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These Hands That Tie

Three Rivers Ranch Fly Fishing Shop

By Nicole Christensen Pettinger, Photography by Cy Gilbert

The wind rustles through the trees around you, sun meets skin, river current is steady against waders, and all that is on your mind is the steady rhythm of the fly fishing line. This has been a day you’ve been looking forward to for awhile now, one to just shut out the world.

Idaho is home to some of the most renowned rivers in the Great Northwest, and Eagle features the newest fly fishing shop of Three Rivers Ranch. The shop is located in the heart of downtown Eagle at 60 S. Eagle Road and is run by owner Lonnie Allen’s children, Mary Seeley,and Chad Allen. Mary and Chad both attended Boise State University and love their community of Eagle.

Three Rivers Ranch originated in the early 1920’s, and is now thriving into its fourth generation. TRR has been noted in the Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report as one of the “Ten Best Lodges in the World” and prestigiously named “Orvis Lodge of the Year”. TRR is licensed to guide fly fishing guests on more waters than any other outfitter. Fishing is possible year round in Idaho due to its abundance; “Esto Perpetua” is the state motto, meaning “let it be eternal”. The Ranch and all of its stores provide a first-class experience to anglers from all over the world, as we are known for our blue ribbon waters here.

“For the discriminating fly fisher” the moment you step into the store, all senses are captivated. Spools of colorful line and premier rods regiment the walls, mesmerizing metallic reels catch your eye from across the room, an inviting table to hand-tie upon is found in the classroom basement, and 90,000 flies are on display throughout the three-story shop. Lovely DeYoung artistry is intermixed among the exceptional gear.

The store intrigues women, men, and children alike and either Mary or Chad can be found there. Everyone that works here has an attachment and profound respect for all that it encompasses. The children love the elevator and exquisite cascading glass chandeliers. A young boy selecting a gift for a party stops to appreciate the overhead piece of blown glass, which is artistically designed as a river scene.

Daily opening its doors excluding holidays, the staff is completely inviting and knowledgeable. “Most of our clientele has been established out of foot traffic and strongly built upon our Fly Fishing 101 Classes for all ages. The first class is free. What sets us apart is our Customer Service. There is no such thing as a stupid question. This is a family environment, people start working and never leave,” Manager and Guide Nick Minor states with a smile. Nick’s refreshing demeanor sets one at ease, and he continues, “our head guide has been with us for 43 years, some for 30, others 25. That is the ultimate goal once you begin here. We have 25 guides, with most people booking the lodge one year in advance. We have a 93% return rate. Typically it is one guide per two guests. I have never had a client get skunked.”

Nearby waters for anglers typically include: the Boise River and all of the Boise River tributaries, the North and Middle Fork of the Boise, the South Fork of the Boise, Big Wood, Owyhee, Big Lost, Payette, Salmon River, Clearwater, Silver Creek, Grande Ronde, and the Snake River. Best wishes on your next adventure in transfer of impulse.