Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Ten

I've always liked the year end activities, especially all of the "Year in Review" specials.  The top sports plays, the worst crashes, the number one song, and the best movie of the year.  So, keeping with the theme, below are our top ten images from this years hatch.  These were not selected because of their photography, they were selected because they hold memories and stories, that will always remain in our minds eye.  Without further adieu, The Evening Hatch's Top Ten of Oh Ten.... ok, there are 14, but who's counting?

He did it!  I was a nervous wreck when Deke went on his first retrieve.  This isn't the bird, but he brought it back with just as much style.  He is still learning and we have some things to work on during the off season, but the Deke'r has made us proud

This is Deke's first hunt.  The Utah Youth Hunt.  We was muddied and bloodied, but he got it and now loves it!

I was running the tender boat while Gear Guide Wyatt was in the layout.  The sun just peaked over the mountains and Deke looked on fire.  I love those eyes...

Having never fished Yellowstone in October, we didn't know what to expect.  We now expect it to be this good every year.  We had solitude, double hook ups, and surprisingly warm weather. 

Ragnar 2010.  A 188 mile relay race from Logan to Park City, Utah.  6 members of our 12 person team at the top of Snowbasin.

The rule of thumb when photographing wildlife is to focus on the eyes..... unless you can get a 6 point bull elk to lick his chops for you, then you just start shooting.

Sweets doing what Sweets does.  We will never forget this day.  She was stripping streamers and catching fish all afternoon off of this gravel bar.  It was Independence Day, the sun was out, and we were able to wet wade without being eaten alive by skeetersWhen you put in the effort to get away from the crowds, Yellowstone becomes surreal.

March.  Maui.  Fire Dancer being careful not to get burned.  I'm surprised his gaiters didn't catch fire.

It was this beautiful everywhere we looked.... and we looked everywhere

Nothing in this image is right.  The eye is out of focus, there's too many hands, and you can't really see the length of the fish.  But I like it.

Ricardo and I searched out some new water to fish.  We found it.

Fall on our home water.

Twin Peaks in the Beartooth Wilderness.  The fishing was out of this world for high mountain lakes.  If it wasn't for the man eating bear, this would have been the trip of a lifetime.  We'll be back in 2011, and it will be the trip of a lifetime.

When the water is high and muddy, and you've hiked 6 miles, hooking up with any fish would have been nice.  This guy became a hero for Sweets.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One last trip....

We have never fished "The Park" this late in the year, and with a season pass and license, we made a quick one day trip.  Found a room at off season rates.  Drove into a completely empty park.... I mean completely empty.  No tourists stopping the middle of the road, no one driving a 153 ft motor home over Dunraven pass, and no one competing for your fishing spot.  Aaah, solitude, just us and da bares.  After the trip, we thought we just might cancel one of our summer trips so we can come back and spend a week next fall.  Oh, and check out the birth of Snake River Layout Boat Company.  Things are getting exciting....

Sweets and Rooster with a double hook up.  I was elbowed out of this hole 15 minutes prior to their feat.

We took turns on this rock, one cast per Fisher.  Fish on... on each cast.  They were small, but fun.

We were asked by the Snake River Layout Boat Company to take one of their prototypes and shoot some promo pictures..... and we get to use it all season!  Gear Guide Wyatt taking the first watch.

Stable boats

We thought what the heck, let's sink it.  We filled it with water and even with Gear Guide Wyatt in the boat, it never sank.  Comforting to know.

Our youngster is becoming a handsome young man.  He's not thrilled about the layout, no room for the Deke, but he can help with the tinder boat.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It's that time of year again when we can't decide if we want to chase ducks or trout.  Somewhere in my indecision, I missed the peak of the fall colors in Logan Canyon.  In the end, we decided to chase both and just take time off work.  It's been unseasonably warm this October, the duck hunting has been slow, but Deke has found a couple of birds to bring back.

This is what was left of the colors

Why Cutthroats are called Cutthroats...

