Montana fly fishing information

A Montana Fly Fishing Thanksgiving List December 08 2014

  It happened to me again—one of those magical days late fall days in southwest Montana. I awoke to the soft morning sunlight on the peaks of the Gallatin Range, as my dog and daughter’s pattering feet provided the subtle hint of “time to get going dad.” I spoke briefly to a friend who was headed out hunting, then planned my days’ outing. My day consisted of a few obligations...

Want to be a better caster? Sure. We all do. Here are some tips November 18 2014

Beginning and experienced anglers can often struggle with pinpointing errors in their cast. From a beginner fumbling with their line-hand to an experienced angler fighting a nasty tailing loop, a little help improving one’s cast is often appreciated. As with any casting instructor, personal style plays a role in how the information is presented. But despite differences amongst the style of individual instructors, the principles to accomplish a successful cast...

Only a few more days till Yellowstone National Park fishing closes October 24 2014

Despite the calendar telling us that winter does not start for another month and half, here in our mountain community we know better. Even though October is nearly complete, local fishing guides are still found in shorts and flip-flops before wadering-up each morning. And, can you blame them as the weather of late—near record highs and sun-filled days—has caused for a long fall angling season. This fall season has truly...

More effectively fish streamers, woolly buggers, and large flies October 19 2014

Fall is here: Frost on the pumpkin. Changing colors on the cottonwood trees. Baseball playoffs and football upsets. As for local fishing options, the next several weeks serve up some of the best big-fly fly fishing of the season. It’s the time of year when it’s ok to freely admit one’s addiction to fishing large flies in hopes of hooking into a pure specimen. It’s the time of year it’s...

Montana fly fishing: Prepare for the fall cool down September 28 2014

I’ve got a good fishing client of mine who works as a campground host in Gallatin Canyon. He and his wife travel each spring from California to our area, set-up their trailer and prepare for the onslaught of visitors. I usually see him a few times in May, once or twice in June and he falls off the radar entirely after July 1st—as he’s too busy taking care of other...

Eddy Line Fish to give back: Fly fishing benefits us September 22 2014

“You got to load it up with Zap-A-Gap,” my guide says as he ties my size 14 Hairwing Dun onto 24 inches of 4X tippet. “But before you put on the floatant.”   “Of course you put the heavy adhesive on your fly before you add floatant,” I think to myself. “Every angler knows the glue goes on before the floatant.”   I was preparing for my first day of...

Want to be a guide or want to learn to FISH like a guide August 25 2014

Then take our guide school!   Want your dream job? Looking to turn your passion for fly fishing in Montana into a profession? Wanting to take your angling to the next level? Our classroom: the Yellowstone, Madison, Missouri Rivers and the waters near Big Sky, Bozeman, and Helena Montana. Our guide school is committed to professionalism and quality, just like the guides we hire. Our school is built on the foundation...

Fall fishing is just around the corner, but until then…Carp Diem August 20 2014

  Montana fly fishing tips and tactics near Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana. If you’re a fly fishing purist—you know who you are—then stop reading right now and continue to fish your miniscule dry flies with marginal success; your frumpiness with late summer fishing will soon fade and you’ll be back to casting long leaders and tiny floating mayflies to rising trout. And I would love to be in that...

Hopper-Tunities! August 15 2014

A Montana fly-fishing professional’s life is arguably cause for envy. On the outside looking in, things appear glamorous: shiny new fly rods and reels every season; voicemails and texts rattling off the next river. The toughest part of our existence appears to be cleaning our windshields from the latest hatch. Those of us with families understand the value of some savings in the bank, but working is still a means...

Early August fishing report August 15 2014

Mid-August has arrived and brought cooler mornings, lower flows that make wading our local waters a little less adventurous, and fantastic dry fly fishing.  There is a lot going on right now in our own backyard, i.e., the Gallatin. We are in the middle of a pretty good to great Spruce Moth hatch. Some caddis patterns will pull double-duty and work in a pinch, but stick to the lighter bodied...

The Yellowstone River: Grandiose indeed August 03 2014

By Patrick Straub Explore Big Sky Fishing ColumnistPhoto from www.HopperFishing.com I learned early in life that declaring my love for something resulted in both good and bad ramifications. In the fourth grade, when I declared my love for Jennifer McKendry to my entire classroom, a better decision could have been made. Today, declaring my affection for the Yellowstone River is a safer bet than announcing it to a classroom of 10...

Summer fly fishing in Montana: Big Sky and Bozeman fly fishing guides adjust July 31 2014

It’s late summer in Montana. Low water means a little more challenging trout fishing indeed. Here in Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana our fly fishing guides adjust their angling tactics to beat the heat and lower water conditions.   What do fish need? Oxygen, shelter, food; cool water, cover, grub; in other words, something to breathe, somewhere to hide, something to eat: these above all trout require for survival. Riffles...

