Latest Blog Posts

Fishing crowded rivers and streams

Other wading and casting anglers might not have the outsized impact you think they do
Photo: Matt Shaw / Matt Shaw Creative.

When I was considerably younger and living approximately 2,000 miles east of my current Montana address, I had an experience that helped shape my ongoing fly fishing journey in ways I couldn’t really appreciate at the time.

The saltwater curse

The first taste is free
Photo: Chad Shmukler

They say the first taste is free, right?

It doesn’t matter what it is. Could be that first bag of jalapeno potato chips or a spicy bowl of perfect Cajun gumbo. Or it could be something more insidious and life-wrecking. There’s always going to be somebody out there who will do whatever it takes to set that hook and send you down a lifelong spiral of hopeless addiction.

The worst guide in the world

Being a good guide takes much more than being a good angler
Photo: Cameron Karsten.

OK, I’m just going to come right out and say it: I sucked at guiding. Oh, my clients caught plenty of fish. But if I were a doctor, you might say I had a lousy bedside manner. Or what an old coach of mine often referred to as a “piss-poor attitude.” The fact is, I could never stop thinking about whether or not various clients deserved to catch fish just because they could afford to travel and stay at an expensive lodge. That, and I was frequently impatient. And sarcastic. And irritable. But enough about my good days.

The boy from 'Kill the Cat'

A country boy like us
Photo: Shane Townsend

San Juancito, Bolivia – Not a single piranha that day. Not even a bite. So, I was happily distracted from my piscatorial misfortune by friends asking, “José, how’s your family in Mississippi?” You see, despite the confusion about my name, everyone in this indigenous Chiquitano village in lowland Bolivia knew Mississippi was home.


If you can fake it, you've got it made
Photo: Chad Shmukler

Those of us who relentlessly pursue large trout with a dry fly are hopeless addicts. If we weren't, we'd take up easy chores like curing cancer, ending world poverty, or explaining how long forever is. The essence of our addiction is not complicated—when we see a good trout rising, we don't simply want to catch it. We believe that we have to catch it.