A massive mayfly hatch on the Mississippi River in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area July 20, 2014, was described as a insect infestation of "biblical proportions" so intense that it made driving in the region difficult and even dangerous. Poor visibility and slippery roads (due to mayflies) were blamed for a three-vehicle accident on the Hwy. 63 bridge linking Red Wing and Hager City, Wisconsin, that left one person hospitalized.
On many of our bigger western rivers fishing from a drift boat is advantageous for many reasons. Many people including myself enjoy wading. Nothing like feeling the water around you, the temperature, the sound, seeing fish rising around you. There is something indescribable about being in the river. It's a great day when you've been able to cover a piece of water completely and giving yourself every opportunity to catch fish. But many of our major rivers are better suited for fishing from a drift boat. There are many advantages to using a drift boat to fish.
It's been a long cold and snowy winter here in Montana. Spring is just around the corner and the month of May is one of my favorite months of the year in Montana. One of the biggest and most impressive hatches that happens every year in the month of May is the "Mother's day" caddis hatch. The specific name of these caddis are American Grannoms from the Brachycentridae family of the caddis fly. These caddis are well known for hatching by the billions at a time. This "phenomenal" hatch happens on both the Madison and Yellowstone rivers in our area.
My personal favorite river to fish in the entire state is located in a town of 32 year round residents, has three fly shops, two watering holes and one restaurant. It boasts the second largest population of trout in any river in the state (6k+ per mile) with the average size of trout being 16-17 inches with 20-inch trout not uncommon.
One of the worst feelings you can experience fishing in the winter time is to slide off the bank into the water and after 10 minutes of fishing your feet feel like a block of frozen ice. Your realize that your waders leak. There aren't any blatant holes but you can feel your soppy sock sloshing around. This usually ends my day. What can you do to find and repair these pesky pinholes? I am going to tell you right here.
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.