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The Nomadic Yeti

Chris Hunt: Author, writer, traveler

Welcome to the online home of Chris Hunt, the well-traveled journalist who writes about fly fishing, travel, cuisine and culture from far-flung destinations the world over.


About Chris

Chris Hunt is an award-winning journalist who writes about fly fishing, travel, conservation and culture for numerous outlets. He's been recognized for his work by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association and the Idaho Press Club. He lives and works in Idaho Falls, Idaho. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life the New York Times, Hatch Magazine, The Fly Fish Journal, TROUT and numerous other publications, and he has five books in printed circulation.


Recent articles


I suppose a trip like this could have unfolded in any number of American cities where, out of perceived necessity, once-wild rivers and streams are domesticated and funneled into concrete ditches with the sole purpose of moving water from Point A to Point B. But even then, nature has a way of winning out … of persisting even as we try like hell to keep it at bay. On that first day, as Rob and I walked through the concrete containers keeping the city’s bayous from doing anything unpredictable, the thing I noticed most was how resilient and adaptable the natural world can be.

The look on my face must have been one of utter confusion as Hardy Ruf explained to me that I’d be standing thigh-deep in a high-country lake and, if the light was right, I’d be sight-casting to big lake trout not 20 feet from me.

“You don’t believe me, do you?” Hardy asked. What was I to say? Lake trout, in the mind of a lifelong American angler, are deep-water char — denizens that live 100 feet below the surface, only coming into the shallows in the spring when the ice comes off and again in the fall, when it’s time to spawn. But in August? What’s this guy smoking? I told the proprietor of Dalton Trail Lodge exactly what I thought.

“No,” I said. “I’ll need to see this to believe it.”


I get it now. For years, I’ve bemoaned the notion that, for some deep-seeded reason known only to those crusty souls who worship at the altar of the Atlantic salmon, their chosen fish sits atop the throne of the fly-fishing monarchy.

First, I’m a landlocked Idahoan, for whom the luster has worn off of my state’s meager steelhead fishing opportunities. At home, chasing fish returning from the ocean has become depressing. Every year, the numbers seem to dwindle. Now, the decision to stay off the water is based almost solely on a crisis of conscience. Do I dare fish for anadromous trout that are hardly viable now and likely won’t be with us, at least in any reasonable numbers, 20 years from now?

Photo by Camden Spear


A river story

From around the tree, a rangy arm protruded, and in the man’s hand was what looked to us like a small cannon. A shot rang out and an honest-to-God bullet splashed into the water about five feet from the boat. Then another. And another.


A lake story

Old Sly was a son of a bitch. That’s what Dan’s father said, anyway. Dr. Johnson had a way with words around us kids — he was the only grownup in our uptight little East Texas neighborhood who’d dare curse in our presence. He wasn’t a doctor. He was a dentist, and after a glass of Glenlivet, he’d proffer up nuggets of wisdom that, as the son of an oil-field traffic manager and a “damn Yankee,” I couldn’t get enough of.


A woods story

We called it the Hobo Barn. At one time the mansion was likely the stuff of Gatsby-esque legend. It was massive. Simply stunning. Even in its dilapidated state, 13-year-old boys with summers free and a wide open agenda could see what the place once was.


A boreal story

It’s a satisfying gurgle, the sound forged through dark water as a foam creation tied dreamily late one winter night is retrieved in fits and starts over dark, north woods water six months later. Yellow with red painted-on dots, trailed by two white marabou feathers and a few strands of tinsel, it passes as a popper, albeit a poor man’s creation.


It went something like this...

"There was a barbecue somewhere in Port Isabel over the weekend, and the folks sitting around drinking Shiner had quite the story to tell while the pig finished up in the pit. It was the kind of barbecue I would have loved—sunshine, great weather, good people … some great food and beer. Just good friends enjoying one of those patented South Texas winter days before the throngs of tourists and spring breakers show up and generally throw everything into chaos. I'm guessing it went something like this..."


Don't put your fingers in the lake ...

