Chris Hunt's blog

Cleaned and gutted

There’s a fine line between being a conservationist and being a zealot
Cleaned trout prepared for cooking (photo. W. Works / cc2.0).

There’s a fine line between being a conservationist and being a zealot. That’s why both of my kids will be getting a refresher course in the coming days on how to properly dispatch, clean and gut a wild trout. Over my dead body will they succumb to zealotry.

Wait, wait, not yet

Take your time and let nature take its course
Photo: Chris Hunt

Every year about this time, I find myself pushing up some muddy mountain road, trying to get as far into the hills as I can. It’s not Memorial Day yet, which is the barometer most folks around the country use to mark the official beginning of summer (and most of us here in the Rockies denote as the date when it’s possible that the road to our favorite off-the-beaten path trout stream might be reachable without having to ski the last mile or two in).

Nature deficit disorder: Yes, it's a thing

An entire generation of kids has no idea what lies over the next ridge
Photo: Josh Hallet / cc2.0

Nature deprivation is a real thing, and I’m witnessing the impacts of being exposed to the wild and willingly foregoing exposure in both of my kids.

My daughter loves the outdoors. She’s working for the second year in a row in Grand Teton National Park, and just the other night, we exchanged photos and video via text of our respective campfires—hers in the shadows of the Tetons and mine on the high desert of southern Idaho, where I’d camped by the Snake River while chasing carp with my fly rod.

Age, pain and apologies

As we anglers age, we face unavoidable, inevitable truths
Still on the bow. For now (photo: Chad Shmukler).

I woke up one morning late last month and felt like I’d been doing sit-ups all night. Not that doing calisthenics in my sleep would necessarily be a bad thing, but the muscles in my gut had clearly been involuntarily enlisted into some sort of nocturnal enterprise, and not one I consciously approved of.

Home again

No thanks to the Ted Cruzes of the world
Railroad bridge over the Sabine River (photo: Patrick Feller).

I got a Facebook message from an old junior high friend the other day. He’d been out to the Sabine River in the sticky thicket of East Texas, and visited the spot we’d all camped as kids, “Stand by Me” style.

Guilt

Killing natives
A native Alaskan arctic grayling (photo: Chad Shmukler).

I’ll never forget the look on my buddy’s face that fateful September day on the South Fork of the Snake River several years back, when I unhooked the little hybrid that had sucked in a small nymph and, without ceremony, knocked it over the head and tossed into the willows. Had it been just a bit bigger, I might have pocketed it and brought it home for the frying pan.

That guy

Because toilets and showers are all they're cracked up to be
Photo: Chris Hunt

We’ve all been there. It’s summer. We’re headed somewhere fishy and the sooner we get there, the sooner we can assemble the 4-weight and hit the water. We’ve squeezed a weekend’s worth of beer and grub into the back of the SUV, and we’re ready to stand knee-deep in a trout stream and wash away all that’s wrong with the world. We’re on some two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, and the speed limit is merely a strong suggestion.

Road to the Final Fish: Fill out your bracket for a shot at a horde of fly fishing prizes

Enter to support Trout Unlimited and Casting for Recovery

The annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament gets underway this month, and Cheeky Fishing is turning the tables on “March Madness” with a uniquely fishy bent, and all for two good causes.

More pink

Always more pink

It’s been awhile since the box came out of the storage room—months, actually. I can tell the last batch of flies I tied was destined for Alaska, given the pink, white and orange marabou situated atop the pile. The box looked like a creamsicle.

A fuzzy, hairy creamsicle.

This Pennsylvania headwater stream feeds into some of its states greatest trout waters (photo: Chad Shmukler).

For every angler who plucked their first trout from a black-bottomed beaver pond high in the Rockies under the watchful eye of a father or a grandfather, this day is for you. For every fisherman or fisherwoman whose first bluegill came to hand after it pulled a bobber under water on some lonely little stream shaded by sweet gum trees, this day is for you, too.

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