Friday, October 13, 2017

Doughnut Nuggets of Truth

Are you done? Are you out? Just kill the thing! Yet they keep looking, watching, hoping...for truth.

Honestly, I have had a serious case of writers block for a year now. This format was originally intended to be a content feeder about all things fly fishing in the world of the notable Its changed, it's wandered, it's started, and it's stopped many, many times. Its an organic beast now and will most likely remain so for awhile longer.

Very hectic last few months with guiding most day, trying to be a parent at nights (oldest son is now at MSU and living in the dorms(if you know anything about his path...that's a huge fucking deal...and I am so proud of him), the little guy is back at school and consumed with playing his first year of tackle football. The wife is busy as ever at MSU. 

I have been contributing more to our store blog the usual oover the last 6 months and as I only have som much time for this...that's where most of it's going.

Yet, I still need to vent and things have become bottled up. Very quickly here...Ebay is for cheap fuckers, Juicing flies is stupid and pothetic, people are too sensitive, the internet-in terms of the Monatan fly fishing industry-has become a place for shitheads to lie about their services and sell snake oil. 

Most fly fishing guides in Montana are LAZY, I'm not.

Finally. The world is full of two types of people. Doughnuts and Doughnut Holes. All Doughnut Holes come from Doughnuts. A doughnut knows everything that a doughnut hole knows, plus more. A doughnut hole can only know what a doughnut hole, can never know all that a doughnut knows. Its a matter of capacity. In the world of being a fly fishing angler. are you a doughnut or a doughnut hole? Here are some helpful ways to help determine your status in the fly fishing world.

Wonder what that bug on the water is? Doughnut Hole.

Agonize over tippet size? Doughnut Hole.

Head out, looking for a dry fly hatch on a sunny day when the wind is blowing 40? Doughnut Hole.

Think all fly rods are pretty much the same? Doughnut Hole.

Cant comprehend how a shuttle operation works? Doughnut Hole.

Think waders will make you a better angler? Doughnut Hole.

Cast 50' and throw a reach cast in at a the end? Doughnut.

What's a reach cast? Doughnut Hole.

Buy $14.99 sunglasses for fishing? Doughnut Hole.

What bugs go through a complete metamorphosis? Doughnut Hole

Lots and lots of Doughnut Holes in this world....very few Doughnuts.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heading Back From IFTD 2017

I’m looking forward to getting back to Bozeman later this morning after a long week in Florida, attending IFTD 2017. As I look around the United gate here in O’Hare, it looks like there are a whole lot of other folks that are also excited to be heading to Bozeman. The guys and gals at our Bozeman fly shop, along with our Montana fly fishing guides, have been giving me some great reports of fishing this past week. The summer heat sounds like it has also settled into Southwest Montana, but I can’t imagine that it is too stifling after the week in Orlando!
Innovative product designs and new technologies are helping today’s leading manufacturers bring the best product lineups has made for the most highly anticipated product release in the 18 years that I have been in the Bozeman fly fishing business.
  • The Patagonia Middle Fork wader is a chest wader design that uses an integrated, seamless bootie instead of traditional neoprene. The bootie is similar in feel to latex, but is a proprietary material that is very difficult to puncture, stretches, and retains its shape. Overall, this is the lightest, most packable wader that Patagonia has brought to the fly fishing world. The wader will be available in early 2018 with an MSRP of $349
  • Patagonia Middle Fork Wader , Bozeman Fly Shop
  • Ross Reels has a few new things in queue for spring 2018 that were, honestly, just amazing in terms of aesthetics and machining. The Evolution R, new for 2017, is now available with a heavier drag setting in saltwater sizes. There will be a new Evolution model with improved drag and an attention to machining detail that is quickly separating Ross from the crowd in USA Made Reels. Also, the new Gunnison prototypes they had at IFTD were stunning in their classic perfection.Ross Reels in Bozeman Fly Shop
  • Scott Fly Rods won the award for “Best Freshwater Fly Rod” with the releases of their new and improved G-Series. This classic line of medium action presentation rods has been modernized with internal ferrules and modern resins. The new G-Series will be shipping soon and has an MSRP near $800. Made in Montrose Colorado, the Scott G-Series is going to be the go-to spring creek rod for Southwest Montana.
  • Scott Fly Rod G-Series in Bozeman Fly Shop
  • Lamson-Waterworks dropped a bombshell on the fly-fishing world with a couple of truly innovative entries into the fly-fishing world. The Cobalt reel is made in the USA and features a fully sealed drag system designed for big fish in both trout and saltwater sizes. Center Axis fly fishing systems were released nearly 20 years ago in ultra light line weights. Now there is a new version for a 5 weight from the Waterworks lab. It will take a little to get used to it at first for most folks, but the casting and presentation oriented anglers are going to flock to the store to demo one of these outfits.Lamson Waterworks Center Axis in Bozeman Fly Shop
  • Korkers continues to lead the way in wading boot category with better traction systems and innovative boot designs. The new boot for the women angler looks to be the best women’s wading boot design for 2018 too.
  • Korkers Wading Boots in Bozeman Fly Shop
It looks like 2018 is going to be highlighted by a ton of great, new products from just about every corner of the fly-fishing world. It’s back to July 15 2017 for me, however. Sunny skies, lots of water, and Montana’s wild trout will be on my mind and in my net in less than 24 hours!  Some of the new stuff for next year will be hitting our Bozeman fly shop in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for what’s new when you are swinging by! We have some great deals on closeout items in the meantime, while supplies last as well.

