Glass ain't dead
There is a small resurgence of interest in fiberglass rods on the water in the last few years and it may have more practical applications than you may think.
Just like how in modern day fly fishing rod materials are pretty much dominated by graphite materials there was a time when fiberglass controlled the world. My dad tells me a story about once a year when he was fly fishing in the 70's with my uncle and looked downstream at his brother and admiring his smooth loops laying out 40' or so of line effortlessly. At the end of the day he remarked at how good of a caster my uncle had become. My uncle responded that he had not been practicing his cast at all it was just his new rod made of space aged fiberglass! In those days the jump from bamboo rods to fiberglass was quite the game changer.
Fly Tying Class!!
Fly tying is a great way to stay connected to your fishing passion during the cold winter months and a great advancement in your world of angling skills. On top of all that it's just really fun and a lot easier than you might think. We are offering a few options to get you spinning hackles in the right direction.
Winter Steelhead Trip
The Olympic Peninsula in Washington state is home to one of the largest runs of wild steelhead in the lower 48. The Bozeman Angler is offering a couple weeks of hosted fly fishing trips for these incredible fish and has a few openings left. Focusing mostly on the Hoh, Bogachiel, and Sol Duc rivers this is one of the best oppertunities to get into some fresh chromers in an incredibley beautiful coastal rainforest setting. Some of the hardest fighting fish on some of the prettiest waters in the world.
How things have changed
Found an old box of photos in the shop mostly fish pictures from the 90's and early 2000's. Brought back memories of fishing as a kid in giant oversized neoprene waders with click and pawl reels. You just got really hot and clammy midday and went for a swim to cool down. I never remember having anything clothing, boots, or waders that actually fit you'd just roll up the sleeves and hit the river draped in heavy cotton or some fabric that didn't breath at all. Still had a blast fishing but was very uncomfortabler at times.
Winter Fishing in Montana
Winter fishing can really be one of the best ways to enjoy Montana's waters in a calm and quiet atmosphere. The last two days have dropped a solid base of snow around Bozeman and that's enough to get us thinking about getting prepared to enjoy the next few months of cold weather angling. There are so many great options to get your trout fix around here during the cold season some people like winter fishing better than the Summertime.
End of the season? Nope...
“When does the fishing season end around these parts?” I get this question on almost a daily basis here at the shop. Truth is, catch and release trout fishing is a year-round endeavor for a lot of local fishy folk. Sure our ‘busy season’ is that May through September time frame, but winter fishing in Southwest Montana can provide some of the most productive adventurous trips of the year.
Breathe new life into packages of rabbit strips
Rabbit fur is a very versatile material for tying flies. It is a staple in many popular trout patterns such as the sculpzilla or my favorite, the copper zonker. Unfortunately, the way small packs of rabbit fur are packaged smashes down the fur and leather strips. This leads to a tangled mess that is hard to work with.
Luckily, there is a quick five-minute solution that will transform the rabbit strips back to the original pre-packaged condition. Simply boil some water and utilize the steam created to re-fluff the rabbit. Use a pair of tongs to hold the rabbit strips in path of the steam. Occasionally brush the fur back in one direction and pull on the leather to encourage the fur and hide back to the original position. Be careful not to leave the fur in the steam to the point where it is dripping wet with condensation.
We all get the streamer bug pretty hard in the Fall and with all the chases and aggraessive grabs really whats not to like about it? The trend in the last few years amongst streamer guys is using the biggest fly possible to target the biggest fish in the river. Now there is nothing wrong with that and the pay off can result in a monster trout but sometimes it pays off to focus on the smaller size streamers as well.
The Moose of the Madison
One of my favorite animals in Montana is the Moose. They're just so big and ungainly looking you can't help but like them. They're also incredibly ornery. I love to see them out on the river, but you do have to be careful. An angry moose could really ruin your day.
Everyone here at the shop has seen a lot of moose this year. There's been a couple of them hanging out in Valley Garden on the Upper Madison all summer long. We've seen them on the Lower Madison, up by Varney on the Upper, I even saw one on the Yellowstone last month.
Here's a few of them we've seen this year:
Last winter Peter and I went a little crazy with the color blue. We tied lots and lots of streamers with it, nymphs with it, I even tied a couple dry flies with it. We had all kinds of blue materials in the shop on the tying wall. Some people thought we were crazy. We sure didn't.
Blue is one of those colors you don't see too much of outside of the steelhead market. Will it work for trout flies? Sure, why not. Everyone thought that purple was just a fad and a crazy color that couldn't possibly catch fish. But people tied flies in it and sure enough it stuck around. Today everyone knows about the Purple Haze. There aren't any bugs that come to mind off the top of my head that are purple. What makes it work so well?
My personal theory is that fishing colors that trout don't see all the time really makes a difference. Purple worked so well when it first came out partly because no one was fishing purple flies. If you look in fly bins at a Western trout focused shop, you likely won't see much blue. That's one of the reasons I tied a lot of flies in it.