Before we begin our 2017 Ramble, we wanted to look back at 2016 and all the adventures we shared.   We were “on the road” for 231 days in 2016 and traveled 12,847 miles in the SaraLinda.  We should have checked the odometer on the Subaru Crosstrek we tow behind, to see just how many miles our car went.  I’m guessing easily double the SaraLinda.

We fished 47 of the TU Top 100 Trout Streams in 2016.  These 47 streams were scattered across 15 states.  In addition, we fished 24 additional streams on our Ramble, bringing the total to 71 streams fished in 2016.  To be honest, some of the “other” streams we fished were easily as amazing as the TU Top 100; streams like Duke’s Creek (GA), East Fork of the French Broad (NC), Pine Creek (PA), and Soda Butte (WY) to name just a few.

We also had some great “road trips” and diversions along the way that made our Ramble even more interesting.  Our visit to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was very special.   Stopping by Crater Lake in Oregon and Craters of the Moon in Idaho exposed us to the volcanic nature of the American West.  Yellowstone National Park is always a highlight anytime we get to visit.  Our Ramble allowed us to be in YNP for about two weeks, not just fishing but exploring the park and experiencing a Snow Day.  We even made it to Woodstock!

We always enjoyed finding interesting places to eat and drink along the way.  Of course, we sampled some local beers that became favorites of ours from Ubu in NY (thanks Rachel Finn) to my Montana fav Cold Smoke.  We also found our fair share of great local bakeries.

Of course, music is always a highlight for us as we travel.  We found music in many different places, from music halls like Infinity Hall in Connecticut, to bars and breweries like Innovation Brewing in Sylva (NC), to the back porch of our dear friends Sue and Dud in Bozeman.  We were blessed to meet amazing musicians along the way, even guides who were in bands.  We featured many of them in our music videos we created, usually to highlight an area or state.  These included:  Hunter Morris, our guide on the Toccoa River in NC, whose band Blue Blood provide the background to our North Georgia Recap; Miller Watson of PMA, who backgrounded Tuckaseegee Views;  the duo Bird in Hand who shared Ms. Carolina for our North Carolina review; Atlas Gray who rocked Infinity Hall and shared their music for our Connecticut Color; and Kostas who provided our holiday post “Reflections Off the Water“.   Music will continue to be a major part of our Ramble.

Throughout out trip, we were constantly fishing the most beautiful places on earth and catching the most beautiful fish.  However, as we came to realize early on, “Its Not About the Fish“.  Scenery is great and hooking into trout is awesome; the Ramble has truly been about the people we’ve met who have helped us and befriended us along the way.  The guides we’ve had have been knowledgeable, focused on safety and so kind to us.  We’ve had 39 different guides who’ve pointed the way for us during 2016.  Their stories are told in our “Guide Talks”.  We’ve also met some amazing people who own, run and staff the numerous fly shops we’ve visited.   It’s not just been the assistance in picking the right flies, or the right stretches of trout streams or even the “Nunya” waterways they’ve shared;  it’s also been how welcoming they’ve been to us, inviting us into their homes, breaking bread with them, sharing a beer and allowing us to really get to know their local areas and waters.  These have been and will continue to be the most memorable parts of our Ramble…. the people we’ve met.

So, as 2016 draws to a close, we are already plotting 2017.  We’ll be starting in Arkansas in February and then heading west to begin.  We’ll fish our way around the west in the spring and summer before heading back east for the late summer and fall season, ending our 2017 Ramble in Tennessee.  We’ll fish 48 different TU Top 100 trout streams in 2017 and countless others along the way.  We are really looking forward to 2017 and hope you’ll follow along with us.  For now, we hope you’ll enjoy this 2016 recap music video set to “Follow Me” by Bird in Hand.

Thanks again to all who made our 2016 so special…. and Cheers to 2017 as we….

Ramble On!

As those of you who’ve been following us know, we love to find great local musicians wherever we go on our River Ramble adventure.  We’ve found some great music venues like Infinity Hall in Connecticut and enjoyed some great artists including Atlas Gray who we featured in our Connecticut Color video.  We met the duo Bird In Hand in Sylva, NC, at an evening gig at Elevation Wine Bar; they graciously allowed us to use “Ms. Carolina” for our tribute to NC.  We’ve had guides who were in bands and shared their music with us that we’ve featured on our site.   We even made a pilgrimage to the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival and stood on the hallowed ground of the stage where all those amazing musicians played.

With this in mind, it seemed fitting to share yet another great musician with you for the holidays.  We met Kostas Lazarides (professionally known as Kostas) one evening at The Mint in Belgrade, MT.  Our dear friends, Sue Doss and Dud Lutton, had invited us to join a group who was having dinner at The Mint and listening to Kostas.

Since that evening, we’ve heard Kostas perform numerous times at music venues in the Gallatin Valley and at Sue and Dud’s place in Bozeman.  He is a singer and songwriter who is renowned in the country music world for hits such as Timber, I’m Falling in Love and Blame It On Your Heart, which was the most performed single of 1994.  He’s written songs for a multitude of artists including:  Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakum, Travis Tritt, Martina McBride, The Dixie Chicks and The Mavericks.

We really enjoy all of Kostas’ music, but one night, Barb and I heard Kostas sing two songs that struck a chord with us, relative to our “ramble”;  the song featured in this post and one other we’ll save as a surprise for next year.  For now, please enjoy this music video tribute to “Reflections Off the Water” by Kostas.

Ms. Carolina


Leaving North Carolina was incredibly difficult for us.  We fished in some incredibly beautiful streams.  Caught some spectacular trout including all three species (brown, rainbow and brook) on both the Nantahala and Tuckasegee and made some new friends from our awesome guides, to new musicians, to restaurant owners, fly shop gurus and more.

The video above is a recap of our time in NC.  Its set to the song “Ms. Carolina” by Asheville-based duo Bird in Hand.  Band members Bryan and Megan Thurman are a fantastic duo playing what they describe as Appalachian Thunder Folk.  We were so fortunate to hear them play at Evolution Wine Kitchen in Sylva, NC on April 1st.  Their tour starts soon and has many stops including at the 5 Spot in Nashville (4/22), at Westport Station in KC (4/29), Lions Lair in Denver (5/5) and Adair’s Saloon in
Dallas (5/11).  You can check out their entire tour on their Facebook page and their music on ReverbNation.  I promise you’ll love to hear them.  To all our friends and subscribers, go see them and please tell them Tom and Barb sent you!