High water have you down? Fishing sound unproductive? Go anyways... And enjoy it.
Ever get up in the morning and get your things together to go to the river, then get to the river and it not be everything you ever hoped for? You've probably fished in the Rocky Mountains during the month of May. With weather and water conditions being extremely inconsistent and unpredictable, fishing can be more work than play. When a fisherman/fisherwoman finds himself or herself in this position he or she has two options. 1.) You could always throw up the white flag. Kneel before Mother Nature and go home. But no good stories come from such actions. 2.) You could figure out a way to enjoy what opportunity has been given to you. Seize the Day, ya know. Fish anyways. Just in case.. I choose #2 most of the time.
High Water Mark
Spring is here and more people are getting out and enjoying the great weather and great fishing! It is always such a great time of year, hearing everyone come into the shop and sharing their encounters with some of our local fish and rivers. One thing about this time of year, the high water pushes people closer to the high water mark. It is critical that we, as fisherman are aware of our boundaries. Respect the land and the land owners in our amazing state. The rules are in the sprotsmans' favor as it is, there is no reason to get greedy now. If you have any questions about legal access and or legal boundaries feel free to come into the shop and we can help you out. None of us want the battle between fisherman and landowner to continue and become more of an issue.
Also with all of that, the fishing is getting good and things are shaping up to be a great year in terms of water for us here in the region.
Fly Fishing Classes
If you have ever wanted to learn all the things you needed to know to go out and be successful on the river, we offer the class you're looking for. Everything from a 2 hour casting lesson, to the knots you'll need to know. Also the importance of river edicate will be discussed so we can all still be friends when we see each other out on the water enjoying the great fishing Montana has to offer. Lunch is also included and will be brought here to shop so you can snack while we go over reading water and fly selection on some of our trickier water ways.
Bugs are out in force; and variety.
Shop staff Ethan, Marley and I made it down to the river last night after a long day in the shop. Believe it or not, sipping trout were not necessarily our main target but it turned into that kind of a night. The bugs started coming off in force early, around 5 o'clock. Caddis swarmed around the railroad bridge, then a little later the midges came off in great numbers. As the evening progressed we laid eyes on BWO's, Tan & Black Caddis, Midges, March Browns, and a couple lone Grey Drakes.
Even with the constantly changing water conditions, the bug activity right now is border line crazy. Has all of us here at the shop feeling very optimistic about the months to come.
Steelhead Trip Olympic Peninsula
We had a last minute cancellation on Rod's hosted steelhead trip to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state so there are now two spots available. This trip is usually booked up a year in advance so having a spot open up is pretty uncommon because the area is so pristine with incredible fishing. The OP is one of the last great Wild Steelhead runs on the West coast and pair that with the rainforest habitat that the rivers flow through and it's a spectacular combination.
The Importance of a New Fly Line
“I would rather cast a cheap fly rod with the best quality line rather than a high end rod with old crappy line.” --some fly shop dude
There is a lot of truth to this quote. Often times people mistake casting flaws for issues with the rod, when in reality a new line would solve a lot of problems. New quality line such as those from Rio and Scientific Anglers will have a smooth slick finish, with a supple core. These are qualities that will deteriorate over the life of the line depending on how it is abused and cared for. New line will shoot through the guides without much friction, creating a smooth effortless casting stroke. Old line with coils, cracks and a tacky texture will cause a caster to use more force to get the line to shoot through the guides.
Fishing This Week
It looks like we will get a couple days above freezing this week. Fishing can get pretty good during these mini thaw periods we tend to get every now and again in winter. Here are just a few things to keep in mind while fishing during the winter cold months:
Fly Fishing Film Tour!!
The Fly Fishing Film Tour is coming to Bozeman January 26th (Saturday). Based on the trailers it looks to be a good show! I think we are all hoping for plenty of slow motion topwater fish takes from explosive exotic species. Its always a good excuse to get out of the house, ward of cabin fever and get some new inspiration for the 2016 season. As always, the show will be at the Emerson, there will be beer. Get your tickets for a few bucks cheaper here at the shop! Check out the trailers for yourself at THEF3T.COM!!! SEE YOU THERE!
Tricks to keep warm while fishing in winter
For those of us who stay on the water year round, fighting the cold is a never ending battle. Just the thought of standing in 33 degree water in the middle of February is enough to make most normal people shiver. Here is a short and sweet list of the top five things I do to keep the cold at bay for as long as possible.
Update on the Gallatin
The Gallatin has been fishing very well from 4-corners through Big Sky. The trout are starting to stack thick in the deeper slower runs. Concentrate on this type of water. Fish your nymphs heavy and slow. You really need to get the flies close to the fish this time of year. Unlike the warmer months, trout will not move very far for food in the winter due to the cold water and slow metabolism. A rubberlegs with a zebra midge trailer is hard to beat this time of year. Focus less on the specific choice of fly and more on making sure your flies are deep