Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost Back.

This fall has been a blur: redfishing, the desert, launching my business, and getting ready for Christmas. I'll be back to normal after the new year, but I wanted to make sure Santa knows what I want for Christmas. Thanks to Captain Eric, all I want is a Hell's Bay Glades Skiff in mint green. That will fit in your sleigh, right Santa?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Heading South...

Since Labor Day my life has been beyond hectic. I've been guiding, trying to fish a little, canning tomatoes and dealing with other things in the garden, and preparing for my grand adventure south.

On Thursday, I'll be teaching a cheese making class at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden and then our seven-week trip starts. We'll have to get to Las Cruces, New Mexico by Friday night for Paddy's mom's wedding on Saturday.

Captain Heard with a flounder--only in Texas!

After the wedding shennangians, we'll be heading south to Rockport, Texas, to fish for a couple of weeks. We hope to get into some redfish and maybe even go offshore once or twice. I'm looking forward to hitting up one of my favorite little fly shops, Swan Point Landing, in Rockport.

Once we're thoroughly sunburned and salty, and have maybe even grown a mullet, we'll be hunting in Goliad with my family and some friends from Idaho. We then head back west to Van Horn, Texas, to spend a few weeks roaming the ranch and looking for pictographs. I'll also be getting ready for my first craft show which will be the first weekend of December in Ketchum.

And then it's Thanksgiving. Whew.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


On a recent carp trip to the Snake, Paddy had a trout that kept following his fly around. It's amazing that a two-inch fish can get snagged on a one-inch fly. Does this count as roughfishing? I'll count it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Keeping my Reuptation

I sent Alex, above, some photos from our guide trip a few weeks ago. Most people say they're going to Photo Shop in a bigger fish, but I've never had anyone follow through. I love what Alex has done to the pic--I'll keep encouraging it to keep my reputation--ha ha!

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Blog

My friend Amanda has started a blog, She's fairly new to fly-fishing, but totally consumed with it (like any reasonable person). Read about her adventures--and probably a few of them will include me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Peek into Brown Drakes

Big Brown Bugs from Silver Creek Outfitters on Vimeo.

My buddy Jamie Briscoe, a guide at Silver Creek Outfitters, narrates this video which gives you a peek into the Brown Drake hatch on Silver Creek. As always, my favorite week of the year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh my god, I'm tired.

So, I've totally neglected the blog, the plants, the laundry, the bills, and probably a lot of other stuff. It's summer, though, and that means I'm out on the water. We've had a fantastic season so far. Silver Creek has been unbelievable and I've even been impressed with the Wood. The Lower Lost should be fishable any day now. I realized the other day that I haven't fished myself since July 11, but I've been on the water every day and have enjoyed every minute of it. My schedule is a lot less chaotic after Labor Day and I'm a little sad that it's so soon, but I'm looking forward to a lot of personal fishing this fall. I hope it's not this long until I post again!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What qualifies you?

You know, it's full-on summer in Sun Valley and it's absolute craziness. I've barely had time to sleep, much less blog, but I was really horrified on the river the other day and thought I'd share.

I was guiding three people last Friday on the Big Wood. We were just out for a few hours and they had never fished before--pretty standard gig. The first place we fished was near a private bridge and a guy riding his bike stopped on the bridge to watch. I waved and he started talking to me. He then proceeded to tell me that I was fishing in the wrong spot and then that he doesn't fish the Wood until August which I thought made him especially qualified to tell me what to do--he kept insisting that we move. I brushed it off--it happens fairly regularly--these men see a woman guiding and assume she has no idea what she's doing.

I'm the one that gets paid to take people fishing.

We moved spots for the last part of the trip and got into the fish. Green drakes were coming off and we were all having a great time. A gentleman was walking along the river and came up to us. We were chit chatting about where he was from and how the fishing had been--he was just hanging out wasting some time. After 15 minutes or so he came up to the client I was standing with and told her she needed to set the hook differently, which, by the way, would ensure that she would never land another fish in her life.

