Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We've Moved to a new address!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Never any wind in Livingston!

"Swans on Depuy's"

With 50 degree weather the need to get outside and play over rode the requirements of my to do list at home. Jason called and wanted to fish so I took a look at the internet weather reports and saw that the wind was blowing a consistent 34 MPH out of the South with gust to 50. I called Jason back and we planned on a quick fish on the Gallatin later in the day. Just to be sure the weather underground was accurate I placed a call over to Livingston to get a real time in person report. They told me it was a bit breezy but not all that bad, which for a Livingston resident means that if you can open the door without the aide of a numatic jack than it is calm outside. I called Jason back and mentioned that the Gallatin wasn't that interesting to me and that we should give it a shot over the hill, he needed to return a pair of broken waders anyways so we headed over the pass.
"Loomis, Trico and Jackson"

We made it to Bailey's to exchange the waders and once we stepped out of the truck the typical Livingston breeze was blowing close to the report from the internet. We exchanged the waders and headed up the river to check out the prospect of getting some firewood from RY timber. There wasn't much left in the wood pile so we deemed coming back with a trailer for a load of wood as useless. Even with the steady wind we proceeded up the valley to check to see if the wind was less above the Wine Glass gap. We stopped at the outflow of Depuy's to let the dogs run around a bit as well as drown a couple of flies. The wind was managable but the fish were not interested in either of the two flies that I had on my rod. The local sherriff stopped by to see how the fishing was and to give us a few pointers on where to get em with a worm sunk on the bottom. There were a few midges flying around on the Yellowstone and we witnessed one whitefish rising to the occassion. After the dogs wore off some energy and snapping a few photo's of the swans on Depuy's we headed for the Trail Creek route back to Bozeman.

"Elk on the Hillside"

Heading up the dirt road we spotted two nice groups of elk on the hillside and Jason scanned the herd for any sizable bulls. There were a couple of smaller bulls in the herd but nothing that made the jaw drop. It was a nice ride over the pass and we returned home content with knowing we at least got out and let the dogs burn off some energy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sometimes you have to be flexible!

Another day in paradise started off with a boat full of snow and a slick wet harrowing drive over the pass to Livingston. Four inches of new snow greeted me this morning just after I spent the previous day washing the truck and spit shining the drift boat. I got an early start so I arrived in Livingston with plenty of time to spend another ten bucks at the Car wash in Livingston, clearing the snow that drifted from the back of the truck into the boat. After clearing the snow and getting the boat ready for the day I headed to the shop to meet my clients for the day. Livingston only got a dusting but the rain and warm weather from the previous two days had caused the Lamar to spit out a plug of muddy water and it was just about to hit town. On the ride over I was greeted with a weather advisory for a high wind warning from Livingston to Reed Point. The mud coming down the valley left us with no option for escaping the wind and we had to commit to a float below town to stay away from the mud.

The clients were ready and eager when I got to the shop at 8:15 and after the usual paperwork, looking over the gear and picking out a few flies for the day we made our way for Springdale. Rob Olsen was my guide partner for the day and we were being joined by four ministers from around the country. Jeremy was from Memphis, Glenn resided in Washington D.C., Bill was from Austin and Tom hailed from San Antonio. They were all minister that meet in seminary school and had been making an annual trip somewhere each year to catch up and enjoy each others company.

When we got to Springdale Doug and Mike were at the ramp getting their boat ready in a steady 20 mph wind with gust into the 30's. I talked to Rob to see if he was interested in changing our plans and wading the Boulder instead of taking a sailing trip down the Yellowstone. He told me he was up for anything so I headed over to talk with the group about the new plan. They were open to anything and told me all they really cared about was catching some fish, seeing some nice scenery and having a good time. My job was to guide them through the day and make sure they had a great time. I headed over to Rob and told him they were up to driving the extra distance to try and get a break from the wind. We left Doug and Mike and wished them luck with their sailing venture. When we arrived in Big T we dropped the boats at the Super 8 and headed up the Boulder Valley. As we crossed the river at the 8 mile bridge the river was pretty off color, I hoped it was just the West Fork and by the time we got to the next bridge the river had turned to a rustic red color and I had thoughts of spending a wasted day driving around burning fuel for no good reason.

