It is just about time in Montana to get serious about some trout fishing. Spring clean up is almost over, we are about 75% finished with our start up agenda (read - fixing broken stuff), and the rivers are all thawed and looking great! Although cold, the fish will eat a variety of things, as long as your presentation is slowwwwwwww. I expect our freestone rivers and the fishing to get really good on the second next warm day. You know, not the first one, but the one after that. Think April 15th. In other news - I was lucky enough to travel to the Seychelles a couple times this off season, and catch a couple remarkable fish in the process. The GT in the photo is quite possibly the coolest fish I have ever caught on a fly rod. Trailing a shark, in a 4 foot surf, on foot [...]
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of grasshoppers on the back lawn of the lodge this morning...... I'll just say that. Are they eating them yet?? Yes. In certain spots. At certain times. This should only get better over the next few weeks. Reports coming in from the guides have been all over the map, but by and large they have all been indicative of good to great fishing. There is plenty of water in the Big Hole, Jefferson and Beaverhead - this just means we should be free and clear of any low water closures, but please keep an eye on afternoon temps as the days get hotter. The fish have a way of protecting themselves on hot days - by not biting as the water warms to 65 and higher, that said, use your head and let's not abuse this wonderful resource.
Here's what's happening around here now. Fishing. Alot of it. Every body of water within 100 miles is in absolute peak condition. There are hatches ranging from PMD's and Green Drakes to Salmonflies happening every day, on every river. And trout are eating them. Sometimes better than others, of course - but fishing is and will continue to be very good around here for quite some time. Please call the shop for a more up to date report, or to check our availability. 406-684-5648
With both of my girls in somewhat of a spotlight around the lodge, I often get asked "How do I get my kids into this like they are?" I guess I am lucky to have little girls that would rather fish than go shopping or play with video games. For this I am eternally grateful to my ancestors and the apparent genetics that I have passed on. While that sounds great - they are both doomed to be short like I am as well. I haven't really broke that news to them yet..... At any rate, to answer the question - I believe exposure is the #1 contributing factor when it comes to peaking the interest of our next generation. Sure, there are tricks, hacks, cheats. Farm ponds are great. We want to keep this fun - and there is nothing like a bent rod and splashing fish to make [...]
Things are really starting to shape up around Twin Bridges. It looks like *most* of the ice has receded from the Big Hole and Jefferson. The visibility on the Jeff is marginal, but may be just right for some of you streamer junkies. The Big Hole looks great, but cold. Fish the slow water. The Beaverhead has been pretty consistent up around Grasshopper Creek, and the Ruby is almost as good as it gets. If you are headed to the Madison, make sure and have your hurricane strap on your cowboy hat. It is fishing well, but has been a bit blustery over there!
One day it's snowing, the next you are in a T-Shirt. I swear the weather here is just about as crazy as a fishing guide. Things are starting to look pretty fishable here in the valley. I am sure the Ruby will fish well today, in fact I may just take a ride up there this afternoon with a handful of griffith's gnats and look for a few risers. The Big Hole - still pretty ICY down low. Although it is starting to break up, we best give it another week or two. The Jefferson - Muddy. Icy. Not Bueno. The Madison - open and fishing well! Big buggers, zonkers, small midges, princes - all the normal stuff. Look for the slow water and be patient! The Beaverhead - Still closed from the dam to Pipe Organ. But from Pipe to Anderson Lane looks great! There's a pile of water [...]
No, it's not here yet. But it's coming. I saw gophers popping up through the snow yesterday. Not only that, but we caught a few nice rainbows in our pond. It won't be long now. I for one - am ready. If you just HAVE to fish - look at the upper Ruby on the warmer days, don't forget about the middle section of the Beaverhead (It is closed from the dam to Pipe Organ) and if you want to jump in the crowds - let's head towards Missoula. They should be seeing Skwala Dries anytime. For now, the Big Hole is still ice-jammed, as well as the Jefferson. It is my guess by the end of the week we will be able to get a boat through portions of these two. PLEASE check with a local shop before you attempt it though. There is no substitute for local knowledge..... [...]
Just when you think you can't take another day of the heat, smoke and low water - Montana and mother nature deliver. We are expecting a winter storm this afternoon, which should deliver some snow to the high country, some water to the rivers and a much needed reprieve from the heat. Such is life in the Rocky Mountains, and more so life as an outfitter. This should mix up the fishing accordingly. The Trico's will be gone, only the toughest hoppers will survive and the fall streamer game will start to ramp up. I would expect we are still a few days from the Lower Big Hole opening - but you never know. The Jefferson has remained open throughout the season and fished remarkably well. The Madison & Ennis Lake complex has been steady fishing throughout the season and should only get better as the diets of the bigger [...]
It is hot. And smokey. The water is low. 2 rivers are still on “Hoot Owl” restrictions. Oh god, the doom and gloom. Let everyone think that. We have just had a couple weeks of the better dry fly fishing of the season – and personally I havent seen another angler in 17 days. Every few days the wind shifts and the smoke clears out. The willows are starting to turn red. The sandhill cranes are here and yes – fall is just about here. Our fish are eating hoppers, stoneflies, and of course the secret prince nymph. Walk wade fishing is good. Floating is even better. Evening floats on the Beaverhead have been great – as well as walking some of our lesser known spring creeks and mountain freestones. It’ll only be a few more days and the nights will be even cooler. The rivers will come up as [...]