Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Casts

2012 went out with a bang. 

My last day on the water for this calendar year turned out to be one of the best, simply put.  Big browns were chomping streamers. 

Yes Sir.
Don't tell the fish but it's supposed to be winter.  I guess it was one of those cases of being in the right place at the right time and by happens stance, picking the right fly. 

And Another.
It was darn cold today.  Though when you are catching fish, chipping ice out of the guides every 10 or so casts, and losing feeling in your fingers suddenly doesn't bother you as much.

That's why it's hard to shoot line.
A Face Only A Mother Could Love.  Which one you ask?  I don't want to know.
In a year where big browns were noticeably hard to come by, at least for me, courtesy of botched casts, missed hook-ups, break-offs, etc.  I was lucky enough to land several such fish just today.  The stars must have been aligned or something like that.  Maybe it has to do with the whole Mayan calendar, who knows.  At any rate, I'll take it

Silver and Gold.  Is it too late for Christmas analogies?

Turns out my last casts of 2012 were some of the best ones.  Here's to 2013!   
Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Day In the Life

I love where I live.

Santa was nice and delivered a telephoto lens for my SLR, I had to get out and give it a test drive.

Pictures from today.  Hiking, bird watching, and a little fishing.  What's not to like about winter in the Rockies? 

If I don't post again before 2013.  Happy New Year!  Thanks for reading.

Blodgett Canyon

Blue Jay

Bitterroot Mountain Peak

Downy Woodpecker

Gold Crowned Kinglet

Looking Down Blodgett Canyon

Eagle Taking Flight
Friendly Face

One For the Road


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jungle Fish on F3t Theatre

For a limited time only.

From today until 2013, you can watch Jungle Fish, yes the entire film over at the Fly Fishing Film Tour website.  Check it out, you won't regret it, awesome film. 

Here's the trailer.  Follow the link to watch the film.   

Watch Jungle Fish

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cape Solstice

Looks like we all made it through the end of the world once again, and have lived to experience one more winter solstice (I know this is coming a day late!).  The solstice is a great day to reflect on your place in the world, and the magic of the seasons.  Living in Montana we are fortunate to get to experience all four seasons at their best.  Sping is full of life, rebirth, rain, hunting morels, and chasing the big hatches.  Summer days are long, beautiful, full of long hikes, beautiful fish and dry flies.  Fall is all about golden leaves, hunting, throwing streamers, and those fantastically crisp mornings.  Winter is snow, skiing, and catching up on everything you should have done when you were fishing the rest of the year! 

The winter solstice is always a much anticipated event, the start of the long journey towards spring.  In My Story as Told by Water, fly fisherman and author David James Duncan points out how sedentary things, mountains, forests, people, are truly the ones who migrate, travelling along with the equinoctial tilt of our planet.  It is in fact the creatures we consider migratory, that actually don't move at all.  The following is taken from Duncan's book.  
In the fly-fishing classic The Habit of Rivers, Ted Leeson glimpses this journey when he looks up from his home river at departing Canada geese.  He writes,
As the recognition of autumn comes suddenly, in a moment, so one day you first hear the geese....Bound for the south, these birds seem to me a strange point of fixity...for in a sense they don't move at all.  They take to altitudes to stay in one place, not migrating, but hovering, while the equinoctial tilting of the earth rocks the poles back and forth beneath them.  The geese remain, an index of what used to be where, and of what will return again.  Their seasonal appearance denotes your passing, not their own.
Duncan writes the next passage after noting the sudden change after the first cold snap of the year.  If you live in the Rockies you know the one I'm talking about.  The days when fall gives way to winter, when that stream you were fishing days or weeks before suddenly now has the appearance of an immovable solid.  It is on these kinds of days that you realize that you are indeed the one migrating.
Returning home from these surroundings, I found that our house, too sat differently upon the land.  The log walls were no longer anchored to solid ground: they cut through the axial stream like a ship's prow. I'd step indoors with a sense of climbing aboard, make tea, sit at the window, watch the mountain world plunge, shiplike, through the slow equinoctial flow.  Winter solstice became not a date on the calendar but a destination: something to sail toward, then around, the way schooners used to round Capes Horn and Good Hope.  When my daughters climbed in my lap, I couldn't contain my wonder.
"We're moving!" I told them. "The house, the mountains, the whole world is sailing. Can you feel it?"
 They gazed gravely at the mountains, then nodded with such serenity is seemed they'd always known.  And on we glided, deep into winter, out around Cape Solstice, then straight on back toward spring.
Sailing Onwards, Towards Spring.
Duncan, David James (2001). Tilt. My Story As Told By Water: Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections,    Bird-Watchings, Fish-Stalkings, Visions, Songs and Prayers Reflacting Light, From Living Rivers, In the Age of the Industrial Dark. (pp. 57-60).  New York, NY. Sierra Club Books.         

