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Born to Fish: Jimmy Gabettas

Published online: Apr 05, 2024 East Idaho Outdoors Maudie Heard
Viewed 1297 time(s)

Former owner of Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler, Jimmy Gabettas, is well known in the community for his passion for fly fishing—a passion that has always been his second nature.

“I've always been drawn to fly fishing, the fly tying aspect of it, tying your own flies and getting out as much as I can,” Jimmy said. 

From the time Jimmy was a young child, he has been out making catches in the water.

“My earliest memory of fishing is when I was 4 or 5 years old,” Jimmy said. “My family would take me to fish. My parents and my sisters and I would go camping and fishing in some small streams in Wood River Valley.” 

The Gabettas’ family affair—outdoor recreation—was especially dear to Jimmy’s father. “My dad loved to fish,” Jimmy said. “Everywhere my dad fished, he packed me along.”

Spending time in the water with his dad quickly became a favorite pastime and at the young age of 20, Jimmy embarked on a new business venture.

In 1979, Jimmy opened Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler, an all-purpose and all-species fly shop. This full-service fly fishing shop would grow to become a staple in the fly fishing world, offering not just fishing supplies, but also knowledge, advice and companionship.

“There were not a lot of fly shops in Idaho at that time. There were very few in all of the state, maybe three or four,” Jimmy said. “Fly fishing was an up-and-coming sport. I was in college and I went in to change my major for the second time and the advisor said, ‘If this is something you want to do, go do it,’ he says, ‘Because you can always come back to college.’”

After 44 years in business, Jimmy would go on to sell and retire in June of 2023. The shop is now owned by Fly Fish Food and was renamed Fly Fish Food Jimmy’s to honor his legacy. 

Decades on the water and in the fly fishing shop have rendered Jimmy a local legend.

“The greatest accomplishment is being able to fish with friends and staying in contact with the people that I met when I first opened the shop,” Jimmy said. “They would come in and out of the shop a lot and I'd see them, some I watched grow up to the point of even having grandchildren.”

Now with more time to spend outdoors, Jimmy has an even greater appreciation for the community and all it has to offer.

“East Idaho has so much to offer,” Jimmy said. “There’s so much public access to water here that you don't have in other states. You know, Idaho is 67% public lands. So it just opens up a whole opportunity for not just a few people, but for everybody.” 

When he’s not out fishing in his favorite spots, Henry’s Fork or Mackay Reservoir, you can find Jimmy on the trail. “I really enjoy hiking,” Jimmy said. “I like the physical aspect of getting out hiking and being up on the mountain when the sun comes up and when it goes down.”

Jimmy’s countless memories on the water have forever impacted him. “I’ve got a lot of great memories,” Jimmy said. “Fishing with my dad when I was growing up and into my adult life, and fishing with my wife and my friends. It’s about the memories you have with the people you fished with.”

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