A West Coast Face

Whataroa, New Zealand.

Lots of stories on this particular evening in a West Coast pub on the South Island. Each time he walked away from my table he'd go to another table and laughs would fill the room. He was drawn to the table I was at though and told stories until the two of us, after walking 18 miles on this day, hobled into our our room down the hall. The best part was the open window in my room looked out at an outside patio and this guy had a large group of people laughing until well past 2am...

New Zealand 2017

I recently got back from a great trip to New Zealand's South Island. This trip was met with a lot of wind and rain, but over the course of 20 days there were a few gems.

My trip was divided in two: The first part I spent with a good friend and fellow Ketchum area guide, Zac Mayhew, hiking into backcountry streams and drinking jugs of Speights at any local watering hole we could find. We both made a critical error on day one and bought a couple of meat pies each and put them in our pack to eat later for lunch. Not a great idea unless you like cold and smashed and six-hours-from-the-oven pies. That same day, we spent a rainy night in a tent full of hundreds of sand flies and mosquitos. We were out of the tent very very early making coffee in the rain...

We flew into Christchurch and fished the Canterbury, West Coast and Nelson / Marlborough areas. On at least four or five of our days, we walked a minimum of 15 miles, often putting ourselves in beautiful backcountry settings with no angler in sight. Long walks meant a little less fishing time as we often ended our fishing around 3:30 or so to give us time to make it back to the car by dark.

The second part of my trip was spent at River Haven Lodge near Murchison.

New Zealand People Black and White

One of my favorite parts of traveling is meeting people along the way and if I'm lucky, getting a portrait of them.

I just got back from a trip to New Zealand and am in the midst of editing through images from the trip.

Here are two black and white images of two different people...

Jimmy. Owner of Wilsons Pub in Reefton, New Zealand.

I spent 4 nights at Wilsons in Reefton (eating dinner and drinking jugs of Speights two years ago with my dad) and Jimmy joined my father and I each night for dinner and then of course beer. We got to know Jimmy as well as one could over the course of 4 nights. I even took a portrait of Jimmy two years ago and sent it to him which he still has and showed me on my recent trip. 

In any event, I was lucky enough to spend two nights with Jimmy at Wilsons on my recent trip. He immediately remembered me when I walked in on a rainy and cold summer's evening (New Zealand summer) and while I wasn't with my dad this time, he remembered him as well. Jimmy is a kind and dynamic person who will share plenty of great stories to any willing patron.

A Whatoroa native. 

This guy, man, character, cranky old codger, is a tried and true West Coast man. He had a table full of us laughing into the wee hours in a small pub in Whatoroa on New Zealand's West Coast. He was proud that his father served with American GI's at Guadalcanal. He called me, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" with a big grin. He told stories that went on and on in great detail about dynamiting and shooting.

More images to come...

Anglers Journal

I have a featured piece, both words and photography, in the current issue of Anglers Journal. Last January I spent three weeks with the Salas family at their family owned and operated lodge, Los Torreones, in Chilean Patagonia.

Pancho Salas, the patriarch, blew me away with his work ethic, kind heart, sense of humor and genuineness. He has passed those traits on to his four children as well, three of whom are fantastic guides.

A big thank you to John Mullen for introducing me to Pancho and his family. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to stay with the Salas family in their home and lodge for the amount of time that I did.

I am looking forward to getting back there and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Deadbeat Dam

A deadbeat dam. It's very surreal but no longer serves a functioning purpose. It's a cop out to me--albeit a time honored tradition in the west--to retire dams or mines or anything for that matter and leave them as de facto corpses.

Fish Creek Dam. Idaho.

Picabo, Idaho

Of all of the iconic Sun Valley, Idaho area places in the fly fishing arena, I think of Picabo at the top of the heap. It has, namely, Silver Creek running through it's backyard.

The prairie landscape is striking in more subtle ways than the mountains to the north. The culture in Picabo is quite different than that of its more upscale close neighbor, Ketchum (think Sun Valley, Idaho), to the north.  Picabo, while absolutely tiny, is an amalgamation of ranchers and farmers and ranch hands and cowboys and even a few fishermen.

HWY 20 near Picabo on any given morning before the sun rises, is active with mainly the ranchers and farmers driving their respective pick-ups to work sites. 

While being very interested in the specific fishing aspects of Silver Creek, I'm also really interested in the periphery of trout streams throughout the world. The periphery to me is the human and landscape aspect near a trout stream that is not necessarily fishing-centric. Farm workers and laborers, cowboys, hunters, Chilean gauchos, shepards and anyone else who may be a stakeholder near a river are examples of the trout stream periphery.

The Queen's Crown & Picabo. Fall 2016