Your Best Fishing Experience: 2000-2009


Active Member
With the passing of another decade, best and worst of the “aughts” lists have been popping up all over the media lately. It got me thinking, what were my top fishing destinations from 2000-2009. For me, the last decade has been great when it comes to fishing. I have lived in a number of states and fished a lot of different rivers. So here is my list of top 10 fisheries I have fished. What are yours? If you would like them kept private, say something along the lines of “secret river in eastern WA” and give a little description. My list is all trout rivers but feel free to throw in bass fisheries, rivers, lakes, salt, etc.

1. Bitterroot River 2000-2003- MT. I nearly had to attend an additional year of grad school because I fished this river so much from 2000-2003.
2. Rock Creek 2000-2003– MT. No surprise, I was living in Missoula!
3. Fire Hole River 2000-2003, 2006-2008 - YNP WY. The fish are not huge, but there is just something about fishing around geysers .
4. Farmington River 2004-2006 – CT. I am from CT and moved back from 2004-2006. Awesome little tailwater and designated “Wild and Scenic”, very rare in Southern New England.
5. Housatonic River 2004-2006– CT. A great river with big trout and nice smallies as well.
6. Metoliuos River 2007-2008 – OR. I only had the chance to fish this river twice and once I was skunked. An incredible river not just for the big bulls but also the scenery
7. Clark Fork River 2000-2003 – MT. Like the Bitterroot, I LOVED the trico hatch on this river.
8. Frying Pan River 2009 – CO . I landed an 18 inch rainbow on my first ever cast in this river, and its twin two casts later from the same run.
9. Blue River 2009 – CO . I love this river, especially if you move downriver from the crowds in Silverthorne.
10. Williams Fork River 2009 – CO. Another river I have only fished a couple of times. I love it and I have caught by biggest ever fish on a dry-fly here. I imagine I will spend many more days on this river in the coming years.

Honorable mention: Forks of the Snoqualmie – WA, Yakima River – WA, South Platte River – CO, Beaver Brook – CT, Roaring Fork River – CO, Arkansas River – CO, Taylor River – CO, Madison River – MT, 2 “secret” small creeks - MT.

There are so many other rivers the list can go on forever. No WA rivers on my top ten list and that is entirely my fault. I did not make enough time to get out and enjoy what WA has to offer when I lived their – my mistake :beathead:
1. San Pedro Belize - 2009 - My first flats fishing experience. Lots of bones, jumped a couple tarpon, landed one 40lber
2. Montana - 2006 - 2009 - Haven't found a bad water yet.
3. Desert Lakes 2006 - 2009 - Too many to list. Fortuante to live close.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I can't remember that far back. I'll just have to remember this year. What is it??? 2009. Yeah I fished in Montana all year long.


Banned or Parked
- I think I just worked and maybe made it to Montana a time or two.
- Finding the best Westslope Cutt fishery in BC that no one's ever heard of.
- Montana grayling pushing 18" on a streamer, from a lake.
- First striper, bluefish, and walleye on fly.
- Thousands of miles driven, water explored.
- Spring creek browns eating stripped Chernobyls in Argentina with what would later become AEG.
- Weekend road trip to Alberta with Worldanglr and Sparse for pike.
- First blue marlin on conventional tackle.
- First sailfish on fly.
- First roosterfish from the beach.
- Being likely the first person to fly fish a number of remote atolls in the Coral Sea, 300 miles offshore.
- Finding Pacific Black Snook in mainland Mexico with Ron and Brian from AATF.
- Giant mako on fly.
- Getting schooled by Indo-Pacific Permit all week in Cape York, Australia, only to hook 3 on the last day.
- First tarpon.
- 4000+ mile road trip to fish the Yukon for pike, grayling, and lakers.
- Yard catching a one-eyed carp from a location that I later saw in a car commercial.
- Whirlwind trip from the Florida Keys to the Yucatan to Baja to San Diego and home again.
- Breaking off my first Atlantic Permit.
- Baja with Crump & Kate.
- Florida with Yard and Brian Jill for tarpon, snook, and reds.
- Winning the 1st annual Flying Mako Tournament along with teammates Randall Bryett, Sascha Trimble, and Capt. Dave Trimble.
This is really kind of interesting. Probably because I have leaped past 60 a few years ago and am starting to feel somewhat mortal!
Not particularly in order:

Broke my nephew into fly fishing on an un-named lake with nice wild cutts. He landed 12 when I quit counting, the smallest 14' and up to 18". The most cutts I have ever seen taken on that particular lake in a single day!

I turned a friend onto some small water and he has picked up some bows just under 20", and this is within an hours drive of Seattle! and it is NOT the Cedar.

On the same lake I broke my neph. on I hooked a measured 24" wild cutt and a half hour later brought a 22" wild cutt to hand!

Fishing deep and dirty in the same above mentioned lake I had a fish take my fly and just swam off with it and took 100 yds of backing and just kept going! So much for 1 3/4 lb. tippett!

Landed a 16" plus Brookie and thought I had really done something. Then a friend showed me a picture of a 19' Brook out of the same lake!

I caught my first intentionally caught steelhead on a fly. Many on gear before that and a couple by accident while fishing for cutts.

Spent some good days with OMJ! I still get a chuckle about the bear at the bear feeder!

I finally caught more than 1 fish in a trip on the Yak!

I won in the raffell for the Yak clean-up not one but two Galvin fly reels in back to back years! Thank-you Steve!

After a heart attack while hunting ducks on the dry side and driving back here before going to the quacks, I am still able to get out and cover the water like I did before!

I have learned to appreciate the days and the people I encounter. Fishermen are fishermen regardless of how they fish! I always have time to BS with anybody and not cast an attitude!

In a funny kind of way I think I finally started to grow up in the last 10 years! I can sense what is going on with people and can recoginise where they are. Out on the water I just know when someone is having a bad day, week, or even maybe a bad life. I have hopefully learned how to act accordingly. Fishing at times is far more than the fish!And it is certainly far more than self!!

That was my decade!

2005: Hoh River, on a no named run teaching a friend how to spey cast: "Jason, let me see the rod. This is how you do a double spey". First cast fish on! "Holy Shit, get the camera!"


Jasper hickman
2009, with my buddy out in Sekiu heading out to go spearfishing, ended up droping our salmon rods "for a few minuetes" I had my rod out for about 5 mins, my buddy drops his line and soon as it hit the bottom, bammmmm, he hooked into a 100lbs halibut with 30lbs test line and a salmon rod! I drove the boat backwards for about 30 mins and after another 40mins he finailly got the pig to the boat. Finally bringing it in after shooting it with a speargun!


Well-Known Member
Kamchatka in 2004 just because it's the last best wilderness, and the fishing's good. Three trips to AK, once to BC, once to Yucatan, Mexico, and fishing some of the home steelhead waters.



Active Member
To many to order

1. Good News River, AK, 2003 ...Silvers wowahoo!
3. My son can actually cast a fly rod w/o my intrusions :)
4. LFL (JK) (Seattle Mist...just heard the adds.
5. Sh*t, my son is better than me @ catching fish...and casting :(