Research and Development
Had to run a few errands yesterday morning like get a box of custom tied meaty pike flies mailed out to my buddy in South Dakota. Finally got all the loose ends tied up and whip finished so i busted to the river to test out a bunch of streamer patterns i've been working on all winter. The 30 MPH winds kept most of the fishing access sites pretty void of anglers and full of fresh air. As long as i'm not rowing i really dont care what the wind does anymore. I grabbed my 8wt. and a box of flies and headed out to walk wade with my favorite fishing buddy Trutta the black lab.
Getting Ready For The Fishing Season
Fishing season has been underway all year long, but each and every day we’re seeing more people hitting the water. This beautiful weather and the great fishing is drawing lots of people to the river. It won’t be too much longer and the traditional busy season will be well underway.
If you haven’t done much fishing over the winter, or even if you have, here are a few tips to get ready for the coming year.
The Baetis Hatch
Larger numbers of Baetis have been showing up everyday on the Lower Madison. I spent a few afternoons last week tossing dries to rising fish over there. I usually scan the weather forecast for overcast days where the wind will be minimal. A typical Baetis session for me will involve driving or hiking along the river and stopping along the way at likely areas to check for rising fish. Typically, I look for shallow, weedy flats, foamy eddies, and softer water along the banks where the bugs will start to collect. Depending on the glare, the rising fish can be hard to spot, so I will often just sit and wait for a bit in areas likely to be holding feeding fish. Below are some of my favorite Baetis dry fly imitations that we sell at the shop.
Bozeman Anglers and Scientific Anglers
Aside from this morning the weather has been fantastic and so has the fishing. Yesterday was around 70 degrees and sunny and today the spring wind and rain smacked us around. Whatever the clouds and cool temperatures usually bring out the BWOs. We are starting to see more fish up on top going after the baetis and midges. We've seen a few skwallas and march browns but nothing really targeting them on the surface yet.
Bozeman Angler Annual Gear Swap Coming Soon
The annual Bozeman Angler Gear Swap is coming up soon! We will be holding the event on Saturday, April 25th. This is a great chance to sell your old rods, reels, fishing gear, flies, books, waders, etc and get new gear! You can get full details on our Events page.
This is always a fun event and you never know what kind of deals you might find! There is always some good stuff in here that you really can't find in any of the local shops. If you've been thinking about upgrading your equipment for the coming fishing season this is a good chance to. If you have any items that sell, you can get a check for the amount minus a 20% commission or get store credit for the entire amount. Clean out the closet of all that old stuff and buy a new rod or reel!
Product Review: Air-Lock Strike Indicators
Everyone is always trying to find that new piece of technology or some gadget that will give them a leg up over all the other anglers on the river. Even if you’re not trying to get an advantage over other fishermen, there a lot of products on the market designed to make life easier, to make the time we spend on the water more enjoyable and less work.
Strike indicators for nymphing are one such thing that has completely changed the game. First it was those stick on foam ones and the big fluffy bundles of wool. Those worked, and still do, but not very well. They would get waterlogged and sink or were just too wind resistant and bulky to cast well. When the Thingamabobbers came onto the scene they changed everything. Now it was possible to have a durable, long floating bobber that was very sensitive. But they weren’t perfect. They are prone to slip and put a nasty kink in your line when you take them off.
Enter the Air-Lock Strike Indicator.
Been guiding a number of days the last few weeks and it has been such a positive start to the season. Lot's of good days of awesome fishing and happy clients who after a number of years rowing them down rivers feel more like friends than customers. This is one of my favorite parts of working in this industry and really what makes it all work for me since when it comes down to it we are all here to enjoy fly fishing. Being able to share your passion with others who see and understand the beauty of the sport is the most rewarding aspect of our work. Sorry to get all sappy on you but it is just such a cool thing to be a part of and i'm so stoked to see what the upcoming season brings. "They can't all be great days but if you can get more great than bad days on the water you're doing good" an old veteran guide once told me.
Let Them Go So They Can Grow
It's a great feeling to catch a fish. Any fish. But especially a big fish. When you catch them, why not put them back so you can enjoy it again and again? And maybe releasing that fish will give someone else the chance to catch them and experience it for themselves. Fortunately catch and release is pretty well ingrained in modern fly fishing culture. Keep it up.
You always remember your first.
Yesterday I took my girlfriend out for her first day ever of fly fishing. We'd been waiting for a nice day with the proper conditions, and everything finally lined up right. The weather was going to be good, the sun was going to shine and the fishing has been awesome. Taking someone fishing for their first time is always kind of nervewracking. You want them to have fun and enjoy it, not catch nothing and hate it. Especially when it's your girlfriend you're taking out.
The Fishing has been just killer this week and while the indicator rig may be putting crazy numbers of fish in the net the streamer bite has been picking up as well. I've been having better luck with fish committing on the smaller sized patterns but getting a few chases on the big articluated ones.