Friday, December 27, 2013


I am terribly sorry, I have been unable to get my sorry-assed ghost rider out of the pit.  I mean literally! We got him in but extraction has been an  an issue. No fear, he has food and water and a couple of days a week I send hunters join him so that his social skills (albeit limited) do not totally erode.

Hunting has been very good so far this season. However, I know I am ready to get my butt kicked. It can't be good every day or so they say.

The videos are raw footage shot by my non de plume. The video editing capabilities are a challenge in the pit so please bear with us.

This video is of my 2 year old lab, Tommie.  She has made the starting line-up this year.  She still has graduate work to complete her degree but her enthusiasm makes up for occassional lapses in technique. She does five flawless retrieves here.  Hunters got a limit of big Canadas by 10:00 AM at Location X.

This video is from a magical day at Location X. Limits of geese and mallards in 40 mph wind. We needed one drake for a limit and he was culled from amixed  flock of geese and mallards.


Monday, November 11, 2013


The Lord continues to smile upon WyoBraska Waterfowl.  The first hunters of the year were scheduled for Nov 6th and 7th. The first wave of mallards arived on Tuesday, Nov 5th. Naw.. I wasn't worried a bit. 

Shelley and Brian Kadison
Beverly Hills, CA
Retriever - Molly
On the 5th, the skies were filled with a major migration of lesser Canada geese.  I assumed some mallards were moving with them and shor nuff they were. I have had hunters every day since the 6th and they have taken limits every day.

Spencer, Tate, Benson Holmes
Sandy, UT
Retriever - Molly
 Had a great moring today.  Worked several big bunches of 30-75 birds that we did not shoot into. I don't need to educate that many birds this early in the season.  We were still done by 7:15!

Tate, Benson and Spencer Holmes
Salndy, UT/
Retriever -Tommie
Of course I can't guarantee what is going to happen in the future, but it is looking good right now.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know..I know…

Bill Withers

We sincerely appreciate your understanding regarding the lack of posts to this blog.  We want everyone to know my ghost writer has escaped unharmed from the domestic terrorist group.  He or she (in no way does this imply my ghost writer has gender identity issues) was kidnapped during a bus tour of the Bakken Formation oil fields near Williston, ND.  His/her escape was facilitated by his/her captors leaving a door unlocked while they were attending a pro-abortion, anti- high capacity magazine, pro-amnesty, anti-Keystone XL pipeline, save the wolves, students for the legalization of marijuana, great hot springs of the west, free education for all, any drone will do, free Doritos for life (splinter group of the students for legalization of marijuana), Norsten for MOMA, save the whales (not to be confused with Mrs. Hussein’s Let’s Move initiative, Occupy Williston, workers of the world unite, love that, protect women’s reproductive rights in third world countries, global warming, day against police brutality, PETA, actions against globalization, international day of farmers’ struggles, international media democracy day, pro Saudi women’s drivers’ education, and eat more chicken day rally.

Thank God he/she is safe.

Summer 2013

This summer on the Grey Reef was the most consistent fly fishing in my ten years of guiding for the North Platte Lodge. Fifty fish to the net days were common place and there were numerous seventy five to one hundred fish days as well. Lots of 20+ inch rainbows. In fact there were many more days of 20+ than without.  Late summer into the fall the big Brown Trout made an appearance. 25+ inch fish were a weekly occurrence.  It was the best of times.

Even JJ can catch 'em
Grey Reef Rainbow


Waterfowl in North America continue to be near 25 year highs. This year’s fall flight forecast is only slightly below last year’s record count of 48 million birds. Now we need Mother Nature to cooperate and give us a more normal transition from fall into winter.  A steady migration should give WyoBraska Waterfowl another stellar season.

I observed the first signs of the migration in the last week. Sand Hill cranes and snow geese are doing their high altitude fly overs. The early migrators blue wing teal, pintails, gadwall and shovelers have been frequenting the Henry Lake during October.  This week the visitors are green wing teal, wigeon and mallards. While working on the pit at the lake Saturday evening, we had a flock of 200 lesser Canada geese stop for the night.  The migration has begun!

The past two weeks have been spent preparing the river and lake blinds for the season.  The goose pits will be readied the middle of this month.

River Blind
It is going to be a very busy season.  I have hunters every day starting November 6th through February 10th with the exception of December 23, 24 and Christmas Day.  I am gratified by the support of my clients but I am looking forward to those three days!

Thinking the pro marijuana issue may have had something to do with the unlocked door.