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Films - Mighty Mo' Edition

The Missouri river is a special place as anyone who has fished it will tell you.  We all know there are lots of fish, and big ones to boot, but part of the Mo's allure to me at least has to be the people.  Craig, MT has to be one of the few places on earth that smelly, unshaven, dirt poor trout bums can truly feel at home.  Whenever I spend a few days in Craig I always come away with a few new friends, and a couple good stories.  You can't beat the culture, especially in the winter, when the only people in town are either locals, hardcore trout bums, or both. 

Whether you're standing around a good fire at the Craig campground, swapping stories with a bunch of likeminded fly fishermen, sampling the fine cuisine and nightlife at Joe's, or pounding coffee during the morning's ritualistic visit to Headhunters, you always run into lots of friendly, interesting, and sometimes straight up crazy folks.

An impending trip to the Mo' got me in the mood to dig up some of my favorite videos on the river.  First up, Spring Training by the crew at Headhunters Fly Shop.  Besides  serving as the cultural and spiritual hub of Craig, these guys put out more than a few good articles, videos, and tips on how to fish the Missouri.  They tell it like it is, and are eager to help you catch fish, I appreciate that.

Spring Training from scumliner media on Vimeo.

Next up we have the trailer from Shartail Media's fantastic film Sipping Dry.  This video highlights the big reasons why we love the Mo.

Last but not least we have a film by 406 Productions.  Plenty of big fish footage for all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gear Review - Simms Freestone 2012 Wading Boots

All Bum Trout gear reviews are unbiased, honest, and nobody pays me to say anything.  I wish somebody would though...

The dog had nothing to do with this, promise.

You might say I'm kinda tough on my wading boots.  These were my old Simms Freestone boots at the end of their life this spring.  They were workhorses for several seasons, but when my feet started showing through the hole in the toe, and the felt was all but a memory, I figured it was time us to part ways.

The new model.

Now before I get to the gear review part, I just thought I should mention that most of my fishing time is spent wading.  Not just short jaunts either, I routinely walk several miles each time I am on the water.  I also spend a ton of time fishing small, high gradient mountain streams.  This kind of fishing consists of a lot of boulder hopping, which can really destroy boots (and ankles) rather quickly.  Needless to say, I look for a pair of boots that grip well, hold up to a lot of abuse, have solid ankle support, and are comfortable enough to spend a solid 12 hours in.

Figuring my old freestones worked so well, I invested in the 2012 model.  After an entire summer and fall of banging them around the rivers, here's the break down:

       - I must say these boots are comfy!  After a long day of hard hiking and wading, my feet feel really good.  The fit is great all around.  The footbeds are nice and cushy, there's great padding, and these boots deliver solid ankle support.  So far so good.

       - I have been using the felt-soled version (a note on this later, I know felt is controversial) because of the kind of fishing I do, and the fact that 90% of my time is spent in the same watershed, felt works for me.  When I go on road trips, the felt stays at home!  The grip is what you expect for felted soles, they grip really well most of the time, just beware of the mud! 

