Most people will never understand why I get up before dawn, in the rain, snow, or summer heat, to stand at water's edge. Whenever I am asked why I do it, my response is..."for the rise."

A couple days of skunkage

Posted in Fishing Trips on June 8th, 2011 by Brad

As the hard water has slowly turned a bit softer this late spring. I have gotten out a few times to chase one of my favorite fish: the elusive TM. Please scroll down to see all of the pictures of the many fish I have caught so far…

Actually I’ve yet to get one to hand this spring. So stay tuned, it should happen soon (hopefully).

A few pics

Posted in Idaho on January 31st, 2011 by Brad

My Dad emailed me a few photos and I thought I would post a couple. The full report can be seen here.
He spent the day helping out at Star Valley Trout Ranch, and had a few minutes in the afternoon to throw some flies. Looks like he had a good time.

Going Home

Posted in Wyoming on November 1st, 2010 by Brad

I have long had a love affair with Elk hunting and spent most Octobers, since I was very young, chasing elk in the mountains surrounding Star Valley, Wyoming. I always missed some of the best fishing the local waters had to offer. This year was different. I had to make another trip back home.

I hadn’t been doing very well fishing the streams of my youth this year, so I hoped this trip would be a little bit different. A few months ago Kyle and I were discussing fishing the Salt River, so we decided to put a trip together for the full, when the river would be chuck full of giant browns and the fine spotted Cutts would be be filling up their bellies before the long winter.

Day one was spent on a local spring creek, where the fishing is always difficult, but the rewards are well worth it. The constant temperature and clear water provides plenty of food, and this stretch of stream is full of strong fighting and extremely smart fish.

We arrived to a welcome sight of rising fish. They were sipping midges in the slow water. We jumped out of the truck, donned the gear and each made tracks to our own stretch of river to hoping to net a big brown, or golden cutthroat. I spotted a lone riser and managed to bring to hand a fiesty 18 inch cutthroat who was a little picture shy and jumped out of my hands as I reached for the camera. I headed upstream a few hundred yards, missing quite a few strikes and finally pulling in 4 or 5 fish from an area where the risers were prevalent.


Several Cutts and finally a fish with some girth.



After pulling a couple of 14-16 inch cutthroats the fishing died down. One of my catches must have ratted me out, as the rising stopped and the excitement of playing the previous fish had stirred up the others.

I worked back downstream to Dad who had hooked a couple of monsters on his oversized muddler. I switched to a streamer and worked into a new hole that had produced well for me in the past. My first drift through the hole produced a big strike, but I broke him on the hook set. The big brown was obviously maddened at the piercing of his lip, as he proceded to stir up the entire hole, racing from one end to the other, and breaking the surface several times. I wished he could have spent a few moments in my net.

Each of us leapfrogged one another as we worked to the bottom of the property, all missing opportunities at the big browns we hoped to catch that day. As we worked back upstream Cole threw a bugger upstream of me while I crossed the stream and landed this pretty cutthroat.


The day ended with a good elk roast, some root beer floats, and a Dad busted out the video camera to show off his many hunts in the now infamous Squirrel Creek.


Day 2 we hit up another section of spring creek that is very close to my childhood home. My first couple of casts had me drifting a “Star Valley Special” along an old log and down into a deep hole. I pulled out a unexpected fish.



While there are a few brookies here and there I was excited to pull in a pretty dark colored brook trout. The next fish was the fish of the day though. Cole yelled out to come down to him because Kyle had just caught a brook trout. I ran down with camera in tow and saw the 17.5 inch beauty. Nice fish Kyle!


After finally getting a trip in with Kyle, I learned his secrets to fishing success. From now on I’m wearing my pajamas fishing too!

This stretch of water is usually first to see the browns, but we had some trouble locating them. There were large schools of suckers in a few of the big holes, and I think they had pushed out most of the trout that are usually in the area.

Cole landed one more brookie before we left to float the salt.



This section of the Salt is one of my favorites. In the summer it takes between 2 and 3 hours. This time it took over 4. We had a little bit of wind and low flows which made for a relaxing float. We rubbed bottom on the pontoons a few times, but it made for a good time.

