REMEMBER: It is not always all about the fish. We who have chosen “the great out-of-doors” in which to make a (meager) living have done so because the experiences, the rewards, the sights & sounds, the non-mainstream individuals that we associate with. The smiles we give and the smiles that we get. Those “I can’t believe it” moments. Some caught on images that can be shared but so many more that are simply etched permanently in what is left of our grey-matter. Our bodies are visibly scared and crippled to some degree due to the attitude of “go big or go home.” From my years of 4 am avalanche control work, ranch work, big game guiding, rodeo, starting “bronky” colts, packing less than cooperative mules and running up and down trout streams for clients and students, I do wake up with a few “ouchy” places. HOWEVER, this boy is far from done or slowing down.


Each day is a new opportunity, a new adventure in the making. Never stop looking for another notch in the stock. In one of my very favorite rivers I have found Bull Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat, deer, elk, moose & bear but the other day while long-casting to a fussy cuttie watching my own Caddis creating glide along I noticed an object in the far bank just above my rising quarry.  After a good strong run and release I could not help but go and investigate. Encased in 80 lbs of clay-like mud bank I dug out a bison skull. YUP!  A half hour of washing & scouring revealed buffalo, “Tatanka.” Enjoy it all, look around, take a whiff, open your ears to listen. There is so much out there. We are so privileged to live in “God’s Country.”

Jim Stein III

Director of schools Crosscurrents Fly Shop

  1. Happiness is a choice and when we are out enjoying Mother Nature’s treasurers, what other choice could we make? Thanks for the engaging article and taking us along with you on your adventures. Passion and curiosity help us to grow.


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