Friday, June 28, 2013

Testing, testing.

As many of you know I enjoy wrapping just as much as I enjoy fishing.  Tying flies and coming up with new and exciting patterns helps make the winter go by as fast as a bottle of Neversweat whiskey (particularly when the two are combined).  This time of year it's great to crack open a box and start testing the whiskey infused creations that made the cut from winter.  The bug in the grill of the big hole brown is one I'm particularly stoked about, and will definitely get a few more adjustments before it is deemed complete.  Check back in a few weeks (and a few more fish) for the final rendition.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A 100% guaranteed way to catch more fish.

There is a reason you see the same guys with all of the fish.
We've all heard the line "10% of the fisherman catch 90% of the fish" but it's the truth.  Ask any guide you know (if you don't know any head to your local bar) and they will unilaterally agree that the guests who catch the most fish are the ones who go fishing the most.  This seems simple enough, but there are things that you can do to help improve your angling between big trips, and one in particular that will equate to the results like the fish above.

Practice! This seems so simple, but is never rarely seen.  Brett, pictured above, said something when he hopped in my boat for the sixth year in a row that I hear about once every two years.  "I've been practicing in the backyard" he said "and there is a tree limb that hangs down about 2.5' of the grass."  Cool, I thought, and asked "oh, have you been trying to hit it?"  "No, I've been trying to throw it as far underneath it as I can."  At this point I was quickly reminded why Brett and I never have bad fishing together, it's because he is damn good at it, and is always trying to get better!  You don't live somewhere with trout near by to go throw at?  Put a target in your back yard and go practice casting.  If the average angler that goes on a guided trip in Montana took 30 minutes a week and set their hat at one end of the backyard and practiced casting at it from the other, the trout would likely go on strike because they would be getting caught so much more regularly.  If nothing else, get practiced up a month before your next big trip, I think you'll be surprised at how much better you do.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Non-traditional fishing dog: Etta

It's been a while since I have done one of these segments, but found this great pic on my buddy Garrett's FB page the other day and his girlfriend Melissa gave me permission to share "Etta" here.  An austrailian sheppard, Etta gets her share of fishing in throughout SW MT.  Thanks for the submission Garrett and Melissa, and enjoy the summer Etta!

If you have a non-traditional fishing dog that you would like to sumbit, send me a picture and bio of your Fido to

Monday, June 17, 2013

Local fishing and upper Beav report

Uncle Mike and a really nice yellow trout.
I got the opportunity to fish with some of my all time favorites this past weekend, the Z-crew from NYC.  One part of the group who wont be named ended up staying at home in the Bronx, but we were able to continue their tradition of having a great time, as well as introduce Montana fly fishing to a 12 year old boy who couldn't get enough.  You know a kid is having fun fishing when you pull into the get-out and just about have to physically pull them out of  the boat.  Fortunately Mike didn't jinx himself this year by catching a giant one as his first fish of the day, and waited till the appropriate time for crushing.
Fly fishing to get close to nature.
Oh yeah, how bout an upper Beav report?  Went up Friday for the first time since the opener and was not disappointed.  Made it from the dam to the bunker hole (250 yards) before we hooked up.  It was one of those days where you saw a net out all of the way from the top to high bridge, and most of the time below there.  The flows are up enough that SLC wasn't completely overrunning the place, with waders in the normal spots but a surprisingly low number elsewhere.

Bugs:  SplitBack of course, sows, scuds, tiny PT's, some cool PT thing that I got at Tollet's with an olive head and a flashy back.  Below the high bridge all of the above along with the prince variation of your choice, which happened to be Ronald McDonald for us.  Worms were good too the closer you got to Grass.  Definitely a variety of bugs flying, but not a lot of trout looking up, which is pretty typical for this time of year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day Giveaway!

