On The Road Report: Regularly Scheduled Programing Edition


If you’ve been swinging by the shop or spending your afternoons around the Blackfoot Brewery over the last two months you’ve probably heard me bitching whining about my lack of motorized transportation. The good news is the Subaru is back on the road and I’m mobile again! After eight arduous weeks of fly fishing booty calls, trading flies for rides and generally whoring myself out for a lift to the river I called in sick yesterday; suffering from a bad case of Pteronarcys californica fever loaded up some big bugs, filled some growlers, and put some miles on the Suby’s fresh valves. Rumor of big bugs popping on the Madison, south I go.  Continue reading



It began on a 15 degree below zero February day in the year 2015.
It came to fruition at 52 degrees mid June of the same year.

Jim selected all the parts and pieces necessary to build  his latest fly rod.  An 8 foot #5 line in 3 sections.  Blue Halo out of  Salt Lake City produced this one in a transparent bright blue color. Two colors of thread in Forged Steel & Iron Ore for the wraps. The spectacular hardware supplied by Jim’s good friend Michael & Susan McCoy owners of Snake Brand Guides. Black nickle guides top to bottom set off  a reel seat like no other. Dyed Chestnut burl with fine rope edge, black nickle trappings topped off with a custom cork grip. YUP! easy on the eyes, but from Jim’s past he knows, “pretty does not make good”. (We’re talking horses here)   Not until he loaded a classic older CFO reel with the ultra slick Orvis HD line did he find just what a jewel he had created. Slow, and I mean ULTRA-SLOW and wet noodle soft makes his new stick as much fun as you can with your clothes on. Jim refused all spring to even consider putting anything on that line with weight. No streamers, no nymphs. Waiting for the optimum  weather, water, hatches and time to pack in a couple of hours so there was no chance of catching anything but THE Montana state fish: Oncorhynchus clarkii or, a Cutthroat. Catch he did. Elk wings, Stimulators & Adams were all it took for the endless numbers of fish. Clear, cold mountain water with
gorgeous, unspoiled  views supplied the setting. What a beautiful place (no I will not divulge) to test drive a new  rod in the quiver. Like many avid anglers Jim prefers to tie most of his flies and do a rod-build in the dark, cold winter months. Preparing, anticipating, looking forward to the short time frame we get to sling line and poke fish on top. Does it get any better? Look where we live. Look where we get to play.  Wake up with a smile and go to bed with a smile. If that is not your routine you are not enjoying what our good Lord has given us.


  Provided by: JIM STEIN Director of Schools, Cross Currents Fly Shop.

Monday Morning Ramble: Chasing Salmon Flies


One of the best things we have in Montana is dry fly fishing. The first signs of our best summer dry fly season kicks off with Salmon Flies, Pteronarcys californica. These big orange fellas are an attraction for any fly angler. We have people who travel from around the world for a shot at fishing size 2 and 4 dry flies to willing trout. Who doesn’t like casting a huge dry fly along the bank? You can see that big hunk of fur and feathers from a mile away, mend it like an amateur, and fish it on heavy tippet. Fishing this hatch should be easy, right? Continue reading

Monday Morning Ramble: Fly Fishing Juju

Not a Fish Picture

Not a Fish Picture

Random Ramble:

NO BANANAS IN THE BOAT! We have all heard that one before, or the ol’ lucky fishing hat you can’t be on the river without. What about trimming the tag ends of your tippet after you tie on a fly? Or what about letting your buddy fish a run first to increase your fishing mojo? Most of us like to help people out on the river to better our river karma. Maybe, you listen to a certain song on the way out to the river to increase your luck. Whatever type of juju you find out there, you’ll find that most people are really religious about whatever it is they believe will increase their fishing prowess for the day.

Personally, I’m not much a believer in the superstitious things we all do related to fly fishing. There may be a few things I do before I hit the water, but I’ll row a boat with a banana in it all day long. However, recently I had a turn for the worst in the fly fishing juju world. It all started with an early 1980’s Orvis graphite rod, The Henry’s Fork 8’6″ 5wt. Let me explain.

Continue reading