Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Tenkara Fishing out West: $3 bridge, Yellowstone NP and Flat Creek

After the tenkara summit in West Yellowstone, MRS and I took off for Wyoming and some tenkara fishing in the Jackson Hole area.

Before we left West we made a trip to the Madison River and some fishing at $3 Bridge.

tenkara in the shadow of $3 bridge

Five years ago Beth and I go married at this spot and we were excited to be back.

we stood right here 5 years ago

We worked our way down through Yellowstone National Park, fishing as we went. Ok I fished, Beth took pictures…

Trying it out on the Yellowstone

MRS goes artsy on me

We wound up in Hoback, WY. for a couple of nights with the Rivers of Recovery crew. BTW: If you don’t know about RoR then click here and check it out.

Be sure to watch the two videos, start with the one on the right. If you are unmoved by them, check your pulse.

We made a foray to the headwaters of Flat Creek. It was a spectacular 4×4 drive into the backcountry.

Flat Creek headwaters

Getting set up

a pretty Flat Creek pool

Mr. Cutthroat checks in

the tug is the drug...


The chance to visit the headwaters of Flat Creek and to do it in the company of good friends made the trip special.

That they have served our country with honor and distinction makes me proud to be in their company.

headed to beer 30

As they say the road goes on forever and the party never ends.

Stay tuned for more pictures in episode two. Coming soon.

Seems like only yesterday

When the good folks at the Outdoor Blogger Network posted their most recent photo prompt, Outdoor Photo Prompt ~ Favorite Outdoor Places…, asking, “Where is the one place you’d trade all your leftover Christmas candy canes to go visit for a day?” it was a no brainer.

Four and a half years ago I was standing on the banks of the Madison River at $3 Bridge in Montana enjoying one of the most special days of my life. It was the only time I was there and didn’t fish.  Would trade the Christmas candy and then some to go there any day.

The wedding party at $3 bridge

Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Pants

As the proud owner of more than a half a dozen pairs of Mountain Khakis, I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Here in the mountain brook trout streams in and around the Shenandoah Valley we “wet wade” a whole lot more then we wear waders. Naturally when I saw Mountain Khaki’s, had fishing pants I had to try a pair.

It didn’t take long before I was giving them a workout all over the Valley both on the streams and off. What I didn’t anticipate at the time was the prospect of having to spend 20 hours in an airplane.

I had been invited by the government of New South Wales to give a presentation on fish habitat conservation activity in the United States. Naturedly I was honored by the invitation and thrilled by the prospect of seeing Australia.

What I was not thrilled about was the idea of a nearly six-hour flight to Los Angeles and then a 15-hour flight to Sydney in coach. I have traveled enough to know that airline travel has pretty much descended to the realm of a barely tolerable necessity. How the heck was I going to stay comfortable and presentable at the same time?

Cue the light bulb…Hey those MK Granite Creek Pants might just be the ticket!

So after a six-hour leg from Dulles to LAX and a 17 and a half-hour leg from LAX to Sydney and a return performance two weeks later I can attest to their comfort. For you guys let me just say that means you are not suffering from that constant “adjustment” imperative that comes from sitting (or in this case trying to sleep) for long periods of time, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

We arrived in Sydney in the early morning the next day. The pants were  presentable, even if I wasn’t, as we made are way through immigration, baggage claim and customs. We then drove down the south coast sight seeing as we went along.

There are a lot of features that make the Granite Creeks really great for travel, especially foreign travel. Things like quick drying, wicking fabric, plenty of pockets, three with zippers for extra security, all neatly arranged for use not fashion and my favorite, the little extra loop in the belt loop the is perfect for carabineer key ring.

It is really nice to know that when I have to travel then my favorite fishing pants can do double duty in style. You can go to the MK website and check all the features out.
Of course now I am back to standing in a mountain stream in my Granite Creeks without wallet, passport, keys, cell phone or plane ticket anywhere near by. This week they got back to back workouts on the Rapidan.

Because I think things that work well deserve to be promoted, I contacted MK about their ambassador program. I was delighted when they accepted me. They didn’t ask me or pay me to write this, but did send me a nice pair of Alpine Utility Shorts to try out.

I quickly embarrassed myself by going to get the mail with the sticker still on my butt. Pretty smooth huh?

Fishers for Fish Habitat Tour and Forum in Australia

I was in Australia for the past couple of weeks. During the first week my wife and I had a chance to visit some of New South Wales; the South Coast, Snowy Mountains, Lake Jindabyne, Kosciusko National Park, Cooma and Cowra. We tried to stay away from the large urban areas and see as much of the more rural parts as we could.

The second week, we had the pleasure of spending 5 days with Craig Copeland and Charlotte Jenkins of Industry and Investment New South Wales. They took my wife and I on a tour of some of the fish habitat projects they have been working on. It was a great opportunity to see how our Australian colleagues are dealing with the challenges of dwindling fish habitat. We went to sites in the Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central West, Hunter Valley and wound up at Lake Macquarie for the forum.

I also had a chance to be part of a panel discussion with some notable Australian recreational fishing pros and give a presentation on fish habitat activity in the U.S., especially the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture.

F4F recreational fishers panel

i sound smarter with a beer in front of me....

I even managed to get a little press coverage of my visit:  US expert says conservation is give and take.

It was a wonderful opportunity to see Australia both on our own and with some liked minded conservationists and to trade ideas and stories about two things I really enjoy, fishing and conservation.