When the going gets tough, the tough get fishing ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and plenty of creatures were stirring in Paradise Valley south of Livingston, Montana, despite the cold and snow. Her face framed by a corona of frost, a whitetail doe eyed us warily...

You don’t have to be crazy to hunt mountain goats, but being so doesn’t hurt your chances for success. Think about it: Goats spend most of their lives above 9,000 feet in elevation, often clinging to precipitous habitat, meaning sheer rock walls and outcrops. Hunters who...

Like most family photo albums, mine contains pictures of me as a child sitting next to roadkill. Now, before you dismiss this as just another small-boy-hangs-out-with-dead-animals-found-on-random-roadsides piece of nostalgia, let me boast about one particular photo, in which 4-year-old me, uncertainly holding a banana, is...

As we took what our map told us was the final turn, the gravel road became rutted dirt that would turn to impassable gumbo if the clouds gathering in the western sky produced any rain. We hadn’t seen a ranch house for miles. I reminded...

I used to fish the Blackfoot Indian Reservation and its array of prairie lakes every spring, just as the ice came off the surface of those waters and wads of giant rainbows cruised their shorelines. This was a targeted hunt for one giant fish — something...

The first time I raised a steelhead to a skated fly, I nearly wet my waders. That’s because I wasn’t really expecting a take, and when it happened I pulled the fly right out of a 15-pounder’s mouth. I didn’t get my hands on that fish,...

I’m not one to tease about physical limitations, or take advantage of someone because of them, but last year I found the perfect moment to capitalize on a friend’s frustrations. We were fishing a river in Idaho, just over the Bitterroot Mountains from Missoula, Montana, and...

I grew up along the Pacific Northwest’s coastal salmon and steelhead streams where it was easy to spot the rookie anglers: These were people who proudly posed for photos with fish that had begun the inevitable freshwater deterioration process, indicated by their dull gray scales,...