Help celebrate Father's Day by entering the contest that I am putting on with Promont Outdoors.  Send a picture of you and Dad fishing to me at to be entered.  Winner will be announced next Wednesday.  Promont is an up and coming lifestyle clothing company out of Bozeman, owned by Weston Paul, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  He is cranking out some awesome new designs, and his "PRO" hat can be seen rocked by yours truly, and many folks around SW MT.  Go check out his site, and make sure to enter the contest by next Tuesday!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend on the Mo

We fished sitting down, to blend in.
You know you live in the right place when you choose to drive away from one of the best rivers in the state of Montana, right as it's about to pop with salmonflies, just to do something different (and avoid some crowds).  That's exactly what Seth and I did, setting out for the Mo friday morning in search of some small dry fly fishing and avoiding the crowds swarming like the big bugs they are looking for.
Pheasant tail, nailed it.
The first day we launched late at Wolf Creek and bobbered our way down to Craig.  Like two professional fishing guides, it took us about 75% of our float, with mixed results, to realize a pheasant tail was the bug to have on.  Two runs above Craig was about the time we got it figured out, and did the Mo  lap routine like you're supposed to (with fish every lap).  A burger and a cocktail at Izaak's and it was a short walk over to our tent at the Craig boat launch.

Day 2 we went and floated lower than Seth or I had ever fished the Mo.  The Headhunter's crew steered us away from where we planned on going, and it was the best call of the weekend.  after a few bobbered fished and switching time on the sticks, I looked down at a piece of water that looked like a great dry bank.  At the very bottom of the tailout (what's known as the lipout in the steelhead world) I spotted a rise near the bank, threw our double caddis dry rig and got hooked up and landed a nice brown, first cast.  The trend of first cast fish didn't continue, and we had our moments of straight up sucking when it came to sticking rising fish, but a bobber never hit the water again, and we got the opportunity to see why everyone raves about the Missouri as an amazing dry fly river.  For a period it really seemed like every riffle had fish rising in it, top to bottom.  The real sign to us that it had been a good day of fishing was when we rowed past a guide boat in a slow stretch, and he hollered out "What, are you guys tired of pounding on them?"
"We need to get lots of pictures so we can say we're crushing them!"
We decided prior to caddis crushfest that we would head back to the Big Hole for the citizens float on Sunday (stretch closed to outfitters).  We grabbed Seth's girlfriend Christina and launched at Maiden Rock amongst a hatch of rafters and anglers.  Fishing was as you would expect for the beginning of the hatch, actually probably worse.  After a few good runs of dry water we went to the darkside, and even the bobber fishing wasn't as good as we thought it should be.  We caught enough, and I farmed as good of one as I've seen in the canyon in a while, but overall it was a bit of a let down.  Fortunately, my wife and daughter get back from their vacation to the 206 tomorrow, so I've got much bigger things to look forward than fish.  Thanks to Seth and Christina for a fun weekend and a reminder of why we live in the last best place.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Introducing, "Tip the Big Hole"

Introducing the first annual Big Hole Watershed Committee "Tip the Big Hole" fundraising event, June 22nd at the Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose, MT. For the event every guide on the Big Hole that signs up to participate will be donating their tip from the day to the Big Hole Watershed Committee. These funds will be used to aid in the upkeep and maintenance of the in-stream flow monitoring gages. These gages are routinely used by the fishing and guiding community, and are essential to the river management. Reps from the biggest companies in the industry will have booths set up including Simms, Scott, Winston, Rising Tools as well as Montana FWP and many others. Dinner will be provided to all participating guides and for purchase to anybody who stops by. Donations from everyone on the river that day is encouraged, all you have to do is stop by the Big Hole Watershed Committee booth. All participating guides will also get a gift bag, event t-shirt, free beer and entered into a raffle. If you are in the Melrose area, make sure to come by and see what’s going on, grab a mule at the hitching post, and help give back to the Big Hole River and the Big Hole Watershed Committee.

Keep checking back here and the Facebook event page for more info as the date gets closer.

WHEN: June 22, 3-7p.m.
WHERE: Sunrise Fly Shop.  Melrose, MT
WHO:  Guides will be donating their tips, but everybody is invited to show up, meet some great people and enjoy the BBQ and festivities and help contribute to the Big Hole River. 
WHY: To raise money for the Big Hole Watershed Committee to support the USGS river gages
MORE INFO: or email me,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

EvoAnglers, Worldwide

Good friend and exceptional photographer Brett Seng got this shot on a recent trip to Panama.  Luckily, my hat got thrown into the mix.  Brett and I got to spend some time together lately which is always a good time.  Incase you haven't noticed having an amazing new baby and a great new job has impacted my time to blog.  I've actually been fishing from the Mo to the Big Hole, so I'll get back into the blogging world soon.