I just finished my friend Chris Hunt’s new book, Fly Fishing Idaho’s Secret Waters. Anglers are usually a tight-lipped bunch about their favorite fishing spots. So to write a book on this subject is a touchy proposition. Being a diehard fly fisherman from Idaho, however, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book. I did not take offense at any of the locations or the information that Chris discloses. The simple truth is Idaho is so chuck full of good fishing that I do not think that Chris’ book even scratched the surface.
I have fished many of the waters that Chris mentions, in particular Moose Creek, Bear Creek, and the Little Lost, and experienced great fishing on all of them. Chris suggests that fishing upstream is the only way to go on Moose Creek, but he may be surprised to know that my best success on that little gem of a spring creek is to fish downstream with one of my Dad’s Red-Butted Double Renegades and, after the fly passes over a sweet spot, then I skitter the fly back upstream. For me, the overwhelming majority of the strikes and the fish I’ve caught on Moose Creek have come from that irresistible skitter. Regardless of how you fish Moose Creek, once it grabs ahold of your heart, this sweet little creek won’t let go.
As for the Little Lost, I’ll just say that Chris’ family may have a little company from the Wayment Clan the next time they fish this awesome river. Chris’ chapter on this sink stream totally piqued my interest and I can’t wait to try for a native bull trout . . . I mean a redside rainbows (wink, wink). For those interested in reading this chapter, follow this LINK.
Many of the rivers and creeks that Chris mentions in his book I have not fished and may never, but that did not lessen the enjoyment of the book for me. I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge fan of where-to/how-to books. However, Chris has a way of telling a good story while sharing interesting and useful information and he’s a dang good writer. He makes it look easy. I particularly liked the chapters where he shares anecdotes of fishing with his daughter, Delaney, and his son, Cameron. Oh, and though I’ve fought the urge for years, Chris has me chomping at the bit to try Tenkara on some of my favorite little creeks. In fact, I plan to take Chris this summer to one of my favorite little Yellowstone Cutthroat creeks, a place I call, “Trickle Creek.” Maybe the master can show me how it’s done.
In addition to excellent writing, this book is packed with numerous beautiful color photos, which makes it visually appealing. I have Chris’ first book, Stream Dreams: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Eastern Idaho’s Small Water, which I use all the time. It’s a great book, but lacks color photos. The beautiful color photos in Secret Waters brings Chris’ work to a whole new level.
In addition to telling a good story, Chris’s passion for conservation really shines through in every chapter. Chris is National Communications Director Trout Unlimited. Chris did not start out as a conservationist, but rather as a fisherman. It was his love of trout and the wild places they inhabit that led to his current profession. A significant theme–if not the major theme–of the book is that these little known creeks and rivers throughout Idaho are worth saving. I couldn’t agree more.
To sum it up, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to the readers of Upland Ways.
Thanks again Chris for letting me review this beautiful book!