Cook Yourself a Hot Lunch on the River This Winter

cook-a-hot-lunch-winterWe have always fished in the winter. Heck, we are guiding every day in the summer. When are we supposed to fish?

I remember the day I decided to change what we eat on the river during winter. A cold sandwich just wasn’t cutting it.

One winter we wanted to fish but it was just too dang cold in Idaho. My dad and I decided we would take a weekend trip to Montana. Teton Valley is pretty close to Montana. So we left early one morning and drove to Craig Montana. We wanted to fish streamers on the Missouri River. Idaho is usually colder than the parts of Montana we fish in the winter. Trying to escape the cold, we found it was pretty damn cold in Montana too.

The river at Craig had floating ice.

Have you ever fished a river with floating ice? How about some advice? Don’t do it. It sucks. First off, its absolutely bitter outside. Think fingerless gloves. Ouch! Then try casting your line and streamer over, under and through floating ice. Yeah. It sucks.

Making a short day of it at Craig, we called up to Livingston to find out how the Yellowstone was fishing. “Any floating ice?” we asked.

“No, it’s been fishing well”, was the reply.

That was it we packed up the gear and drove over Bozeman for the night and then on to the Yellowstone the next day.

What do think we found? Yep, more freaking floating ice.

We had been so cold on the Missouri we decided cold sandwiches just weren’t going to cut it. We bought some cans of soup for a lunch on the river.

Have you ever been to Livingston Montana? Do you know they have some sort of wind festival there? Yeah, it gets windy. So we had floating ice and the wind was brutal. Considering the conditions we took and early lunch. In the wind. In the bitter cold. Then we put our cans of soup in the fire. Yeah, it worked but it wasn’t the best.

Ironically I had been looking at JetBoil cookers the day before we left. However, there were none to be found in Driggs. Well, let me tell you I don’t go fishing in the winter without my JetBoil. Why you ask?

  • You can cook your soup in just minutes
  • You can cook in the boat
  • No burned hot soup can to hold
  • Packs up small and light
  • Cook soup, or like Brian above, you can fry a HotPocket

If you are planning on fishing the winter months anywhere other than Florida or Mexico, get a JetBoil. You won’t regret it.

Your Deadly Fly Fishing Gear Attracts the Attention of Airport Security

China ClipperRemember the days when travel was actually fun? Not the destination but the whole process. I think of those Pan Am Clippers flying to exotic places. What a cool time. Those cool times are long gone. The only thing cool about travel today are your toes. They get a breather. They get to cool off. The last security checkpoint I went through I followed a guy who’s feet should be labeled a deadly weapon. Those dogs should never see the light of day in public.

I’m telling you something you already know. Travel is a pain. Cancelled flights. Overbooked airlines. Standby. Sometimes I feel like B. A. Baracus and need someone to drug me before I get on a plane.

BA BaracusOne thing you can count on with the TSA or other countries security, they aren’t consistent. Sure you can look up the allowed items for a carry on bag. Just be ready have something confiscated or deemed only worthy for checked baggage.

If you have been following my newsletter, you know I hate to check bags. I take everything I need in my carry-on bag. On a recent trip to Mexico did just that, put everything in my Patagonia Black Hole Duffel. The only other carry-on I had was a Sage four-piece rod holder. I read the TSA approved travel items. I was golden. I made it through security with no more hassle than is considered normal these days.

Black Hole DuffelMy return trip I packed the exact same way. Going through security in Mexico happened to be a different story. I think I could have made it home faster by hiring a coyote to smuggle me across the border.

Did you know that not only are certain fly patterns deadly to bonefish, they are also considered deadly to Mexican airport security? Me neither. But they are, at least on this day. Tomorrow, who knows?

The Mexican security didn’t realize how prepared I was for this type of trouble. In my Black Hole bag I had another bag. My Patagonia Stormfront Sling fishing pack. Inside of it were my flies and nothing else. This proved to be really handy because my bonefish/permit flies could not be put in an overhead compartment. They were just too deadly. The fishing pack was then taken back to the airline counter and checked for $25 bucks. I was able to keep all my other gear with me in my carry on.

On your next fishing trip requiring air travel, try this trick of packing a bag inside a bag. You will only be missing whatever they deem unsafe at that moment. You can use the other bag in your carry on for your killer flies.

How To Hold Trout For Photos

We all want photos of our fly fishing adventures. But how do you hold trout for photos? Getting that great shot of your trout can be tricky.

how to hold trout for photos

There’s the traditional “grip and grin” style photo. Hey these are classic for a reason. Easy to hold and shoot. Surprising though how many times holding a trout for photos gets screwed up. Hand placement is key. Don’t cover the fish with your hands. Also notice this guy isn’t extending his arms all the way out. Just a nice bend. He is also holding the trout a good distance between his face and his waist, or the bottom of the photo.

how to hold trout for photos

Here is a nice little twist to the “grip and grin”. See how she has turned her body toward the trout and is looking down at it? Very nice. Just changing up the traditional a little bit makes a big difference. She is also holding the trout lower and near the water for a nice shot. She is also using very little hand to hold the fish. You get a good shot of the tail that way.

how to hold trout for photos

In this shot, he could have gone with the traditional style, but moved the head of the trout toward the camera. See how he is keeping the tail back in the traditional position? Just moving the head forward make a dramatic change in the photo. Again, he is also using his hand placement well too. Not hiding the tout. Perfect distance between his face and the bottom of the photo.

how to hold trout for photos

I love these shots. Just get your mug out of the picture for a totally different feel. This is great too because the trout is in the water. Good place for a trout to be, eh? Take note of how his hand by the tail is just supporting every so slightly. This gets the whole trout in the photo. Very nice.

how to hold trout for photos

Underwater trout photos almost always look awesome. Get creative.

You could do every one of these photos with the same trout. Just be quick about it and make sure your trout gets time in the water between each shot.

Taking some time before you go fishing to think about your photos will help a ton too. Once you are on the water have your phone or camera ready. Take a deep breath, relax and get some  great shots.

Who uses a camera anymore?