Our Original Trout Bum of the Week: Mike Dawes


Mike Dawes with a taimen caught during an exploratory trip to Mongolia.
Photo via dawesflyfishing.com

[Editor’s Note: I’m on vacation this week, and I thought it would be cool to revisit our original TBoTW, since the number of profiles we’ve done is in the thirties now.]

Welcome to our first “Trout Bum of the Week” post, in which we’ll highlight one of the guys living the good life…of a sort. Most of them are guides who have turned their passion into a vocation, spending their time in an outdoor “office” that may include a drift boat, gorgeous mountain scenery, and crystal clear water. Others do have day jobs but manage to spend every other available minute on the water with a fly rod in hand. Whether you aspire to one lifestyle of the other, it’s illuminating to explore the different paths these men and women have taken on their way to achieving “trout bum” status.

Mike Dawes’s job title, president of WorldCast Anglers , doesn’t sound very “trout bummy,” but that’s before you watch him single-handedly lower a raft into the Teton Canyon for a float trip in the video below. You don’t see the presidents of many other companies getting this filthy.


Mike needed help with this arapaima in Guyana.
Photo courtesy Mike Dawes

He does it because the Teton River Canyon is his favorite water in the whole world, so serious physical labor is a small price to pay to float serenely through the canyon, casting to big cutthroats, without another angler in sight.

Mike’s family has deep roots in the world of fly fishing, as his grandfather helped found Deep Water Cay Bonefishing Club in the late 1950s. With instructors like his grandfather and his dad making sure he got a fast start in angling, Mike has been immersed in the sport since the age of five when he caught his first trout on the fly.

We asked Mike a series of pointed questions about the sport, and here are his replies:

When did you start fly fishing? When I was 5.

What’s your favorite water? Teton River Canyon.

What’s your favorite fly-rod quarry? Permit.

What’s your most memorable fly-fishing moment? Catching my first trout on a fly with both my father and grandfather in the boat.

What’s your most forgettable fly-fishing moment? It was by no means forgettable, but going all the way to Inida for mahseeer and getting skunked.

What do you love most about fly fishing? The people you meet, the places you go, and of course all the gear.

What’s your favorite piece of gear and why? The Carry-It-All rod case because when they lose all your luggage, you can still fish.

What’s your next dream destination? India, for some revenge on the mahseer!

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