Fishing was not fast by any means. I did not land a fish. All I caught was my own spinning rod and the top section of someone else’s. I only had 2 bites from, what I assume, were very small fish. The other guys landed a few. While the fish were sparse, they all had some size to them which made it worth the trip. Dad was first to hook up with a fat Cutt.


When we hit my favorite hole of this stretch Cole pulled in a good looking brown while I threw a rapala downstream. I didn’t hook anything, but Kyle had to show me up and catch a nice 18 inch brown as he floated by. Maybe those “Luckycrafts” really do work.

Cole's Brown

Kyle's Brown

By the end of the float we were pushing to get off the water before darkness set in. I managed to lose my spinning rod into the river for a few minutes until I “fished” it back out. (I guess I did catch something).

All in all the trip was filled with challenging fishing, some big fish, and good company.

I did steal a few of the float pics from Kyle who’s post about this trip can be found at:

Fishing with Dad

Posted in Fishing Trips on September 8th, 2010 by Brad

Dad and I spent last Saturday at a pond we have frequented over the past 3 or 4 years. A good family friend allows us access to fish, which has always been greatly appreciated. We arrived just after 10:00 am with hopes of repeating past years’ success.

This year turned out a little bit differently. A thunderstorm had moved through the night before and with it the accompanying wind. I know I should probably censor that word, as most float tube/pontoon fisherman consider it one of the worst of the 4 letter kind. The majority of the day was spent rowing, fighting wind and moss, and not fighting enough fish.

Here is an idea of what we were facing. We had a few short moments of calm:

And a few more moments of this:


It was tough fishing. I also think this pond had a hard winter, as we saw far fewer fish than previous years. We had one stretch of calm following a cloud burst that had fish rising after small mayflies. The fish were extremely spooky and held on the fringes of casting range. I stood on the seat of my pontoon and did manage a few strikes, but fought and lost every fish in the moss monster that had accumulated over the warm summer months.

Dad did bring one fish to hand, a pretty 17″ Cutt-bow, and with no signs of calm waters ahead, we called it a day. Maybe next year I’ll do a little better.

Southeast Alaska – Cast and Blast

Posted in Fishing Trips on August 23rd, 2010 by Brad

I had the opportunity to take a trip to Southeast Alaska this spring with my Dad, Brother, and a family friend, on a black bear hunt. But we did manage to get a little fishing in, so I figured I would throw a report together.

This trip happened in may, so I hope you can forgive me for waiting so long to post it.

The bear hunting was decent, we ended up filling 3 out of 4 tags, but the fishing was probably better. Thanks to our friends over at Lands End Lodge, we got a good day of fishing in an area we would have been hard pressed to fish in the skiff. We tried out a couple of spots, being a little early in the spring we weren’t sure if the halibut would be moved in yet. The halibut fishing was not fast and furious but we did manage 2 fish, about 130 lbs worth.


The rest of the day was filled with our limits of Ling Cod and Yellow-eye. One Ling would have been upwards of 60″ but the hook pulled right at the boat. I have never seen ling fishing like it was that day. It was incredible. Here are a few more pictures of the days catch.

My Yellow-Eye:


Dad with a slot keeper Ling Cod:

Dad's Ling

Dinner was good that evening, with full bellies we were ready to brave the rain and scenery for a few more days chasing big black bruins on the gravel beaches.


Fishing or hunting in Alaska is hard to beat. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been able to share this adventure with such good company. It will be a trip I will never forget.

If you are interested in the story of the Bear hunt (and upcoming video) head over to My Hunting Blog @

A year of anticipation…

Posted in Fishing Trips on August 2nd, 2010 by Brad

About a year ago I was greatly blessed. It was one of those fishing days that will always be remembered. I think most sportsmen and women can relate. This day can and will be compared to many in the future. It was the second day of my first trip targeting Tiger Trout in one of Utah’s high mountain Lakes. While I have caught much larger fish, the dry fly action that day was awesome. And I discovered one of my favorite trout species. Tiger trout are a fantastic sport fish, they fight hard, are very aggressive and look really cool. All important factors when classifying fantastic-ness of fish. Day one had us on the water early afternoon. The fishing was not fast, but fast enough to keep me entertained and willing to try again the following day. Day 1 also produced my first tiger trout–all 10 inches of flashy fury.

