Wrapping Up The 2017 Fly Fishing Season

Montana Trout Wranglers Newsletter

On the River with Dane

2017 is a wrap! Thank you to everyone who came out to Montana and spent time with us this year. It was a great season and we appreciate all the new faces and long time clients we got to spend quality time with this year on the river. It was a great water year for us which means plenty of cool water for our finned friends. We have already started receiving many winter storms packed with moisture getting a great jump on next year.

We are wrapping up the end of the year paperwork, taking inventory for new gear for 2018 and making plans for 2018. Next year will by my 23rd year guiding in Montana and I am already looking forward to things to come. It’s been a great ride so far and looking forward to many more years to come.

We still have a few openings for the February trip to Argentina. If you are interested please contact me about the details. It is a great trip and a great time of year to be in Argentina.

The next few months will find us skiing a few turns, chasing a few upland birds around and sitting down at the vice to replenish the fly boxes. I will again be helping out coaching with the high school wrestling team for a few months and will be available most days if you want to talk about fishing in SW Montana or what Montana Trout Wranglers can provide you on our guided excursions.

We are already taking bookings for 2018 and if you are looking at prime dates June-July, I advise you to contact us soon. Lodging for the Missouri River is already booking up fast and the most requested guides get booked first.

Dane Huzarski


fishMany discussions I have with clients generally start with the question, "When is the best time to fish SW Montana?" A general answer is: whenever you can get here.



streamer leadersThinking about fishing streamers? There are a lot of questions that people ask regarding streamer fishing. How long of a leader should they use? Tippet size? Which knot to use to attach the fly to the leader?



See more photos

Flies of the Month

This month's three flies are all great flies that have been staples in Montana for years and used extensively throughout the state and may or may not be in your local fly shop bins. Many can be bought online but they are not difficult patterns to tie.

The first pattern is a Zirdle, a cross between a Zonker and a girdle bug. It could be a stonefly or maybe a crawfish, but the trout love this pattern. Even though it looks like a freestone pattern that wouldn’t work on a tailwater this pattern crosses over and works great on rivers such as the Madison, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. Tied in a multiple of color schemes it is easy to tie and fun to mix and match colors to see what the trout will eat.

The next pattern is a Girdle Bugger (AKA Turd with a Tail). It is your basic girdle bug with a marabou tail. Personally, I seem to gravitate to this pattern more often than the standard girdle bug. I believe the marabou gives it a little more movement in the water and the sparsely tied flash gives it just enough to grab the trout’s attention without being too gaudy. Being tied on a stout streamer hook, it has plenty of strength to keep larger trout hooked and able to be tied on heavier tippet.

The last fly is an adaption of the famous pattern by Lee Wulff called a Royal Wulff Cripple. Developed by Rowan Nyman, who guides extensively in the SW corner of Montana, this pattern is a great improvement on an already proven pattern for many decades. This cripple pattern is easier to tie using the poly wing and not having to split the wings plus the trailing shuck is known to be a great attractant for wary trout. It floats nice and high and works well as a dry dropper fly or fished by itself. It’s a great searching pattern or for fooling trout on choppy water.

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.

Parting Shot

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I know that I have a lot to be grateful for and appreciate all our clients, friends and families that help us throughout the year. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, friends and loved ones. Thank you again for making this an unbelievable year and hope to see you soon.

Until next time...

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