We arrived at the Forks and thankfully the West Fork was the culprit and the Main stem of the river was in great shape. The guys pulled on their waders and Rob and I rigged the rods. The wind was still blowing pretty hard but at least we had a bit of protection in the river bottom with all the trees and high banks. We headed down stream and got everyone into their fishing positions. I set Tom in his spot and headed a bit further downstream with Glenn. Glenn hooked and landed a nice rainbow right out of the gate and I knew we had made a good choice. We spent the rest of the morning landing some very nice rainbows and by lunch we were pretty satisfied with the fishing. The river was starting to get some color as the day progressed and when we met back up with Rob, Bill and Jeremy it had gone from gin clear to a couple feet of visibility.

We had a very nice lunch on the bank of the West Fork and after everyone had a full belly we headed back to the truck for some more fishing. We headed up the river to another spot and when we arrived at the new access the river clarity had taken a turn for the worse. Clarity had dropped to around a foot and there was starting to be some floating debris in the water. I was sure that we were in for a quick end to the day but as the afternoon progressed the clarity got a bit better and we ended the day with a foot and a half of clarity. The afternoon fishing was not as consistent but we did manage to catch a few more fish and the hot bug of the day was a wire worm. The day ended with a few more fish under the bridge and we sent the ministers for a quick sight seeing trip up to the natural bridge. I headed back to town to fulfill my fatherly duties and attend the coaches T-Ball meeting to pickup the equipment and the team roster for the 2008 Season. We should have a fun team full of friends and cousins who will surely bring plenty of smiles and laughs to all of us as they swarm after the ball.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blizzards, Bighorn and Baetis!

The 2008 guide season is off to a furious pace and has left me with little time to sit and publish any journal entries for the past two weeks. It all got underway with a trip to the Bighorn where we had some very good fishing. The first two days of the trip were spent managing crowds and finding hot spots to fish on the ten mile float from 3 to B. I was paired with two great guys, one who had lots of experience and another who was pretty much a neophyte. Frank was a very nice guy who loved the sport of fly fishing and we turned his Buddie into a fly addict as well. At the time of this writing many of the clients are turning into one so I am having a senior moment, which shouldn't be happening to a man of 36, and I can't remember his name. Either way great progress was made on the casting front and the ability to detect a strike on an indicator. The fish were still very keyed in on midges and they were starting to respond to baetis nymphs fished on the bottom. Sow bugs and scuds were a major disappointment as the fish were not interested in them whatsoever, and that is strange on the Bighorn. Lots of fish were brought to net and the first two days were very successful. Day three brought a delima of trying to figure out where all the people were going to be. The Montana State board of Trout Unlimited had 27 guys on the river and there was also another internet message board of 10 guys on the river as well. You can also add in a group of 10 current and retired Vail Associates ski patrol, lift maintenance and higher ups that were on their annual Bighorn festival outing as well. These three groups in and of themselves made for a good number of boats on the water. I picked up Frank and his buddy and I made the decision to fish the upper three, in hopes of the crowds either floating the whole 13 miles or just fishing the lower 10. My plan came together great and we had a fun day fishing a different section of the river. The highlight of the last day was setting up in the Drum hole and seeing the first solid baetis hatch of the year on the Bighorn. The fish were on the adults strong and we managed to hook and land a decent number of fish on dries, which was a wonderful change from staring at a strike indicator for the first two days.

Upon arriving home I we were greeted with a nice winter storm that left us cold and wet. A couple days of getting gear back in shape and cleaning up from the Bighorn left me ready to set out on the next round of trips. The Orvis Rendezvous came to town and after collecting my free swag for sitting through a morning presentation about the Orvis company and their new Helios rod I set out with the boys from Breckenridge outfitters to float the Lower Madison. The river was dirty when we arrived and the skies were cold and over cast. We managed to turn up a half dozen nice fish on a black bugger trailed with a pink worm and as we hit the boat ramp to take out the snow flakes began to fly. It was only the start of three more days of cold wet weather on the rivers.