Friday, July 07, 2017


Been a busy few weeks, but enjoying a little break in the action this week for me as I get ready to head to Florida tomorrow. It's that time of year once again when the fishing industry has their annual tradeshow in remarkable Orlando. I expect tot myself and 4, possibly 5 other retailers in attendance this year. Next year, however, they are moving it to Denver and later in the year, so it should be much busier.

Wrapped up a couple of weeks worth of shoveling water on Monday with a streamer angler. Despite the heat and the sun, we moved a bunch in the morning and caught a few. Things petered out by 11 am. It has been hot this week and waters are warming up, but we have plenty of water which is good for the fish and great for the fisherman.

Tuesday was the WGFF. I fished with Ben all day and did stuff that I usually don't do. I don't really remember much of Tuesday to be honest. Fishing was bad enough that Jim won the tourney.

Fished carp with a longtime buddy from town. Had't fished with him in a few years, so that was great to get out and look for rubber lip cruisers. We each lost a couple after some good eats and spooked 345 fish or so.

Spent yesterday with my wife on her birthday. Hot air balloon ride in the morning and fishing the Yellowstone late run the day. It will be in great shape in the coming days down low. we got enough fish to make anyone happy yesterday and didn't work at it too hard. The annual shit show float starts today in Livingston, so I'd wait until after the weekend to get on the lover river anyway. We were the only ones out there yesterday though.

Work day today and then head to FL in the morning. Tarpon fishing tomorrow night somewhere and day fishing on Monday. Orlando Tuesday-Friday. Looking forward to seeing a bunch of peeps I know and all the new junk for 2018!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

its the end of the world as we know it....I feel fine.

Oh snap, I'm 20 minutes in on the nightly vitamin A session! Quick recent recap - sounds like I'm singing that REM song that goes ....It's The end of the world as you know it...

Its the end of the summer freedom as we know it, 4 am wake ups, forget the water, oh snap,go to Town pump for sausage and cheese lunches, grab a drink and some non-chew chew. Out to the truck, did i clean the windshield? Oh its the end of the world and I don't car. It's the end o the world and I dont care.
7 am, meet the dudes. they order turkey but I bought ham, boiled it in fact on my art boil last bight and it will be fine,  Step up ,let's roll to the river and we'll see which one is looking best. Its the end of the world and I feel fine
Guided a kid of 17 that has had three open heart surgeries, ,most recent just a few months ago. Amazing experience for he and myself. Cant not be grateful after that one. He was jacked to have a Bovine valve instead of the pig one before, He loved the sport and the water which made it special even more,

Uh oh  here we go, there is more, Its the end of the world and I feel fine!

Picked up Dave in town to my surprise as it seemed a month early, oh well we just roll with things anyway. Got him out on the Jeff and the lower Madison  and they fished well. He is starting to have some early signs of Dimnesia but functions just fine. Nevertheless, we got a bunch of fish and pondered the difference between what is and what might be Fun was had by all at the end of the world as we know it. I do have my original tansmission, i didn't tie that fly, upstream is upstream

Then I fished with some homies that i dint know form back in the day at one of my many college alumni locales - Tarleton State University in Texas. We found fish and we worked real hard, Loved the Jeff and the lower. Held oour heads in shame as big Brown Leroy gave us a tug and shakes it loose. Leroy was closer to 7 than 5 Oh well, its the end of the world and I feeeeeel ffffiiiinnnnnneeee!

Slipped away for Carp fishing with my partner in crime...the WIFE. We be kid free right now and that alright! Got one to eat a big green thing and that was nice. The dogs dint want to lick that stinky bastard. We let him go away and felt like that we were doing ok, It's the end of the world as we know it..

ENJOY THE 4th OF JULY!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

White Miller Lives Don't Matter

You know what a "White Miller" is? No, you probably don't. Know why you don't know what a "White Miller" is? I do.

