My first attempt at a fishing "short".

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Truly American Angler

The three of you that look at this blog may have read about the "dentist" at some point.  Here he is gracing the cover of the latest issue of American Angler Magazine.  Way to go Max!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Frozen Eyelets and Chilly Toes

Yesterday it was around 50 degrees in Bozeman.  Now, it's 16 degrees and snowing.  I guess winter has finally arrived.  Soon I'll be out on the river with frozen eyelets and chilly toes, but before I am, I'd like to pass along a few little tips when fly fishing in subfreezing temps.

Avoid the Freeze
Frozen eyelets are a complete drag.  Two years ago I fished below Ennis Dam in 3 degrees and could only manage about 3 casts before my eyelets were locked down tight.  We were fishing pretty small water and I found that the less line I had sliding through the eyelets, the more fishing I got to do without a freeze up.  I roll cast nymphs with no slack in my line anywhere.  I didn't bother holding a loop in my free hand, and found that fishing this way kept the line from sliding through the eyelets much, hence, less water, and less ice.  Nice little tenkara type roll casts got the job done and when a fish was on the line I could let it run without worrying about frozen gear.

Join the Pack
I got a pair of alpaca wool socks for Christmas last year.  While they are bulky, they are the warmest sock I've ever had on.  If you're feet get cold this time of year, go get some alpaca... Trust me.

Stay Dry
If you're like me you can't stand a pair of leaky waders.  Patch them up and keep dry and warm.  I have found the the easiest way to do this is to turn your waders inside out and spray them with rubbing alcohol.  (No need to fill them up with water)  If there are pin holes in your waders they should show up as a small brown speck after spraying with the alcohol.  Then, mark the spot with a small marker.  Dry the area with the hole and simply place a dab of aquaseal where the hole is... No patches necessary for very small holes.  For the big holes use a patch, or just send them to the manufacturer for repair.  I think Simms charges $15 to repair and they get ALL the holes.

Towel Off
Stuff a hand towel in your fly bag or in the front of your waders.  Keeping your hands dry is imperative to keeping them warm.  Wipe your hands off every time they get wet, which hopefully, will be a lot from holding fish for the camera.

Hopefully this helps.  If you've got any cold weather tips pass them along this way!

Sharp Hooks!

Sky Jones

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A nice little trip.... until.....

The Dentist, the lawyer, and I took a little trip a couple of weeks ago down to Yellowstone National Park to chase a few fish.  The trip was great until I caught the norovirus that one of them had just gotten over.  The last day I slept...and was busy with other "things" while my friends merrily fished their little heads off.  Luckily, I had caught several nice fish the proceeding two days.

Nice little blue spot.

The dentist with another toothy brown.

Just after sunrise I was ready to get that pack off.

The lawyer with a spotted up brownie.

Not a bad fish there at all.

Pre-illness brownie.

Practicing my photography skills.

Ohhhhh.... Preeeettttyyyy.
As the days get shorter and colder my inclination to get to the vice increases exponentially.  The next post just might be tying related.... that is unless I can get out and wet a line between now and then.

Sharp Hooks!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fishing Reports......of sorts.

When I first moved to Bozeman I found a valuable resource to help me begin the journey of "figuring out" the local waters.  That was Hatchopedia, a now defunct website where actual fishermen (and women) who were out on the water, guide or not, could post their own reports.  After reading it for the first time I walked a few hundred yards to the Gallatin and, armed with the info, slayed 'em.  That site is no longer updating reports and I'm not sure what is going on with it, but when I haven't been on the water in a few weeks (i.e. right now) I always like taking a glance at the local shop's fishing reports.