       - After 6 months the boots look almost new.  The stitching is rock solid.  Toe guard rubber is holding up nicely.  Felt is in good shape.  I only have two concerns: 1. The laces are already showing some significant signs of wear, it won't be long before they will need replacing. 2. The eyelets are made of plastic which leaves me wondering about their long-term durability, I guess time will tell.

Not quite Ansel Adams.  Workin' on it.
The Verdict
       - Overall I am very impressed by what Simms has put together in what is their basic, consumer level boots.  I think for the price ($129.00ish) you get what you pay for.  Simms has really upgraded this model from previous generations and I love the addition of the hard rubber toe guards (smack into a few boulders and you will to!).  I think you could do a lot worse, just remember to buy an extra pair of laces.  You can check out the boots and spend your hard earned money if you wish at Simms Fishing Products.   

         - Important notes on felt.  When Wearing Felt, Clean, Inspect, and Dry when moving from stream to stream!  This is really important, in fact it is critical to prevent the spread of invasive species!  It's really simple to make sure your felt soles are clean and safe to wear at your next fishing destination.  First and foremost however, consider making your felt boots a home watershed only boot.  If you spend the majority of your life in one watershed and fish a lot of high gradient streams with large boulders, felt is probably a good choice.  If you are always on the road, felt should not be your first option

The following link is definitely worth a read and everyone should take this information to heart, please help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.  Stop Aquatic Invasive Species.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Frozen Fingers and Feeding Fish

It's mid December.  Layer up, pound the coffee, hope it get's above freezing, try not to slip when you cross the river.  Ice in the guides, "where's my gloves?"

Love those spots.

Time to bobber up put on that strike indicator, add a few split shot, and throw on a Pat's Rubberlegs.  It's winter time, and finally it feels like it.  Winter fishing ain't all bad, actually it can be quite good at times.  If you don't mind a few numb fingers here and there.

Vermont Trout Bum turned Montana Trout Bum - Chris working a good looking run.

For the folks that can't go more than a couple weeks without hitting the water, winter fishing is a necessity.  First, it helps to alleviate the "shack nasty's," "cabin fever," or whatever else you want to call it.  Second, winter fishing is strangely fun in it's own right.  The pace of it is slow, you can chat with your buddies, enjoy the day, watch the storms roll over the mountains.  The river is almost eerily quiet, and you won't have to fight anyone for your favorite riffle.

Whitefish, we'll be seeing a lot of each other.

At any rate it's going to be here for a while, might as well embrace it.  Besides, I can think of a lot of worse ways to spend a day off.  Enjoy it, after all do you really have a choice?    

How cold?  This cold.
Another one falls for the rubberlegs.
Until next time.  Stay warm, and stay classy San Diego.
 Went out today with Chris of the blog Vermont Trout Bum.  Check out the site, you will like what you see.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Films

Here's a look at some films that caught my eye this week.

It seems like the entire fly fishing world has been talking about the film Low and Clear from Finback Films.  But in case you haven't got a chance to check out the trailer, here it is.  Looks awesome.

Next up comes a short piece from our friends at Simms about summertime hopper fishing in Montana.  For some reason I just can't get enough of watching big trout crushing hoppers.  How many months until August?  It can never get here fast enough.

Last but certainly not least we have some great footage from Carp whisperer Barry Reynolds.  Those who know me, also know I have a soft spot for carp.  Reynolds wrote the book on fly fishing for carp (literally, it's called Carp on the Fly) and knows a thing or two about catching the golden bonefish.  The music certainly helps the awesomeness of this film, you'll see what I mean.   

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Strip'n Fly Wear - Video

Some sick footage here from the fella's at Strip'n Fly Wear.  Besides making great Fly Fishing apparel, these guys also happen to catch fish once in a while. This video includes some big browns and bows from a few of Montana's lesser known, yet stellar rivers.  Where are they fishing you ask?

