Sunday, June 25, 2023

Yellowstone Teton Territory

A Beautiful Cutthroat From the Upper Teton River

One of America's most majestic views resides just outside Jackson, Wyoming in Grand Teton National Park. Towering over the serene fields, woods, lakes, and rivers are the peaks of Grand Teton, Mount Owen, Middle Teton, Mount Moran, and others. They vault directly upwards off the valley floor producing jaw dropping scenery from the surrounding countryside. This particular area has been fly fishing "meme'd" to death thanks to a variety of accounts making fun of Mark Melnyk's repeated use of the phrase, "Yellowstone Teton Territory," on his show: The New Fly Fisher. All jokes aside, the area is expansive, featuring famed waters and access to almost all trout species in the lower 48. With good reason, some of the most famous names in the fishing business call this, or have called this area, home. The wide variety of waterways to fish is astounding, it is relatively accessible, mostly on the lower end of the difficulty spectrum, and a whole lot of fun. On my end, I was simply passing through...

Thursday, June 22, 2023

The Green

Picture Stories From The Flaming Gorge

I'll be honest, I never heard of the Flaming Gorge of the Green River until the day before I fished it during the summer of 21'. I had just departed Oregon and was traveling through Salt Lake City, Utah to check out the famous Provo River. Disappointed in the Provo, I ended up texting my friend Austin for recommendations. When he said, "The Flaming Gorge," I remember chuckling at the name and of the local town: "Dutch John." After a quick internet search, I found that the river has insane numbers of trout that reach upwards of 15,000 per mile. In addition, it has a reputation for growing some very large trout. A few hours later, I was boondocking on some BLM land prepping for the following day of hiking and fishing. Arriving at the "Little Hole," I hiked a ways up into the lower end of the Flaming Gorge. In the early morning light, I swung up a few solid browns before the sun revealed sight fishing opportunities to brown trout up to 22". I caught them on top, on droppers, and on streamers. As I hiked further into the gorge, I was taken aback at the beauty of the canyon walls, the wildlife, and the sheer quality of the fishing experience. The only downside, especially for an angler on foot, was the amount of people floating the river. Starting around noon, an endless procession of guides, rafts, kayaks, and SUPS formed a continuous line down the middle of the river. I didn't have a whole lot of time to spend, but the river planted a seed in my mind to eventually return. In the summer of 22', I came back to Dutch John at a slightly different time and with an entirely different approach. 

It was memorable...

Monday, June 12, 2023

One and Done on the Deschutes

A Story of Highs and Lows Shooting the Deschutes
August 22'

Maupin is a quintessential western river town nestled along the Deschutes River canyon in central Oregon. It is an oasis amongst the surrounding high desert and sage brush, attracting tourists intent on enjoying the river’s bountiful recreational opportunities. The community consists almost entirely of rafting and fishing outfitters, guides, and the small businesses that support tourism. The main drag features bars, a coffee shop, a hardware store, a cafe, the rafting companies, and probably the best fly shop in the United States: Deschutes Angler. I was simply another tourist, of the fish bum variety, intent on catching a wild steelhead on a swung dry line. The ODFW decided on August 15 as the day to reopen steelhead fishing after the brutally low return numbers and high water temperatures of 2021. Stepping out of my van onto Main Street, I could sense that there was a buzz in the air, and that I wasn’t alone in my intended pursuit.