Fly Fishing Guide

In the moment.

"Fly Fishing allows me to be immersed in the present moment, there is nothing else to do and nothing else to pursue."

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

John Buchan

Ketchum local Cal McCarthy graduated from Wood River High School (Go, Warriors!) before attending Western Washington University and Colorado Mountain College. But he felt the call of the Wood River Valley and returned home and to the waters he grew up in. His first fishing memory is as a four-year-old, tossing dry flies into the river while sitting on his father’s shoulders. Now, his favorite flies are hoppers. “The length of the hatch, how willing large fish are to eat them, and hopper dropper rigs make hoppers a blast,” he enthused.

Guiding Style

Flexible. “I consider myself goal oriented, I like to tailor my day to the guests,” Cal says. A natural teacher, he also wants his guests to fall in love with fly fishing.

Fun Facts about Cal

  • He once swam across the Ganges River.
  • His go-to spot after a guide trip? Ketchum’s La Cabanita restaurant for what he calls the “valley’s best Mexican food”, and, of course, an ice cold beer.
  • Cal is also a snowboard instructor and loves teaching. “Whenever you see someone really pick up the sport, when you see that passion light up in their eyes, those are the best days. I love knowing when I just taught someone something that will bring them joy for the rest of their lives.”
  • An AASI certified instructor, Cal has been snowboarding for 17 years.
  • An epic adventure saw Cal backpacking through Thailand, Nepal, and India for five months.
What folks say about fishing with Bret

Incredible time; Warm & friendly, informative& FUN.

Tema Burkley

Cal was extremely knowledgeable and patient with us.

Randy Browne

I've had to guides now Cal and Carl Evenson - Both top notch!

Anonymous

Cal was terrific-- friendly guy, and really enjoyed his helping my daughter and I learn how to fly fish. Cal is a skilled teacher-- he had some techniques which were really good to get the "feel" of how to properly cast, and explained things well. For example, when mending, I didn't realize that if the not mending causes the fly to look unnatural to the fish-- so it was really helpful to understand not on the "how" but also the "why". Again, excellent teacher-- hope I get to fishing with Cal again. 5 stars!

Anonymous

Best day on the creek ever.

Steve Strandberg

Cal was great, both for local knowledge and for tips on fishing in general.

Anonymous