Hit The Trail: Backcountry fishing options exist for those willing to explore July 26 2014

Big Sky, Montana and Bozeman, Montana backcountry fly fishing  It was late July one summer back in the early 90’s when I learned my destiny lay in taking people fishing. Now, over twenty years later the things I did for the sake of getting friends into fish I ponder in disbelief. I was young, much more fit and weighed lot less. But, back then it was second nature loading up a...

A place of fishing wonders near Big Sky: Yellowstone National Park July 20 2014

If you throw a dart, blindfolded, at a map of Yellowstone Park and draw a circle in a five mile radius from wherever it landed, you’ll find some places to wet a line. Extend that radius ten miles and even more places. Come-out ten more miles and there is arguably a lifetime of fishable waters. The Firehole, Slough Creek, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and plenty of smaller creeks and...

The Endless Drift: Summertime is dry fly time June 29 2014

Be ready for  rising trout with these helpful tips   I’ll freely admit my addiction to dry fly fishing. Fly fishing is visual—a reason for its appeal and intrigue. A question often asked of me is “where is your favorite place to fish?” My candid answer is “wherever I am fishing.” And, that is very true. However, being raised in the Gallatin Valley and spending countless hours casting to the...

Big Sky Montana Fly Fishing Guides and Super Sale June 27 2014

Row v. Wade: A very personal decision June 19 2014

It wasn’t until during college did I become a float-fishing fiend. During those years I gravitated to fly fishing our local waters out of a drift boat. You might think the obvious: cover more water and fish it more effectively from a boat. Those reasons make sense, however, my love of float fishing also bloomed the same time I was of legal drinking age—more beer can be carried in a...

Keeping it local: fish closer to home with these options June 13 2014

As a teenager and then college-student, my fishing in late May meant opportunity—the potential to discover an out-of-the-box fishing location. Things never came easy, because the major rivers were blown-out and I never had enough gas money for road trips to Craig or Fort Smith. In those days I had to prioritize my budget: materials for tying rubberleg nymphs, cash for beers and Top Ramen, and just enough spare change...

Bank-Robbing: Your best place to make a trout withdrawl: near bankside structure June 07 2014

The next few weeks are a happy time for most area fly shops. Phones are ringing, summer inventory arrives daily, and folks out-fishing tend to buy more flies than in high-summer. Clarification: folks tend to “lose” more flies! The Gallatin is priming for the salmon fly hatch—the river’s largest aquatic insect and a trout’s time to gorge themselves post-runoff. The salmon fly, aka Pteronarcys californica for those with overly-refined palletes...

What piece of my gear should I improve immediately? June 06 2014

  Cold and wet weather.   Sustained winds. Unrelenting tropical sun. Saltwater. Big fish. These are the kind of conditions that put your wits and gear to the test. But above all else: Clients often ask me: What piece of gear should I improve on before all others? A good rod is essential, and a good line on a serviceable reel is important as well, but my answer may be...

Fishing during runoff: Inevitable but beat-able May 31 2014

Extra-effort and elbow grease a must   It’s going to get messy out there—muddy rivers, high water, and the possibility of limited fishing options.  Yet, this happens every year as the snow we’ve been carving all winter finally comes down in the form of cold, muddy water. Runoff and highwater are essential to healthy trout rivers and this is a big reason we enjoy skiing so much because the more...

Runoff? No problem. The Upper Madison is the place to be May 24 2014

A rare sight existed the other day on the Upper Madison River: a fly shop owner actually fishing for fun. As shops, guides, and outfitters ready their inventory, boats, and guide crews for the summer season personal fishing time is precious—it comes as rare as a Winnebago on 191 in January. But sometimes responsibility and better judgment deserve a backseat and one must go fishing. The sooner duties are put-off,...

One fly for the rest of your angling life May 24 2014

The April of my existence is cause for envy: I’m on the water more than I’m not, guiding anglers whom I’ve been fishing with for more than a decade. The waters on which I spend my time are as varied as the conditions we face each day.From the oh-so-easy consistency of the Bighorn to the scratch-your-head mystery of the Yellowstone, to everyone’s favorite trout river, the Missouri below Holter Dam,...

Madison River reopens May 17th May 24 2014

Every spring the sections of the Upper Madison between Earthquake Lake and McAtee Bridge and Ennis Bridge and Ennis Lake close for a few months to protect vital trout spawning habitat.  Well…it’s about to reopen for the season! Between Quake Lake and Lyons Bridge is extra special due to regulations making it a catch and release only stretch and fishing out of a boat/vessel is prohibited. Expect some company though...