Landing a job as a river keeper is a rare thing indeed. It takes dedication, patience and an abiding love for the river. It also takes a rather unique personality.
Doug Andres, river keeper on a stretch of Silver Creek on the Double R Ranch near Picabo, Idaho, fits the bill. From late April through October of each year Doug lives in a 27-foot trailer on the Double R, just 50 feet or so from Silver Creek. He spends the balance of each year playing poker in Biloxi, MS, and Grand Ronde, OR where he is known as “Doug the Baker.” After a freak accident left him with one leg, Andres would not be stopped. These days, he can still be found floating his beloved Silver Creek in a float tube, or caring for the river he loves so much.
Words: Nick Price
The Double R Ranch is on a piece of Silver Creek that is broken down into beats and offers flyfishermen the ability to work a beat from a float tube. Doug leaves his spare prosthetic leg in his waders for the fishing season. It’s much easier for him this way. He can get into his waders with relative ease. On any given morning or afternoon, Doug’s prosthesis—the one he wears on a daily basis—and a chair wait for him near the river’s edge at the end of his float much like a truck and trailer sit at the take-out on many western rivers…
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