 I'm not giving anything away here.

Oh, and there happens to be some great contests circulating around on the inter-web at the moment.  Some good gear to be had over at Dub the Thorax and the Fiberglass Manifesto to name a few.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Films

So this is an attempt at a weekly post series. We'll see how long that lasts.  In the middle of a 14 day streak of not fishing, my longest of the year.  One has to fill the gap somehow.

Every Friday during these wintry months I will be bringing you a few (mostly) fly fishing related videos that have captured my attention lately.  So relax, grab a pint or two of eggnog, settle up next to the space heater fire, and enjoy.

First up is a little tongue-in-cheek video by our friends across the pond, Jazz and Fly Fishing.  These fellas have somehow managed to successfully marry my two greatest passions in life (Jazz and Fly Fishing if you couldn't guess), into one seemingly viable economic venture.  Besides being stellar Jazz artists, this crew can straight up fish, and they have plenty of footage to prove it.

This is their hilarious Shadow Casting video.  Love it.  Now if only they ever need a saxophonists...

 Next on the docket is a little piece from the local boys over at Big Sky Trouting.  They've been at it for a couple years now and their videos don't disappoint.  They definitely know where a lot of big fish reside, and certainly manage to catch their share. 

Finally we have for you a piece by the guys of Montana Wild.  I am a big fan of what they have been putting out as of late.  Great quality.  This video makes me yearn for those long summer days, and hours spent fishing small water.  


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have To Go Fishing

It's been a long week.  A lot of chores that need to be done.  Homework.  Family stuff.  Job.  Lack of sleep.  Stress.  Car broke down.  Do you know the feeling?  We all do.  Best solution? 

Go fishing of course.

Nice Cheeks
Now I'm not implying that the problems will be better when you get home, in fact, going fishing usually makes things worse.  You end up with less time to get your work done, the house is still a mess when you get home, the laundry is in a pile on the floor, the dishes are stacked up on the counter, and you are still broke or even more so.  

But when I find myself out of synch, Lord give me my fly rod and a river.  When I'm on the water all the less important stuff falls away and only what really matters remains.  At the end of a few hours on the water I feel like I can focus, come back to reality, think straight.     

Evening on the 'Root, aka Therapy Session
The best therapists that I know happen to be my 4 weight and a trout stream.  What I get while fly fishing is something that I rarely get doing anything else, clarity.  The river can be a great teacher, if you take the time to listen.  One thing that I get reminded of every time I'm knee deep in the water is that life is better lived at the speed of a trout stream.

Particularly that of a river like my home water, the Bitterroot.  This stream for the most part is easy going, meandering through the valley, in no hurry to leave, to get somewhere else.  It seems to be happy where it is, takes it's time getting to the next bend, hole, or riffle, and never takes the straight and easy route.  Sure, it has it's share of log-jams , a few blemishes (rip-rap banks), and some dead water.  But what person doesn't have a few of those things?

Like life, a river just keeps rolling along.  It's been flowing long before I was here, and it will keep on flowing long after I am gone.        

Big Spots
 So whenever the junk in life piles up, my fly rod will be at the ready.  Sometimes you can't always solve the problems in life right away.

Sometimes you just have to go fishing.

No Day Like Today

Do You Like Water?

Did you know that there are over 4,000 miles of dewatered rivers and streams in Montana alone?  I didn't, that is, until I watched this film.  Great information about Montana's convoluted and outdated/completely backwards confusing water laws.

If you care about stream flows in the West, this film is worth a look.

    "With streams and rivers drying up because of over-usage, Rob Harmon has implemented an ingenious market mechanism to bring back the water. Farmers and beer companies find their fates intertwined in the intriguing century-old tale of Prickly Pear Creek."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Breathe - New Film by RC Cone on F3T Theater

I was just in the middle of watching for free, the full length film entitled Breath from filmaker RC Cone.  I had to stop and write a post because two minutes into the film, I see my buddy Denny Mac on screen discussing fishing and hooking into a nice rainbow.  This is a great sequence, and I can honestly tell you there are few folks in this world more sincere and genuine than Denny.