On Thursday the I awoke to horrible weather with temps in the mid 20's and 4 inches of new snow in the boat. I made the harrowing drive over the Bozeman Pass to meet my sports for the next two days. They were both new to the art of fly fishing and there was no way in hell that I was going to put them in a drift boat in 30 degree weather and a blizzard. After introductions and a quick discussion on the day ahead we called up Depuy's and got two rods so that we could use the warming huts to stay out of the weather. Rookies on the spring creeks is quite a challenge but it was much better than the alternative of sitting in the boat. Marty was fire fighter from a suburb of Chicago and his father in law Dick was a business man in the same area. They both wanted to give fly fishing a try and we spent most of the day working out the kinks of casting and how to control the line. They both made good strides and we had a great time trying to catch rising fish in Depuy's, which is rather difficult when 20 feet is a good cast. We did manage to land some fish and they both really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about how to use a fly rod.

Day Two brought more weather in and the day started with a trip to the car wash to spray out the left over snow and make room for more snow later in the day. We headed up the Yellowstone to the Grey Owl put in and the weather was similar to the day before, we had silver dollar size snow flakes falling but the air temp was a bit warmer and the wind was calm. The day started out with Rubberlegs and PT nymphs trailed under indicators. We fished the middle of the river and had a great time hooking whitefish and getting used to fighting fish. The sun broke out briefly as we hit the Paradise campground so we took a break and ate some lunch. We did managed to land a couple of trout before lunch along with a couple dozen whitefish. After lunch the baetis starting to pop and I tied on dry flies with small bead droppers. We pushed off from shore and we caught a few nice fish as we floated down the river. Dick broke off his flies at the irrigation pump and I dropped anchor to retie some more bugs on his rod. The fish were rising fast a furious in the small slot but the anchor had slipped and we were out of either of their casting ranges. I picked up the rod and gave them a lesson on how to make a reach cast. It took a good 40 foot cast to get to the fish and it took two cast to bring a small rainbow to the boat. I'm not big on bragging about my skills but both of their jaws were wide open and they were amazed with how easy I made it look. I gave the rod back to Dick and left them in astonishment over the skills of their guide. We pulled anchor and headed for the deep run above the YVR and the fish were going completely ape over baetis adults. The wind was howling as it pushed in a new front and casting was a bit difficult to say the least. After spending a half hour watching them struggle I decided to head down river to the hole across from the YVR where the wind would be more of a help than a hindrance. As I pushed through the fast water to the spot I knew they would be rising in the skies opened up with some of the largest snow flakes I have ever seen, and they were full of water. We hit the spot and the fish were going nuts. Dick had knee replacement surgery earlier in the year so I positioned the boat so he did not need to get out. Marty headed up stream of the boat and immediately started hooking one fish after another. Dick's first cast landed a nice cutthroat and they were both really excited to see a native fish from the river. The snow continued to fall for a half hour and the fish never let up until the sun popped out and melted the newly fallen snow. It was a glorious half hour and one I will not forget for a long time. We finished up the day with picking off a few more fish that were feeding on left over baetis and it was a very memorable trip for them both.

Saturday brought another set of clients from Southern California. I had set them up with my good friend Jamie for a float on Friday and they had floated the lower part of the Yellowstone and caught some nice fish on nymphs. They also got the privilege of freezing their tails off in the snow storm and when I arrived at the Murray to pick them up they still looked cold from the previous days float trip. They had a good time with Jamie and an even better story to tell me about the trip with him. Bill takes a bit of convincing to feel comfortable with some aspects of fishing and he was a bit skeptical of the guides he was setup for his trip to Montana. They were sitting in the Murray Bar on the night they had arrived in town and they met a woman at the bar. They were telling her that they were scheduled to go on a trip with some guides they did not know and that they were uncertain of the trip. The woman at the bar told them her husband was a guide and that if things didn't work out for them that her husband would do a great job for them. She ask them who they were supposed to fish with and they told her that the guides name was Jamie Benedickt. She got a big grin on her face and told them that this was her husband and the card she was pulling from her pocket book was his. They had a lot to talk about since Tina is a local wine rep for one of the distributors in town and Bill and Ramsay are both in the wine industry back in California. She also gave them some insider information to razz Jamie about and when they got in the boat with him they played with him for a few hours before letting him know they had drinks with his wife in the bar. Jamie was glad he did not make an ass out of himself and there day was fun despite the weather.

