Winter time fly fishing in Montana is great way to spend some quality time in the outdoors. The serene and peaceful setting of standing in a river casting your flies waiting for a hungry trout to come tight on the end of your line can be inviting. I have compiled a list of five tips to help you make the most of your time on the river during the winter.
Updated: 2015 Snowpack Information - With the beginning of winter we complete another fishing season and it’s time to look forward to the annual snowpack buildup. The relationship between snowpack and river runoff is important. The quantity of water will be in direct proportion to the level of health for our rivers and the ecosystem that it supports. Naturally, the fishing quality is in direct proportion to the level of health of our river ecosystem. For those of you interested in understanding one fishing quality measurement tool, snowpack, then please read on to gain insight and learn a little more on what you might expect for the upcoming fishing season.
We have all been there, fishing a foam eddy on a river where a thick white cloud of foam is hiding a pile of trout. Sometimes the foam is broken up by a trout's nose poking through like someone is dropping in a marbles in the water. These are a great places for trout to live. They offer protection from above with the foam acting as a shield from predators above. The currents are generally slow and great place for trout to hang out with their friends and not have to work out. Food also gets caught in these eddies and goes around and around making it an endless buffet of insects for the trout.
With Christmas approaching quickly many of you might be scrambling for ideas for that obsessed fly fishing person in your life. I have made a list of 10 great fishy ideas that you can either stuff in their stocking or wrap up under the tree. This is no means a complete list but may give you some ideas that you might not have thought of yet.
In this day and age many of us carry around a smart phone that is more powerful than our first computer. In fact for people like myself, it is hard to be separated from my phone for long periods of time. That's why my phone is always in arms reach when I am out on the river. Now I don't want to give you the idea that I need to be on the phone when I am guiding you down the river, but I do use it for a variety of reasons.
At some point in time you will or might want want to treat yourself to some new fly fishing equipment. Whether it be a new set of waders, a fly rod, new reel, or the entire enchilada. I get asked quite often what brands and types of equipment I prefer. Here is a brief synopsis of what I tell everyone.
As we get closer to October, the brown trout start to stage up and make their redds (spawning beds). They get very protective over their territory and attack anything that gets in their way. Streamers are the preferred method of catching these trout, but you can use other methods as well. Most anglers will agree that if you want to upset these moody trout, dragging a streamer in front of them is one of the best ways.
[By Bert Horsley] From the second the hook is set to the moment the fish is landed, we all experience a great amount of excitement. It is great fun for us as anglers, but on the other end of the line the fish are fighting for their lives. It is important for us to be responsible and ensure that they live on to fight again, especially this time of year as the water temperatures are rising and the flows are lowering. Here are some things to do when you are out there with a tight line.
[By Bert Horsley] In life's pursuits, the better we do something, the more we tend to enjoy it. This holds true for fly fishing as well. We all have areas where we can improve, and time and effort are really the foundations for improving your fishing. Here are some stepping stones to use to better your skills.
[By Bert Horsley] Fishing from a boat and being able reach most sections of the river is great. Whether rowing or fishing, it is a good time just being on the water and enjoying the changing scenery as you drift through. That being said, there is still a great amount of enjoyment to be found wading through smaller sections of water and being able to get to know them well. Here are some things to consider as you head out to do some wade fishing.
Every July in SW Montana a hatch begins that you don't read about very often in the monthly publications. Everyone is familiar with the salmonflies in late June or the golden stones that follow. But have you heard about the other stonefly hatch we have known as "short wings, nocturnal, mutant or midnight stoneflies"? These stoneflies are rarely seen during the day but the fish do not forget them after the sun comes up.