OK, now I'm going to watch the rest of the film................

I'm back.  Great stuff. Loved the story, the locales, cinematography, the message, everything.  The story is a nice reminder of why we fish, it's about getting away from all the junk in life, but it's more than that to.  The title couldn't be more fitting, when you go fishing you can breathe, let go of whatever gets you down and find some truth.  If you fly fish, you know what I mean.  Best of all, from November 16-24 the next week you can watch it for free at the Fly Fishing Film Tour Website (F3T).  Check out the trailer below

Breathe. from RC Cone on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

America's Greatest Night of Fly Tying - Two Minute Fox Squirrel Nymph

Good tying session this Wednesday.  I got to think of a shorter title however.  How about AMGNFT for short?  Does that work?  Or maybe just Fly Tying Night... 

Nymphs seemed to be the theme of the evening, 'tis the season I suppose.

Pat's Rubberlegs Nymph
You can never have to many rubberlegs your the box.

 I ended up making up a bunch of Dave Whitlock's famous fox squirrel nymphs.  This simple pattern is DEADLY almost anytime of the year and even produces well on technical tailwaters.  I had one of my best days ever on the Missouri this summer throwing this bug in a size 14.  Who says fish will only eat the latest greatest microscopic nymphs?  Never underestimate the effectiveness of the old school patterns.  This fly is straight up buggy, see it in the water are you will understand what I am talking about.  Oh, and with some practice you can tie one in two minutes. 
Fox Squirrel Nymph
Trout Candy

- Hook:  Any nymph hook you prefer, I like standard length hooks.  You can tie these guys in really any size, but I tend to fish them most in sizes 14-18.
- Bead (optional): Brass or tungsten, sized to fit the hook.
- Tail: Fox Squirrel tail guard hairs.  Fox Squirrel tails are cheap and most fly tying outlets carry them.
- Abdomen: Feather-Craft Custom Dubbing Blend for the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph.  This is much easier than blending by hand!  Get the mix at Feather-Craft.
- Rib: Small gold tinsel or small gold wire, doesn't really matter what you use.
- Thorax: Fox Squirrel tail under-hair and guard hair.    

Fox Squirrel Materials
What you will need.  Just add hook and bead.
 Poorly Written Instructions

 1. Put on your bead and wrap the hook with thread.
2. Cut off a small clump of hair from a Fox Squirrel tail and pick out the under-hair.  Do this by holding the long guard hairs in one hand and pulling on the underfur with the other.
3. Tye on the tail, keep it short and sparse.
4. Tie on your ribbing material
5. Dub the abdomen with the dubbing blend.  The skinnier the better, most nymphs are skinny, trust me on this one.
6. Rib the abdomen.  A couple of wraps will do the trick.  Tie off and cut the ribbing.
7. Take a small clumb of tail fur, guard hairs and all, and dub a small shaggy thorax.  I usually don't worry about making a dubbing loop, it works just fine when you dub it normally, just don't twist your dubbing too tight.  Brush back the guard hairs as you dub the thorax and it will be nice and shaggy like you want it.
8. Whip finish.
9. Tie some more.

You want this fly to be skinny, but also really shaggy "buggy."  To accomplish this, use your dubbing sparingly, but don't twist it super tight before you wrap it.  Have fun, this pattern catches LOTS of fish.
Fox Squirrel Nymph
Finished Product

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fly Giveaway Contest

Hey faithful Bum Trout readers.  There's a contest on over at the Bum Trout Facebook page, and while you are there, feel free to give us a "Like."  Thanks for the support in our first 6 months.  Looking forward to a bunch more.  Bum Trout Facebook Page.