The shops around here do a great job of providing current, accurate information that is very helpful.  For instance, one now reads that a guide floated below Livingston and had a great streamer day.  That is great news.  I've got a box labeled "Yellowstone" that I'm going to have do dust off soon.  However, if I wasn't as prepared as I am, I would be a bit frustrated by the "flys to use" section of almost all of these reports.  A local report from this week provides this list:

Fly Pattern Suggestions

Dries| Elk Hair Caddis: 10-12, Chubby Chernobyl Golden: 8-10, Goofball Yellow: 10-12, Purple Haze: 14-16, Comparadun PMD: 14-16, Hi-Vis Adams: 18-20, CDC Thorax Sulphur: 16-18-20, Flag Dun Slate BWO: 16-18-20, Griffiths Nat: 18-20-22, Low Rider Midge: 18-20-22

Nymphs| Tungsten G6 Caddis: 14-16, Copper John red, yellow, lime: 12-16, Serendipity, Brassie Red, Black, Purple, Biot Midge Pupa, Rubberlegs Olive, Turd, Black, Rusty Orange, Charcoal: 4-6-8 Delektable Brown Stone: 6-8-10 Mr Rubberlegs Goldenstone: 6-8-10 Mega Prince: 4-6-8 Lightning Bug Gold, Pearl, Silver: 14-16-18 TB Bad Habit: 16-18-20 Purple Berger: 12-14-16 Tungsten Sunkist: 14-16-18 Clouser Crayfish Tan & Dark Brown: 8-10 Copper and Pearl Zonker: 4-6 GBRLKB Black, Olive: 6-8 Bush's Dad Crayfish 8-10

Streamers| Black Leach,Micro Streamers, Natural Copper Zonker, T&A Bunkers Olive/White, Rainbow & Whitefish: 2 Swimmin Jimmy Rainbow: 2 Sex Dungeon White, Yellow: 2 Fathead White, Yellow, Olive, Black: 2 Silvey's Sculpin Black, Olive/Black, Olive, White: 2 Buck Rogers Whitefish, Rainbow: 2 Home Invader Black, Yellow, White, Olive: 2 Flash Fry Whitefish, Black/Olive: 2
If I was new to the game this list would look completely Greek.  Further, it lists no less than 38 different patterns and with most lists several different sizes and colors.  To me the "suggestion" is to come into the shop, and buy one of everything.  If there was a "go-to" fly listed, I'd be impressed by the gamble the shop was taking.  "Throw this."  Put it out there.  Their take is a little like a weather man stating that the wind might blow, there is a chance of rain, the temperature should be between 40 and 78 degrees, and who knows, it might be sunny and nice.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the reports, but I consider myself lucky being from here, and having the ability to pick up the phone and finding someone to talk to who fished recently.... and getting a "Throw this."
So, I'm going to do it.  While I haven't been on the river in a while, I'm taking all of the "Fly Pattern Suggestions" listed above, and through reasoning that can only be described as throwing a dart at a spinning wheel of 38 different patterns, I give you:

Throw these.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

One of Many More to Come...

When the whirlwind of office life settles down a bit I'll go through this year's Yellowstone Park Trip photos and get them up for all to see.  Here is a little taste starring Kyle Nelson.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mr. Smith loves Chocolate Soup

Most people never know what to expect on the Smith River until they are on the water, rod in hand, fly in the water.  I have heard mixed reports for years and it seems as though it may be a roll of the dice whether you get the fishing of your life, or get your teeth kicked in.  However, even though this was my first trip down the Smith, I knew exactly what to expect, and that was chocolate soup.

As our date drew nearer our party was watching the flows constantly.  Random texts with numbers became the norm for two weeks.  "1450 CFS".  "Coming Down".  "Bumping up".  "Damnit."  These short messages needed no additional context.  We were all hopeful, but upon seeing the river for the first time that weekend, all hopes dashed.  She was darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonless summer night.  The joke was, "I'll bet there's a good, solid inch and a half of visibility."  We'd chuckle, and then wonder to ourselves if an inch and a half was being generous.

Cocoa Highway
We had stopped in Wilsall on the way and had a great big cheeseburger, expecting it would be the last good meal we'd have for a few days.  Our bellies were full as we put camp together at Camp Baker, got a fire going, and had a few vitamin Rs.  "Maybe she'll come down over the next couple of days" someone remarked.  I'm sure stranger things have happened, but with warm temp and rain in the forecast it was highly unlikely. 

The next morning brought renewed hope in the form of the river map and the tributaries that the local ranger said were fishing well.  Off we went.

