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.
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.