Casting Over Ketchum By Terry Ring
A big part of fishing is observation – watching how trout react to insects - watching them feed on and below the surface. Silver Creek, with its clear, slow moving water, is an aquarium. Many days I will pack my camera and a tripod along with my fishing tackle. Some days the rod hardly gets used.

Casting Around Ketchum

Fly fishing and photography were created to complement each other.

Roderick Haig-Brown wrote, “My senses are much keener when I am walking with a rod or gun in my hand.” A fishermen watches the sky, notices the breeze, the insects in the air or on the water and the dimple made by a rising trout. He is alert and aware. As a photographer I am constantly looking at the light.

I can’t look at anything without composing a picture. My senses get sharper when I have a rod and camera in my hand. I started guiding for Will Godfrey in 1975 on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in eastern Idaho. The mid 70’s was the wooden boat era, before fiberglass drift boats came onto the scene; and also, a time for Kodachrome.

This region, central and eastern Idaho, is famous for great light and dramatic landscapes. Throw in some of the best dry fly water in the world, colorful guides and locals, sprawling ranches and ever changing weather, and you see why almost every fly fishing photographer comes to this area, or lives here. From Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Yellowstone Park, to Sun Valley, Idaho, millions of photos have been taken of the great hatches, fish, guide trips, scenery and wildlife.

These photos are from the film era. Film was expensive and my film budget was below minimal. I carried my Nikon FM camera tucked inside my waders upwards of 100 days a year. I only shot 6 rolls of 36 exposure film a season and did not know what I had until after the season was over and a package arrived in the mail from Kodak’s Palo Alto, California lab. I had to pay attention to composition, manually focus the camera and use the light meter, every shot counted.


The brown drake hatch on Silver Creek is an incredible angling and social experience. Every year in early June, fishermen try to time their trip to Silver Creek to catch the brown drake hatch. Here, Jerry Soracco ties into a nice Silver Creek rainbow trout. I used a coral filter to give the image the warm tones.
Flies, Flies, Flies – who wants to count the flies. The Silver Creek Outfitters fly display has been around for 35 years and is full of high quality flies. The specialty patterns are tied by Idaho tiers like Renee Harrop and Joe Bare. The more basic patterns are imported.
The fall is a beautiful time of year on Silver Creek and as the crowds thin out you can sometime find yourself alone. This picture was taken during a mahogany dun hatch in early October. In addition to the mahogany duns, baetis and midge hatches can give you some good fall fishing. Don’t be afraid to pull a streamer if you want to try for big browns.
Bobby Foster fishing on Warm Spring Creek with Wilbur Bear, a red border collie who loves going fishing. This image was taken in August, we fished pale morning duns, blue winged olives and tricos to rising fish all morning.
Two nice trout feed, undisturbed, in Sullivan’s pond, near Silver Creek.
Famous Potatoes and rivers, trout, hatches, skiing, elk hunting, movie stars…
While fishing Silver Creek in the fall, you can experience a variety of weather. Here, Silver Creek Outfitter’s manager, Dave Falting, is fishing a baetis hatch on Silver Creek as a storm rolls in.
Trout are so incredibly beautiful. I took this photo (with a macro lens) of a perfectly proportioned foot long rainbow caught on the Big Wood River, just south of Ketchum. A thin layer of clouds helped diffuse the light which allowed the details to show up much better than in intense sunlight.
Muldoon Canyon is home to the Ee da Ho Ranch. The name Idaho came from an Indian phrase Ee da How which means, “Light coming down the mountain.” The sun coming through the dust on the road gave this image a warm glow.
Graham Mackenzie looking for a big brown on Idaho’s Little Wood River. The Little Wood is a great place to pull big streamers, especially in the fall when the brown are getting ready to spawn. As Graham changed flies, I snapped this picture with a near full moon rising over the Idaho desert.
Left – Brown Drake Spinner. My first attempt at macro photography, this picture was taken in the late 70’s with a Nikon FM camera with a 55 mm Nikkon Macro Lens. I caught the insects the night before and put them in the refrigerator to try and get them to hold still long enough for me to take a picture. Middle – Silver Creek Outfitter’s guide Brian Richter looks for rising trout during a spectacular brown drake hatch on Silver Creek. This picture was taken using a coral filter to enhance the warm evening light. Right – Legendary Silver Creek Outfitter’s guide Phil Crabtree releasing a Silver Creek rainbow trout. The picture was taken with a Nikon F5 camera and a 80 – 200 mm Nikkor Lens.

Contributed By

Terry Ring

My passion for fishing started when I was very young and evolved into fly fishing at 9 or 10. I bought my first camera when I was in high school and enrolled in Mr. Devoe’s photography class as an elective at Boise High School. From that day forward I always had a camera around my neck. I have been the owner of Silver Creek Outfitters, a premier fly fishing guide service and fly shop, for 34 years.

I started my guiding career at Will Godfrey’s Fly Shop in 1975, guiding fly fishermen in eastern Idaho, western Montana and Yellowstone National Park. I earned a degree in economics from Boise State University. I am a serious amateur photographer and have had photography published in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Orvis, Fly Fishermen Magazine and various other periodicals and books.


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