Henry squeezed my son’s shoulder and looked the boy in the eyes. His expression sobered. “When we get to Kudeniuk,” he said, “don’t put your fingers in the lake. I don’t even wash my hands in it.” Henry’s expression never broke. Cameron started to laugh, assuming the guide was pulling his chain. But Henry slowly shook his head. “They come out of nowhere,” Henry said. “One minute, there’s nothing. The next, they’re grabbing your hand. I’m not kidding.”

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Don't make a sound...

"Cast," Fabian said to me. "Quickly. Cast." I loaded the 8-weight with one back cast, threw in the haul and sent the Gotcha flying about 80 feet. The fly landed just at the nose of the big bone, and I let it sink, immensely satisfied with my effort. "Okay. Strip," Fabian said. And then silence. I looked down at the little man -- a good 16 inches shorter than me -- who now had put his hands around the edges of his glasses. "Wait," he said. "It is a stick." I had delivered the best cast of my life to a stick. We laughed. A lot.


Not all dream trips go as planned ...

Sweat was beading up on my forehead as I tussled with the shoulder straps of my waders. Then the zipper. Then the goddamned wading belt. I uttered every iteration of the mother of all swear words, beginning it with the usual prefixes and ending it with all sorts of creative suffixes as I hurried to de-wader on the banks of Chile's pastoral Palena River. I groaned in agony. My gut seized. As emergencies go, this was about as urgent as it gets on the river without life and limb at stake.
"Son of a ..." I swore. The waders finally fell to my ankles and I hurriedly dropped over the log.


Mosquitoes like this tug at the loose strings of your soul

They’d buzz around your ears, making you dance and dart. Imagine four anglers waiting for a canoe ride at the end of a portage, jumping around and swatting themselves in some twisted Northwoods version of the Funky Chicken. These Canadian mosquitoes were ruthless. “There must be 50 of them on your back,” my fishing buddy Mark Taylor said to me as we got in the boat at the end of an amazing day of fishing.
“Well, for the love God, get them off!”


Fly fishing Alaska's Dalton Highway

Was it worth it? Was it worth the price of a camper, the expense of 10-ply tires and tucking myself into an RV shower on a daily basis? Was it worth the road time, the viewscape often received through the windows of an SUV as I hustled to get from one spot to the next? Was it worth the cost of Canadian gasoline, fries served with gravy and dragging a summer’s worth of belongings through mud, over rocks and through rain, sleet, snow and midnight sunshine? You’re God-damned right it was.

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by Chris Hunt


In this, The Little Black Book of Fly Fishing, authors Kirk Deeter and Chris Hunt take you to the next level, building upon what Deeter and Charlie Meyers did in The Little Red Book. The Little Black Book will helps fly fishers build upon what they learned in the Little Red Book. Read this valuable, thought-provoking guidebook, and you'll be at the point where you'll be catching fish when no one else is, and you'll know exactly why you are. Advanced casting, presentation, reading the water, fly selection, and much more, including proper gear selection, are all covered. The table of contents, below, explains it all.

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Fly-fishing has its sacred waters the world over. Yellowstone National Park claims some of the craft’s most storied destinations. Casting in the Firehole River is like going back in time to when bison roamed nearly every meadow in the West. Restored to their natal streams after near extinction, native Arctic grayling can once again be plucked from icy water at the foot of breathtaking waterfalls. Meanwhile, a daylong hike into true wild country rewards an angler with a chance to catch trophy native cutthroat trout on a lonely mountain lake. Local journalist and experienced angler Chris Hunt crafts both a guide and homage to Yellowstone’s iconic and wild trout.

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Idaho's clear flowing rivers are world famous for fly fishing, but finding that elusive perfect spot to land a trophy in the vast wilderness requires a lot of time and knowledge. Fortunately, writer, angler and conservationist Chris Hunt has traveled to some of the state's most idyllic areas to find the best fishing the Gem State has to offer. Adventurous anglers can follow his directions off the beaten path to enjoy excellent scenery and even better fishing. Brimming with expert tips and seasonal strategies for each location, this handy guide will find its place in a dry pocket for every successful excursion.

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Customer review: "This book is packed with plenty of depth. I'll give you a few examples. First and foremost, Chris repeatedly writes about the importance of protecting the precious creeks and rivers that hold wild trout and other fish. The theme of conservation resonates throughout this book and makes you want to do more to preserve these wild places and finite resources for posterity."

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