Montana Bull Trout Redd Numbers Decline
Alaska Kings On The Six Weight
Ran across this photo yesterday and snapped a shot of it with the phone. It definitely takes me back in the day.
I took this photo when a friend and I were working in Southeast Alaska and fishing as often as we could. There was a good run of kings at that time and they’d push into a system on every incoming tide. When they ran through a rapids they’d sort of daisy chain in a calm area and that is the only reason we landed some—they didn’t want to run back down the rapids.
At the time each of owned one rod, my friend a six-weight Fenwick and myself a six-weight Sage. We were way outgunned by these fish, but what do you do when there are fish in front and you don’t have the ideal tackle? Hell yea, you throw. Continue reading
Hatch Guide: Mother’s Day Caddis
Note: Not sure when I wrote this or for whom, but I found it while searching my files and thought it would be worth posting. You’ve got a couple months before this hatch hits, but it’s worth thinking about it now and getting those flies in order, or tying some to supplement what you may have lost last year. GT
The mother’s day caddis is a hatch I love to hate.
Half the time it comes off when water conditions are sketchy at best, and other times a fish has no chance of finding my bug on the water when there are, literally, millions of naturals riding the flow.
The hatch occurs anytime from late April through the end of May on most Inland Northwest and Rocky Mountain rivers (later on some Yellowstone area streams), just prior to (if you’re lucky) or just after (if you’re not) runoff hits in full force. When runoff arrives streams rise and turn clouded, meaning the color of black coffee mixed with two splashes of half-and-half. Place a fish a few inches below the lip of that latte, and you might see why Continue reading
April or May for Blue Horizon Permit
Just got a note yesterday from Blue Horizon lodge, with some open and discounted rates for spring 2023. I spent some time at Blue Horizon not long ago and simply loved the focus on permit. Staying at Blue Horizon is like signing up for a serious fishing Masterclass in permit—you fish the prime tides all day and you mix with the guides and Lincoln Westby in the evenings, with the potential to glean as much information on permit as you choose. Then you eat dinner, get up the next day, rinse and repeat.
Here are the discounted dates. If you have any interest in discussing these let me know. You can also visit the Blue Horizon lodge page I put together here Focussed On Permit —GT
Here’s the Blue Horizon experience:
Go Time For Montana Trout
Ok, there are flakes falling today and the high will be 35, and it doesn’t look better for the rest of the week. But, things are changing here in Missoula, Montana, with the snowbanks slowly creeping away from the edge of my driveway, exposing a little brown grass and everything else that accumulated there this winter, including a few IPA escapees.
Next week the temps could reach the high 40’s, which is fishing weather for sure. Out of curiosity, Continue reading
Gil’s Worldwide At Denver Fly Fishing Show This Week
I’ll be at the Denver Fly Fishing Show this week/weekend. Show begins Friday and I’ll be at the Gil’s Fly Fishing International booth. I am the editor-in-chief of the travel company’s magazine, Fly Fishing International. You want to talk outdoor writing and discuss ideas for the mag, please find me.
Also, we’ll be promoting trips to some of our favorite lodges, including Continue reading
Where In The Fly Fishing World #1
If you’ve been around a bit and you fancy yourself a permit junkie, you may recall having seen this a time or two during your escapades. If you haven’t stood over this piece of art you are cheating yourself out of the real deal. Got permit on your mind? Get to this spot. Hints: it’s a permit ok; it’s made out of bottle caps; it would have been fun to help build that supply of caps.
Dries For Big Rainbows and Char on American Creek
I live in Montana where trout are king. When I travel to Alaska I usually do so for salmon and steelhead, which I can’t find in Big Sky Country. Oh, I’ve leeched up some big fall rainbows on the Kenai Peninsula and the Naknek River, but I’d never really fished early summer around Bristol Bay . . . until last month.
That’s when I grabbed a flight from Missoula to Anchorage, and another from Anchorage to Kulik Lodge, via Katmai Air. From there I wiggled into a floatplane and cruised another 20 minutes to Grosvenor Lodge, which is located on a small spit of land partially separating Grosvenor Lake from Coville Lake. The structures, including three guest cabins, a main lodge, and a cookhouse, are situated in lush, tall grass with an abundance of willows and moss covered moose skulls surrounding it. Quaint. Unique. Beautiful.
It’s the only lodge in this particular area and offers the best access to American Creek and other tributary streams, despite being located deep in Katmai National Park. When other area lodges are grounded by weather, Grosvenor guests simply climb into a boat and take a 20-minute jog to the American Creek outlet.
From mid-July through August it’s all about drifting beads behind spawning salmon on American Creek. While that’s a productive method and puts plenty of trout in the net, guides and anglers sometimes tire from the routine, maybe thinking, Isn’t there something else? The answer is yes, if you hit Grosvenor before the sockeye salmon arrive, a time when those rainbows, plus Continue reading
Top Reads in FFI Magazine
Don’t be bored at work today. Take a few minutes to peruse the best fly fishing magazine you’ve never heard of—Fly Fishing International’s FFI Mag.
I put this pub together every couple months and I’ve been able to attract some of the best writers and shooters in the business. In the Winter ’23 issue you an read a fresh take on Jurassic Lake by Pat Ford (20 pound beasts in droves). Dave Karczynski coves the Alaska’s smolt crash and what makes that one of the most productive and exciting experiences in fly fishing. Mike Holliday makes a case for never passing up another shot at barracuda in your life, and former Outdoor Life fishing editor Jerry Gibs makes a case for New Brunswick offering the best striped bass fishing on the East Coast. Richard Chiappone describes the history of the Thunder Creek Minnow, which is a must-have when fishing the fry hatch on Alaska streams in June and July. Get a new take on the old Bighorn by Sam Lungren, and an illustrative look at Fortress Lake Lodge and its incredible brook trout fishing, written and drawn by Alberto Ray. Also, a killer new in-house video of Kulik Lodge, where I visited last summer. Can you say crushing the rainbows and dollies?
There’s more, too, including my take on taking advice from guides and why, attimes, intuition is the way to go. Continue reading
Simms’ “Short Run” Watershed Wader Sales Target Yellowstone Flood Relief
As you probably know, portions of Montana flooded heavily last year, after a unique runoff/rain event. One of those places was Absarokee, where rivers jumped their banks and bridges washed out. I visited the area in September and saw, firsthand, the devastation. I also fished the area rivers and, thankfully, found a bunch of willing trout that survived these wicked high flows.
The area isn’t out of the woods yet, and any assistance is greatly appreciated by local business owners and the trout. Simms Fly Fishing has climbed aboard the recovery project and is now offering its bad-ass Watershed wader for sale, with up to $50,000 in sales Continue reading