Friday, July 26, 2013


I know it has been a long time since last post.

Fly fishing on the Grey Reef section of the North Platte has been the best in my ten years of guiding here. One hundred fish days too many to count. The Lodge has had to re-order our 25"+ fish hats three times and it is only mid-July.

We know it can't last forever, but it sure has been fun. A few of this year's catch.

28" Brown

30" Brown

25" Rainbow Pig

25" Brown

26" Rainbow

25" Rainbow

 Yes, I actually went fun fishing one evening on a "Guides Night Float".

Friday, April 19, 2013


The 2012-2013 waterfowl season ended mid-March as we waved goodbye to the last flock of snow geese as they flew overhead on the return leg of their amazing 6000 mile round trip journey from the Arctic tundra of Nunavut to Louisiana and back..

This year's season was frequently interrupted by inclement weather. What initially appeared to be an early beginning to the migration, morphed into one of frequent starts and stops.

1.5 million snow geese were staged on Squaw Creek Refuge in northwest Missouri in late February until a spring snowstorm caused the mass to return to Arkansas and Louisiana. The storm forced us to cancel hunters from February 26 to March 8. Fortunately most of our hunters were able to reschedule to later dates in March.

Sunset Snows
Snows on final approach

The stutter start of the migration resulted in a steady stream of birds rather than a mass exodus. The more orderly migration proved a boon for our hunters. I have hunted the spring snow goose season since its inception in 1998 and this year our hunters harvested the most snow geese ever.


The spring snow goose season provides wonderful training situations for young dogs. I opted to not bring the "old girls" to Fairbury this year. Dani has made the trip for the past nine years and AZ for the past seven. Over the years they have retrieved in the neighborhood of 8000 snow geese. I decided it was time for them to begin their semi-retirement and give the young girls the work.

Snow goose hunting is physically demanding on dogs. Retrieving 40-60 birds a day in ice cold water is not my idea of a good time but it is Valhalla for Labs. Three year old Molly amazed my hunters with her ability to handle 400+ yard blind retrieves with style and enthusiasm.

Puppy Tommie performed like a seasoned veteran. She had a 60 bird day, along with many days of over 30 birds,. and was as excited on the last as she was on the first. I look forward to her training progress this summer.

Tommie on the chase

The record harvest of snow geese capped off a record 2012-2013 waterfowl season. WyoBraska Waterfowl hunters harvested a record number of mallards and Canada geese as well. I shall refrain from divulging the exact numbers in deference to local hunters. Jealousy is such a pitiful emotion.

I am so very blessed to have a loyal group of clients. Some of whom have been hunting with me for over 15 years. Because of their support the upcoming 2013-2014 season is totally sold out. I am very grateful.

May the waterfowl go north and prosper.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I am currently in Fairbury waiting for the snow goose migration. So far, we have had a little stutter- start to the season. 

What appeared to be an early start for the snow goose migration has returned to a more normal time frame. The back-to-back snow storms that hit Kansas and Missouri have pushed most of the geese back to Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. However, we have seen a small migration beginning the last few days. The forecast calls for warmer weather and  hopefully that will kick things into high gear.

The 2012-2013 fall/winter waterfowl season was on a similar roller coaster. November through mid-December saw above normal temperatures along with continuation of the drought.  The North Platte experienced reduced flows; however, we had enough water at our river location in Nebraska. The river refuge at Lingle had enough water to attract the ducks and geese. We also had sufficient water in our lake in Wyoming.

The warmer than normal weather did affect our goose hunting this year. We had fewer big Canadas and significantly more lesser Canadas in both Wyoming and Nebraska. For the second year in a row, many of the big guys stayed in Montana. In February 80% of our geese were little yappers.

Have I mentioned I harbor a great dislike of the lesser Canada goose? They usually fly in huge flocks which makes them difficult to decoy into our normal shooting range. Oh, they get you all revved up when a hundred of them lock up and descend to eighty yards. But like the cheerleader in high school they usually break your heart. Well, not every time. I seem to recall a late night swim at Villa Springs that...never mind.

November through mid-December daily limits were the norm. It was the best mallard hunting I have ever had anywhere!

December 18th brought a sharp change in our weather. It was our first snow of the year accompanied by bitter temperatures. From then until the end of the season we were on two-week weather cycles. Two weeks of bitter cold  followed by two weeks of record warmth.

Weather changes are generally good for hunting. It causes the birds to get out of their daily routines. However, when it is either cold or warm for two-week periods the birds get patterned very quickly. And JJ gets very frustrated very quickly.

