Hopper Time. Even with all the nay-saying and craziness going on in the world these days, one thing is for certain - it still kicks ass when a trout eats a giant piece of foam floating down a cut bank. While this season has had it's ups and downs with regards to water conditions - we seem to have stabilized at a damn near perfect flow for throwing dries on the Big Hole and Jefferson Rivers. If water temps start climbing, and they will - focus your efforts on the Beaverhead, which still has over 900 cfs of cold, clear water running well past the town of Dillon. We still have a few openings towards the end of the month, which will be PRIME time hopper fishing on all of our area waters. So, grab your favorite 5 wt, a handful of hoppers, your trusty cowboy hat and enjoy the [...]
Just when things start settling in to being "normal", you get dealt a snowstorm and rapidly rising rivers. You know what they say - if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. As if this season isn't challenging enough, with cancellations, re-schedules, and quarantines mother nature decides to shuffle the deck with a spring snowstorm. I'll take it though. Every drop of rain, every flake of snow and every cfs of water they deliver to our beloved watersheds is welcome in my book. Looking forward - here's what I think we can expect in the next week or so. The Big Hole will crest today or tomorrow AGAIN, and start dropping to a more manageable level and clarity. There were a few stones starting to show and the fish had the feed bag strapped on for 4 or 5 days. This water event will re-set the clock again and [...]
With our first annual or semi-annual guide school behind us, it is time to start looking down the road to what is in store this summer. Before I do that - I need to shout out to the students and instructors that made the week of guide school such a success. To all the boys - Brian, Quentin, Marty, Tolman, Charlie and Colton - thanks for braving the global pandemic and making this happen. Without you we wouldn't have had much to talk about. Ok, that may not be completely true. Whenever myself, Hudgens, Agee, Weck, Klug and a bottle of whiskey find a campfire - there are no shortage of things to talk about. Thanks guys. That was a long but rewarding week. Looking forward, it is possible that we have already seen our peak flows on the Big Hole. I am hearing about Caddis that are better late [...]
Let's go fishing. The rivers are in prime pre-runoff shape right now, the caddis are getting rolling and the fish are biting. With the state starting to open back up for business - there are a few people out and about, but we are VERY far from crowded down in this neck of the woods. That all said, we have guides available virtually on call, as many of our non-resident anglers are still feeling the restrictions of travel and quarantines. If you live here in Montana - there is no better time to be on the water. Let's all do our part to get our industry up and rolling again by simply going fishing. That's all for now. See you out there.
March 12th, 2020 Things are starting to look a little more like a trout fishing destination around here lately. By all accounts our snow pack looks to be in the 100%+ range, so that is a good thing. While we typically pick up a bunch of the white stuff during the months of March and early April, it is nice to have a good base going into the spring months. New for 2020 We have added a used tackle section to our fly shop and have some great "Trade in - Trade Up" incentives on Scott Flyrods and Hatch Reels. If you are thinking about picking up a new rod for the quiver, this could be a great option for those of you that aren't stuck collecting them! Give us a call any time to discuss a trade or make an order! I'm not totally sure what else will be [...]
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!