For a lot of us in Bozeman, the last thing you want to wake up to in the middle of April is six inches of snow on the ground. While the idea of a big powder dump excites probably more people in this town than it bums out, it is still a bit of a let down after some warmer days in the 60s and 70s.
But it still just April in Montana. We could legitimately continue to see weather like this for a couple more months. If you don’t like it, wait a few days and it will completely change again. That’s just spring in the mountains.
New Fly Tying Video: Caddis Soft Hackle
Peter and I have been working on a lot of different videos for our YouTube channel. The latest one is now live! Peter walks you through tying one of the most classic and effective flies out there, a soft hackle. This particular soft hackle is a really good one for caddis, especially the Mother's Day Caddis hatch (which should be here very soon!). The soft hackle is one of those flies you should always have with you in all kinds of colors and sizes.
Fast and Easy Wader Repairs
It was the first morning of the week last September up in Alaska. I cleared the frost off my jet boat the best I could and loaded up my excited clients. After a chilly thirty-minute boat ride up river, we were at our morning run. Silver salmon were breaking the surface all around as I led my guests through the water and into position. It didn’t take long for one of them to start complaining about a numb leg. We walked to shore, and sure enough the lower part of his left wader had about a gallon of icy water in it… Long story short, I stripped down and switched waders with him for the day instead of going back to the Lodge and missing the morning bite.
We Like Brown Trout
Everyone has their favorite fish. For me, brown trout have always held my attention the most. Their aggressive nature, the large size, the fact they love chasing down big streamers and the beautiful colors are all reasons to love Salmo Trutta. Seriously, have you noticed all the colors on a brown trout? You can see shades of yellow, gold, red, blue, brown, silver… It’s all there. When you find those really buttery golden ones, it’s always heaven. Seeing that golden flash down in the water is sure to get your heart racing.
Last week I had the pleasure of fishing the Missouri with our guide Ken Stock and fellow shop guy Ethan. We went up there in the hope of finding dry flies, which we did, but the fish just weren’t too interested in them. Nymphing and slow stripping streamers was working best. We caught a few rainbows, but a lot of browns.
Blue Wing Olives
Been on the water the last two days fishing and guiding to find more good trout but i've also witnessed some incredible baetis hatches. It has been just an incredible spring of fishing in Montana but the dry fly hatches have been selective...untill now. It seems with the bad weather comes the bad weather bugs aka Blue Wing Olives aka BWO aka Baetis. They are an awesome insect that is often the first big hatch of mayflies that we see here in Montana's springtime. There have been some good hatches of them all over the last few weeks really but yesterday was the first day i found trout just smashing bugs on the surface with reckless abandon.
Complex Dubbing Twist Zonker at Work
This is going to be a short post, but just wanted to share some results of one of Peter's flies that we did a video of a few weeks ago. You can find the video on our YouTube channel here. Peter and I fished at Location X on Monday and while we did see a ton of Baetis on the water there were no fish rising and the nymphing and streamer fishing was a bit slow. Like really slow. Nevertheless, it was a pretty awesome day on the water.
Getting Ready For Dry Fly Fishing
t’s been a long winter of staring at bobbers and anglers all over town are getting itchy to start fishing dries again. Sure, there is midge fishing in the winter but throwing mayflies and caddis are what really get a lot of people going. The spring Baetis are starting to pop in pretty good numbers all over the place and the dry fly season is just around the bend! Here’s a couple of things you can do to get ready for it.
Been taking out a few trips this last week with teenagers and their folks who have come to Bozeman to take a look at MSU campus and decided to do a day of fishing as well. It's no question that Montana's world class trout fishing, skiing, hiking, camping, biking, etc. is the drawing force for most young minds to decide to attend college here. I feel kinda spoiled having grown up here and having such amazing access to endless rivers and fly fishing was just a part of life. It didn't really dawn on me untill i started guiding and working in the fly shop that people from all over the world travel to Montana to experience the beauty that we savor basically in our backyard. Now it has become an incredibly rewarding experience for me, as a fishing guide, to share that with anglers from out of town.
The First Fish of the Day
You can often tell the quality of a day by the first fish of it. If it's a nice one it certainly gets hopes up that the day will be amazing. Yesterday, Ethan and I drove to Craig on the Missouri with guide Ken Stock. With the first five casts, I had landed this beauty:
Every once in a while a product comes along that is so well thought out and simple it stands far above the rest. For us that is the new fly boxes from Tacky Fly Fishing. Their whole thing is that your fly box is such an important piece of your fishing equipment why settle for a cheap plastic and foam box that will fall apart after one season or god forbid leak and rust your hooks? Whether you invest hard earned money into buying flies or precious time tying your own it is a terrible thing to see them destroyed by the elements.