Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summertime and the livins easy

Love the colors on this brown
Summer has kicked into full force here in Southwest Montana. Had some high's in the 90's this past week. Hoot Owl Closures will surely go into effect in some watersheds soon. Fishing has been stunning, slow and just ok on my recent outings. Lot's of smaller fish seem to be active right now in the shallower riffles. Hatches are still occurring but the hopper fishing that should pick up soon will be the main player for most people in the weeks to come. I've been trying to get some action with the hopper but I've had limited results. As usual the action underneath is the way to go if you want numbers. Caddis, Stoneflies and small mayfly nymphs is what you should be trying to entice the trout with. If you want to go flashy get ready to slam the whities.

Evening Float 
Summer Time Flows 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Avoiding The Crowds

Good fish taken on a caddis imitation
The Release 

With the 4th of July Holiday near, the crowds in Bozeman have spiked with tourists over the past couple days. I had the chance to get out on the water a few days this week and picked a few spots that I knew would be void of the crowds. Most people are still chasing the big bugs up high on the rivers so the rest of the water has been pretty void of fisherman. The caddis hatches out here have been nothing short of spectacular lately, The proper bug under the surface has been deadly throughout the day. Unfortunately we already have some Hoot Owl restrictions in place on a few rivers, if this weather keeps up there will be more to come in the near future.

Dry Fly Eater 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Big Bugs East To West

Andy Throwing Dries In The Mud 

The Big Bugs are popping off all over the place. Reports from back home have been very positive. The big fish are looking up for the cicadas that have been hatching for a few weeks. They finally made their way to the water and it's created a feeding frenzy. The water hasn't cooperated very much but sometimes you just need to go fish. My brother showcased that tonight.....scoring big on a dry fly in pure mud. It;s amazing how those fish will key in on a big meal regardless of the water conditions.


Salmon Fly Eater 

Back here in Montana things are the same. The famous Salmon Fly hatch is the craze around town and the fishing has been superb if you can get on the sections that they are coming off. I floated twice this past week. The first float was bad, the second was memorable. We hit things perfect and were right in the thick of things. Casting a #4 dry fly close to banks and watching fish inhale that thing is something special. Along with the Salmon Flies, Golden Stones, PMD'S, Caddis and Green Drakes have started to emerge. This is a special time out here....I'm hoping to take full advantage of the next few weeks.
Feisty Cutthroat 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Run-Off Is Almost To A Close

The Fishing Is Getting Good Again 
High Mountain Lake 

Most of the gauges here in Southwest Montana are trending downward. The bugs on the other hand are trending upward. You can feel the buzz around Bozeman where ever you go, gas stations, name it and people are gearing up for some of the best fishing of the season. I had a good overcast day today and the PMD'S, Caddis and Golden Stones were coming off in full force. The nymph bite was stellar most of the day and with the added dry fly action a fisherman's life can't get much better. Should be a fun summer.
Stone Fly Eater 

Snow Is Almost Gone

Friday, June 3, 2016

High Mountain Stream Fun

Some Sections Of The Big Rivers Are Fishing Good 
Blue Lining 
Wild Rainbow 

I've been really busy with work and life lately so haven't been able to post. Doesn't mean I haven't been fishing though. With most of the main waterways still high and muddy due to runoff I've been exploring lots of little streams around the Bozeman area lately. This streams won't give up the big fish but that doesn't mean they aren't special places. The scenery and solitude is why I come here. The fish in these streams are not hard to fool. I've been Tight Lining the slower pockets with a big stone fly and haven't had issues catching fish. The bugs are really started to hatch good too. I fished a small mountain creek tonight and the caddis poured off. I bet you could catch your fair share of fish on bushy dry flies if you wanted too. The Salmon Fly has started to hatch on Rock Creek and The Henry's Fork, I can't wait to experience this big bug in a few weeks here in Southwestern Montana.

Nice Small Stream Brown

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Clay with the best fish of the trip 

Run-Off is here in Southwestern Montana. Most local streams and rivers are pure mud at the moment. Flows have risen drastically the past 6 days. Looks like a cool front will slow things down a bit next week but I doubt it will clear everything up. I ventured up to a lake and a reliable tailwater for a few hours of fishing this weekend. Things were pretty slow but I didn't get a skunk. This will be the first of many lakes I check out in the upcoming weeks.

