With roots in the Wood River Valley starting as early as 1949, Jason Buck was bound to be a Blaine County resident someday. His grandparents arrived in the area via the Union Pacific Railroad and immediately fell in love with the town and people. Jason was not far behind them. A Californian at birth, Jason headed to the University of Idaho for his schooling before replanting his roots in Ketchum. A few decades later, Jason, joined the team at SCO as a fly fishing instructor, became a volunteer for the Ketchum Fire Department, and started guiding trips for whitewater rafting, upland birds, and big game.
Fly fishing first captured Jason’s heart when he was 13 years old. He recalls learning the sport when his father threw a hopper into a small stream in the Sierras that was promptly swallowed by a big fish. “Needless to say, we fished hoppers for the rest of the day,” he said.
As an outdoor enthusiast, Idaho is Jason’s paradise. “There are many options for fun adventures and it really is a great place to be a public land owner.” When Jason’s off-season rolls around, days on the river or in the mountains with his kids, wife & lab, are at the top of his list. During the fall, you will see him chasing waterfowl, upland birds, and elk. As the winter months roll around, Jason gets his days in skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking. But the fun doesn’t stop there. His passion for fishing sends him to new areas close to home or around the world including New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Alaska, Mexico, Florida, and Montana – to name a few.
Jason’s favorite time of year to fish is fall at Silver Creek. And like many fisherman, his goal is always to hunt big fish. “I like to key in on one and try to catch that particular trout,” he said. For Jason, two stories come to mind when asked about his favorite fishing memories. Top of the pile is teaching his now 3-year-old daughter to fish on Silver Creek. With his help, she’ll be a pro in no time. The second memory was a time spent with a guest who was visiting from the Higher Ground program. “This wounded veteran was booked for four straight days of fishing. What’s funny is we fished a total of two hours in that four days. We put hundreds of miles on my truck and rarely put the fly on the water. There’s no question, it’s not always about the fish,” Jason said.
Jason loves to spend time with people who have never experienced fly fishing and really enjoys teaching people about the area and outdoors. If you’re new to town or the sport, he recommends you stop in the shop and learn the latest happenings. “Once you connect with a guide and get out on the creek – always stay positive and have fun!” And in case you were wondering what the best ending is to a great day fishing, he shares his secret. Budweiser – from the bottom of an ice-filled cooler.