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Happy New Year. Here's to more casts, and less tangles.

We are having a nice, cold as well diggers ankles type of winter. Most of you folks wouldn't even recognize this place. The freezer is full of venison, "Alot" of wild pheasants and my fly tying bench is a mess. As far as snow - we have some. We need more and even if we get it who knows what to expect! We will continue to do what we do - fish under any conditions. That's the great thing about this area as so many of you have come to realize. It's pretty rare that we can't find someplace good to chase these wild trout. That's my winter forecast.

We will be opening early this year - don't be afraid to inquire about March fishing, and get in early for April and May. Things are already starting to book up nicely.

I hope everyone stays warm this winter, and I look forward to seeing you in Montana this summer.


August 24th - Time to get creative

The Big Hole is closed from F&G just above Melrose all the way to the confluence of the Beaverhead. When is the last time you cast tiny dries at dozens of rising fish? Maybe go look up above the little canyon...... just sayin'. The ENTIRE Jefferson is closed until further notice. The ENTIRE Yellowstone is closed due to a parasitic fish kill. Doom and Gloom. It's so awful. Oh my god. What are we going to do? Get creative. Use your brain, a gps, a story from the bar, anything. The Beaverhead is still fishing great - it is hopper time. The stillwaters, Clark Canyon and Ennis Lake are offering gulpers and good to great carp fishing. The entire Ruby is fishing well, as is the Madison. While clearly this is not THE BEST time to fish Montana, it is arguably one of the more enjoyable. Rather than getting in line up at the dam on the Beaverhead - it's time to jump in the truck and hot spot around a bit. A little exercise never hurt anyone.

July 17th - Summertime Gulpers

Who else loves huge pods of rising trout? If you love to see fish sip dries then you're in luck. We have started guiding on our state's still water fisheries that hold an abundance of trout willing to eat on top. Just be sure to ask about gulper fishing when you call and book. While the Jefferson has been caked with moss our other rivers such as the Big Hole and the Madison have been fishing well. The key to catching fish with these high temps is to be on the water early and fish hard until the takeout.


July 6th - Hot Fishing

The fishing (and the weather) have both been hot these past few days here in Montana. Hoot Owl restrictions keep fisherman off the water after 2pm on sections of the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby and the entire Jefferson. Even with these warm temps, fishing has still been very good in the morning and when there is cloud cover. Good fish can be found nymphing with an occasional chance for some dry action in the mornings and evenings. Swing by the shop for some inside information on your next fishing excursion. Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.


June 24th - Summer in Montana

With temps reaching 90 degrees it's safe to say summer is in full swing here in Montana. With the hot weather the fishing has been best early in the morning or later in the evening. We have seen morning and evening hatches of drakes and caddis which give our anglers some surface action while the nymph bite has been best during the hot midday hours. Our guides have had productive days on the Big Hole, Madison, and Jefferson with some great wade fishing on the Ruby mixed in. The fishing has been good for anglers willing to get up early.

Tight Lines


May 18th - Roller Coaster Rides

Rain. Snow. 80 degree weather then next day. It's all here in May. So is the great fishing. The Jefferson is looking good, but no one told the fish that yet. The Big Hole has lots and lots of different opportunities, some dry fly action, and the Beaverhead opens this Saturday. You just have to be a bit flexible, but it is very well worth the time of getting out right now!

May 9th, 2016 - Springtime in the Rockies

Yesterday it was 75 degrees. It was hot. Today it is 36 and spitting snow.... but we still fished and caught enough to make a day of it. Tweak your presentations, adjust your depth, change your flies. As long as they are worms. It is time to fish. We don't buy thousands of dollars of Gore-Tex to stay inside. If you want great weather - book a trip to Maui.

Stay tuned for more, and for gods sake don't complain about the snow. Ill take every flake.

January 25th, 2016 - Winter in Montana

Happy New Year to each and every one of you readers that cuss me for not updating this report more often. Yes, I know. Ill try and get better about it. Always remember, we are a phone call away if you really want a report. The Rooster Phone report tends to be a bit different than what I type for the world wide web.

"Hows next summer looking?" you ask - well we are having winter. A lot of it. I've never seen this much low country snow stick around for this long in the valley. Although its early to cast any real forecasts - I'll go out on a limb and say this will be a good to great summer. Remember, really high water years can be tough. I think we are looking real good for somewhat of a "normal water year". Whatever that is. I guess that's why we love it here. No two years are the same.

This week starts the annual Trade show, Mexico, steelhead pilgrimage, so if you are looking to visit with me, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or just give Holly a call in the shop. She always knows where to find me.

Ill see a few of you in Somerset, NJ at the Flyfishing Show, and a few of you in Mexico, and a few more in Washington and Alaska. If you're not on that list - maybe I'll see you on the river in Montana this summer.

Be well and keep casting.


September 22, 2015 - Fall in the Rocky Mountains

If you've never been here in the fall, it's hard to comprehend the change of the seasons. The grasses are golden yellow, the quakies are turning a bright shade of orange, there is fresh snow on the mountains and the elk (and Brown Trout) are out and about doing their thing.

Our river flows have bumped back up to perfect fall levels, and the clarity around the horn is great. Please call the shop for an up to date report, or stop in and check out our fall sale - 30% off the entire store, (excluding Fly rods and Reels.)

August 9th, 2015 - Hanging in there

Hoot Owls Restrictions be damned, we are still seeing some great fishing throughout Southwest Montana. Early morning departures have been our modus operendi - and have been paying in spades. The days are getting a bit shorter, the nights are cooler and yes, the hopper fishing has started. Heck its even been raining a couple days a week. For a more up to date fishing report (Ill be the first to admit, we are having to be a little sneaky these days), give us a call in the shop or stop on by.

