abundant midges and trout

March fishing on the Snake river here in Jackson Hole can often be good. Yesterday it was great. Midges were hatching in abundance, bringing lots of eager trout to the surface. The cutthroat kept me on my toes though; feeding on dries, then switching to emergers and nymphs (weird, you’d think it’d be the other way around…) Here are some shots from the day.

Check out the midges. This extended 10+ feet down the seam in the river

midges on the Snake river

this guy couldn’t resist a well presented midge emerger

cutthroat on a dry fly

One of many Snake river cutthroat trout brought to hand


Idaho Steelhead

After years and years of talk, we finally did it. Jamie and I traveled to Challis, Idaho, spending four days casting relentlessly for steelhead on the famed Salmon river. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t easy, in fact much of the time felt like we were receiving a thorough beat-down, with the occasionally hooked sucker adding insult to injury. Flies were lost on underwater boulders, and we began wondering if these fish even existed, let alone would bite our flies.

We knew going in that the odds were stacked against us. Why would fish that have traveled some 800+ miles inland from the Pacific Ocean want to eat strike our flies? Do fish even make it this far inland? If they do, will the hordes of camo clad lawchair fishers fool them first? These are the things that run through your mind as you cast again and again to seemingly perfect water. Fortunately as dumb luck would have it, I managed to hook and land two fish while tight-line nymphing a fast seam on our last day.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I felt honored bringing these fish to hand. Amazed at their perservience; traveling amazing distances, eluding predators, navagating countless dams, rapids, etc. I couldn’t help but wonder what this river must have been like 100 years ago when the steelhead and salmon runs were so thick, folks harvested them with pitchforks….

A view of the Salmon river from our base of operations….

Canyon along the Salmon River

Find Nate. I’m doing my best to blend in with the surroundings…

Where's Nate?

One of many hotsprings in the area. Jamie and I relaxed in this one after long days of fishing

Hot Spring

At last, a steelhead on the fly!


Close up of one of two fish that graced us with its presence

Close up of an Idaho Steelhead

March is for midges

Took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and went fishing
with my friend Matt. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather
and the time on the water was good for the soul. Around here,
fly anglers embrace March for its abundant hatches of midges
and small stoneflies. During our three or so hours on the water,
we saw a ton of midge activity as well as some small stoneflies.
Naturally some fish were rising too.

in the  

this guy fell for a well presented Griffiths Gnat; good
way to kick off spring

river tailwater

A view from below Jackson Lake Dam

in march on the Snake

Matt casting to a large rising cutthroat trout

to the desert and back

We’re rolling into spring around here and there is a subtle excitement in the air. All of a sudden days are longer and snow in the valley is melting. It’s possible Jamie and I ushered in this change; afterall, we did just return from Arizona.

Our trip was bittersweet; part vacation and part celebration of life for my uncle Don, who passed away just before Christmas. Overall the trip was great. We met up with my folks and family, caught up with friends, saw some live music and paid respects to a sweet dude who epitomized rock n’ roll. I won’t go into details except to say that the three day marathon celebration was one of legendary proportions and we probably drank and ate way more than we should have. Special thanks to the Band News Blues Band, Lori McDonald and Hans Olson for some awesome rock and blues music.

After spending four days in Bisbee, we drove north and spent two days bumming around Tucson. In the desert southwest, trout waters are few and far between and I’m sorry to report that no fishing was done. We did get in some cool hikes; seeing ancient petroglyphs and climbing a mountain. Here’s a few photos from the trip. Hopefully I’ll have some fishing pictures soon (with temperatures forecast to be in the 40’s it’s time to get out and capitalize on the midge hatch).



Hiking in a dry gluch, we saw plenty of prickly things as well as some cool petroglyphs.

AZ lizard

A native..


Close up of some of the petroglyphs we came across.

amongst the cacti

Jamie helping to put things to scale..