Domestic

Off the Water

  • By: Jim Dean
A-Bar Ranch

Fly fishermen were shocked and saddened when eastern Idaho’s fabled A-Bar closed in 2008 [see “Last Call,” March 2010 Fly Rod & Reel] but the good news is this: The A-Bar, legendary among parched trout fishermen, road-weary travelers and rambunctious locals, was purchased by TroutHunter, its next-door neighbor, and is being refurbished with plans to reopen this summer.

“Our goal is to fix the roof, do some painting and repairs and reopen on July 4, 2011, or as soon after that as possible,” says Rich Paini, one of the A-Bar’s new co-owners. Other partners include Paini’s wife, Millie, Jon Stiehl, Allen Ball and renowned fly tier René Harrop.

Pay to Play

  • By: Will Rice
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
  • , Will Rice
  • , Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
Private Waters

When i was growing up in southern Idaho, private property meant, “Close the gates behind you and don’t spook the cows.” The rare No Trespassing sign just meant a grouchy old farmer didn’t like his neighbors. But by simply asking permission we were able to hunt pheasants in the stubble-fields and fish for rainbows and cutthroat in the moss-filled spring creeks. In exchange, we occasionally dropped off a couple of fish or a brace of mallards for our hosts.

Before Hell Freezes Over

  • By: Jim Butler
  • and Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Cathy Beck
  • , Barry Beck
  • , Jim Butler
  • , Mark Lance
  • , Jim Harris
  • , Jeff Edvalds
  • and Greg Thomas
Man holding fish.

We all have one: A list of places we just have to fish sometime. Some we’ve never been to, some deserve a return visit. They’re the places that occupy our daydreams, when we’re stuck in a meeting and wish we were somewhere else, when we’re shoveling the drive after yet another dumping of snow… These are places where the weather’s always good, the tides are in our favor and the fish are on the feed (in those daydreams, anyway). Our lists include familiar waters (perhaps because there’s a certain comfort in that familiarity, but also because the fishing can be terrific) mixed with plenty of exotic locations we may never get to. But we can dream, can’t we?

Junkie Fix - Northwest Steelhead or Tierra Del Fuego's Sea-Run Browns

  • By: Dec Hogan
  • Photography by: Dec Hogan
Dec Hogan with Rio Grande Brown Trout

After years of dreaming and fantasizing about fishing sea-run brown trout in South America I finally scratched that 30-year itch. And let me tell you it felt, at once, familiar and good.

You may already know that my passion is pursuing steelhead on western rivers, where a good day is just being on beautiful water swinging a pretty fly, anticipating an electrifying grab. A great day is when I actually hook a steelhead and anything beyond that is considered a banner day. It’s what I’ve come to expect; it’s how I roll.

Streamers on Calm Waters

  • By: Dave Hughes
Streamer On Calm Waters

I fished the yamsi ranch last spring, in the sparsely settled and flat pine-forest country of southern Oregon, with owner John Hyde. John grew up on the ranch. He raises range-fed beef when he’s not involved in his first love, guiding folks on his home waters. He’s tall, slender; his hat and mustache are both broad.

Sex Dungeons, Yellow Yummies, Moscow Mules

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
Sex Dungeon

I like catching as many fish as possible, and I’m prone to keeping at least loose track of numbers if only to gauge, in a vaguely scientific way, one day or one season versus another. Some say that scorecard mentality is all about vanity and ego. In fact, I’ll take quality over quantity every time because dealing in sheer numbers, in fishing and life, is a setup for failure.

Ask the Experts On Henry's Fork: Rene Harrop

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
  • and James Anderson
Rene Harrop

René Harrop has lived and breathed the Henry’s Fork fishery for decades. His company, House of Harrop, produces some of the leading flies for the area; he was a founding partner of Trouthunter, a top fly shop on the river; and his artwork, writing and overall philosophy of fishing have inspired and enlightened countless fly-fishers, on the Henry’s Fork and elsewhere. Harrop lives in Last Chance, Idaho. We caught up with him there.

Yellowstone Area Report

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
Yellowstone Fishing

Along about late June, we began receiving fishing reports that the Yellowstone region was bursting with great fly-fishing. Here’s an update: Dick Greene of Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop in West Yellowstone says: “We had high-water issues early in the season, but the water cleared fast. The salmonfly hatch was a good as I’ve ever seen it…the bugs exploded…

Running the Dean

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
Running the Dean

Past July I was speaking with Geoff Moore of Tourism British Columbia, trying to secure a flight to Bella Coola. He said, “Greg, according to our records you’ve tried to get this flight and a spot on the Dean River for 15 years.” I’m a patient man—and so is Moore. Later, flight confirmation showed up in an e-mail with an interesting addendum. Moore, an avid angler, wrote, “I’ll give you the good news and the bad news at once. Here’s a ticket to paradise…and a return ticket home.”

Return to Henry's Fork

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
fork.jpg

Where the rejuvenated fishing on this classic trout river is far better than you might have heard.