Gorgeous Scenery 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mothers Day Caddis

Bug Soup 

The Mothers Day Caddis is on full bore here in Southwestern Montana. If you like to walk and stalk splashy risers now is the time to dust off your rod. Nymphing with caddis pupae is an effective way to catch fish right now if the trout aren't keying in to the surface smorgasbord that is happening right now. March Browns and Baetis  are also hatching heavy. Get out while the water is good, warm weather is on the horizon again this week....

Good Brown Fell Victim To A Caddis Pupae Underneath 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Timing It Right For The Dry

Andy Scoring A Dandy On Day One 
Billy Scoring A Stud Rainbow 

My brothers ventured out to Montana this past week and we had ourselves one hell of a time. Local waters were limited, but that's ok because we had one river that still offered lot's of choices for fishing. The weather was overcast with rain/snow for the three days, a great recipe for bugs. And bugs we had. March Browns, Mothers Day Caddis and BWO's hatched in epic numbers. The dry fly bite was excellent on the 3rd day of the trip. The fish were not picky and a simple Adams pattern brought most fish to the net. The nymph bite was somewhat challenging and not as easy as the past few weeks. Still.....we caught enough fish to make time fly by. Hopefully we can do it again soon!

Pink Is  In 
Brown 1 Out Of Andy's Riffle

Brown 2 Out Of Andy's Riffle
And The 3rd

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On The Rise

Lurker In The Shallows 

The Brown Trout Bite Heating Up
Big Brown On Big Water
With the big warm up last week most of the freestoners in Montana are still running high and muddy, much more than last week. Some of the tailwaters are even seeing the effects of the warm up with slight clarity changes and a bump in flow. This proved to get the browns out of their hiding places yesterday though, I had a good run-in with numerous good browns that were on the prowl. A cold front has settled in for the next few days....hopefully allowing the streams to settle down before things get warmer again next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Still On Fire

Amazing Scenery

Fishing in Southwest Montana continues to be lights out. We have received some clarity issues in the past few days but if you head to a tailwater you can stay clear of the mud. Olives have started to hatch in good numbers and fish are looking up at certain times of the day. When they aren't hitting top throw a standard Pheasant Tail and you will get into fish.

Another Shot 
Danny Lighting It Up
And Again

And Again 
......And AGAIN
One For Me 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lights Out

Buck Nasty Brown 

Spring has arrived in a big way here in the Golden Triangle. The fishing as of late is downright silly. Maybe not for the dry fly purist, but if your down with the nymph's your numbers can go off the charts if you fish hard enough. I was lucky enough to spend the last 3 days getting after it HARD. I covered lot's of water, some new and some old, ALL of it was productive with the right presentation and fly selection. I did notice some more fish taking notice to the blizzard midge hatch that seems to be pouring off all day long. In select back eddies I found a few fish podding up to devour the easy meals. I can't say enough about the conditions right now, the weather looks to be warming up at the end of the week and could result in some pre-run off clarity issues.....get out this week if you can.

Butter Brown 

Feisty Bows 

20 incher

I was in her space 

Dead Drift 

Another Good Brown 

Great Presentation Equals Great Day 

Sore Shoulders After Catching These Pigs All Day 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Signs Of Bug Life

Hoping The Snow Up High Holds Tight For The Next 6 Weeks 
Nymph Eater 

The past 10 days in Southwestern Montana have shown signs of spring in regards to bug life. I've ventured out a few times and noticed a high number of midges popping off almost every afternoon. The fish haven't taken notice where I have been but the BWO'S are starting to emerge as well. It's only a matter of time before things start to get interesting.
Tag Dropper Action 

Nymphing deep is still the way to go if you want some numbers. The fish still seem to be stacked up in the slower stuff but I have noticed action in the pocket water starting to pick up. Rainbows from the various lakes in the area are on the move as's a good time to get out for sure, hopefully the nights stay cool so runoff doesn't effect the good fishing. As of right now everything in our area is good.

Rainbow Delight 

Crayfish Eater 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Blue Bird Day

The Background 

The warm weather felt good on the body today. The high was 55 degrees. At the moment the Montana Snow pack is still looking pretty good for this time of year, most ranges are at 90-100% of normal. You would think the fishing would of been lights out with the water temps warming. Not so much today. I had the slowest day I've had in months. I couldn't get them going with an array of nymph's, even streamer fished today with no luck. The midges poured off again but nothing is taking notice to them in the area I was at. Still a great day to be out.......the background isn't hard on the eyes when the fishing turns slow.

One Eyed Willy