Thursday, June 28, 2012

Your Weekly Fly - Stanish UG Bug

Summer is upon us and that means dry flies.  More specifically, on our unruly Montana freestone rivers and creeks, this means attractors.  In recent years I have sought to find a few patterns that can do it all just by changing size and color.  Nymphs such as the venerable Copper John and Prince nymph fit the bill for subsurface action, how about dries?

Enter John Stanish's UG Bug.  UG stands for Utility Guide and that's exactly what this sucker is.  Tie it in bigger sizes and you got a stonefly, in a 12-14 you have a caddis, 16-18 you have a flying ant, and below is the spruce moth version.  The UG Bug's profile is super suggestive, it just looks like well, a little of everything.  

It floats great, is easily visible, the materials are few, cheap and versatile, and you can bang out a half dozen quickly.  Sounds like a winner!

Tie them up in different sizes and colors.  My favorite combos include: # 10-14 Sruce Moth, # 12-14 Olive and Tan Caddis, #14 Jack Cabe (See picture Below), #8-10 Skwala, and #6-8 Golden Stone  

You can check out a great video of John Stanish tying this pattern at the weekly fly - Stanish UG Bug

Spruce Moth

Recipe, Spruce Moth Version:
Jack Cabe
  • Hook: TMC 100 # 10-14
  • Thread: 140 Denier Brown UTC
  • Body: Tan 2 mm Foam
  • Underwing: Tan Poly Yarn
  • Overwing: Cinnamon Para Post
  • Legs: Speckled Tan/Brown Centipede Legs
  • Collar: Hare’s Ice Dubbing Hares Ear
  • Bullet Head: Tan 2mm Foam
Olive Caddis
Golden Stone

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Here They Come, There They Go - Salmonflies

Salmonfly madness has descended once again upon the rivers of Montana bringing with it all that is good and not so good in fly fishing.  To correspond with the bugs is our annual Orvis wader hatch.  Still, the Salmonfly hatch is still something to see and definitely something not to miss.  Even if your not a fisherman, it's still impressive seeing thousands of 4 inch long, bugs crawling around on every tree and bush near the water.

Hitting the hatch right can be a tricky proposition (note: how many times did I say to my friends last week - tomorrow will be the day, I just know it).  We all dream of those days when fish (all big of course), blindly crash any bushy dry fly slapped remotely close to them and truth be told those days exist, they are just few and far between.  Sometimes the trout can simply get stuffed from eating nymphs before the hatch actually begins, or for reasons unknown just don't seem motivated to eat something that would equate to 10,000,000 midge larva, crazy right?

Anyways, get out there and enjoy the marvel that is "the hatch" and good luck.  Remember to be nice out there, it can get crowded.  Try a Golden Stone if the Salmonfly doesn't work.  And...     

Don't blink, you might miss it.  But if you do, don't worry, the next hatch is only 365 days away.  I've already cleared my schedule, next year will be the year we all hit it right, I just know it......

I Think I Can, I Think I Can...

Comin' to Get You

Insert Caption Here___________________________

Weekend Tunes - Hello Summer Edition

Summer is officially upon us, that means Goldenstones, Evening Caddis, PMD's, Yellow Sallies, and general buggy goodness.

The summer solstice also unofficially marks that the time is right to begin fishing my favorite small stream haunts once again. 

Summer never seems to last as long as it should though, and in the northern Rockies you got to treat summer for what it is, fleeting.  So enough of reading this terribly written blog, get out and enjoy it! 

Before you do though check out the Weekend Tunes, this week from the Rebirth Brass Band, straight out of New Orleans.  Nothin' says summer like a little street beat, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot Off The Press - Montana Fly Fishing Magazine

Finally a magazine by Montana anglers, for Montana anglers.  If you haven't checked out the Montana Fly Fishing Magazine take a gander at

This months issue features an article on the Stillwater River, which is my old home river.  The article was written by the great guide and owner of the Stillwater Anglers fly shop, Chris Fleck.  Also we have a great article on Rock Creek by fellow musician and Zoo City Aquarium Blog author, Bill Pfeiffer, plus much more.

What I love about Montana Fly Fishing Magazine is that each article is written by folks that live near and know these waters intimately.  You get a sense when you read this mag is that there is a no B.S. going on here.  The articles are honest, informative and fun to read.  Plus there is loads of fantastic photography.

Can't wait for the next issue.     

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day - Weekend Tunes

Today be sure to call your dad or take him fishing!

This edition of the Weekend Tunes features the Maria Schneider Orchestra.  Maria Schneider in recent years has totally expanded the boundaries of what a big band can do.  This is her composition "The Pretty Road" which features the incredible talents of Ingrid Jensen on trumpet.  Note that there are two parts to this video.  Enjoy and Happy Fathers Day!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Your (Sometimes) Weekly Fly - Kory's Crayfish

Super guide and fly tyer Kory Kober has created many great patterns that are killer on his home waters of the Stillwater and Yellowstone in South Central Montana.  I got to know Kory well after living in Absarokee, MT for several years.  I would pick his mind often, and gained invaluable advice about fishing the Stillwater and the always fickle mid-lower Yellowstone.  You can check out some of his other commercially tied patterns at pacific fly - Kory Kober.    

The creation happens to be Kory's fantastic crayfish pattern and is unique in several ways versus what I have seen at many other fly shops.  Kory's cray successfully imitates a juvenile crayfish, which are a more olive/tan color and lack the gnarly claws the adults have.  Juvenile crayfish are preyed upon big time by trout, and are substantial meals.  This fly has enough weight to get down and it rides hook up, this makes it a great choice for tailing carp as well.

This pattern saved the day last week on the Smith River and resulted in many nice trout being caught on an otherwise tough day.  

Next time your out on the river, try a crayfish, you just might like the results.  Dead drift it, twitch it, slowly jig or strip it, I don't know, be creative.  

Sweet...  Almost to good to fish 
Perfect Profile

Eat Me!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Where The Yellowstone Goes - Missoula Screening

Where The Yellowstone Goes chronicles a 30 day trip down the Yellowstone River, through Montana.  The Yellowstone holds a special place in my heart as I lived within a 15 minute drive from it for several years and have fished it many times.  I have had some great days, and made many great memories on the Yellowstone.  Looks like a great film.

If you have a chance, check it out.

6/09/12 - Missoula, MT, The Wilma.  Presented by Grizzly Hackle. A special night with Q&A from cast and crew. Lots of giveaways. Pre-Film Brats and Burgers at Grizzly Hackle – 5:30PM Tickets $10 (no fees) at Grizzly Hackle.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Smith River Trip

Last week was my first time down Montana's Smith River.  I am fortunate to have lucky friends as the odds of getting a launch date this time of year is never a sure thing. For those of you who don't know, the Smith River Float consists of 60 road less miles of river, full of big fish, and surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the state.  5 Days, 4 Nights, incredible food, friends, and plenty of good times and memories made.  I could do it again tomorrow. 

Enough of me, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Armada

Rocky Mountain Iris

What a Crew

The Skunk is off!

More Followed

The Gray Whale in Front of Indian Springs

The Fish of the Day - Day 1

Expect parts 2 and 3 soon.

Have a great week!