Bear-Proof Containers Not Yet(i) Required on Montana’s Smith River

As many of  you know, floating Montana’s Smith River is one of fly-fishing’s greatest adventures. To do so, you need to draw a limited-entry permit and you need to plan for a four or five day float, depending on how much wade fishing you plan to do along the way. I’ve floated the river a couple times and its brown trout are a blast when river conditions are good and there are bugs in the air and on the water. But the best part of the trip is floating for 60 some miles below towering limestone cliffs and camping at various points along the way. But there is a little trouble on the river these days—there are more people than ever floating it and the bears know that well. I’ve seen bears during each of the trips I’ve Continue reading

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You Write The Caption 3

I took this shot on Montana’s Ruby River, just downstream from Ruby Reservoir. Lots of good fish in this stretch, mostly browns ranging between 14 and 17 inches with a few toads thrown in on the side. What do you think happened here? My guess? He just ended a call with his lawyer who told him, “The judge says she gets the house, the money, and the dog.” Have fun with it. GT

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Outside Magazine’s Yeti Cooler Test

I was fishing some eastern Washington trout lakes with George Cook last April when he asked, “Greg, have you seen that insane Outside video where they beat the hell out of a Yeti cooler?”

“Nope,” I replied. But I have now. And this is worth watching. In fact, this is good to see, especially if you’re thinking about a Yeti or any other high-end cooler, and you’re wondering if the money you’re paying for that beast is worth it. Enjoy.

Gear Guy: Yeti Cooler from Outside Magazine on Vimeo.

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Less-Loved Fishes

Penned this for my editorial in Fly Rod & Reel recently and thought I would share it here. My mentality on fly fishing and particular species has changed over the years. I’m more willing to throw for barracuda, carp, bass and sharks than I used to be, having learned that all of those are pretty fun species to try for. I’m not as impressed by walleye or perch, but I’ve Continue reading

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In Three Years: Walleye Numbers Double in Clark Fork Delta/Lake Pend Orielle

I did a little fly fishing for walleye this summer, including a week-long trip to Ontario for just that purpose; I can’t say they are my new go-to specie. In fact, I failed rather miserably in catching any good size walleye, my best being nothing greater than a 15 or 16-incher. I saw some eight to ten-pounders caught and released, but that was by the gear guys throwing minnows and Continue reading

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Major Trout Decline in Idaho’s South Fork Snake River

Idaho’s South Fork Snake is one of my favorite rivers, a place where you can hammer up to 50 native cutthroats a day when the fishing is good, and it’s also a place where you have a legitimate shot at catching a brown trout that stretches well past 24 inches, a fish that might weigh eight pounds or Continue reading

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You Write the Caption—2

Shot this photo while sitting in a drift boat on Montana’s Beaverhead River a few years ago. The two culprits in this image are Dan Summerfield, arms spread wide, and Jed Fitzpatrick who runs Sula Fly Fishing and typically guides on Continue reading

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Chris Santella’s 50 Places to Fly Fish—Dream Well My Friends

Winter is a time for dreaming. Short days, long nights. The season makes me pick up books more frequently than I would at other times of the year. During spring, summer and fall, I’m packing the outdoors into every moment, from dawn to dusk when I can. During winter, I relax. Relaxing this winter means going through Chris Santella’s book, Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die, again. This is a beautiful little hardbound piece on fly fishing destinations located all over the world. And when I turn through the pages of Fifty Places, I can’t help but feel the travel bug coming on . . . hard. From the Atlantic salmon streams of the Gaspe Peninsula, to the tarpon grounds in the Jardines, from Continue reading

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Pure Strain California Goldens

This short video on a goal-oriented fishing trip is the kind of thing I like. Worth it? You be the judge, but I always like to go somewhere for a reason, and golden trout definitely give reason to the adventurous angler. Hey, watching this might be a signal to join the health club or modify the diet, or both, so you, too, can access the western high country when the snow melts in July. Just don’t do it today. East until you think you’ll die. You owe it to that turkey. Pass the gravy, please.

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Driftboat Trailering Safety 101

My good friend Robert Eddins owns Ro Drift Boats and knows a thing or two about getting there and back with a boat intact. Not long ago I asked him for some hints on pulling a boat safely and responded with the Continue reading

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