Why Fish, Part 1*

I have been fly fishing for just about 2 years, and within this particularly passionate world that means I am basically a beginner. Fortunately, I feel like a beginner, even in terms of understanding why I like to fish at all. Fishing is not an obviously fun thing to do: standing in a cold river, wearing practical but incredibly unflattering clothing, threading tiny pieces of nylon through tiny holes, tying lots of knots, rescuing snagged lines… Not to mention the

Rollie Pollie Frog Popper


When I decided to take up fly fishing I knew, with no exaggeration, almost nothing about it. No one who knows me will be surprised to learn that I started with the gear: rod lengths, weights and flex, reels, lines, nets, flies, packs… I learned the knots, I learned about hatches, and creeks vs rivers, dry flies vs wet flies vs nymphs. Strangely, I never really thought about the fish. I assumed that fly fishing = trout fishing (and hey!

What About Wyoming?

What do you think of when you think about Wyoming? Yellowstone, the Tetons, Jackson Hole, maybe the Wind Rivers? All of those exist in the western half of the state. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine the eastern side of Wyoming is nothing but a flat, icy blast of desolation. But what about the rest of that western half? Mountain biking (and camping) on Teton Pass is huge amounts of fun. The Tetons, Yellowstone and Wind Rivers are

Spooky, Stingy and Educated

Fishing, like a lot of activities, has a certain amount of ritual involved. Sure, you could just go fishing… but wouldn’t it be better to stop at the fly shop and have a word with the fellas? Tell ’em where you’re headed, see what’s fishing well, find out what flies the fish are going for… Part of me always wonders if this is an opportunity to sell off some extra fly inventory, but I do enjoy saying hello to the guys (when

Hams Fork/Smith’s Fork Fly Fishing Trip Report

Turns out there are a whole lot of fishable rivers in Wyoming. Hams Fork and Smith’s Fork rivers are both in classic Wyoming river valleys: wide open, short on trees, covered with sage brush and cow pies. Also very few people, which makes for a perfect weekend retreat when you need some solitude and quiet nights away from the city. Fishing in Hams Fork is a lesson in rolling with the punches. Even though there was no one around, all the

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