Tuesday, June 26, 2012



Conjugal bliss is alive and well on the Canadian prairie. The early-spring apprehension concerning water conditions in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba has been alleviated by late-spring rains across the duck factory.

Breeding duck populations appear to be higher than 2011. This indicates a large carryover from last year's record production. Reports are Canada geese are everywhere! Mild spring weather should allow for a greater than normal survival rate for all species.  The outlook for production is average to above average as long as there is sufficient moisture to maintain wetland habitat.

If we are lucky enough to have something close to normal fall and winter weather, we should be in for a great 2012-2013 waterfowl season.


Training sessions continue almost on a nightly basis. I get the old girls, Dani and AZ, out at least once a week. AZ managed to tear a toe nail on her front right paw (must have been from her blinding speed) and in doing so she suffered a tear in the web. The injury, however, has done nothing to diminish her enthusiasm for retrieving dummies. For heaven's sake Z you are almost eight years old, act your age!

Dani is Dani. What more can I say? Dani is clearly not for everyone. At nine years of age she remains wired as tight as Pelosi's face. On blind retrieves she takes lines as straight as Mitt at an ice cream social in Panguitch. She would prefer the dummie launcher would fire the footballs half-a-mile to up the degree of difficulty. She is an amazing dog.

Molly continues her education.  She is currently taking aquatics classes at the After Bay, Black Beach and the Dumbell Ranch. Her land classes are being held at the Pathfinder Ranch and the Alcova Municipal Park. Molly may have the best nose of any lab I have ever had. I have to be very careful when I set up her blind retrieves. I have to make sure the blinds are far enough apart so she won't wind the wrong pile. At the Ranch the other night, we had a wind shift mid-session and she winded a dummie from 100 yards! Pretty sure if she gets downwind of a bird...done deal. She may never be a Rhodes Scholar but she will graduate.

Tommie will celebrate her six-month birthday on July 1st. She loves water retrieves and hits the water with unbridled enthusiasm. No more puppy-paddling. When she gets planed out she is a very strong swimmer. We are having a few issues with delivering to hand with land retrieves but I am not worried.


Dani & Molly


The past three days are the essence of why I love guiding fly fishing. For the past several years, Lee and Al have driven from Pasadena, CA, to stay at the Lodge and fish the North Platte with JJ.

Lee and Al had three unbelievable days of fishing. Lee and Al don't throw the tightest loops. They are not the quickest on the set. But their love for the trout and the river is unsurpassed. Watching them rejoice in the thrill of the pull on the end of the fly line is magical.

Lee and Al always bring along six beers, three apiece. The first is in celebration of the first trout to the net, no matter who catches it.  The second is consumed during a river-side lunch. As we approach the takeout at the end of the day, the two remaining beers are held high in toast to the trout, the river and the majesty of Wyoming.

Lee and Al are 80 years young. And yes, I said they drive from Pasadena. God bless 'em!
Lee and Al

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This will undoubtedly come as a shock to many of you, but the wind blows (read sucks) in Wyoming. Actually blows is an understatement. The wind howls in Wyoming.

Day after day we deal with 30+ mph winds. Day after day the wind gusts exceed 40 mph. Of course it only blows upstream so we have to push into it all day. If the Reef was at 800 cfs we would have to pull the boat downstream! When 3' rollers are breaking over the bow of the Clacka, it can be very interesting. The boys on the Wizard and Time Bandit couldn't handle it.

The trout could care less about what is going on above the surface. Their world is filled with prolific amounts of PMD nymphs, Baetis nymphs, scuds, worms, leeches, yellow sallies, golden stones, fillet Mignon, stone crab claws and a '97 Silver Oak. A feast for everyone. (Actually, my Dad will not share the Silver Oak. Sorry)

Fishing has been absolutely spectacular! here are a few pics from recent trips. Pay special attention to the 10" rainbow. Michele would not approve.

Deb Farmer 22" Rainbow

Wis, Guide and 22" Pig

23" Rainbow

10" morbidly obese Rainbow

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My days have been filled with guiding fly fishermen on the Grey Reef and the Miracle Mile and training my Labradors.

Fly fishing has been off the chart! The "Reef" and "Mile" are the most prolific waters for big Rainbows in the West. Day after day, 50+ fish with many over 20".  In spite of many of my anglers being novice fly fishermen, trophy "Bows" are routinely brought to the net. Two experienced anglers will frequently have 100+ hookups in a day.

This past Sunday, my good friend Chris "Wis" Wisner, from Park City, joined me on the Miracle Mile. Also in our flotilla were Chris' friends Patrick and Matt as well as my Dad, Michael. The only way to describe the day was "Epic". It seemed someone from our two drift boats was hooked up all the time. We rotated  the Park City guys so everyone had time in the front of my Clackacraft. Wis certainly made the most of his time up front. In the "Rainbow Run Hole" he hooked something north of 30 fat rainbows in just over an hour. From the rear seat, Michael hooked up often enough that double hook-ups became S.O.P.

Park City friends on The Miracle Mile

Although fishing consumes the bulk of my time, my evenings are filled with working and training dogs. Dani and AZ get enough dummie work and exercise to keep them sharp and physically fit. Their desire and drive is a joy to witness. Tommie is now six months old and exhibits all the qualities you hope for in a retriever. She is doing 150 yard land and water retrieves and never gives up on a retrieve. She busts into heavy cover to find the dummie like an addict looking for her next fix. All retrieves are delivered to hand with unbridled enthusiasm in anticipation of the next.

If you have been following the blog, you have read several installments concerning Molly, my 2 1/2 year old lab. After her "glacial creep" start, Molly continues to progress at tsunami speed. Whether it is triple 300-yard marked retrieves or multiple blind retrieves, Molly continues to amaze. She is taking lines like a seasoned veteran. She nails her hand signals and demonstrates a keen nose. I have seen her wind a dummie from 100 yards! We still have work to do, but it appears she will be ready to take over when either Dani or AZ decide to retire. After seeing her work, Wis commented that Molly reminded him of Brooks, the best lab I have ever had. Fine praise to be compared to Brooks, the "Wonder Dog". While there will never be another Brooks, Molly is indeed developing into a fine WyoBraska Waterfowl retriever.