These people would never say this to a man.

I'm the one who gets paid to take people fishing.

So, the moral of this story is to keep your mouth shut. I am a professional. There are professional women all around you and we're probably better than our coworkers because we have to prove ourselves daily.

Keep your mouth shut. You're welcome to take our photo because we're so awesome though--haha!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Expanding my Horizons

Summer in Sun Valley--whew!

I've barely had any sleep in the last couple of weeks and we're just getting started. I've been guiding, fishing, sewing, having parties, going to parties and fundrasiers, and I did manage to squeeze in a class on fabric dying and printing the last few nights. The dying was a little hippie-dippy for me, but I managed to redeem myself tonight by creating a block with a Mimbres fish and printing with it. It's helping get my creative juices flowing for some new projects.

On the fishing front, things are improving. Tricos have showed up on Silver Creek, though they're not in full force yet and the Wood is dropping--it should be fishable in a few days. I guided in Copper Basin on Tuesday, though, and it's still crazy high up there. All I can say is that we're going to have an amazing fall!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brown Drakes!

I finally feel like I've recovered from Brown took a while. It's my favorite week of fishing of the year. This year's hatch was several weeks later than normal, but still caught us by surprise. We used a canoe every night so we went all out. In the photo below you can see our extensive antipasto selection. I kept joking about all the stuff we brought and said I was going to bring a chandelier and an umbrella to complete the picnic!

Nick and Kristina enjoying the heavy hors d'oeuvres.

The hatch in the middle of a thunderstorm. Craziness!

Kristina said she came in a girl and wanted to leave a woman. We finally stopped gossiping long enough to make that happen!

Paddy caught this bad boy during the thunderstorm. I love the colors of the fish and the awesome rainbow.

Nick and Ryan, from Salt Lake, drove up to join us one night. They're canoeing down to the take-out to avoid the coming storm, but ended up paddling through some of the craziest lightning I've ever seen as well as hail and really heavy rain. When I picked them up, they were all smiles.

It was another amazing year of drakes with awesome friends. I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texas Style

I saw this posted several places and it was supposedly in Texas. This October could get interesting...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Check out the new issue of Sun Valley Magazine--on local newstands and airports around the country. The new issue is the water issue and I saw a variety of familiar face in there whether they were paddlers, fly-fishers, or even Trout Friendly Lawns. There was an awesome photo essay by my friend and fellow guide, Nick Price, and I wrote a short piece about hopper fishing on the creek. Check it out!

Photo by Nick Price.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Early Season Fishing

Well, I've been avoiding this, but I guess it's time to talk about the early season fishing in the Wood River Valley. As you know, there's too much water everywhere. We're not as bad as Montana--they have snow pack up to 350% in places. Our snowpack is about 175% and it's coming off very slowly. We've only had one day over 70 degrees and the Wood is at 2300 cfs and not rising. I was expecting a big flood, but I think we're just going to have a slow melt and the Wood won't be fishable for a long time. I did manage to guide it a couple of weekends ago and it was great, but it may be another month before we can get back out there.

Our saving grace, and realy one of the only places to fish in the West, is Silver Creek. We've had a slow start. I think because of the cold weather there haven't been a lot of bugs, but there have been enough to have a nice morning. Last weekend, I was guiding a trip on Lower Silver Creek, expecting Brown Drakes and the wind picked up and blew everything away. In a desparation move, we went to the Preserve and actually had nice fishing throughout the afternoon. There were a few PMDs, some baetis, and lots of midges. By the 4th of July I expect the fishing to have improved greatly.

So...I mentioned Brown Drakes and I'm really disappointed to say that they haven't come off yet. Brown Drakes are one of those BBC documentary freaks of nature events and the hatch is my favorite week of the year. This is my seventh year to fish them and I expected them about two weeks seems like they may never happen now, but I know I have to be patient.

