My newest piece is available in The Drake Magazine. Relying on the things I learned in journalism class, circa 1987 in Blacksburg, VA, I went out and found the story. This article, Big Horn Blunder, tells about the energy company that wants to drill 4,000 new wells west of Casper. That's great news until you hear the rest. They want to dump the waste water into Boysen Reservoir. Boysen is a state park where people fish and swim. Below the dam, the Wind River Canyon is a top-rated trout stream. So you see the problem.
Fishing with Captain Butters on the Glacier Bear, I was able to hang in there long enough to boat this Pacific halibut. I've been fishing in Alaska for years and I think J Dock, in Seward is one of the top charter companies. This was a three-day trip off on Montague Island, 60 miles from Seward. We slept on the boat and ate fresh fish in the galley at night. It was an incredible experience. If we're friends, you're probably be getting halibut for Christmas. PS--this is quite possibly the biggest fish I will ever catch. It was just shy of 62 inches.
I was lucky to be able to take Tom Loepp, a local artists, out on the North Platte this week. Tom comes form the plein aire school of painting, the French style that prioritizes the way things look in natural light. It was fascinating to watch him work. I stood in the river and casted, but I was so curious about what he was doing that I took frequent breaks to look at his progress. I didn't catch any fish, but I had a great time eating lunch with Tom under the Russian olives. We talked about his 25 years of living in New York city as an artist.
Got a chance to fish in Idaho this week. I haven't bought an Idaho license in 20 years, not since Brian Farmer and I went over on a lark and I ended up buying a Clackacraft. This week we floated the sections from Palasades Dam through the Canyon, a forty mile section that we did in two days. Henry loves floating. He behaves himself in the boat as long as there are no nesting geese to chase. We caught whitefish, cut throats, rainbow hybrids and browns. There are dozens and dozens of bald eagles in the canyon that swoop down and touch their talons to the river.
I'll be heading up to Alaska in a few weeks to fish for feeder kings like this one. But closer to home, The Cast, a monthly newsletter about fishing around Casper is gaining some momentum. You can check out the latest installment here: Visitor from the North.
That obscura you see in the background is Henry's leg. I'm trying to get him out more. He weighs 95 pounds and I don't know how that happened. This rain and snow might kill the mushroom harvest. Or it might make them pop up like crazy. We will see.
It's the end of the semester and I've come to the conclusion that I could just as well play old Sam Cooke songs to my students rather than going on and on about MLA rules and what to do in the case of three or more authors. The river is murky, and will remain murky. I deal in murk. And it helps a bit as the trout can't see your leader, or you and your dogs patrolling the riverbank. The hot fly is the brassie, in size 16. Don't make things more complicated than they already are. Do the right thing. There's no reason to fish with bead eggs or Squirmy Wormies. Got back to your roots. Tie on an actual fly, and get to work. Have a beer on the way back to town (but only drink while driving on the dirt roads). Find an Oldies station to guide you homeward. Am I advocating for breaking the law? Hell no. I'm advocating for simplicity.
I used to live in rural Kansas and this is the time of year we always looked forward to. To be In the woods as the first birds begin to sing, to hear the turkeys fly down off their roosts. I loved fishing for bass with my fly rod at the various church ponds. In the spring we caught huge bass and crappie. Here's two kids with their birds on opening day. Steve Schroeder sent me this photo of his son and his son's friend. .Next year I'm going back to see if I can get a tom myself.