First Stop - Wonka's Corner, just down from Baby Ruth Bend
Most of the gang, in absolutely no hurry
The first several fish of the trip were in Rocky Creek.  Kyle and I stopped just above our camp for the night and headed upstream, doing our best not to trespass, and soon got into the fish.  Eggs, soft hackles, and san juan worms were the ticket.

Kyle on the board first... in water I had just passed up

Jonesy on the board

Not a bad looking backdrop

I have to say that day 2 was exactly the same as day 1.  Muddy water, fish in the tribs, good food.  Oh, have I not mentioned the food?  Well, Rooster was a hell of a cook, and volunteered to do most of it.  As it turns out that cheeseburger in Wilsall was NOT the best meal of the trip.  Here's a pic of Rooster, the best camp cook alive...just ask him.

Rooster holding an "ancient indian artifact"

Day three... The highlight of the trip a la the Heaven on Earth Ranch.  It truly might be.  Kyle and I pulled in and decided it was high time for 9 holes of golf in our wading boots.  Vick Anderson, one of the proprietors, is one of the nicest hosts I've ever met and accompanied us for half the round carrying a "jug" filled with some sort of concoction that, despite its potency, was quite refreshing.

Kyle carefully chooses his weapon and later discovers he grabbed a left handed putter.

I opted for a club with non "super power", as the longest hole was 150 yards.

Ask Gary Anderson the name of the cliff...He's a riot.  BTW, that's a tee box up there and I'm standing on the green.

Kyle, inches away from taking the lead outright, collapses in disbelief, or maybe he was just tired.

To make a long trip story short, we had a great time, caught a few fish, made some new friends, and saw an incredible amount of beauty.  I leave you with a few more images of the Smith, a river that you should definitely have on your bucket list.

The view from a latrine....seriously

See you down the river!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Deer Hair Ant

A quick and easy little ant pattern from the guys at In The Riffle.  Can't wait to try them out on Slough Creek later this Summer down in the park!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saint San Juan... Dressed in leather.

Often times when one fishes a river that they don't spend much time on a pitstop in a local fly shop can be extremely helpful.  I recently attended the Orvis Guide Rendezvous is Missoula (...and had a great time) and headed up to Criag to fish the Missouri on the way home.  As my options are usually Yellowstone or Madison, I stopped into Headhunters to grab a shuttle and a handful of any fly that the folks in the shop said would work.  I figured it couldn't hurt.  That is when I was introduced to the leather san juan worm.  Actually, Kyle Nelson picked up a few, and yes, they worked.  The materials are cheap, durable, move great in the water, and easy to tie with, so I've decided to whip up a few of my own.   I stopped by a leather shop here in town and they were glad to give me a few scraps for free.  Here are a few of the initial trials:

I can't wait to get 'em wet!

Fly Fishing Themed Advertisements

Every time I see something associated with fly fishing it catches my eye.  Perhaps it is because there is no point in time when I wouldn't rather be fishing.  Bodies of water, drift boats being hauled down the highway, bumper stickers, ads, you name it, it'll get a look from this guy.

However, there is one thing that I notice quite often, and that is the high frequency of "mistakes" in ads and commercials for non-fly fishing products and services that have a fly fishing theme.  We've all seen them.  A grandfather and his grandson, plopped on the riverbank, "fly fishing", while the voice over tells us why we need to buy some particular financial services, cholesterol medication, etc.  The next time you see a fly fishing ad, take a closer look.  Rarely have I seen one that didn't have some detail that made it obvious that there wasn't a fly fisherman anywhere on the set, let alone the actors and models holding the rod and reel.  The most recent ad on TV that I saw had the main character sitting next to a pond watching a red and white bobber while his fishing line (no fly line) was attached to a fly reel.  While this would work I'm sure, it's certainly not typical.  The other day I was in US Bank waiting in line wherein I saw the poster pictured below.  I had to point out the obvious mistake to the tellers, who in turn looked at me like I was crazy.  Perhaps I am, but if I were hired to oversee the fly fishing aspect of a commercial for laundry detergent, you can bet that mistakes like this would not happen.  Can you spot it?