Oh and by the way, it's starting to get cold here in Montana.  As I write this, it's 25 degrees outside.  With the change in the seasons, expect some fly-tying tutorials to be coming soon.  I'm going to be trying to figure out the whole video thing, hopefully sometime before 2013.  After all, isn't the world supposed to end soon?

I digress.  America's Greatest Night of Fly-Tying kicked off it's 2012-13 season down at the Bitterroot Brewery in Hamilton last Wednesday.  If you happen to live in the Bitterroot, come join us every Wednesday night from 5:00-7:30pm.

As far as the blog goes. Expect weekly fly-tying pics, a few gear reviews, and some fishing action when it gets above freezing.

Bitterroot Brewery Fly Tying
Suds and Bugs


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Does it Ever End?

Unfortunately it doesn't seem so.  Big money and out-of-state interests are still trying their best to ruin Montana.   The following is taken from a November 2, article in the Missoulian.

BUTTE – Conservative property rights groups and conservation organizations have become involved in the bitter, eight-year legal fight over access to Montana streams from bridges.

Two conservative groups – the United Property Owners of Montana and the Political Economy Research Center – have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case between a sportsmen’s group and Madison County. In addition, Montana Trout Unlimited has entered the fray on the other side to support the Public Lands Access Association in the case.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2004, was against the county over access to the Ruby River, near Sheridan, from a bridge on the property of James Cox Kennedy, a billionaire media heir. The case prompted the passage of a law by the Legislature that guaranteed bridge access from established county roads, but this year a Madison County district judge ruled that access for recreational use is not guaranteed on roads established by a historic use through a prescriptive easement.

Bruce Farling, Montana Trout Unlimited executive director, said the case has become the latest in a series of attempts to overturn the state’s stream access law. That law guarantees anglers and recreationists the right to access public waters by staying within the ordinary high water mark of rivers and streams.

“They want to wreck the stream access law to keep people off of three bridges,” he said. “It could have some pretty big implications around the state.”

Follow the link to read more.  More groups join stream access suit.

Western Montana Fly Fishing
You Gotta Fight.  For Your Right.  To Wade.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Bum Gear Review - Airflo PolyLeader

All Bum Trout gear reviews are unbiased, honest, and nobody pays me to say anything.  I wish somebody would though....  

I'm usually not into doing gear reviews.  I'm not a big gear junky, my waders leak, I buy most of my fly lines from the fly shop bargain bins, etc... But every once in a while I find a product that I really like.  Enter the Airflo PolyLeaders. 

Now I have a bunch of sink tips of varying lengths and sizes, and one 300 grain full sinking line.  Now I love the full sinker for fishing from a boat on a big river like say the Missouri, Yellowstone, or Madison, but for wade fishing it's just too cumbersome.  Since the line likes to sink, I end up spending as much time untangling it from around my feet and rocks as I do actually fishing.  That's why you have sink tips right?  Correct, but one problem I have with un-tapered sink tips is how clunky they are to cast.  This is where the PolyLeader enters the game.

Airflo PolyLead Review
Guaranteed to Please
In my opinion Airflo really scored a home run with their sinking PolyLeaders.  They come in 5' and 10' lengths, and are available in a bunch of sink rates.  I have been using the 5' Super Fast Sinking PolyLeader lately for all of my wade fishing and can honestly tell you I love it.  The tapered design (just like your regular dry fly leaders), casts like a charm, and sinks fast enough to get the fly down and keep it there. 

Airflo PolyLead Review
Pick Your Flavor
I find the sink rate to be just right for wade fishing, you aren't hanging up in the rocks on every cast, and the 5' length still allows you to throw a mend in the line if needed.  With a simple blood or surgeons knot, attach 12-18 inches of 2x flourocarbon tippet and you are ready to go.

For $8.99 you can buy a couple of them.  Oh, and one will last you all season.  Not bad.  Find out more on the Rajeff Sports website:

Cheech's Leech
A Perfect Pair.  Courtesy of Western Flies and Guides Fly Shop. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


What a difference one week makes.

