Get yer beer, here!

I'm always looking for new ways to get the word out about our business. We rely on repeat and direct referral clients to provide the bulk of our angler base, and the magic of the internet connects us with most of the rest, but I am always searching for new ways to connect.

One drove up to my house this fall. It was an open bed pick-up truck with a few empty beer kegs rolling around. Our friend Dash from MAP Brewing had stopped by after one of the many, many beer festivals these micro-brew types like to attend. So I slapped a sticker on a keg or two and off they went back to Bozeman. 

Montana Snowpack Update

This time of year the daily morning coffee routine requires a quick examination into the Internet side of the fly fishing world. Blogs, social media outlets, the weather forecast, and most importantly snow pack all have special tabs for quick access on the browser during the winter season. In reality, checking the snow pack on a daily basis isn’t something that demands our attentive observation every morning, but the desire for a great water year is enticing enough and it keeps our anticipation levels high for the season to come.

Late January Fishing Update

As I write this short fishing report, snow is falling outside and the feeling of winter is definitely still here. However, this past week some tolerable weather was enticing enough for my semi-hearty soul to make a trek out to the Missouri, paying a visit to several trout I haven’t seen since October. Even though surrendering to the overwhelming call of a warm couch and binging another season of Stranger Things on Netflix is tempting, the feeling of a bent rod seemingly made sense in the face of cabin fever.

T.O.W.

I read an article recently that used an acronym I had not seen before; T.O.W. Time On the Water. It immediately resonated with me. In a life of fishing and guiding, your time spent on the water is the defining characteristic of your existence. In other spheres they call it field time, and at NASA I imagine they call it space time. It's about immersion to the point of heightened observation. Maybe pure observation. 

Montana's Fishy Watering Holes

It’s that time of the year when we are thinking about skiing trips, Belizean flats, and summer time risers in the southern hemisphere. However, don’t let that mind wander too far from planning this summer’s fishing trip to Montana. That will be here before we know it and while it might seem far away, this is the time to secure a prime date on your favorite stream. Since part of a fishing trip goes beyond the river, here are my favorite fishy spots around Montana to hang out after a great day on the water.

Making the Connection

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.

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.