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

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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:

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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

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Gil’s Worldwide At Denver Fly Fishing Show This Week

Our booth at the Atlanta show. Look for us in Denver 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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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Lose Count—Fortress Lake Brook Trout

I was nine hours into the drive before I realized that Cline River isn’t actually a town and, instead

, is a simple outpost in the Alberta wilderness that offers a motel, a campground, some old-school gasoline pumps, a small convenience store and, a restaurant . . . and nothing else.

The restaurant was key because I wanted to get something good for a birthday dinner. I figured there would be several options in Cline River and hadn’t stopped at Fairmont or Radium Hot Springs, nor Lake Louise—all offering excellent dining—to do so. Wanted to get where I was going, find a solid campsite, and then relax with a dinner and a beer.

Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed and the convenience store was soon to be. So I hustled in, got a bag of Doritos and a half-pound jerky, plus a twelver of Alexander Keith, and called it a party.

I don’t know which lake I camped next to. I just backed up so the bed of my truck faced the water, and popped open a beer. The lake was milky, glacial fed for sure, and I doubted a Continue reading

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Final Determination: Pebble Mine Ruled Out

This is the day we have been waiting for, for more than a decade. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that mine waste would harm the Bristol Bay watershed and effectively nixed its discharge into rivers, streams and wetlands of the North and South Fork of the Koktuli River and Upper Talarik Creek in the vicinity of the Pebble deposit.

The decision effectively prevents development of the long-proposed Pebble gold and copper mine, which for decades has threatened the world’s most productive wild sockeye salmon runs, Alaska’s strongest Chinook salmon run, and the region’s famed sport and commercial fishing industries.

In a Trout Unlimited press release today Nelli Williams, Alaska director for TU said, “This is an incredible day for the Bristol Bay region. For more than a decade, the science has remained strong and public support has been unwavering for Clean Water Act protections. An Alaska-sized thank you to the Biden Administration and the EPA for listening to Alaskans, Tribes, anglers and hunters, and for doing the right thing for a world-class renewable resource and the people and jobs that depend on it. The work in Bristol Bay isn‘t done, but today is a milestone to be celebrated.”  Continue reading

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