Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Now Offering Hosted Travel: Christmas Island

Dylan Rose of Fly Water Travel with an awesome GT.
A little over a year ago a good friend of mine asked me if I had any interest in putting together a group of guys to go to Christmas Island.  After 1/2 of a second of thought I said of course.  I then contacted my buddy Dylan at Fly Water Travel, got the details shook out, and started emailing other friends and clients to come along.  Much quicker than expected the trip came together, and one month from now we will be standing in the flats of Kiribati.  This trip is currently full with an incredibly diverse and skilled group of anglers that I couldn't be happier about traveling with.

The opportunity to travel with a large group of friends to exciting locations is beyond exciting and something that I will continue to do in years to come.   On  the docket for 2015 is going to be a trip to Washington's Olympic Peninsula to the lodge of my close friend Jeff Brazda the second week of March.  If you want to joint us there shoot me an email at as space is limited.  I'll be starting a new page on the blog as well to keep updates on past and future trips available.  Also, thank you so much to the crew at Fly Water and especially Dylan for helping make the booking process so easy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A good walk

If you are reading this blog I don't need to explain to you the many benefits of living in Twin Bridges, MT, but every once in a while it even throws us for a loop for what a cool spot it is, even after 5 years of living here.  This past Sunday after driving out to the Ruby to find it busy, cold and windy, we drove back down valley to take the dogs for a walk and hopefully enjoy a little sunshine.  As we made it to the town park and walked along the banks of the Beaverhead, caddis fluttered about, an unusual sight for a cold blustery spring day.  Approaching the river, we weren't the only ones surprised to see caddis, and heads dimpled the surface of the river in the likely spots.

Being downstream of 1,000's of acres of flood irrigated farmland, the Beav in Twin Bridges is a far cry from it's true tailwater section upstream of Dillon.  To be honest, in Twin it's a ditch.  But every once in a while, when irrigation starts and conditions are right, the ditch clears and the fish are active.  With the stars aligning on this afternoon we called our walk short, flipped a 180 and hightailed it for home.  Dogs dropped off, a chair for our daughter and two cold beers in the cooler and we were back to the park.  Fishing dry flies is always a blast, but having your Sunday afternoon walk interrupted by rising fish is an experience beyond that.  It is these little things that help make the long winter worth it, and living in trout mecca truly the amazing place that it is.

Monday, April 21, 2014

15 Second Fly: Sculpin Steve

I posted a picture of my favorite streamer, Sculpin Steve, last week on Facebook, and amongst a ton of good comments I received two asking for tying instructions.  Rather than do the traditional recipe/instructions,  thought I would do an Instagram video.  15 seconds does go by quick, but with the ability to pause I think it provides if nothing else a cooler way to look at tying a fly.  I'll be definitely doing some more of these, so if there is a pattern you see me tie or read about here and want some instruction, let me know.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trout Streamer Swap with River Menace

My buddy Mike and I swapped a few flies around this winter and he got the chance to take the ones I sent him for a spin this past week.  Mike ties some of the best trout streamers of anyone I know, so we decided to swap 6 each.  I'll be posting some pics of his flies in the mouths of fish shortly, but for now check out these great Utah browns that fell for some Montana tied goodness.

Tan Sculpin Steve

Awwww yeah.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gear Review: Allen Trout Hooks

If there is one thing I am particular about as an angler and fly tier it is hooks.  As the connection point between you and the goal, I absolutely never skimp on hooks.  Ever.  So when my buddy Evan at Allen Fly Fishing  asked me if I wanted some of their hooks to tie on I was skeptical.  Granted there are not that many places on earth making hooks, but if they were Mustads repackaged with the Allen logo they would have hit the envelope right back to where they came from.

Fortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth.  When the hooks arrived I cracked open a package of #4 streamer hooks and started wrapping some sparklers.  The finish on them is every bit as good as any other trout hook on the market, and the point was absolutely as sticky as a tiemco trout hook.  One thing I have found when I buy cheap hooks (read Dai Riki) is the finish is very inconsistent and there is typically one hook per pack that has a major defect.  There were no such issues, and I have now tied on several packs of Allen Hooks with the same success.  When it comes to trout hooks, I don't see myself tying on much else this upcoming summer.

An Allen hook where it really matters.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Words to Live By

Reading through the FB this morning and my buddy Dave had one of my favorite quotes from possibly my favorite author, Ed Abbey.

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards. - Edward Abbey

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Swing The Fly 1.4 is live!

A day early, the new issue of Swing The Fly dropped yesterday, and as expected is full of some incredible imagery and writing.  Not surprising for a March release date it is heavily oriented to winter steelhead fishing, but that's what we're all thinking about right now anyways right?  As always I feel privileged to be part of such a great project, and excited about the things to come with it.  I'll even be able to write about trout again for 2.1!