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.
Tying A Blood Knot
One of the most common knots fishermen should knot how to tie is a tippet to leader connection. You'll use this out on the water more often than you might think. Changing tippet sizes, adding more length to a leader, or building your own leaders, this is an important one to know. While there are several knots you could use, Peter's favorite is the Blood Knot. Watch him tie it in our latest video:
Hank Patterson's Reel Montana Adventure is Coming to Bozeman!
Many of you already know Hank Patterson. His humoruous take on guiding and fly fishing in general has been entertaining people for years. Well he finally made a feature length film. And it's coming to Bozeman this Saturday!
Hank Patterson's Reel Montana Montana Adventure will be showing at the Emerson Theatre this Saturday at 8pm. Doors open at 7, so get there and get a good seat early. We've got tickets for $12 here at the shop, or a few bucks more at the door.
Skwalas on the Madison
Despite the forecast calling for very windy conditions, I headed out to the Upper Madison yesterday morning. I left town a little later than I wanted to and expected there to be a lot of people at the access. To my surprise, I was the only car in the parking lot. The fact that it was blowing 15 - 20 mph and looked like rain probably helped with the crowds.
The water is pretty low and clear up there right now, and it's been pretty warm up there. Day time water temps have been consistenly getting up above 42 degrees which is the magic number for Baetis to start showing up. I had hopes of seeing a few of them under the cloudy skies, but it was so windy I wasn't expecting much dry fly action.
Since the weather has been so fantastic lately i've been in plenty of fishing on my own and also picked up a few guide trips. When people ask me what the best time of year to fish in Montana is i usually tell them the spring time. Problem is most springtime trips in Montana along with awesome fishing tend to harbor the occasional snow storm. Not this year however it has been so nice and warm we've been trying to take advantage of the comfortable weather and live on the river.
Take The Time To Look Around
The first week after daylight savings time kicks in is always kind of weird. You walk out of work at closing time and realize with a shock that it's still light out. It takes a few days for your sleep patterns to normalize. And you have that sudden flash of thought all of sudden there is enough time to go fishing after work.
Last Monday, the first work day after the time change, Ethan and I decided to bust out of work in a hurry and head down to the Lower Madison to swing flies for an hour or so before it got dark. The sun was shining and it was just a beautiful day and all day in the shop all I could think about was getting out on the river.
Never Stop Learning
One of the aspects of fly fishing that keeps me always challenged and entertained is that there is no shortage of things to learn from the sport. It is a great paradigm if you consider that it's an activity that is easy enough for anybody to learn to do their first day out but could take an entire lifetime to master. One thing I like to challenge myself with is always thinking outside the box. Just because the fish ate this fly in the same spot yesterday doesn't mean it will be the same tomorrow. Once you find something that works it might be the the time to change up. That may seem strange because once you find the right setup the natural reaction is to stick with that and catch the rest of the fish. Taking the risk of using a fly, for example, that you have never caught a fish on may unlock another door to what works and what doesn't.