That being said, 2012-2013 season was WyoBraska Waterfowl's best season ever. We set records for mallard harvest as well as for geese. The record that is most gratifying is the record for number of clients.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....  (Charles Dickens)

Mostly the best.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


In 1854, along the banks of the North Platte River, east of Ft. Laramie, WY, a small detachment of soldiers entered an encampment of 4000 Sioux to arrest a man accused of taking a migrant's cow, although such matters by treaty were to be handled by the US Indian Agent. The Sioux refused as the cow had wandered into the village; they had not stolen the cow as they were accused. The situation escalated quickly to the point of one of the soldiers shot Chief Conquering Bear in the back and killed him. The Lakotas returned fire and killed a total of 29 soldiers, Lt. John Grattan, and a civilian interpreter. The massacre, as it was called by the American press, was the beginning of the bloody Plains Indian Wars.

The soldiers were buried in a mass grave near where they fell. My new pit is on the site of the fight. I call it the Grattan Pit. Many ducks and geese have met the same fate as Lt. Grattan. 

I am happy to report that none of my combatants were shot in the back. However, there are reports of ghosts near the marker. Rightly so.

limit geese
limit mallards and geese

the casualties of the skirmish


As they looked out their window, the faint light of the approaching sunrise caused the gunners' adrenaline level to rise in anticipation of what lay ahead of them. They had no idea of what to do or how to do it. They just knew this is where they were meant to be.

In order to select the best mentor, countless evenings over several weeks  had been spent in front of the computer researching "the best of the best" There could be no compromise.

The gentleman they selected understood the importance of this day. He wanted this day to be an introduction to an experience that would enrich the rest of their lives.

It was the start of another day at the Beverly Hills Gun Club.


In 1996 I was working as the lead fly fishing guide for Jan's Mountain Outfitters in Park City, Utah. A couple and their 8-year old daughter walked into the store and said they wanted to learn how to fly fish. I actually love the opportunity to introduce people to the amazing outdoors.

Whether it is fly fishing, hunting ducks, geese, pheasants or turkeys, I am not only blessed to have a hand in the improvement of peoples' skills but I also have the solemn obligation of introducing them to a world they have never known.

Shelley and Brian Kadison and their daughter, Paisley, were destined to become converts to JJ's world. The Kadisons have not only remained great clients but we have become very close friends.

The Kadison Family fly fished with me every summer in Utah and continued to fly fish with me when I made the move to Wyoming. However, something very alarming happened along the way. Paisley became older while Shelley, Brian and I remained locked in an ageless time warp. Paisley graduated from high school, graduated from USC, attended Oxford University and has a law degree from Stanford University. She now works for a law firm in New York City. And she still loves to fly fish.

Brian and Paisley fished with me this summer on the Grey Reef. Each year, during our time on the river the discussion always comes around to my Labradors and that discussion served as a segue into hunting.  Brian has said for years that he wanted to experience waterfowling. Having never hunted a day in his life he made the leap and booked a hunt for his wife, Shelley, and himself.

Neither Shelley or Brian had ever fired any type of gun before.  Consequently, my first suggestion was to take shooting lessons. Living in Beverly Hills (yes, the official 90210), they took their instruction at the  the only gun club in the area. The Beverly Hills Gun Club.

Fast forward to December 14, 2012. That evening I met Shelley and Brian at the Holiday Inn and made our plans for the morning. I am guessing the Kadisons don't, as a general rule, have breakfast at 5:00 am at the local diner. But this morning it was the Pineapple Grille. I was hoping "Pineapple" is close enough to "palm" to make them feel not too out of their comfort zone. Main Street, Torrington - Rodeo Drive (Ro-day-O - not bull riding), Beverly Hills. Similar yet different.

The morning was one of those magical moments on the North Platte. Ducks and Canadas were everywhere. Bunch after bunch of mallards dropped from the sky. The shooting was enthusiastic albeit not always effective. My guess is they probably did not go 25 straight at the Beverly Hills Gun Club either.

Molly put on quite a show making long blind retrieves and chasing wing-tipped birds downstream.  I now know that the main reason Shelley was there was to watch the dogs work.

I am so very blessed to be able to introduce people to experiences they could never imagine. Shelley and Brian are now converts to the wonderful world of waterfowling.

I hope no one tells my lab, Molly, she has an open invitation to take up residence in 90210.

Day 1
Day 2