Making the Connection

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The majority of what we do as a fishing guide service is connecting anglers with great fishing guides, usually here in Montanaland, but sometimes in other fishy places as well. Like New Zealand. On the south island. In Nelson, our favorite Kiwi fishing town.

When my cousin Drew contacted me last week asking about the fishing opportunities near Nelson, since he just happened to be there for a week, my response was clear and concise; it's awesome and there's only one guy you need to talk to about it. Tony Entwistle.

My wife and I first fished with Tony in 2000, and similar to my cousin, it was an opportunistic meeting during a brief stay in Nelson. I learned more about New Zealand history, politics, conservation, flora, fauna and culinary delights (meat pies!), with Tony in 2 days than I have in all of my other travels there. He also introduced us to a number of hauntingly huge Kiwi brown trout, some of which we tricked, most which fooled us. A connection was made, as Tony and his wonderful wife Sharon have become great friends of our family, and he has been a great guide mentor for me.

Passing this connection along to my good friend was easy and rewarding to do. I haven't gotten a detailed report of their day on the water, but I get the impression they connected with a few.

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If you want to make a new fishing friend in New Zealand look no further than Tony Entwistle's New Zealand Fly Fishing.  

Whatcha doin' right now?

When you are a hunter in Montana and your phone rings during the fall moths, and your friend who is calling starts with these words - "Whatcha doin' right now?" - 99 out of 100 times it means one thing; he or she has a big dead animal on their hands and needs help. It is a call I look forward to and try to build my schedule loosely so I can usually answer, "Waitin' for you to call so I can help get yer elk out."

Look At That Forecast!

This is the weather forecast that Montanans have been dreaming about for the last 2 months, which is about how long it has been since it last rained here. As you may have heard among reports on hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the rocky mountain west has been having some natural disaster issues of our own, namely severe drought and major wildfires in Montana and across areas of the pacific northwest. Somehow we went from a big snowpack year with a nice wet spring to one of the driest and warmest runs of weather we have ever seen before, and it has led to a summer of way to many hot and smoky afternoons in Montana.

Fall Fishing Forecast For Montana

We are exactly one month away from the Autumnal Equinox, but in Montana the 1st of September usually announces the end of summer and the start to our favorite season, the Fall. Archery hunters are already afield chasing pronghorn antelope, upland bird hunting opens next week, elk will be in full rut within a month, and some of our best fishing of the season is still to come.

Summer Swelter

Summer roared in like a blast furnace bringing a string of days with highs in the 90s to most of Montana. It has been H-O-T Hot. Too hot. Melt in your driftboat about about 3PM hot. Can't drink enough ice water hot. It has not been awesome. You know what has been awesome though? The morning and evening trout bite, that's what. It's our saving grace in the short sweaty season in Big Sky Country. 

Here's the secret short list to get through the next 6 weeks of the fishing season:

Montana Fishing Report - Hit It and Quit It

If you are the kind of angler who tracks snowpack and streamflow reporting, then you know the scoop; it was a big snow year in Montana, with dumps of low elevation snow falling as recently as last week, and we've had plenty of spring rain along with a couple short periods of warmth and sun. What has that all added up to currently? Lots of blue-ribbon rivers in some state of run-off and most are unfishable.

Anchors Aweigh!

That's my driftboat anchor on the right. The one on the left belongs to some other deadbeat fishing guide who hasn't been around quite as long. His is pretty new and mine is certainly not. I've been dragging this particular anchor around Montana for at least a decade now and I've become fairly emotionally attached to it.

The Epic State of The Missouri

We have some great news from the Montana FWP about our beloved Missouri River. According to a presentation given from biologist Jason Mullen earlier this week, our fishery below Holter Dam is in great shape. The fish are in good health which not only bodes well for our current fishing season, but for the future of the river as well. Read below for some of the highlights from Jason's presentation, it is interesting to compare our notes and thoughts as anglers to the scientific research that is done by the biologist gurus from the state.

River Time: [riv-er /tīm/] n.;

You’re intently studying the river and feeding a few sipping trout in a foamy seam along the bank of The Missouri River. Your focus is sharp, the excitement level is high, and the beauty of your surroundings overwhelms the senses; everything unimportant to the moment fades into the background. Suddenly, a golden eagle flies overhead casting a shadow over the lazily rising brown trout you’re attentively examining. For its own safety, the trout instinctually stops rising. The eagle put it down, at least for the moment.

Weekend Fishing Forecast

Good news, fish-heads - with forecasted temperatures approaching 70 degrees tomorrow it should be a nice spring day to get out on the water. The bad news is you'll have to choosy about the water you sample because low level snow melt has brought a few of our favorite rivers up enough to make them at least questionable if not unfishable. 

Lodging Profile - Missouri River Ranch

We spend a tremendous amount of time every year discussing lodging options with our anglers - it's part of the customer service we provide as part of your overall fishing trip. Where you stay while visiting Montana is a personal choice that is usually narrowed by very specific determining factors; when you are coming, the size of your group, the style of lodging you prefer and how much you want to pay to stay. With our knowledge of the options available in each region we offer trips, we can easily help you navigate the ins and outs to find the perfect spot for you.

Off With the Kids' Gloves

Some of my fondest memories as a child revolve around time spent outdoors with my family. Endless camping, hunting, and fishing trips will forever remain as some of the most cherished events of my childhood. I vividly remember always lying in bed the night before a hunting trip with my dad, unable to fall asleep. My boundless excitement and ardent anticipation wouldn’t allow my mind to rest; I literally couldn’t wait for the next day. This type of excitement is something that will stay with a person forever.

Montana Snowpack Update

The last week brought some epic snow to Montana, especially in the northern region where over 5 feet fell around Glacier National Park and the Rocky Mountain Front.  Southern and Central Montana got less, but the Yellowstone region has been getting hammered all winter. Jackson Hole Resort is closed indefinitely due to power outages related to TOO MUCH SNOW.  Did you know a major ski area could close long-term due to too much snow?  We didn't either.