I picked them up at the Murray and we were off to Depuy's. Bill and Ramsay have both fished in a lot of places and they were very excited to get to challenge their skills on the famous waters of Depuy's Spring Creek. We started out at the lower hut and both of them hooked fish on nymphs right out of the gate. I knew they wanted to try their hand at some dry fly fishing and there were a good number of fish feeding on midges early on. We reeled up and headed for the pod of rising fish that had been above the pond a few days ago and when we got there the fish were feeding veraciously on the surface. We spent the next couple of hours fishing to rising fish and watching them sniff the fly and refuse it. Both of them were astonished by the selective fish and how tough they could be to catch. We pretty much worked them over for a few hours and it was time to head for the hut for a quick bite to eat. I pulled out the grill and quickly cooked up a nice flank steak that I had marinated in a special seasoning blend. They fished for a few minutes while I prepared the meal that fit nicely with a fine bottle of Etude Pinot. Since they were both wine experts I decided to dazzle them with a nice lunch and bottle of wine. It payed off when they both mentioned never having this good of a meal on a fishing trip. We finished up the feast and headed for the upper end of the creek in search of more rising fish. Not much was going on with the bright sunshine so I headed them to the slough where fish actively cruise and sip left over meals. It is a fun spot to fish since you can watch the fish move and try and position a cast in front of their path. Ramsay missed a nice rainbow and we watched a rather large brown trout makes his path around the slough. I told Ramsay that that was the fish I wanted to see him catch and low a behold ten minutes later he placed a perfect cast in front of the monster and the fish swam lazily towards the fly. I was pretty certain the fish was going to turn off the fly but he headed straight for it and Ramsay and I got to witness one of the most amazing rises I have seen in a long time. The fish was coming straight at us and he poked his head up out of the water and the whites of his mouth looked like a great white shark as he sipped in our midge offering. Ramsay made a nice calm hook set and the fish took off like a bat out of hell in the shallow water. The run was a bit much for the 6X tippet and the fly came back at us almost as quickly as the fish has eaten it. Even though we did not land the fish it was an amazing fish and I am sure Ramsay had a hard time falling asleep to the image of the fish's mouth open wide and sucking in his dry fly. I know I did. We finished off the day and I received a very nice email from Bill thanking me for a wonderful trip. I hope our July trip is just as successful and I look forward to sharing more of Montana with Bill and his guest.

Sunday left me a day to spend with family and a chance to relax from the week that was behind me. Reece and I hit the Hot Springs for a swim and spent the afternoon napping in front of the Television. It was a very relaxing day before setting back out on the water on Monday.

Monday was going to be an easy day with just one angler and a couple of dogs in the boat. Brian works for a company that supplies my wife's company with product and he wanted to get out and do a float. The weather forecast was promising warm weather, with temps in the low 70's and light winds. I picked him up at the Holiday Inn and we headed for the Yellowstone. When we got to Livingston the winds were not so light and I held my breath hoping it was just the gap wind that Livingston is famous for. I called in my shuttle to Toots and we headed for Pine Creek. When we arrived at Pine creek the wind was calm and the sun was warm and high in the sky. I was hoping the clouds would roll in for some baetis activity but it was not looking promising. There were only two other vehicles with trailers in the lot so I knew we would have much of the float to ourselves. Dave Mckee was already in the water ahead of us and the other group was in a raft. As I got the rods ready another vehicle pulled up and Dave and James Warren jumped out the vehicle. We chatted for a moment and I put the boat in the water. We started out nymphing with a Rubberleg and Blue Copper John. The fish were eating the copper john well and by 11 I made a stop to let the dogs out and to wade fish a small side channel. I looked closely at the rip rap on the other bank and noticed the first caddis of the season. It got my juices flowing knowing that we were on the verge of the annual mothers day caddis hatch in the days to come.

