Rivers and Fields

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WHEN ONE LIVES IN TEXAS, one might think that Idaho would be cooler in August. Right? The mountains, the desert, downtown Boise: anywhere in Idaho would be cooler than Austin, surely…right?

I was really looking forward to my Idaho assignment a few weeks ago when Austin was pegging 100, every day; but a funny thing happened on the way to the airport. Texas and Idaho switched places. Austin got a week of rain and cool and the Tater State went under the broiler.

My charge was to visit the Flying B Ranch and split the week shooting photos of their backcountry camp and their wingshooting programs back at the ranch. Thankfully, we had cool nights and low humidity for the camping portion of the trip, because I don’t suffer hot tent sleeping gladly. I’m certainly not above it; but I’m almost beyond it. Fortunately, the nights were cool and the fishing was great and when Ryan rang the dinner bell it was easy to forget that we were forty miles from pavement.

Flying B Ranch offers one of the finest western cast and/or blast programs that I’ve seen. They’ve been long known for their big game and bird hunting, but they’ve got options galore beyond pheasants, huns, chukars, grouse, valley quail, deer, elk, bear, and mountain lions. These folks have backcountry outfitting completely dialed in. Their summer trout camp on Weitas creek offers unmatched scenery and seclusion, along with a stream full of native cutthroats that love dry flies. If you’d like to combine fishing with bird hunting, they can float you down the Clearwater River for smallmouth bass or steelhead. We did the smallie float on a couple of hot afternoons when the dogs needed a break, and it was fantastic.

Thanks to Rich, Jeremy, Ryan, John, Ian, Arby, Carol, and crew at the Flying B for their hard work and hospitality. And to Frontiers for pulling together another great photo-op. If you’d like to see the rest of this shoot, in full, click here.

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Stringing horses into the high country

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Shall I fish dries…or dries?

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Arby and Selway on Weitas Creek

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Going native

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Small fauna

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Camp cook Ryan’s Dutch oven enchiladas

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Rich Coe scoping the crick

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Cutties on hoppers, all the livelong day

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Big fauna

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Miles from everywhere

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

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Dogs needed working

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And birds needed flushing

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Cover and food

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Rooster rise

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The best part of bird hunting, period

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Stinkeye

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Break time

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Chukars in the rockpiles

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A welcomed diversion when it’s too hot for bird dogs

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The incomparable Flying B Ranch

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Relax, will ya

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