If any of you readers out there (yes mom, you and sis and the three others) see any ads featuring fly fishing "mistakes" I'd love to hear about them! Shoot me an email to and I'll get them up for the world (or 5 people) to see!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happiness and Fishing

10 Signs of True Happiness - Networx 

                             Are you truly happy?  I think 11. should read:  Fishing "Enough".

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Orvis Helios 2 Giveaway....

Yes, you too can have this lovely piece of line casting, wind slicing, lightweight, heaven in your hand, floating down the river, knowing that you are prepared for anything.

ORVIS is giving away a Helios 2.  Enter here:

Or here:  I WANT A HELIOS 2!

Or here:  Seriously, you should enter.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Orvis Guide Olympics and DOWN THE HATCH

Orvis has scheduled their "Guide Rendezvous" called "Down the Hatch" for April 5, 2014, in Caras Park, Missoula.  I went last year and had a wonderflul time dancing, endulging, eating, visiting, and finally, watching some great films.  This year will be even better I'm sure and I can't wait.  Here is a little something I put together for the Guide Olympics.... Which, who knows, I may enter this year...

Can you name the trout used from left to right?  Here's a hint:  They are 5 of the 7 Trout necessary for the IGFA Trout Royal Slam.

If you need a ride over to Missoula for DTH and don't mind fishing on the way there and on the way back, let me know.  Check out details on Down the Hatch on Orvis' website, facebook page, or just stay tuned in here.  Also, check out their blog when you get a chance aqui.  Muy bien.


Cielito Lindo

Saturday, January 18, 2014

JAWS; Ode to Spring

As I sit here in my office on a Saturday wishing I was on the river, I think back to warmer times and remember this fish.  I was on the sticks when this guy came to net, so I can't take credit for catching him, but I was fortunate to have charged batteries and a chance just to see it.  26 inches on the tape, which is about the width of the smiles RKJ and I had. I can't wait until Spring.

That's it, I'm outta here.  I'm going home to tie some big, articulated uglies and ship my 8 wt. off for repair.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Easy and Cheap Pulled Pork Perfection.

This is the easiest recipe I have every followed since learning how to pour a bowl of frosted flakes.

Step One:  Slice a yellow onion and lay it on the bottom of your crock pot.  If you don't own a crock pot, go buy one, you'll never regret it.  Cover the onion with BBQ sauce/hot sauce/sriracha.  I like my pulled pork with a little kick so I went heavy on the sauce.

Step Two:  You can use either a pork loin or a boston butt (I prefer the boston), around three pounds.  I picked this one up at Heebs for around six bucks.  Coat in salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.  I simply used McCormicks Montreal Steak Seasoning...  Go guy some of this stuff too.  Good grief it's good.

 Step Three:  Place the pork in the crock pot with the fatty side up.  This Boston Butt had a big slab of fat on the side, so I trimmed it off and placed it on top.

Step Four:  Pour in some chicken broth around the edges until it fills the crock pot almost halfway up the sides of the meat.  Then coat the top in BBQ Sauce/Hot sauce, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.  I have found that the internal temperature gets to about 180-190 degrees by that time, which I think is perfect.  I once left it in for 10 hours and it was just as good.  

Step Five:  After it cooks, take the pork out and pull it apart with two forks.  It should completely fall apart and you're going to have a hard time not eating the whole things while pulling it.  Once you've got it shredded and separated out most of the large pieces of fat, put the whole mess back into the crock pot with the "sauce" and turn the pot down to warm.  Serve on a white dinner roll, Hawaiian bun, or the like with cole slaw and a little extra BBQ sauce.  So easy, so good.  

I've also found that towards the end of eating this you have a lot of the juices left and not much pork.  Cook up some rice, make a rue out of celery, green peppers, carrots, etc. and add to the crock pot.  The leftover pulled pork makes a great pulled pork stew!

A Little Art Project

As I was browsing through the isles of Michael's craft store a while back (don't make fun) I came across a "snow globe kit".  I instantly thought of a terrarium of sorts for a couple of my terrestrial flies.  So, with the use of some foam and superglue, this emerged.  Viola!