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Victor, Idaho - Jackson, Wyoming
Kevin is a passionate fishing guide and photographer who specializes in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

March 23, 2009

Busted by the Warden. Almost!

Lesson #1 Read the fishing regulations
Lesson #2 Be honest with the Game Warden
Lesson #3 Pray that the Warden doesn't have enough tickets and warnings in their possession

The snow had melted and the sun was shining. Given the snow conditions on the previous days ski tour, we thought we'd be better off fishing the Henry's fork today. The Warm River stretch seemed like a good location. And it was. We had lots of success catching many small rainbows. Small fish were not what we really wanted though. In order to fix of desire to catch some "nice" trout we decided to try our luck further downstream. "How about the Ashton Dam stretch?" Hammer suggested.

Now, a little back story here is important to fully appreciate and realize the importance of the events that are about to unfold. 

Twice last season, we had our asses handed to us on this stretch. Nada, nothing, zilch. Yep, that's right. Two fishing guides from the area had our ego's battered and severely bruised for catching nothing. 

So it seemed a little weird when we walked up to this stretch and on cast number two I hooked into a heavy trout. 
"Fish on." I thought at that moment, the hex is over and things are different now. Until the fish shook it's fat head and spit the hook. "Damn." 

Cast number three. "Fish on." Holy shit. A real nice fish with lot's of color. This color often comes from...
Oh no. Spawning grounds. 

Just then, a indescript looking genntleman walks over and ask how we're doing? Great! we commented. 

"Did you know this area is closed to fishing during the spawn?" Uh, um....
"Can I see your fishing licenses?" "I'm the Warden."


At this very moment, I'm not sure if a crowbar would have helped to get my tail out of my ass, or, my foot out of my mouth. 
A jack hammer, maybe. If you added a little lube. 

The Warden asks if we're guides?  "Yes"  Wondering why he's asked us this, but knowing that we'd better just be honest. Andrew left his license in his wallet, so the Warden escorted us to our vehicle where the wallet was. As we walked the walk of shame, we submitted to small talk while trying to feel out the situation and in hopes that we might befriend the Warden and get off with a warning and a slap on the wrist. All our hope fell away when both doors of the access cab opened and he reached for the "the clip board". After a few awkward moments, the Warden explains that he only has two tickets and one warning in his possession. "Since I'm off duty and returning from a nordic ski day, I have to be fair" he explains. In the back of my mind I'm thinking that we're going to have to Roe Sham Boe for the warning. Go for the rock, It'll be quicker since my fists are all clenched up anyways, I'm thinking. 

But not to worry. We were set free. And maybe this was the better solution. Our guilt and shame was penalty enough.

After many miles of sulking in our guilt and continued awkward silence, Andrew pipes up. "You guys really are cursed by that stretch of water. Aren't you?" 


  1. 1. At this time of year you have to start below the Ora Bridge.

    2. I hope you told them you were a guide for random company X.

    3. How big was that fish?

  2. Ah, That's what we thought too.

    1. The closure is below Ora bridge all the way to Stone bridge. Or, so he told us.

    2. No Co. names were said or asked. Whew!

    3. The first fish we never really got to see. My six wt. was bent over like a ....
    The second fish (third cast) is in the pic above.

  3. Actually, the regs say from Ashton Dam to Vernon. Live and learn....