We caught several nice fish from the side channel and headed back for the boat. We were doing well with the copper john so I decided to leave the flies as is for the time being. As we floated along the next bank I started to see a few more caddis and we even had a few land in the boat. I pulled in at the next shelf and dropped anchor for Brian to make a few drifts through the deep drop. After missing one fish I decided to take a gamble and try fishing a caddis pupae just to see if the fish were looking for caddis at all yet. I switched out the rubber legs for a olive zonker and tied on a tan sparkle pupae. We pulled up anchor and stuck two fish back to back on the caddis pupae across from Charlie's old house that fell into the river during the 96 floods. I guess that my question had been answered and the fish were looking for the pupae and larvae already. The caddis continued to bounce around in small numbers and I started to have thoughts of grandeur about the hatch getting started. We fished down to the area where the river broke into the spring creeks and we had lunch in the deep slot above the fancy rip rap bank. There were few fish breaking the surface and it looked like they were eating emerging caddis. After lunch I rigged up my five weight with a royal stimulator and a tan pupae off the back. Brian managed to land a nice bow on the pupae and I told him we were going to dry fly or die for a little bit. The pupae took a few more fish but it was not really hot and heavy so I decided to switch to a larvae imitation instead. Bingo the fish responded right away and we spent the rest of the day picking off fish from heavy rip rap banks and deep shelves the rest of the float. The wind picked up about the time we hit Carters and there were few caddis still out and about. My thoughts of maybe catching the hatch right as it starts was dashed for the day but the fish were all over a mangy caddis and a king prince. We caught fish all the way to the 9th street take out and the day was finished up with a moose cow and her calf on the bank just above the take out, right in the middle of town. It was a wonderful day and we will have to see what happens with the hatch. Today may be a great day but I need to get ready for tomorrow's trip and take care of some errands and bill paying before I hit the river again.

The forecast is calling for cold weather to move back in tonight so we may have delay in the hatch until it warms up again. I did not expect to see much of a hatch this year on the Yellowstone with all the low elevation snow but the cool weather may give us a break and let us fish a day or two before the river gets dirty and blows the hatch out. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Leaving the Real World Behind

Round two of 5 Bighorn trips for this spring begins today. The bags are packed and I will be dropping Reece off at school and heading East. A couple of quick stops in Livingston to finalize next weeks guide trips and to pick up a new pair of bootfoot waders. Then it's on to the middle of the Crow Reservation and a date with a group from San Diego for three days of netting fish. The trips to the Bighorn are usually a good time but life takes a turn from reality with a lack of contact with the outside world. The isolation from Television, the Internet and even newspapers is a great relaxation but I would have no idea if George Bush got an itch and decided to invade another oil producing country to help line his buddies pockets with even higher fuel prices for American consumers.

With that being said my fuel cost for getting to the river and back will run around $200 which takes a bite out of buying new clothes for the boy or taking the family out for a nice weekend getaway. My tax rebate won't be going back into the economy as our trusty government officials hope it will. No new TV or electronic purchases, no new cars, no new toys. My rebate will be going to household bills and into the pockets of excessive profits for Exxon, Cononco and BP.

Enough with the tirade, for those few readers who visit the site I hope that you have a great end of the week and I will post a full report of the good times and the mishaps that take place on the Bighorn for the next few days. I am sure there will be more memories like last years alteration of the table in our cabin so that I could fit my fly tying vise on it. Until then good luck fishing and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Big Swing!

Tax day had me feeling a bit depressed since I had to send most of my savings to the feds and the state, so after putting in a hour with my buddy spraying doors we decided to get out and enjoy the warm weather. With temps in the mid to high 70's we hitched up the Jet boat and headed for the Missouri in search of carp and a possible pike bite that has been rumored around town. As we pulled into Manhattan for a few road soda's, slice of pizza and a few snacks the wind almost blew us off the highway. The winds were steady at 20 to 25 but we left Manhattan with optimistic thoughts of some shelter in the canyon stretch of the Upper Missouri. The wind continued to pick up as we headed West and when we got to the turn off to head for the Mo the air quality had dropped to a very poor rating from the fallow fields that were being swept to Great Falls by the wind. I was really glad that I didn't live in Townsend because from the turn off it looked like you needed a respirator to be outside from all the dust in the air.

We bumped up the road to the put in and when we got there the canyon was providing a little bit of protection from the horrific wind. We decided that since we bounced the boat down the 6 miles of wash board road that we would go ahead and put the boat in the water. The water was slightly off color but the waves were not bad and we shoved off in search of some fish. We made it up the river about a mile and we decided to take a quick ride up the river to check on a feeder stream that dumps into the river. We went past the creek and pulled to shore to let the dogs take a run and burn off some of their energy.

