Thursday, October 31, 2013


I have always loved fishing ever since I can remember. In fact I spent a good deal of each day as a kid dreaming of catching all kinds of different fish in all kinds of amazing places – a practice I still enjoy today.

The only things that kept me from realizing those early dreams were a driver’s license and school. Okay…and maybe money too. I mean how far can you really get on your own when you’re just 10 years old!

I would often replace the books that where required reading during school with any kind of fly fishing material that I could find. This put a dent in my grades, but for someone who hated school, it was a welcome escape from the classroom. I read about giant king salmon in Alaska, West slope cutthroat trout in Montana, steelhead in British Columbia, Atlantic salmon in New Brunswick, and the list goes on and on.

Since those early days of intense fly fishing research I have been able to wet some waders in a few of those far off places. But I have also come to realize that some of those early dreams may never be realized, and that’s okay because I am making new dreams come true with my kids.

Stonefly Press's most recent book release “50 BEST TAILWATERS TO FLY FISH” by Terry & Wendy Gunn brings me back to those early days of daydreaming. Its wonderful photography gives a pleasant pause to the reading of all the lovely details that we fly fishermen can’t live without and can never seem to get enough of.

Each region is filled with its own unique tailwaters accompanied with maps, detailed information on gear, hatches, and much, much more.

It is truly a great book to sink your teeth into if you are like me and spend way too much time daydreaming. Who knows….when my kids get older and are getting ready to fly the coop, maybe, just maybe we will be able to head on out to one of the “50 BEST TAILWATERS TO FLY FISH.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fishing with Bob

Bob holds a big male Chinook salmon that measured 42"

It has been at least a good year and a half since I last spent some quality time in the company of my good friend Bob Burrows. And to me, that’s a year and half too long. 

The story of our friendship really started years ago when we both worked for a small newspaper out of Canandaigua New York. We spent a good part of our lunch break talking about fishing, and on our off days we would often get out and fish together. In fact, it’s those early years of our friendship that we spent the most time out on the water in search of fish. And it allowed us to really fine tune our fly fishing skills. He is one of those guys that can help elevate your fly fishing skill set by just spending time with him on the water. 

But more than that, he has given me and my family lots of support through the years, and I am very proud to call him my friend. 

My biggest of the morning
So when I did eventually leave the newspaper for a new job, and things started to get busy with lots of little feet around, I always found time to stay in touch with Bob and even tried to get out fishing at least a few times a year. Some years it would work out really well, and we would get out on the stream two or three times. But for whatever the reason, these recent few years have left us with very little opportunity.

So when I got a call from him yesterday morning saying that he was up at a local WNY tributary, and that he was spotting fish moving upstream, I jumped at the chance to get out there, even if it was for just a little while.

Bob with his second fish of the morning
By the time I met him on the stream, he had already landed two salmon and had watched a good ten or more move past him. Even as I was setting up my leader and tying up for the morning, several fish moved up from downstream and blasted through. And even though the water was on the low side, it was cold, and until the sun moved up over the trees the fish seemed content on running.

We spent our time that morning walking upstream in search of resting fish that might be willing to take a fly, and talking about all those memories from fishing trips past. We even fished around some fall downs and undercut banks in search of an early lake run trout or two. And even though we didn’t find any trout, each of us managed a few salmon to hand before our time was up – Just like we used to do it back in the day.
The release

We may not be able to spend the time out on the water like we used to, and it’s probably a good thing that we don’t – our families would suffer for it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get out every once in a while and make some new memories.

Thanks Bob!