Long story short, Silver Creek is what's happening and by July it'll be full-on bonanza.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And I thought I could avoid having to post about feathers…

So, we all know about the feathers in the hair thing. I think it’s cool, but I haven’t gotten any because I know that it could contribute to crazy high fly prices—or even worse—no hackle left in the world. Moldy Chum posted last week that the fad had gone even further to include dogs—ridonkulous.

Anyhoo, I’m an Etsy whore. I love shopping on Etsy and it’s a great source of inspiration for my own crafts. I’ve noticed over the last month a number of feather listings that have knocked my socks off and today was by far the craziest. I’ve seen whole saddles for $400 and today I saw 20 feathers listed for $75. That’s $3.75 a feather!!!!!!!! Of course, to a hair stylist, that’s cheap because they’re charging $10-$20 a feather, but if there’s only the hackle left on our fly-tying desks, there could be a worldwide shortage of flies.

Paddy is considering selling some crazy hackle colors that he never uses so he can buy an iPad. I hope he can sell enough so I can get one too!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

New Notebooks on Etsy

Since it was snowing today, I cranked out some sewing instead of going fishing. You can check out my new stuff on Etsy here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Opening Day!

Last Saturday was opening day--aka Christmas at my house. I slung flies at Sturtos in the morning (I hadn't done that in a LONG time) and then headed down to Silver Creek for the opening day BBQ and to get a little fishing in. The BBQ was awesome, it feels like home being there and I get to chew the fat with all of my favorites. I headed on the water a couple of hours later, but could barely find a place without some yay-hoo flailing in the middle of fish. It was super frustrating watching so many people doing so many things wrong, but I know they'll get frustrated and never come back so it's cool. My first guide trips are this weekend and I'm feeling good about the 2011 season.

Fish on!

Several generations at the Silver Creek BBQ who wouldn't know what to do without the creek. King, Dayna and her son Ben, Paddy, and me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chasing Tail--Texas Style

The Allied. A sweet Bahamian boat that's mahogany covered with fiberglass. She's heavy, but a beaut.

I've finally recovered from my "vacation" to Texas to do some redfishing. We left Goliad every morning between 4 and 5 and were out on the water all day. It was the first sun my body had seen in over six months, but my sunburn wasn't too bad. We had some funky weather while we were down there--it was downright cool--the people working at the ferry in Port Aransas were wearing coats and stocking hats! That made for some slow fishing, but we did catch some fish--mostly sea trout--and learned a TON for our next trip in October. We all learned to pole--only Pop fell in the water--we learned about different water, different flies, fish behavior, and saw a few new bird species. My favorite is the tri-colored heron--crazy hackle!

The boat broke down on Friday when we were trying to go in--it ended up being the ignition and a short in the engine. I did catch a sea trout while we were floating around the bay.

Being pulled back in to Goose Island by Captains Heard.

Paddy can't go to Texas without shooting a pig. It was awfully delicious on Mother's Day. YUM!

It's taken me a week to recover from my trip, but I'm already planning my next trip south--I see some big bull reds in my future.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Simms at Sturtevants

We hope you can join us at this awesome event! Bring your felt-soled boots--I can't believe you still have them?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mullets and Hell's Bay Boats

I’m so tired, I can barely type, but the show must go on.

I’ve been in Texas for twelve days—hanging out with the folks and redfishing. Chance, the lovely gentleman at Swan Point Landing was awesome and it’s great to be able to go to a fly shop in Rockport, Texas. I’m exhausted, sunburned, and defeated, but it was great going down south and I plan on another trip in October. I could grow a mullet and buy a Hell’s Bay before you know it.

I’m at home base today catching up; fortunately, the fly-tying class I teach was canceled so that I can do a few things at home.

Tomorrow, I’m heading west for the Sandy River Spey Clave. I’ve been trying to go for years and even though I should be at home, I’m going for it. I can’t wait to see some friends and learn lots. I think driving by myself will be a nice change of pace, too.

Last week, the Blue Collar issue of Blood Knot was released. Check it out here.

We’re 16 days from opening day and I can’t wait. I’ve got so much to do to get ready, but I guess I have so much to do in general.

