[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.
[By Bert Horsley] It is always a great time casting dry flies to active fish, but it is important not to forget that visible action on the surface doesn't mean there is no action going on below as well. Unless the fish are selectively surface feeding strictly on a specific phase of the natural, chances are good that there is a lot of action down below as well, and doubling up on your flies will greatly improve your chances of getting into some fish. When your dries are getting consistently rejected or not drawing great attention, a good option is to add a dropper off of the lead fly and see how the fish respond. It is a tough thing to try anything but a dry fly when you can see rising fish all around you, but this is a great way to interest fish that are not being fooled by your dry.
[By Bert Horsley] Before you head to the water it is important to have a good idea of what you are going to find when you get there. This is equally important for local waters as well as waters you maybe heading to in distant areas. Knowing all you can about the water you are heading to can be a large influence on your day of fishing. To best be prepared for this, there are a number if things to think about. Among these are water flows, insect activity, and weather.
[By Bert Horsley] We have all been at the river throwing flies that should be catching fish, but we are coming up empty handed. This can be an extremely frustrating and discouraging place to find yourself, but there are a variety of factors to take into consideration that may pick up the action when you find yourself in this spot. Whether fishing dries, or below the surface, there are some basic things to examine that can help get you on track. Here are some thoughts on things to think about the next time you find yourself in a situation where you are just not hooking up as much as expected.
One of the toughest things about fly fishing is casting in the wind. Unfortunately here in the Rockies wind is almost always present. What we consider a light breeze of 5-10 mph others may think of as pretty tough conditions. Over the years I have seen a lot of clients try their hardest to fight the wind and lose. Here are a few tips that might help.
The Missouri is well known for its pods of rising fish and challenging dry fly fishing. Many times small mistakes equal devastating consequences. One of the most common errors I witness when fishing dries to rising fish is that anglers two big no-no's. They either throw their fly line on top of the trout or they false cast on top of them.
Mend, mend again, big mend, mend downstream, don't mend yet. These are all words that I say probably a thousand times a day. I might have heard someone even say I said it in my sleep but I can not confirm that. How important is the mend?
Biologists report record-level trout numbers on the Missouri River.
March 21, 2013 12:05 am • By EVE BYRON Independent Record
It's a good time to be trout fishing in Montana.
Biologists with Fish, Wildlife & Parks said fish surveys on the Missouri River in the past few years have shown record or near-record numbers of rainbow and brown trout. For example, they estimated 7,312 rainbow trout greater than 10 inches long per mile near the town of Cascade, compared to a long-term average of 3,036 for that stretch of river, according to Grant Grisak, a FWP fisheries biologist.