Life is still very, very good in Montana. Fall is just around the corner and we all know what that means..... see you soon.


July 18th, 2015 - Montana in the summer

Even with the state's decision to place "Hoot Owl" closures on our local rivers - (the Big Hole and Jefferson), we are still finding some great fishing virtually everywhere we go. Hoot Owl closures in effect close the river to sport fishing from 2 pm until midnight. We are still getting a good full day of fishing by leaving the lodge early, and incorporating some of my friend Jorge's mentality - siestas when we get back! Early mornings have been the real highlight of the day, on the Big Hole and Jefferson, and as always the Beaverhead (no hoot owl here) is almost automatic for those that like to throw lead and small nymphs - as well as pretty decent dry fly opportunities if you know where to look...

Looking forward, we have been having great cloudy afternoons with occasional rain. This is keeping our temps at more reasonable levels and if it continues should really alleviate any possible river closures. Feel free to call the shop and talk with Rooster regarding river flows and closures anytime!

June 16th, 2015 - Warm weather and good fishing.

Some very nice weather has come our way and the fishing has heated up as well. The Bighole is doing very well with some stone fly activity going on. The dry dropper has been the go-to with a stone fly nymph off the back. The Jeff has been looking great with water conditions and fishing getting better and better. Tie on a streamer and start swinging. The upper Beavehead is doing well with smaller nymphs scuds and worms. The Rudy River out of the dam is doing great. Terrestrials on top have been good with chubbys and streamers in the mix. Don't forget to pop on your favorite nymph behind your rig. The Upper Ruby has been a little high with some color but its getting better by the day. It should be fishing in the very near future.

So to put it to you short the weather has been great and the fishing has been trending the weather. So pop on in, grab some flies and get on the water.

June 3rd, 2015 - A little bit of rain never hurt.

The rain and lightning have been treating us well here in the valley, but dont let that scare you. Fishing here is still good and picking up as the days go by. The main rivers are slowly starting to clear with the Big Hole looking better and better as the days progress. The Jefferson still is a bit colorful for our liking with the Beaverhead looking a little better but still off. The Ruby River out of the reservoir is in great condition with some terestrial action starting to come up as the weather warms up. As far as flies go everything from worms and scuds to the old faithful pheasant tail and rubber legs will get the job done. If you get some clouds tie on a streamer and get to work.

Oh and the stone flies should be popping off in the very near future. Golden Stones and Salmon flies consume our guides minds relentlessly. The day cant come sooner!

April 25th, 2015 - Rain and snow in the Mountains.

Yesterday brought a bit of rain in the afternoon, and with it came the clouds. The guys that switched to moving streamers had some great fishing in the afternoon down on the Jefferson. It sounded like the Ruby is getting a bit too much pressure to be fun, and the Beaverhead - well - it is the Beaverhead, it fished great below Pipe Organ.

This squirt of rain and a bit of snow in the mountains makes it feel a bit more like spring around here. Its my guess today will be great fishing, and should continue throughout the week. Keep a variety of flies with you. Streamers, Small Stone nymphs and a good old pheasant tails seem to be producing the best lately. Stop on by for up to date reports and check out some of this years new flies that just hit the bins!

April 18th, 2015 - Spring Fishing at its finest.

With a moderate snowpack, pre-runoff flows and very reasonable spring temps, the fishing here in Southwest Montana is getting a pretty quick start. There are stoneflies on the lower Big Hole, The Ruby is running clear throughout its length (fishing is almost always good on the Ruby) and the Jefferson in its typical spring fashion is a little hit and miss - but still very worthwhile. There are Stones, Mayflies and a few evening caddis kicking around. Pick a cloudy day and the streamer bite will certainly be something you would want to get in on.

Keep an eye on river flows, and stop by the shop for a shuttle. We are open daily now and look forward to seeing you in the shop.

"January Thaw" 1/28/2015

There are blizzards on the east coast (I just missed it by the way), and we are sitting in 50 degree weather. I'll be honest, I think I'm going to go try and catch the first brown trout of 2015 in the next couple days. Santa brought McCall a new 4 wt Scott for Christmas, what better reason than that to get outside?

With all the snow happening in the rest of the country, here is an update on what we have in the mountains here in Montana. It looks pretty good for this time of year. Remember, we get most of our snow in late Feb. and March. Certainly no reason to be worried at this point. Even though its 50 degrees out, that high country snow needs 80 to melt.

One more trade show in North Carolina for Holly and David, and that will conclude our marketing boondoggle for the season. It's time to move on to what I refer to as the "Smell the roses" time of year. Basically, its time to start fishing again. Mexico, Forks, Alaska, Montana - I don't care where, I just need to get a fly rod in my hands soon. Seeing everyone at the trade shows was great, and by all accounts I have no reason to believe we will not have another great season. Hope you can join us. For now though - it's time for more Sombreros, Big Ass Snook and of course those black tailed devils called "Palometa".

If you're in Montana, the next week or so could be great midge fishing on our tailwaters. If you're not in Montana, make the best of it. Ice fish. Tie Flies. Drink Beer. Buy stuff. Fight Cabin Fever at all costs.

Thanks for reading!


One of the few Simms endorsed outfitters in the United States, your outfitter and lodge owner Dan "Rooster" Leavens knows what it takes to get the job done right, the first time. From his guide crew to his office staff you can count on a professional, courteous, entertaining and hard working team that will make you feel at home during your stay.
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