It's really starting to feel more and more like winter here in Western Montana, several mornings we have awoken to snow in the valleys, and some days have been downright cold.

Hoping to recreate last weeks success, Alec and I headed back to where we had great action only a few days ago.  Things were definitely different, the water was much lower and super clear.  The fish must have been cold because even with the heavy cloud cover, they were not in the mood to chase streamers.  We still managed to get a few good grabs, including a brief hook up with a big brown,  but overall there was a lot of casting and walking.  Hey, that's the life of the streamer fisherman sometimes. 

Both of us managed to land one fish though, and when that one fish looks like this, I guess you can't complain too much.
Bitterroot River Rainbow Trout
A Nice Specimen
Bitterroot River Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Release

Bitterroot River Brown Trout
Love Those Colors
Slowly but surely winter is coming, you can really feel it.  Most of our leaves are on the ground at this point and before long most folks will be trading in their fly rods for skis.  It's just about time to get the fly boxes and the tying bench organized, and figure out what bugs need to tied this winter.  When I make my winter "to do" list I find out what patterns were the most and least effective during the year.  How do I do that?  Simple, the patterns that I am out of are the ones that usually work the best, the patterns that I still have a dozen of, well they probably didn't work to well or I just didn't fish them.  Over the years I have definitely simplified my boxes, for instance I only fish about 12 different nymph patterns all year.

Making a List and Checking it Twice.

Today, the rain and snow got me in the mood for taking pictures, rather than throwing streamers or starring at the "bobber."  It was nice to take a morning walk up one of the Bitterroot canyons.  I almost forgot how much I like it up here, especially this time of year.  As a hardcore angler I don't get out and just enjoy what Montana has to offer without my fly rod as much as I should.  Another reason why all fishermen need winter. Come February however, I will be more than ready for it to end, but for the next couple months I will enjoy it.  Enjoy the shift.

Kootenai Creek

Kootenai Creek
Kootenai Creek
Kootenai Creek
Kootenai Creek

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Montana Morning

Took this shot on my way to work this morning. I know, my morning commute is just horrible right?  It's days like this that I am really thankful that I live in Montana.

Gold Leaves, Blue Sky, White Mountains

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meat Eaters

This weekend Alec from Fly Fishing Life and I headed out for a day of streamer chucking on the river.  We were hoping to find a few carnivorous browns and boy we did!  After a slow start to the day, the kill switch was turned on and the big boys started to hunt.  One of the better afternoons of streamer fishing I've had in a while.    

Oh yeah, and Alec got this dragon, one of the biggest browns I've seen all year.  Not a bad day I'd say.

kype jawed brown trout
Yeah Buddy!

brown trout close up
 Did I mention that the morning was slow?  For several hours we failed to touch more than a couple fish, we were feeling a little low.  The sun was high in the sky, it certainly didn't feel like a streamer sort of day. Then like a switch was flipped, the browns all decided to start crushing streamers.  In what we likely will forever call "the magic run," on my second cast a nice hen pounded my J.J. Special.  Five casts latter we had landed five solid fish.  After that it was game on for the rest of the afternoon.  In every likely looking spot we either stuck a fish, had a grab, or at the least got a follow.

Getting in on some of the action.
  There was nothing subtle about the eats either.  I experienced some of the most violent takes I've had streamer fishing.  The best grab, interestingly enough, came from a 14 inch cutthroat, he almost jolted the rod right out of my hand.  Fun stuff.

The Colors of Fall
I love the colors of the fall browns, the reds, golds, blacks, blues, and everything in between.  It looks like they just jumped straight out of an old technicolor movie.  These aren't your chromed spring fish, there are few things prettier in fly fishing than a fall brown.

Bitterroot Mountains
What a Day
The Zen Master at Work
Montana Brown Trout
One More Grip and Grin for Good Measure
Brown Trout Release
See You Latter