As of late there has been one tool in our local fly fishing/guiding community that has basically gone viral. I can’t take credit for it and I certainly wouldn’t even say I’m an early adopter in this situation. When I trace its history, the earliest recorded use I was able to find was from a cave drawing in Greece dating back 12,000 years, oddly enough the next time it come up in is in a 16th century cookbook in Italy. More recently this ancient tool has started to show up in fly fishing circles. 


When I trace the recent history of this tool I can easily find its origin. I have been able to trace it all the way back to Mia and Marty Sheppard. Honestly that comes as no big surprise to me. They have been leaders and innovators in the fly fishing community for quite some time. 


The tool that I’m talking about is the stovetop Panini Press. I bet that’s not what you thought I was going to say.  Recently the Panini Press has been a topic of discussions so much so that it seems like it has gone viral. Viral might actually be a bit of an overstatement but it’s close.



It’s easy to wax poetic about these presses. You can literally put anything in it, finished product has a great look, perfect grill marks, melts gooey cheese, and when it gets hot it cranks out the sandwiches. 


Everyone has their favorites. Nick likes plain cheese, I like sourdough, with turkey and pepper jack. 


Marty and Mia are both Panini masters. I was texting back and forth with both of them to find out what their go to’s were. 


Mia said “I like salami, ham and cheddar with stone ground mustard, or deli roast beef and cheddar! Delicious! 


I asked her what her go to bread was “Cheese roll, I always have gluten free wraps too, for me.” 

The cheesy kaiser rolls are amazing, soft and squishy, with an added cheese kick. If you are really wild get the Jalapeño and cheese ones for an added kick  

Marty was a little more standoffish or maybe he was reluctant to tell me his favorite because he was scared I would copy it. Anyway this is what I was able to get out of him. 

Marty “Panini recipe: meat, cheese, mustard, and bread... That’s a good one”

Me “I see... do you butter your bread? And what kind of mustard do you use?”

Marty “No butter on bread. I use the cheesy bread and stone ground mustard.”


I’m thinking the real way to get to the bottom of this is, is to do a tasting. Book a trip with both of them and taste them riverside where I guarantee they taste the best!


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