The wind was still gusting and there were some sheltered bends along the river where we decided to pull in a run some lures. Our real search was for a pike so we pulled out the bait casters and spin rods rigged with # 4 bucktail spinners. We fished for a few minutes but the wind made it tough to keep the boat in position. We decided this was not our day so we fired up the E-Tech and went for another boat ride. We wanted to see how far up the river we could go and after bucking the head wind for a half hour we arrived at a fishing access site midway through this section of river. We were excited to make it all the way to the access and it will definitely come in handy this fall for some duck hunting and a bit of out of the way pheasant hunting as well.

The river was pretty easy to run and we arrived back at the truck in about 20 minutes. We fished near the boat ramp for about 20 minutes and I managed to snag one carp square in the back just above the tail. It was a lot of carp and I really glad when the hook came out and the large lure did not hit me in the head. We called it a day and headed back to town with some good allergy problems and a nice sunburn from taking off my hat all day.

After two days of weather in the 70's we awoke to snow this morning and temps in the low 30's. I just returned home from picking up supplies for my three days of guiding on the Bighorn and the temp on my truck was a balmy 31 degrees. About 5 inches of heavy wet snow have fallen already and they are calling for more of the same this evening and into tomorrow. I hope it quits snowing before I leave for the Bighorn tomorrow morning and that it warms up a bit for the guys I will be guiding from San Diego through the rest of the week. You have to love spring time in the Rockies.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Risk, Reward, not on the Jeff.

Each year I get a wild hair to float the Jefferson and get away from the rest of the angling world. Usually it becomes a nice scenic float with a fish or two coming to the boat. My good friend Peter, who grew up in the Jefferson Valley was eager to hit his home water so we planned to pick his brother up and hit the river. I arrived to pick Peter up and we had a couple of inches of new snow in town. We loaded up the dogs and the gear and made the 60 mile trek to Whitehall to pick up Wade. When we arrived at the ranch his parents were on their way to Sunday's Church service. Peter and I took a few pop shots at the gophers in the pasture and picked Wade up at the house. We headed up river to the Headwaters of the Jefferson and dropped Wade's truck at the take out. The weather was warming nicely and when we put the boat in at Twin Bridges the day looked very promising.

Wade has only fly fished a couple of times and we spent the first ten minutes getting him back in the groove. The Beaverhead was pretty dirty with about a foot of visibility so we tied on black buggers and a worm for Wade while Peter and I took turns fishing streamers and rowing. When we got to the confluence with the Bighole we saw crystal clear water and kicked ourselves for not putting in on the Bighole rather than the Beaverhead. To this point we had not even had a bump or a legitimate take on the nymphs and thoughts of a typical Jefferson trip started to eat at the eagerness of having that rare day of good fishing on the river. We made a couple of stops so the dogs could run around and we could stretch our legs. Peter finally had a nice bow swirl at the streamer and we both got reinvigorated by the sight of the swirl. Peter gave up the front of the boat and I set out with the Kystal Bugger hoping to actually hook and land a fish. My first cast to the bank came tight quickly and a small brown was on for about a nano second. We both thought, ok maybe it was just taking the fish some time to get on the feed. Optimism is a great thing but it only gets you so far. I fished for another half hour and finally hooked a solid fish that lept from the water and spit the hook.

Peter and I had our fill of casting heavily weighted flies and decided to put on a dry fly just for fun. We weren't catching them on streamers so we figured it would not make any difference in our success to fish a dry and have some fun. Wade religiously fished his nymphs and we were both impressed with his go for it attitude. I tied on a Fat Freddy Skwala dry and proceeded to see how tight I could get it to the bank. Peter jumped back into the front of the boat and began his assault on the shoreline. We started to joke about opening a lodge on the Jefferson and how it was such a reliable fishery. We also said we could start an online "War of the World's" type rumor about the Skwala hatch on the Jefferson. Just as the conversation got more in depth a nice brown trout came to the surface and sucked in the Skwala dry fly that we had only tied on for fun. I guess that the Skwala god's were getting back at us for making fun of the hatch that doesn't really exist on the Jefferson. It was a great laugh and it put a topper on a slow day of fishing.

