Our mild winter has disappeared once February arrived. Multiple snow storms have pounded the mountains and valleys below. Our snowpack has increased with these storms and we are now above 100% of normal snowpack on all of our local drainages. Great news for our summertime flows. As more snow accumulates we should be set for plenty of cool water throughout the summer.
In other news, more direct flights have been added to the Bozeman airport. Boston, JFK and Nashville have all been added in the last month, making it easier to get to some great fishing. With the addition of these flights, Bozeman is even easier to reach from your destination.
With the recent cold and snowy weather, we haven’t been out on the water at all. These past storms have brought winds exceeding 40 mph, making it very uninviting. Once this flurry of storms passes and the weather warms above freezing we are itching to get back out there.
Bookings are coming in strong this past month. If you are interested in peak summer times, be sure to give us a call as many prime dates are already booking up. Check out our blog with a video about roll casting and an article on planning your fishing trip.
Regards, Dane Huzarski
PLANNING YOUR MONTANA FISHING TRIP
Planning your Montana fishing trip is fairly easy if you have a good idea on when you want to visit and what you want to do.
With highs in the mid 20’s and lows in the single digits, we have not been doing much fishing lately. But, just because we aren’t fishing doesn’t mean we aren't thinking about fishing. Some of our area rivers have an abundance of crayfish. When water temps increase, these little lobsters can be found in the weed beds of the Lower Madison, Missouri and on the Lower Yellowstone Rivers. These three patterns have been around for many years and I use them often in the summer. You can dead drift them, strip them or drop them off a big dry fly like a hopper or a chubby. The trout love these bugs as much as adults like eating lobster.
The first pattern is Umpqua’s Dead Drift Crawdad. Invented by Tim Haddon and tested on the banks of the Truckee River, my old stopping grounds. This is a very durable fly and gives a great replication of the crayfish we have here in Montana. The claws are short enough that they do not foul easily and the bead chain eyes give it a little weight to get down.
The next pattern is a the Clouser Crayfish from the vise of Bob Clouser, a well-known fly tyer and fisherman in the industry. This pattern has been in my box for years. This pattern and the next one have been some of best flies for catching trophy brown trout. We often call this fly the Carpet Back Clouser.
The last pattern is the original Clouser Crayfish. It has a turkey back and a slim profile. This is one of my favorite crayfish patterns. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very durable fly and I found that it would come apart after a fish or two. Until recently I was reluctant to use this pattern as it is one of the more expensive flies in the bins. But I have started using UV resin on the turkey back and now this fly lasts fish after fish. So it is now back into the regular rotation.
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 picture was taken a few springs ago along the banks of the Big Hole River. The Big Hole River is located west of Bozeman, less than two hours away. It is a very scenic river with a very healthy population of wild trout and has an abundance of wildlife along on the river. It is not uncommon to see deer, elk, moose or big horn sheep along the way. The Big Hole River is a very regulated river, and for the past five years I have been very limited on how much I can guide this river. After five years, my permit has been solidified and I now can guide on this pristine river somewhat more. What this means is that outside of prime time, which is June 1- July 31st, I am able to guide this river as many days as needed. So if you are looking for something a little different from our usual water, give us a call and let’s discuss how to best experience this river.