On day 2 we made a point to get on the lake a bit earlier. The fish were jumping like crazy, sometimes sailing 2 to 3 feet in the air. I sat in my pontoon boat, and watched the scene. Across the lake, it seemed there wasn’t a moment without a fish breaking the surface of the water. The next few hours were fantastic.

The fishing was fast, it didn’t really seem to matter what we threw, hoppers, damsels, nymphs, it didn’t matter. Stripping the big dry flies across the surface seemed to infuriate the fish as they would launch to the surface violently.

It was mid afternoon when Dad landed the prettiest and probably the largest fish of the day. Dark markings, a bright red belly, a man could die catching fish like this because he would never stop to eat or sleep.The day continued with countless fish, each fish displayed uniquely different markings. By late afternoon these fish had had their fill of big bugs and settled to the depths to digest. I ended the day with tired arms and a memory that would haunt my thoughts for the next year.

On July 17th I hoped to repeat this epic day. I arrived late morning, nearly 10 float tubes, pontoons, and boats were bouncing along in the wind. Wishing I had brought my pontoon boat, I pumped up the float tube and set out, expectant to find the fish as hungry and willing as they had been the day before.

Sometimes, a good day of fishing can’t be beat. I can blame it all on myself, missing several hook-ups because my line had tangled around the back of my little blue damsel fly, causing the hook to flip around backwards instead of embedding itself into the lips of the hungry fish. I probably should have been on the lake earlier, knowing that these fish are full by mid afternoon. I kicked around for a few hours, missing a few strikes. After kicking across the lake, I was a bit wore out, so I let the wind push me back towards the car. The feeding had slowed, the fish were full…and I had still not netted a fish. As I bobbed slowly in the wind, I made a cast toward the shore. The sun disappeared behind a cloud, my fly bounced up and down in the small chop created by the wind. I watched it bob up and down, matching my own motion, until it slipped beneath the surface. Reaching forward I grasped my line, pulled back to cast — and felt the weight and wiggle I had been waiting for. The fish came in rather easily at first, but decided not to dissapoint in the end and made a few good runs. I played him for a few minutes, enjoying the fight, and set him free.

I’m amazed how 20 inches of fish can make the outcome of a day so much better. My fishing day ended, only one fish netted. A reminder of a day nearly a year ago. Perhaps I had expected too much, hoping to catch dozens of hungry fish, yet I was grateful for this one. He let me relive that epic experience I had last year, and hope to have again. So I will return again to this water, expectations of quantity may be lessened, but my expectations of quality of experience will increase. I will return to these waters…for the hope of watching my fly bob along the choppy surface, so I can see hungry, red bellied tiger trout cruising the shallow edges, and most of all, I will return…for the rise.

Up and Coming!

Posted in For The Rise - It's Business Time! on August 1st, 2010 by Brad

I don’t know if you realize this but For The Rise is going to be a pretty happening place very soon. So be an innovator, jump on the bandwagon before the wagon really gets up and rolling.

If you fish a lot, and like to take pictures. Hit me up in an email–or comment on this post.  We’re having casting auditions for FTR Bloggers. So if you like other people to see the giant fish you catch and the cool pictures and words you throw together, let me know.

In the meantime, go check out the fishing reports section of FTR. Essentially it’s a forum, but we’re trying to weed out all the non fishing parts. We’ve organized it by state and hope you will utilize it, share it with your friends and post on it every time you go out. You don’t have to share any info you don’t want to, but people like to hear how a certain water body is fishing every now and then.

So go fishing, tell us about it, and most of all, have a good time doing it. Next time you’re out there flipping that rod around, don’t forget we know you’re doing it for the rise.