We hit the ramp and headed back down the valley with a quick stop at Peter's folks new house. The amount of wildlife that uses the Jefferson Valley is amazing and we saw everything from Deer, Elk, Turkey, Sand hill Cranes, Pelicans and lots of ducks and geese. With Turkey season just getting started this weekend I may have to break out the shotgun and to the river for some gobbler action, it surely would be more productive than fishing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Winter's still got a grip

As the Jayhawks were making their comeback against Memphis last night the erie orange glow came over Bozeman as another snow squawl moved into town. The flakes were wet and coming down at a moderate pace, slightly covering the grass and making the streets wet. As I turned out the lights and shut off the boob tube the flakes were still falling but there was not much accumulation on grass in the yard and it had been snowing for a couple of hours. However when I woke up this morning we were greeted with about 7 inches of heavy wet snow. I had planned to take my boat back out to the barn at my folks house but I got caught up running around town and never made it out to the house. I guess that is why it probably snowed so much and now I will have to let it sit in the sun and turn to water.

The good news is that we are continuing to get great moisture and after checking the Bridger Bowl snow report this morning they have had another 11 inches of snow from this storm, which is on top of the 20 inches they recieved on Saturday night. For the year they have had 392 inches of cold smoke and have settled base depth of 119 inches. They also have extended the season by one week and I am sure that they could remain open through April with the snow they have right now, but the Forest Circus only permits them so many days and then they have to sut down operations. It has been a good snow year and I am looking forward to a great summer of fishing and hopefully I don't have to use my swift water rescue skills to often while I am out on the rivers this summer.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Only in these United States

Bozeman was treated to another great "American" event with the Monster Nationals taking over the Brick Breeden Field house for two nights of shows. Once my 5 year old son Reece saw the commercial on TV I knew I was obligated to take him to the show. Fortunately our friends Cora and Len had free tickets from Cora's advertising job with the local TV network so I could free up some extra cash for a few over priced show souvenirs.

We arrived just as the show got started and thank god I took the advice of some friends and purchased some ear plugs prior to hitting the field house. The noise of these beastly trucks is amazing especially when you couple it with being held inside of an arena that amplifies the sound. The trucks were actually pretty amazing and the power and speed at which they travel was something to see. The evenings highlights for Reece were when one of the trucks attempted to do a donut, like we used to do in the High School parking lot and his tires got a bit to much grip sending him onto his roof. They quickly pulled the truck back over onto it's wheels with the lift and readied the truck for the next event. The next event was racing around the oval track and jumping the piles of cars. The same truck made his first run around the oval and on the second set of cars he went high in the air and landed hard, breaking off his front tire and nose diving into the stadium dirt. The crowd cheered with great enthusiasm and I am sure the owner of the truck wants to never return to Bozeman after all the cost he ensued from the his disastrous evening in the field house.

The evening finished up with a visit from megasaurus the fire breathing, car eating dinosaur. The lights went black in the "Brick" and the three story monster entered the arena. The kids loved the fire and flames but the dino was really a let down when he started to chew the car in half. I am also pretty sure the facility managers were not real excited about all the glass, metal and car parts being mixed in with the high dollar rodeo dirt that was laid on the field house floor for the event. The show ended with a stop at the souvenir stand and parting with 30 dollars for a couple of flags, a hat and a whiz bang boomerang. I can honestly say that the show was a pretty good time and it will be a couple weeks before Reece talks about anything else.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Weekly Fly (Bob Jacklin's Giant Salmonfly)

Hook: Tiemco #200r Size 4 and 6
Thread: Flo. Orange 210 Denier
Tail: None
Egg Sack: Black Elk or Deer Hair
Body: Salmon Fly Orange Dubbing over Dyed Black Elk Hair
Ribbing: Two Brown Saddle Hackles
Wing: Long Blond Elk Hair
Legs: Black Rubber Legs, Med
Head and Collar: Bullet Head Dyed Brown Deer Body Hair

I am very honored to know Bob and I have always enjoyed our conversations both in his shop and when he would stop by to say hello when I owned my shop. Bob's love for the sport and his compasion for sharing is second to none. Be sure and bookmark the weekly fly and check out all the great tiers who will be sharing patterns and stories.