2011 is a great year, period.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Flat Stanley Visits the Lower Lost

My cousin Luke sent out Flat Stanley to visit to some places for a little geography lesson. He made it to beautiful Sun Valley and went fishing on the Lower Lost. Amanda and I took a pic with him. He had a few tragedies throughout the day and fell in the river more than once. He dried off quickly and has been waiting on the fridge for another adventure.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Emotionally Distraught Youngsters

I should be posting about how amazing the fishing's been in Stanley and on the Lost, but I'm too lazy and too busy to download photos. I was looking at a competitor's website, Silver Creek Outfitters, and saw this amazing photo of some really traumatized children--I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard.

It's 10 days until I'm in Texas redfishing, so I guess that means I have ten days of steelhead left--I better make it count!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Texas Redfish!

Paddy and I are heading south in a few weeks to hit up some redfish on the Texas coast. Redfishing is definitely the cheapest way to hit the salt, especially since it's home for me so I'll have my awesome mom to take care of us, my dad to pull the sweet flats boat we're hooked up with, and Whataburger and Shiner Bock to keep us fueled.

I'm especially Jonesin' since it's snowing here and the high will be 37 today while it's going to be 90 in Goliad, Texas. Ugh!

I need help tying flies...any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

April Fools Steelhead

Driving up to Stanley.

April 1 is always a good indicator of the steelhead season. Two years ago, we caught 10 fish in an hour, last year, we counted 180 cars within 20 miles of Stanley, and this year we had an amazing spring day.

Last Friday, I met Keith and Paddy in Stanley for what turned out to be a beautiful day of steelheading. Keith broke his My Rock curse by landing a nice fish early on and Paddy and I followed his lead down river. It was amazingly warm and sunny--it was the only time I've had to take off layers steelheading.

Chillaxin' on the beach.
Keith's first fish of the day.
My wild buck. No, the pic wasn't Photoshopped. He's on his way to make some babies next month!

Days like Friday remind me of why I live in Idaho. It's only one more day until I get to go back! Paddy and Carl have officially moved into the Tyvek Teepee, btw. Fun times.

Another beautiful day in the Sawtooths.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Killing it on the Lost

The midges are pretty small compared to the net, but there were a ton of them.

Lost River Whitey--beautiful fish over there.

Another cookie cutter rainbow on the Lost.

Amanda with her first fish of the day.

Last Monday, my friend Amanda and I headed over to the Lost for some SNOWY fishing. I hooked a fish on my first cast, which is one of the reasons I love fishing over there. The fishing was amazing all afternoon. There were two types of midges, a sprinkling of baetis, and heads up everywhere. The best thing about fishing was knowing it wasn't going to end in April when the river normally closes. The river's going to be open year-round--WINNING!

It's also finally full-on steelhead season. Paddy caught 12 today--an I had to work--poo poo.

In conclusion, the fishing's amazing right now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Little Permit Porn

Some lovely clients of mine just sent these photos from Ascension Bay. They definitely succeeded at making me jealous. At least I'll be in the Texas flats stalking redfish in about six weeks!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Horrible, horrible, horrible...please help us stop the megaloads

March 21, 2011 in Idaho
Idaho House moves to block anti-megaload lawsuits
Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review

BOISE - The Idaho Legislature is moving to block citizen lawsuits over giant megaloads on the state’s highways, with legislation clearing the House Monday to require a big up-front cash bond from anyone filing such a lawsuit.

” I think it will stop frivolous lawsuits,” said Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, sponsor of the bill. HB 193 would require anyone suing over a transportation project on Idaho roads to first post a bond equal to 5 percent of the insured value of the load. Harwood said his bill was prompted by the controversial hauling of giant megaloads of oil equipment on Highway 12, to which local residents and businesses along the route have objected.

Harwood said he included an emergency clause to block more lawsuits over upcoming megaloads; ConocoPhillips has hauled two giant truckloads across the twisting, two-lane highway, taking up both its lanes; ExxonMobil plans more than 200 over the next year.