White Millers are a common name for some very light colored Caddis...they look white in flight. They get over the water, especially the water's edge, in massive courting flights which the common angler calls a hatch. They aren't hatching though and they aren't landing on the water and the fish don't give a shit about White Millers. The only thing on this earth, that I know of, that cares about White Millers are people that fish the Firehole.

(Full Disclosure here...I know nothing about the life cycle or importance of White Millers...technically speaking, so these deductions are based solely on my experience. The last tine I fished Horseshoe Bend on the Firehole, I did so in in Surf Shorts and a Dead Kennedy T-shirt on opening day while smoking unfiltered Pall Malls. I wanted to get pool toy out and tie up to a mid-river rock the water was so hot. Never did understand why people think they need waders to fish the Firehole!)

White MIller's are out thick right now on the lower and upper Madison too. Still, nobody comes in talking about the White Millers. Guides are texting each other that the White Millers are out. Fish aren't podding up to gorge themselves on White Millers. The White Millers are, in fact, so uninteresting that even the White Miller's dont seem to care about each other. They just fly upriver in frantic randomness. I've never even seen birds eating White Millers.

I sat under a tree yesterday, in a lightning storm, watching White Millers and thought to myself that this is a truly worthless hatch. The Brown Drake nymphs should focus on eating White Miller larva next year and replace them in the food web. Brown Drakes are cool bugs that do interest fish, birds, and anglers.

In my 25 years of hanging around this part of the world, I have only ever met one type of character that cares about the White Mille. It's the occasional Fireholer. They can be smack dab in the middle of  PMD or Black Caddis Hatch with fish rising all around them and they are frantically searching for a White Miller Pattern. They pester fly shops and troll consumer fly fishing shows back east trying to prod some reel-known fly tying celeb to tie them up some White Millers. My eyes rollback and I get some palsy stuff in my right cheek when someone comes in and asks me if we have White Millers.

Th truth is, we carry plenty of little, light colorer and even a few white size 16 dry flies (small spruce Moth patterns) that accurately represent a Whiter Miller. They don't work, though, for that occasional Fireholer though as the bin is not labeled "White Miller." I know we could put a "White Miller" label on a size 16 yellow stimulator and rell it to that angler just as well though.

Fish don't care about White Millers and thats why fly shops and guides generally don't care about "White Millers" either. If you are fishing on the Firehole, and the fish are rising madly...they aren't eating White Millers. Quit lying to yourself and come to terms with the fact that a small PMD dun or emerges is really what you need on 5X or 6X. Of course, the real trick is to get the fly to the fish. Quit wasting gas and oxygen, looking for a the mythical White Miller fly pattern and focus your energy on learning to cast 25' with some degree of accuracy and delicacy. It's not the fly, asshole and it certainly isn't the White Miller!

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Let's see...what has happened lately? Back at the madness would be the most succinct summary. Been on the water most days for awhile now and if you include pre Los Roques and Los Roques, I think I'm looking 20 days fishing so far in June and I do include guiding in that approximation as well. I love the water, I guess.

27 years without booze happened a couple of days ago,

The lower madison has turned into tuberville in the afternoons in the last few days. Salmonflies have been out on the upper the past week, Matty hooked his first Carp...but lost it. I have watched anglers fishing on the moon the past few days. Most of my past resentments have slipped away. My angling/guiding state of judmentality seems to be waning as well.

I like square-nosed drift boats.

I like Sage X rods, Hatch Reels, and Sage the new Ross Evolution R and I guess the Lamson Speedster. Rio Extreme Indicator line is an awesome nymph line and the SA Amplitude line is pretty badass too.

The fishing has been more slower the last four days. On the upper, it's hard to say if it's fly placement,  boat traffic, water temps, plethora of hatches, the Salmonfly hatch, or moon phase. I just haven't been getting em very well at all on the dries up there, but they eat it well when they do come up. Nynphing is for later up there. The lower Madison has been good later in the day versus early am and have no idea why, guess I don't really care either just as long as its good at some point. Other area rivers are still high, but dropping kind of quickly.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Made it home early Sunday afternoon following an awesome week at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. I am yet to feel caught up with sleep though...more due to the fact that the dogs get top at 4:30-5:00 am every morning than having to do with anything else. Rivers seem high still here and it has been rainy and cool since returning home. It feels like Friday, but it's only Wednesday. Looking forward to hitting the guide boat hard again next week and just hoping to keep my head have water with projects around the shop in the meantime.

Typically, I'm paying attention to the river conditions and general fishing BS. This week, however, I'm just keeping my nose down and focusing on the shop. The water will still be there in 2-3 days I keep telling myself. I'm itching to get the jet boat out and look for shallow water carp...just need some sun and warmth. Wouldn't mind throwing streamers somewhere too. Time to turn over some rocks and look for Salmonflies as well. Maybe tomorrow!