SAO Pages

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Ever Changing Landscape of SAO

Many would call it luck, some call it fate, some call it karma.....there are different terms used by different people to describe what I get to do. I like to simply call it being blessed! I am definitely a blessed man! One way that I am blessed is to be a part of such a quality team.

Now listen, I am not saying this to be prideful, pompous, or to try to boost any business! All I am simply saying is that as an individual who loves the sport of fly fishing, I am blessed to be surrounded by the caliber of fishermen who make up the family at Steelhead Alley Outfitters! Often times I just think about how blessed I am to do what I do. How cool......

As I have thought about our team recently and their experiences just in the last year, we have fished in California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and of course, Ohio (and that is just what I know of). That is just off the top of my head...not to mention several different countries and both fresh water and salt water to boot. We are a blessed team, and as this business grows, so does our family.

Drakes....Oh The Joy!

Recently we added another top notch fly fisher to our team! Let me formally introduce you to Brett McCrae. Brett is a young man, just out of college, but don't let that be misleading in any way, shape or form. Brett didn't go to just any school, but Brown of a few schools that can claim membership in the "Ivy League." What I am trying to say is that Brett is a sharp guy....a smart guy....knowledgeable in the areas of the art of fly fishing and beyond. Not only is Brett a knowledgeable guy, but he is an athlete to boot. It only seems fitting that his sport of choice would be swimming :) He competed in the collegiate world and did very well for himself. Now, he is setting out to do what he loves.....full time! I can attest to time spent with Brett that he is truly a gentleman and a scholar.

Brett is versed in the pursuit of trophy stripers in the salt, buttered up browns in the west, and of course monster steelhead in his home waters of northeast Ohio. Brett will be an asset to this team and we guarantee you will be seeing more of him in the days to come.

If you wonder about Brett's experience and ability....don't! He is currently busting his tail daily in Wyoming putting people from all across the U.S. on trophy trout. If you don't believe me, check out the photos.....WE DON'T JUST TELL STORIES.....WE SHOW YOU STORIES!!!!

Brett with a Client and a Very Nice Fish!

John Deere Green Meets Butter Belly Yellow

Enough Butter for a Thanksgiving Dinner

So, with all the formality you can drum up on a blog, we want to officially welcome our newest "Full Time Guide," Brett McCrae. We are looking forward to sharing water with you and making some memories together on the water.

Check out what Brett is up to in his own words.

Brett McCrae writes from Saddlestring Wyoming

It's been a beautiful summer thus far in northern Wyoming here at Rock Creek Anglers. Despite a lot of snow in the high elevations, water levels have begun to drop throughout most of the area and even streams still experiencing heavy water are still fishing very well.

Stretches of water south of us are fishing about as well as they possibly can - drakes, stoneflies, and caddis are buzzing around and have the fish looking up almost any time of day.

Big browns on big foam dry flies? What's not to like?

With the water still being fairly cold, the canyon stretches have really started to come in to their own with the onset of the warm summer weather over the past two weeks. The scenery in a lot of these locations is absolutely breathtaking, and the fishing is even better.

One of the canyon stretches that Rock Creek Anglers' frequents.

On overcast days the streamer bite has been awesome with the high water making the fish a little less wary than they would be under lower water conditions. We've been doing our best to convince some of the bigger fish in our area to make a mistake, and have done very well in June.

You bit the wrong bug brownie.

Connor with a nice 'bow.

June is always an interesting month for guiding out West - however, we had a guest with us for a few days that made this past month even more interesting: R.A. Beatie of Beatie Outdoor Productions. R.A. is pretty cool guy, and an awesome cinematographer and film producer; you can check out some of his work on the Fly Fishing Film Tour or on his website ( Look for some of the footage shot here to appear in a short on the Simms website, or in next year's film tour - needless to say here at Rock Creek we're pretty excited to see it ourselves.

Nice brownie for the camera.

Filming location on a top secret reservoir
that is home to lots of carp.

One of the most famous tailwaters in the country, the Bighorn River outside Ft. Smith, Montana has been fishing incredibly well despite record flows. Unfortunately with the drift boat cruising by at mach 2 I haven't wanted to waste water snapping pictures, but we've been seeing really nice fish, and lots of them. Nymphing deep has been the name of the game thus far, but expect the dry fly action on this awesome stream to pick up as soon as they start lowering the releases. Myself, and another guide on staff are licensened in the state of Montana, and we're really excited about the fishing potential of the Bighorn as the water drops as the summer continues.

We've still got a few openings left for bookings in July, August, and September. If anyone is interesting in getting their trout fix, give us a call at (888) WILD-TROUT or (307) 684-7302; you can also check out our website at If I don't see you for trout this summer, let's be sure to hook up for steelhead in the fall.

There's lots of gold, silver (and whatever you'd like to call brookies and cutthroat) at the end of this rainbow.

Rainbow's on the Horizon

We're lucky and excited to be out here doing what we love, and hope you get the chance to come out too.

P.S. Please send sunscreen...

Brett McCrae

Thanks Brett for the update on what's happening in Wyoming! We look forward to more stories and photos from your work out west as the summer moves on.

Until next time, hit the water as much as you can and remember to keep the line tight...but not to tight. Slob size trout on light tippets require you to dance with graceful steps...enjoy it when you get the chance!

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

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