Thanks to Craig Rullman for his fantastic write-up about my passion for fishing & teaching.
Yeah! I am back in Stanley, Idaho. I have been here two weeks and the guiding season started early and furious. I truly am lucky to spend my summers here. I am going to take advantage of one last summer in Stanley! If you haven’t sorted your vacation for 2015 – give some serious consideration to visiting Stanley.
Enjoy the photos
Wow – It has been a long time since my last post! It’s not that I haven’t been fishing – but I have been extremely busy with life. For starters – lots of days on the Salmon River this summer! No complaints here. It was a great season and the fish were keyed on big flies most of the summer. I don’t think I have ever gone through so many chubby Chernobyls. And again – the average size of the cutties continues to increase and a good number of fish over 17 inches. I continue to love my summers in Stanley and will return in 2015.
Another aspect adding to no time to post on my blog – is Dave and I have made the move to Sisters Oregon. Yes after 18 years in Corvallis – we have moved closer to trout water. In theory we can fish for trout every day of the year in Central Oregon. I’ll do another blog on my first 6 weeks in Central Oregon.
Rather than elaborate in words – I’ll let a few photos cap off the season. If you haven’t been to Stanley I love it not only for its great dry fly fishing for west slope cutthroat trout but for spectacular vista views.
I love the Sawtooths and I love guide floating the Salmon River. The river is cooperating for some early season floats! Yeah. With early season comes some nice opportunities for the cutties to take large salmon and golden stone imitations. Can’t beat that. And I forgot to mention how splendid the scenery is!
If the first float is an indicator of the season then I will be having a great season. My first float with Steve and Wendy – Celebrating their 25th. Always a pleasure to meet great people on the water and a special pleasure to get them into some nice cutties.
I also got the chance to “show-off” the Salmon River and the Sawtooths with Robin, a good friend from Portland. She agreed – A very special place in Central Idaho!
I’m happy to report that I’m back for the 2014 summer season in the town of Stanley, Idaho. The local rivers around Stanley are at traditional early summer highs due to a good snow pack this year. The salmon river is running on the high side but fishable now. Fishing conditions are decent upstream from town if you are a decent wader and willing to look for good fish holding spots. There are reports that salmon flies are starting to show up below town, but I haven’t been down there yet to verify those reports. Today, Dave and I hit several spots above town. The further upstream you go, the better the water levels are but keep in mind the water is still high and caution is needed for anyone wading. The water near Decker Flats was decent, and we found a few willing whitefish that took caddis nymphs. Very few bugs were seen flying around…just a few small caddis and little yellow stoneflies. A little downstream, I picked up a few small rainbows swinging streamers with one of my bamboo switch rods. Expect the water levels to continue to slowly drop over the next several days. Here are a few photos of our fishing today.
In a week, I will be leaving Central Idaho and headed to Central Oregon. I’m always a bit sad to be heading out of Stanley – but, this year I will be spending the remainder of September and October guiding for the Fly Fisher’s Place on the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers. So this makes my exit from Stanley easier.
As always the Central Idaho waters treat me well on some of my last days of the season fishing. This year is no exception. Dave and I fished west of Stanley today – in the Frank Church Wilderness. I can say we saw no-one or no car after we left the highway. No complaints from either of us.
To top off a beautiful early fall day – both of us were treated to some nice native west slope cutthroat trout.
This beauty (fish of the day), took a size 14 lightening bug. I landed it on my 7 ½ foot 5 wt custom made bamboo rod by Dave. As you can imagine I could feel this fish in the cork! Gotta love fishing with bamboo.
I also am working on getting a little more artsy with some of my photography. I hope you enjoy.
And lastly – a view of the scenery – with vivid colors!
Many anglers can related to the statement “Any time you are on the water it is a good day, regardless of the number or size of your fish”. However, any angler will tell you, it’s great to land a few fish! And then they will also mention there are days that will become one of the top 5 fishing days of a lifetime.
For first time anglers – many are happy when their fly line lands straight, they see a fish take their fly, and they land a fish! We all know how important it is to land a fish to get you hooked.
Now I need to preface my story, I met my anglers, Elle and John, at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, as I arrived Elle’s mom told me that Elle had landed a 17 inch rainbow trout on the pond at IRMR, the evening before. I thought to myself, “This may be a tough day to beat last night’s fly fishing experience”.
Recently, I guided Elle and her father, John. For Elle it was her first time fly fishing a river and we were targeting rainbow trout and white fish! So you can imagine it was pretty cool when she landed the first fish she hooked into. Yes a nice mountain white fish. The day was made for her with that one fish.
Well, to our surprise in about 15 more casts – Elle hooked and lost one big fish. Elle and I never really got a chance to see what type of fish or how big it was. We continued fishing. And then – we get a huge take and to our surprise it was a jack salmon that had taken her size 12 copper john. With some help, Elle landed the large jack salmon. Yes one of those fish of a lifetime for any trout angler and Elle landed this on day one.
We continued to fish – missed a few small trout and to our amazement – another big take. Yes, you’re right! Elle is one angler with good Karma – she hooked and landed a second jack salmon. Awesome!
Now all anglers know this would rank as one of those top 5 fishing days of a lifetime. For now it is Elle’s best fly fishing day ever and in many years it will be one of her top 5 days fly fishing of a lifetime.
As a guide, it was a thrill to be part of this experience with her. It clearly is one of my top 5 days on the water guiding. I just wish this fishing karma was present every day – but we all know “Regardless of the number or size of the fish, any day is good day fishing”.
This summer Dave and I are doing a few fly fishing activities at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. We love to head out to the Ranch. Not only do we get to share what we love with others – can you imagine being able to do this with backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountain Range. Also, if you are interested in fly fishing – think about how ‘special” and ‘cool” it would be to fly fish in the scenic beauty around Stanley Idaho.
All anglers and guides are usually happy being on any water. However, most anglers and guides have a stretch of water they particurly like. For me it is the float from East Fork to Deadman’s. This stretch of water – has a great variety of structure to fish and a great variety of scenery. It drifts through a very desolate part of Central idaho – so not much visual polution or people pressure. To share a bit with you check out the following pictures.
And a few shots of fish I landed this summer. Yes – I do enjoy to fish and guide.
I don’t typically post about anglers that I guide. But I am making an exception for this day with Chuck and Craig, with their permission. Thanks Chuck and Craig for a great day!
Last week, I had the pleasure guiding Chuck and his father-in-law, Craig. They did a short but successful trip to Stanley Idaho, to fish the Salmon and check-out the Sawtooth Mountains. Fortunately for them the river had finally cleared after a major thunderstorm had muddied up the water for 5 days. Yes – not fun, but the result of last year’s Halstead Fire and a flashflood on Basin Creek. Thank goodness that is behind us!
The day started a little rocky – with a few spins on the ‘dirt’ boat ramp – but once the truck was leveled out – it was a breeze to get up the ramp. The day was very breezy – unusual to have a breeze all day. However, this didn’t deter the fishing. We spent the morning fishing sub-surface and then the action turned to dry flies in the afternoon. I can’t remember the number of fish we landed but I do know we landed some good size west slope cutthroat trout and mountain white fish. And oh did I mention the rainbow that just took off downstream and the big cuttie that was inches from the net! Thanks Chuck and Craig for a great day on the water.