“The emergency clause was put in there because we felt that there was going to be more lawsuits coming, and we felt that we needed to get this done,” Harwood told the House.

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said, “We have a number of frivolous lawsuits now that cost our state money, that don’t accomplish very much but delay our economic growth and viability.”

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, objected. “How are these individuals going to come up with the amount of money that is going to be necessary, which could be considerable amounts of money?” she asked. “To me, it puts in place sort of a David and Goliath situation.”

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said, “I think the people that live on Highway 12 and the people that recreate on Highway 12, including the outfitters and guides, have a huge financial stake in this process. For that reason, I think there needs to be an open public process.”

The House vote 53-16 in favor of the bill, which now moves to the Senate. All 13 of the House’s minority Democrats voted against the bill; they were joined by three Republicans, Reps. Tom Trail of Moscow, Leon Smith of Twin Falls, who is the House Transportation chairman, and Lynn Luker of Boise.

Trail said the state’s current permit fees for giant megaloads don’t cover all its costs to process the permits. “So each one of those loads that goes over Highway 12 is partially subsidized by the Idaho taxpayers,” he said. “This legislation is very discriminatory against individuals and businesses along routes like this, as well as other citizens, who might have a legitimate gripe that they want to bring to the legal process.”

Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, said, “You need to cut to the chase. If we’re going to improve (and) retain what economy we have in this state, we need to get equipment from here to there, we need production. And in order to facilitate that, we need this lawsuit issue resolved. This bill does that. You may not like it, but it’s necessary.”

A week and a half ago, Idaho Rivers United filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ExxonMobil megaload permits.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Beyond the Fly

I'm a little late in the blogosphere posting this, but I thought it would be better late than never. Beyond the Fly is a new print magazine for women fly-fishers. I am beyond stoked to hear about the magazine to say the least.

On a more local note, I hit the Wood on Saturday with one of my new lady-friends and we had a variety of large bows rising to midges until we froze our fingers off. Also, Paddy popped some steelies on Thursday--I can't believe it's that time already! I look forward to popping a few of my own this Thursday! I just love spring fishing! And using exclamation points, apparently...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Blood Knot Wet Issue

Check out the new issue of Blood Knot. We've got steelhead, steelhead, and steelhead, oh my...and some other stuff.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Giant Mayfly

This is getting me excited about Brown Drakes...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zone 4 Magazine

The Spring Issue of Zone 4 Magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday with an article by me! Zone 4 is an awesome magazine that features gardens and gardening info about Zone 4--my zone and a difficult one to grow in. Check it out if you're in the far north--there's some amazing stuff in there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All my wildest dreams have come true

I was scanning the blog roll this morning and saw the third issue of Ten and Two is out. I hadn't heard of it yet so I took a peek and it's a reincarnation of Fish and Fly--the best fishing magazine that's ever been printed! It'll be nice to give my issues of Fish and Fly a break since I've been re-reading them since the mag went out of print. I'm doubly excited about this issue which features the dirty south pretty heavily. I'm going redfishing in Texas in May and have a one track mind right now.

Anyhoo, it's awesome stuff and I definitely recommend taking a look.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

March Fly-tying Classes

Beginner Fly-tying
March 3 and March 29
$30 for both classes, includes materials
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Join Morgan Buckert, local fly-fishing guide, at The Loft in Hailey to learn the basics of fly-tying. She will start at the beginning and teach some standard patterns for fishing in the Wood River Valley. Please bring a vise, bobbin, whip finisher, and scissors if you have them. A 15% off coupon for fly-tying tools and materials at Sturtevants in Hailey and materials for the class are included in the class fee. Please call 788-5114 for more information or to register. Class size is limited.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Support Mia Sheppard and Casting for Recovery

Mia Sheppard will be supporting Casting for Recovery at this year's Spey-o-Rama. Held on April 17 in San Francisco, Mia will be kicking some ass and helping out a great cause. You can support her here. I hope to see her skills at work during the 2011 Sandy River Spey Clave.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Governor’s office chafes at treatment over bull trout, considers suing feds

By Jay Patrick
February 3rd, 2011

State is grandstanding on issue, says an environmental group

Gov. Butch Otter’s office is contemplating suing the federal government over its new designation of critical habitat for bull trout.