I'll have to remember this spot next June.  Big stones are fun to fish....

Ummm, yeah, looks like English class was closed as well...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hodge Podge

 It's been a busy last couple of months and I've had these shots sitting on my desktop.  Some shots are from a backpacking trip in the Beartooth Wilderness near Cooke City, Montana.  This was my first trip and I can not wait to back.  The fishing was out of this world.

The training came full circle for Deke.  All of those drills, games, fetching frozen ducks, and boat rides finally came together during the Utah Youth Hunt.  Deke made his first retrieve on a Gadwall.  Followed by some Mallards and a Pintail.  We have a lot to work on, but his basic skills have come into play and most importantly, we're having fun.

 Twin Peaks

 Some "fishy" water.  The scenery was as gorgeous as this everywhere we went

 In the evenings (yes, yes, during The Evening Hatch) fish were stacked up below this inlet.  There were two inlets to this lake.  One had rainbows stacked up, the other had brookies.  They're in the same body of water, but segregated themselves.

So 5 hours after this attack in Cooke City, we rolled into town.  The whole town was talking about it and every campground was closed.  The attack occurred 3 miles from our trail head.  There were 13 of us.  We pressed on, made noise, hung food, and slept with Glocks by our pillows.

Two for one special on the Logan River.  Rooster threw in his dry and dropper and had these little guys hit both flies at once.  A double, the hard way.  

 Not his first.  I was too nervous on his first retrieve that I forgot to grab the camera.

 This green head swam and hid from the Deke'r.  It took both of us to find this one.  Deke put his sniffer to work and found the bush he was hiding in.

 Already looking up for birds.... that didn't take long.

"This duck hunting thing is pretty dirty work..."

 STOP..... shooting? tagging? drawing?.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We Lost A Good One

People would always tell me “We want a dog like Boomer” or, after they brought home their new puppy, “I hope he grows up to be like Boomer.  He’s always so sweet and obedient…”.  The problem is they never saw me running all over the neighborhood chasing Boomer through their backyard.  They never saw Boomer randomly pick out a girl in the crowd of sledders on the hill, and pee on her snow suit.  They never saw Boomer eat his way through our chain link kennel.  They never saw Boomer pluck a fish off the end of my line and swallow it whole.  But then, they never saw Boomer bust his way through cat tails, briars, and dense oak in search of pheasants.  They never saw him bust through ice in below zero weather to retrieve a bird and they never saw him hold the FedEx man at bay because the kids opened the door when Mom was out back.  They just saw Boomer sitting on the front porch and heeling at my side when we went for walks. 

After 13 years of hunting his tail off, protecting the family, and giving Boomer hugs to everyone who smiled at him, it was time to say goodbye to my friend.  I thought about the number of friends and family Boomer had retrieved birds for and the list kept growing and growing.  He brought back Ricardo and Ryno’s first ducks and geese.  He hunted in Utah, Idaho, California, Wyoming, and Canada.  I rescued him from ice holes he fell through and ran him down in the boat when he swam halfway across the lake refusing to give up on a crippled goose.  Even after getting him back in the boat and together we chased the goose down, Boomer still bailed out of the boat to make the retrieve.  Below are some of these hunts.  Each one tells a story I will live over and over. 

Will Rogers is credited with saying “If dogs don’t go to Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where dogs go”.  But how could dogs not go to Heaven, they bring so much happiness to those around them?  The week my father passed away from cancer, he called me and said “Do you know what I’ve been thinking about all day?”  “What’s that Dad?” I said.  “I’ve been thinking about that day a few years ago when we went duck hunting in Logan and that damn dog of yours brought all of those birds back in that freezing cold weather”.  Boomer did.  He always did.  He never once refused to make a retrieve.  I don’t know everything about Heaven, but I do know it is a place full of happiness and joy.  I know Boomer loved to retrieve.  I know Dad loved to hunt.  Perhaps they are sharing a duck blind right now, and that damn dog is still bringing back birds.  Thanks for being you Boomer.  Goodbye my friend.