The further you walk, the more you leave behind

Often, solitude is worth the distance
Photo: Austin Dando
It's Monday. It’s 35 degrees. And it's spitting rain.

That combination of undesirables should be enough to give you plenty of space on the river, but you’re looking for more. You want vast stretches of open and rolling water, Class A trout water, big Blue Ribbon water loaded with wild fish. You want it all to yourself for a while, and you’re not going to feel guilty about that.

The rain, the cold and the day of the week will keep most of the unfortunates under a roof, at some meeting in a conference room or making factory widgets. That’s good, but not good enough.

There will be flood

Shaping water within limits
The Portneuf River, by definition, ceases to be a river as it throws through a cement chute in Pocatello (Photo: Kris Millgate).
Counties south of me are filling sand bags because the Snake River could bulge banks this spring. The Portneuf River will probably do the same. The Portneuf washes over more than 120 miles in southeastern Idaho. From the willows it weaves through in the high country, to the cement chute it is shackled to in Pocatello, the Portneuf is a waterway that struggles.

Owning a boat: Why you should, and shouldn't

The fly fishing pros and cons of taking the leap into boat ownership
Photo: Mike Hodge
We all want what we can’t—or don’t—have. It’s human nature. I thought fly fishing would settle me enough that I wouldn’t thirst for more, but it seems as if there’s always a better way to catch more fish.

I started out wading, then went to a kayak, then a canoe, then a paddleboard and finally a boat. Twenty five years after my first cast, I graduated to a skiff, a 14-foot Riverhawk.

Dreaming Maine

Discovering a classic northern landscape
Photo: Matthew Reilly
As a fly fisherman I do a lot of dreaming—of fish I’ve yet to catch, fish I’ve caught, and fish I’ve gotten to know personally, even without catching them. I dream of places—places I’ve been and fallen in love with, places I’ve not yet been, and places I’ll probably never have the chance to touch.

Rain gear required

Big storms equal big fish
Thunder bumpers are common in spring on Idaho’s Henry’s Fork of the Snake River (photo: Kris Millgate).
It’s late afternoon in early spring and bad weather is coming in quick. The wind picks up as bright sun slides behind dark clouds. I recognize the overpowering signs of wet trouble rumbling down the canyon, but I’m not rowing away from it. Neither should you.