The giant ponderosa peers over blue-green water cascading and flowing around boulders plunging into pools and meandering in eddies. This tree must be well over 100-years old. It careens skyward with giant, twisted branches leading to more twists and turns extending over a spectacular reach of river. The pumpkin and burnt-orange bark has splits and cracks in its puzzle-like texture and its hunter-green needles extend long at each … Read more
By Garrett Hanks Wolf Creek pass in the San Juan mountains of Colorado serves as the tipping point between the westward San Juan basin, home to the recently rediscovered San Juan cutthroat trout, and the Rio Grande cutthroat’s namesake river to the east. Unlike trout, bear, mule deer and other wildlife are unhindered by the ridgeline; their tracks freely cross the divide. Look north and you’ll notice the burn scar from the West Fork fire of 2013. Setting off south along the Continental Divide Trail, you quickly … Read more
The place you catch a rainbow trout as big as a silver salmon is a place you hold with reverence. A place you plan to someday return.
One of my favorite parts about fishing is the spectacular places it takes you. From high mountain streams with peaks towering overhead to desert rivers with cliff walls reflecting the day’s heat, there are hardly any ugly places to fish. Sure, there are the occasional honey holes with a nearby power plant or apartment complex in the city, but when fishing, … Read more
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It got so cold so early this year that our aspens and cottonwoods didn’t really turn. Their leaves simply froze in place when the mercury dipped below zero in early October, and they’ve spent the last few months drying into sickly, gray, paper-thin ghosts and falling without ceremony to the ground. Season theft. We were … Read more
While I would prefer to be remembered as well-suited to review something like a nice new tip-flex 6-weight, because of my propensity to fish big water for large, wild trout… it would be entirely disingenuous to pretend I was not perfectly-suited for the Fishewear wine hydroflask tumbler. For one, Fishewear is a woman-owned company and … Read more
The drift hanging over the eves on the house this morning is quite impressive. And it’s cold. Damn cold. The thought of sneaking off for an afternoon on the Henry’s Fork is now more of a pathetic inside joke—fighting frozen guides, frozen fingers and frozen toes while the the wind whips snow around my wadered … Read more
There are few classic wet flies that I like to have in my fly box, particularly when I’m fishing some of the fabled waters of Yellowstone National Park. If I were to open my fly box, buried somewhere in the store room under all holiday detritus that has built up since I last visited the … Read more
Sinking and sink-tip lines are great for getting flies down deep in the water column where the big trout eat, but they can be a pain to cast and then recast. First, these lines are heavy—hundreds of grains, for the most part. Second, they don’t really allow for nimble fly casting. These lines are made … Read more