“It’s just this overarching, overbearing, overwhelming designation,” said Nate Fisher, administrator of the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation.

The critical habitat areas established last fall by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designates 8,772 stream miles and 170,218 acres of lakes and reservoirs in the state as critical habitat. The rule came following input from interests across the board, including the state. Fisher said the feds flat out ignored the state’s input.

“The final rule included everything possible, everything even remotely feasible. It was breathtaking in scope and it was alarming in its complete and utter dismissal of the state of Idaho,” Fisher said.

The federal government first set critical habitat in the early 2000s, following the listing of the bull trout on the endangered species list in 1998. Environmental groups sued the government back then, saying that areas designated were not extensive enough. Back and forth action since then led to the new designation last fall.

Water users fear the designation could result in new restrictions on irrigation, power generation, and new dam building, particularly in the Boise River Basin.

“This new designation simply could not be much worse for Idaho water,” said Norm Semanko, Idaho WaterUsers Association executive director, last fall in the Idaho Statesman. He could not be reached for this story.

“We feel that it (the designation) was arrived at by the use of sound science with ample opportunity for public agency and state feedback,” said Liz Paul, Boise River campaign coordinator with Idaho Rivers United. “Idaho Rivers United thinks that the state is doing a little grandstanding on this issue and is not exhibiting a full understanding of the role of critical habitat designation.”

Paul did commend Idaho Fish and Game Department for helping bull trout establish a “robust” population across the state since the 1990s.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, senior conservation associate with the Idaho Conservation League, said the federal designation was well thought out and that his organization doesn’t buy the dire economic consequences resulting from the designation predicted by water users (Semanko has said the designation could cost $1 billion.) 
”We question that doomsday scenario,” Oppenheimer said. “Really the designation of critical habitat raised the bar a little bit (but) we don’t really see a huge change.”

Fisher counters: “They really don’t see any more restrictions on land use. The concern that we have is that it opens the door to potential lawsuits.”

Fisher said a timeline has not been set on a decision to sue the feds in order to put the designation on hold and force reconsideration of the habitat designation.

Idaho Reporter

Monday, February 07, 2011

Something Fishy on Etsy

I put together a treasury of awesome fish stuff on Etsy last week. Check it out on Blood Knot.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

When it's too cold to fish...

It has been bitterly cold in Idaho for the past month. We started winter off with some awesome snow, but it's been so cold that we haven't had any snow in well over a month. It's even been so cold that the river has frozen over for days at a time. I've managed to go out twice since the new year and it was fantastic, but it's just too dang cold. Instead of fishing, I've been trying to build my Etsy site and finish some sewing orders. I've been wanting to try to make something out of waders and made myself a handbag a couple of weeks ago. The waders were surprisingly easy to sew and the bag looks fantastic, but looks horribly crooked in this photo for some reason.

I'm hoping for some more snow--both for the skiing and the fish--and some warmer temps so I can fish a little more. I guess it is winter in Idaho, though.

P.S. It's only about a month until steelhead season!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

2011 Christmas List

I was scrolling This is Fly this morning and saw a super pimp reel with skull and crossbones. It looked like an Abel so I went to their website to check out what was going on besides the insanely expensive nippers that everyone's in a huff about. I didn't see the skull and crossbones, but I think I need everything else...

WOW! I want everything!


Belt Buckles!

Derek De Young!

And Tribal Salmon, oh my!

On a much more reasonable note, it hasn't snowed here in over a month, but the backcountry skiing is still great on north facing slopes. Also, the midges have been insane even though it's been to cold to really have anything on the water. I hope they don't peter out before it gets warmer in March.

Also, I'm super stoked that the Lower Lost will be open in April and May! There will be insane spring fishing that we've never had before. I'm really looking forward to it--and steelhead season!