Summer Newsletter

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The fishing during the summer 2003 was incredible!  We were blessed with plenty of water, which made for some of the best fishing of my life.  Dawn and I found ourselves so busy that we have gotten behind on our newsletter update so we are now playing catch up.  I would like to extend a special thanks to all my new friends that made this a banner year for Eastgate Anglers. 

Note: All pictures are thumbnails for quicker downloading.  You can view the pictures more clearly by double clicking on individual pictures.

The summer started with a fantastic seven day Montana float down the Smith River in June.  My friends, Tye Roy, Ray and Jimmy Cotter, Matt Wheeler and Rick Milligan made the float along with my trusty fishing dog, Christmas.  The river was still high and muddy so it was Big Buggers up against the bank the whole way.  The Smith lived up to its reputation with many nice Browns and Rainbows.   The scenery was phenomenal.  We floated and fished for 3 days before taking a break at Gary Andersons Heaven on Earth Guest Ranch.  I highly recommend Gary’s Ranch!  We were able to shower and shave, play 9 holes of golf, eat a gourmet meal, learn the truth about life from Gary, and get a good nights sleep in a bed.  One day of “R and R” we continued down stream.  The fishing and friends made the trip a “trip of a life time.”  For more pictures of the Smith River Trip see the Scrapbook Page.

While we were waiting for runoff to subside in June Cody area lakes offered some excellent opportunities.  Allan Parker and I fished Newton Lake early in June.  Allan, who is new to Cody, was amazed at the size and power of the fish.   He hooked a dozen or more fish but only managed to land two or three.  Big fish with light tippets, “Man what a rush!”  The picture shown here is a prize: Allan’s first 20-inch Rainbow on a 2 wt. Line!  Great job, Allan!

In July Ryan Himango and his buddies, Ivan Heu, Eric Doty, and Tyler Rossum, opted for a fly fish experience over Las Vegas for Ryan’s bachelor party.  In my opinion, that was extremely sound thinking!  The weather was great and we spent two days fishing in some of the most beautiful places in the world. 

 In Yellowstone Park the sun was hot, the water crystal clear and the fish cooperative.  We fished Stimulators with a Midge dropper in the morning picking up a few nice fish.  Then the “flavs” began to hatch and the top water action heated up for a time.  Several of the guys were just beginning their fly fishing careers so we worked in some techniques between hatches.

Day two we took our newly acquired skills to the North Fork of the Shoshone were the fish were on their way back to Buffalo Bill Reservoir after the spawning run.   The water was clear, deep and fast, the fish big and strong.   More than once I looked up river to see multiple rods bent with a fish on. We finished off the day on a private pond where the fish were taking Damsels off the top.  Ivan especially enjoyed that spectacle.  It was a great trip.  I really enjoyed fishing with the wedding party and congratulate Ryan and his bride for starting his new life on the right track!

Bachelor Party Scrapbook Page

In early August the North Fork was on fire!  Big Hoppers a foot off the bank was the ticket.  The norm was thirty to forty fish per day and fish 16-20 inches.  On one occasion Fran Lunney and my wife floated the North Fork catching so many our arms were sore. 

Fran moved away from Cody last year and returned this summer for a fishing vacation.  He wasn’t disappointed with the Rainbows, Cutbows and Cutthroats we caught.  After a year in Boston, Fran was a little rusty but after a short while he was able to “Be the Fly” and catch fish after fish. 

On another occasion I tested my “best ever” theory by taking Bill Sand fishing on the Northfork.  Bill has been fishing in the Cody area since 1958.  At the end of the day he confirmed my theory by saying this “was his two best days ever on the North Fork.”  Bill and Nathan with some nice North Fork Fish.

One of the Northfork trips, Bill brought Nathan, an excellent 10-year-old fly fisherman from Powell.  Nathan was so excited he stayed up all night before his Northfork float.  At the end of the day I asked him if it was worth the lack of sleep; he replied “it was better than I expected!”  Thanks you guys for some really fun trips.

Hollaran Scrapbook Page

One of the highlights of the summer was the week I spent with Jim and Pat Hollaran.  No one is more passionate about fly fishing than Jim.  Jim, Pat and I fished the Greybull on our first day.  The fish were cooperating and the scenery beautiful despite a nearby fire that threatened to push us out of our spot.  Cuts were the fish of the day.  It is a rare thing these days to catch a fish that genes have been in a river for 150 thousand years.  Pat, who is learning to fly fish, had an excellent day.  She caught a lot of fish, learned some new techniques and showed the patience and perseverance that are the mark of a good fisherman (excuse me, “fisherwoman”).

 On Jim’s 65th birthday we hiked Deadman’s trail into the Clarksfork Canyon.  The trail is called “Deadman’s Trial” because it drops approximately 1000 feet vertically in about 1/8 of a mile.   My wife accused me of trying to get rid of her when we hiked it together, but Jim handled the extreme hike with no problem at all!  And no client has ever appreciated a pristine freestone fishing experience as much as Jim! 

The Canyon is absolutely beautiful as you can see from Jim’s scrapbook page.   The water is emerald green and the fishing perfect.  Unfortunately, we had to leave right as the evening rise began.  Some times the promises we make to the wives- “dinner at 8:00”- is easier to fulfill and stay out of trouble, than forget (especially a birthday dinner)!  We both exhibited extreme dedication and self control in leaving the canyon.  But, hey, that’s the kind of guys we are!

In August I had a trip with Bill Blanton from Florida.  We started with only a one-day trip that lasted for several!  After the first day Bill decided to stay and enjoy the fun on Cody area waters.  We fished the Greybull River, Newton Lake, Soda Butte, and the Lamar River (pictured right).  To end our adventure Denise, Bill’s wife, floated with us on the Lower Shoshone.  Aside from being a fantastic fly fisherman, Bill is also a much better writer than I.  He wrote an article for  If you would like to read the article click here.  Be sure to check it out!

I hate to close because there are other fishing trips I would like to tell you about.  It is great to have a job where every customer becomes a friend.  We now have new friends from Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, and Wyoming.  I thoroughly enjoyed every trip I had this summer and I would like to thank each of you for making my summer a fantastic and memorable experience!  I apologize for not having pictures to share from each of your trips.  If you have some pictures you would like to share with Eastgate Angler readers please email 2 or 3 to

Before closing I would like to thank a couple of folks that helped me tremendously this summer. Thank you Doug Hunter, Warren Hunter and Don Hicks for your support and cooperation.  It is greatly appreciated!


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