I have never been west of the Mississippi river before in my entire life. To be honest, about the furthest west I have been with any regularity was short drive from the town I call home. I lived in Boone, North Carolina for the past few years. Graduating from Appalachian State, I could pursue both my passions in the surrounding area. I fish during the summer months, and both work and play at Appalachian Ski Mountain during the winter. I worked in the terrain park at the resort and this year I began driving snow cats. I had the opportunity this past summer to attend Cutters Camp in Government Camp, Oregon. This is a week-long course on Mount Hood for snow cat operators across the country to come learn from the best and improve on their skills of constructing terrain parks. I took this opportunity to not only hone my skills with the cat, but also explore Mt Hood and the Bend area.
Once Cutters Camp was completed, I met up with some close friends from Bend and they showed me to some of surrounding waters. One of the places they took me to was the lower Deschutes River and attended the Redington Home Waters event. It was late mid-May and the salmon fly hatch was in full swing and the trout were more than eager to eat large foam bugs off the surface. The weekend was full of good times with new friends on some unfamiliar waters. The remainder of my trip I was fortunate enough to have a close friend that lived in the area and took me to some other bodies of water. As my trip began to slow down and come to an end, the fishing did not. I was able to land the biggest browns I have ever seen before and the best part about it, they came on dries. As I flew over Hood on my flight home, I reflected back on my first experience of the western united states and knew it would not be my last.