Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Return of the West Virginia Six

Like the seasons, like the moon, like clockwork, The West Virginia Six are returning to Montana. I have fished with the infamous WV Six for the past 4 years on the Bitterroot and Missouri Rivers. They are a groups of guys i look forward to seeing every summer, both for their contagious camaraderie,  insatiable desire to be out on the water, and their love of fly fishing and Big Sky Country.

Having begun fishing in Wester MT over 25 years ago now they have a long-view perspective that few of us 'young guns' do. Its always a hoot to soak in some tales of the old days before Montana was known as the fly fishing destination it is today. I can only shake my head and wonder what these rivers must have been like before the armadas of dry fly fishers arrived in the Bitterroot.

Flyfishing has a way of breeding friendships that are year-round, even if the fishing part is only for a few days every season. This year we will get on the West Fork as usual looking to put a few solid Cutties in the net. Might make it down river and try our hand at a big Brownie or low-river Rainbow. Wherever we end up this season it will lead to another chapter of lies fishing stories told around many different and far-flung kitchen tables.

To the Tarral

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fishing In The Slow Lane

Lazy summer days are for the following:

Coolers of Beer
Leisurely Fly Fishing

When i get into a boat i am there to, above all things, relax: Everything should slow down to river speed. River otter speed. Mayfly speed. I can never understand how people can enjoy a day on the water while trying to race every other boat down to the next fishy looking run. Fishing is about catching, but also about learning how to fool specific fish, not just motor-boating until you find a fish willing to eat whatever you happened to have tied on at that moment. When i find a good riser thats when the sneaky sneaky box comes out and the rust is dusted off the reach cast. Maybe not on the first cast, but you know that fish is coming up. . . .

There are plenty of fish out there for the first and last boats of the day, and plenty to look at and enjoy other than the fishing. Wildlife tends to pop up all the time when you're not head-down chasing the bobber. I like wildlife. I like watching Ospreys fish, helicoptering in the air watching for a absentminded trout. My perfect day on the water includes time to grill riverside, completely re-rig and fiddle with fly rods, go swimming on the hot days and watch a sunset afterwards.

Cheers to fishing in the slow lane.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Smith

Sitting here in the middle of the craziness that we call the our guide season, I am catching myself day-dreaming back to early June and my 2014 smith river adventure. I am going to keep the words short and sweet on this one and let the pictures tell the story.... Enjoy 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Going for the Gold(en)

Smoking dry fly fishing anyone? Over-fed free range Cutthroat trout slamming Golden Stones? Old frineds cracking a cold one and spinning a fishing yarn out on the river? I think yes. Oh Yes.

Another great weekend with the ever-growing Utes Alumni Club here in the Bitterroot. We had a bit of everything: Socked in thunderheads ruling the lower valley, spotty sunshine in the upper West Fork, big bright Cutties chasing the streamer in the morning and big blooms of Goldens in the afternoons. Add a throw-down dinner or two to keep the fishermen happy and stoked for tomorrow morning. A winning combo everytime.

                      Thanks to Stuart, Laura, Zach, Jeff, and Jack for making it all happen.