and say little activity on the water although there were many caddis and stoneflies on the bushes. Water was still murky and high. FIshing in July might actually be good this year.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Delayed fishing season

Rain continues to fall in SE Idaho. It's even cold enough to snow during this first full week of June. Many of the rivers are still murky with runoff and thunderstorm water but it looks like next week will be awesome for fishing. Hopefully, the plentitude of rain will continue so fish will once again have water in streams. Most activity so far has been subsurface - nymphs and streamers. Good luck on your next trip.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Opening Weekend

I spent opening Saturday morning fishing the Warm River about 2-3 miles above the Campground. Overall fishing was slow with a few fish caught (seven - myself; six - my dad) , but we both caught a couple above 14 inches with one nice cuttbow over 16 that was between 2-3 pounds. Many of the smaller rivers and streams in SE Idaho are still high and murky with runoff and thunderstorm water. Two weeks from now should be spectacular.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


The elusive weeks before fishing season opens are a tortious experience for a flyfisherman. Daily checks on fishing conditions and idle chat with the local fly shops only fire an already out of control blaze within the soul. There is nothing better than standing knee deep in an icy stream casting for the rising adversary. Images of fly water and rising trout permanently engrave themselves upon my soul every time I step into the water - the hope of catching a trout in the next hole keeps the fire burning year round. One and a half weeks before opening - hopefully the fire doesn't consume my soul before the first fly hits the water...

Friday, May 13, 2005


It has been raining pretty steadily here in SE Idaho for the last couple of weeks bringing water levels closer to normal amounts. Why is this important? One word - RUNOFF. Many of the streams that I have fished recently have been full of sediment and trout need clean river rock streams to survive and spawn. Hopefully all of this rain will keep runoff levels high enough to flush Idaho's streams and improve fishing this year. Opening day is in two weeks!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Will the evironment and the last wild places in America survive the Bush Administration? Bush recently revoked the Roadless Area Rule which provided significant protection for the last roadless areas in the U.S. Now the decision to protect or exploit roadless areas falls to local state governments (specifically the governor) and local forest managers. Hopefully local forest managers will protect roadless areas and their pristine states but there is no guarantee that the forest managers won't give in to industry and forget the individual that uses the area for solitude. In Idaho, many of the roadless areas are refuges for wildlife and contain spawning grounds for many of Idaho's endangered and threatened fish species. Big game animals use roadless areas as a resort to escape hunting pressure. In many areas the quality of Big Game herds has diminshed greatly, mostly due to increased access via ATV's.

Will there ever be a place on our planet where a person can reach solitude? Or will we constantly be surrounded by the roar of gasoline powered engines? Will we ever see record big game or a restoration of trout fisheries? With the current pressure from ATV users and the deregulation of roadless areas, there may never again be areas that offer the type of seclusion, and trophy big game and fish, that was enjoyed just ten years ago.

Wouldn't it be great if government actually looked after the best interest of the majority instead of the specific interests of industry? Maybe its a sign of the times - government corruption swayed by big money and little else.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Best Hopper pattern for SE Idaho

Have you ever had the problem of never catching a fish on a Joe's or Dave's Hopper or similar pattern? After years of fishing SE Idaho streams during terrestrial season, I've found that the parahopper is by far the best pattern to consistently catch all kinds of trout. Use white calf tail for the parachute, mottled turkey quill for the wing case, "legs on a stick" (knotted pheasant tail), brown hackle, a cream/tan colored body material, and a size 4-10 hook and you'll be catching fish when all those joe and dave hopper folks are wondering what the fish are hitting. Check out for an image.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Private Land Public Access Crisis

More and more land is being grabbed by wealthy individuals in this country and then locked up, preventing public access to many fisheries that at one time were open to fishing. How do we preserve fishing access while also recognizing private property rights? Does the fishing revenue supplied to many rural communities outweigh private interests in denying access to fishing waters? Is environmental capitalism the answer to reopen closed fishing waters? Any ideas are welcome.