Spring has finally arrived here in SW Montana. After suffering through Bozeman’s fourth coldest February on record and the snowiest (29 inches), things are taking a turn and starting to warm up. Many of the rivers still have a lot of ice built up, but will be melting with our expected warmer temperatures. There still hasn’t been any fishing to be done lately, but that should change quickly. Soon we will be digging out the drift boats and getting ready to hit the river. For now, we are tuning up the equipment, taking bookings, and filling the fly boxes. Many prime time dates in June and July are already booked up, so give us a call to schedule an unforgettable day on one of our world class rivers.
Regards, Dane Huzarski
NOW IS THE TIME TO VOICE YOUR OPINION ON THE MADISON RIVER
The past few months I have sat in on a few of these committee meetings. They move awfully slow, but they seem to be making some progress on coming up with some suggestions for the Fish and Wildlife commission.
There aren’t a lot of knots that you need to know for fly fishing. But there are a few that you need to learn to ensure you have success out on the water. Whether you need to change your fly or replace your fly line, these knots will teach you the basics you need to know.
This month’s three flies are all early season flies. The water is still cold. There isn’t much insect activity. You need to find the slower moving water and pools and fish deep right now. The fish aren’t expending much energy to eat. All three of these patterns feature one unique characteristic. They are pink! Is there much in the water that these represent? No, not really, but trout do like pink flies, especially in the winter and spring. No one knows for sure why pink flies work, but you should definitely have a few in your box if you are headed out this early season. These patterns are designed more specifically for tailwater rivers, but I have had good success on freestone streams as well.
The first fly is a pink Lightning Bug. This fly is relatively new to the fly fishing scene. It has some flash, a bead for weight and plenty of pink. I carry this pattern in size 14 and 16. When the trout key in on this fly, it is deadly.
The next fly is an adaption of a popular fly called the Tailwater Sowbug. You can find the same pattern in fly bins all over the West. You will see it without a bead, with a silver bead, or with a gold bead. This adaption comes out of the Craig, MT area and is called the “Pill Popper” created by Ben McNinch. This is one of my newer favorite patterns for the area.
The pink Amex Czech Nymph is a staple when nymphing during the early season. I usually fish a size 12 or 14 as my point fly and drop something smaller off the back. This fly is usually tied with a tungsten bead and get the fly down quickly. You will be surprised how many trout will eat this over a smaller, more realistic fly.
Note: Fly patterns, terms, concepts and fishing tips help develop your knowledge and ultimate success on the river. The information above is unique and provided specifically for Montana Trout Wranglers email subscribers.
This past weekend I drove over to Salmon, ID to visit with my brother who finally wised up, gave up city living, and moved into the rocky mountain region. Upon driving down the main street, I noticed this business called the Owl Club. It looked like your basic tavern in a small town, but upon closer inspection I noticed all these arrows sticking out of the owl outside. I can only assume that there has been some wild nights at this place. Did they shoot the owl from the roof tops across the street? Was it a drive by? Did someone not like the music? I can imagine a pickup bed of well-liquored patrons cruising main street and firing at this huge target late in the night. I've never walked through the door of this establishment, so I can only wonder.