Montana is a place. Wild. Vast. Beautiful. Most importantly it is plum full of trout. Here at the Craig shop most of our off time is spent drinking beer and fishing for the non-natives, browns and rainbows on the MO. Occasionally, the team members will go for back country excursions in search of the native trouts of Montana. When we return we tell the tales. Honestly, most of the tales are not true. This might be one of those tales, but maybe, it isn’t. Continue reading
I know this post might be pushing it a bit for some of you out there. Those of you who can’t seem to break the habit of fishing the same run, same river, same flies, same everything. If you’re into spending your summer days fishing with the masses drinking ice-cold beer and telling fish stories to tourists all night, this one might not be for you. This On the Road Report doesn’t end at a riverside parking lot, rather it begins and ends at a trailhead on the edge of Bob’s. If you haven’t been to Bob’s your missing out. He’s an awesome host, not a bad view to be had, more water than you could fish in two lifetimes and his floor is the most comfortable place to crash after a long day. The thing about Bob is you can’t really see his place without putting forth some effort. Sure, you can see his place from the road, but you don’t really see anything until you ditch your ride and hit the trails. So instead of hanging out with seemingly every other angler in the state that has descended upon the Missouri I loaded up the essentials; salami, easy-cheez, hammock, flies and whiskey being amongst them and went to kick it with Bob for the weekend. I’ll tell you now it was worth the blisters, bug bites and bear paranoia, anyways, whiskey always tastes better in wilderness. Continue reading
It’s only mid July and more rivers are falling victim to the lack of water making its way down from the mountains. In addition to the western district rivers already under Hoot-Owl fishing restrictions the F.W.P has released a list of several Central District rivers going under Hoot-Owl effective today. The list is as follows…
- Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the confluence with the Big Hole River
- Ruby River from Duncan District Road to confluence with the Beaverhead River
- Shields River from its mouth upstream to its confluence with Smith Creek
- Lower Madison River from Ennis Dam to the Missouri River Headwaters
- Lower Gallatin River from its confluence with the Madison River at Three Forks upstream to Sheds Bridge (Hwy 84) near Four Corners
- East Gallatin River from its origin (at the confluence of Rocky Creek and Bear Creek) to its confluence with the West Gallatin River
Friendly reminder that just because your favorite stream isn’t listed doesn’t mean its okay to fish. Be responsible and make sure the water is cool enough to be fishing. Scroll down a bit to the
“Hot & Wet Edition” for a few recommendations to help avoid killing fish. For the most up to date list of river closures you can always check out the F.W.P website HERE.
Perhaps some of you don’t know the origin of Purple Haze. A few years ago, 1966 to be exact, a young incredibly talented guitar player known as Jimi Hendrix recorded an album (vinyl of course) titled “Are You Experienced”. One of many great cuts on that large black disc was “Purple Haze”. During “those” years there were all sorts of colors of haze.
Several years ago a Montana Fly Fishing guide (Andy C.) on the Bitterroot River thought he would alter the infamous, most common, well used & preferred, generic May Fly dry “The Adams” Basically all that was done was the grey body material has been replaced with purple. I first started fishing purple on a variety of flies 3 to 4 years ago. On streamers, on drys, on nymphs, on literally anything that would cast from the terminal end of my tippet. I have been having ridiculously fine results and from the volume of purple material in our fly tying room and the requests for more and more patterns tied in purple so have many others anglers. If you have not tried that color YOU SHOULD!
In the above posted photo you will see 2 varieties of Purple Haze. One will be fun to catch fish with the other will be the result of reckless abandon in an un-named slippery like goose snot creek. One I highly recommend the other would be something to avoid “at all cost”
Hot and wet, good when you’re with a lady, bad if you’re a fish. To state the obvious it’s hot out there and with little relief in the forecast Montana F.W.P has issued Hoot-Owl Restrictions on several rivers in the state. Hoot-Owl restrictions mean no fishing from 2 p.m util midnight on effected waterways. Here’s the complete list of rivers under fishing restrictions….
- The entire length of the Big Hole except from Dickey Bridge to Maiden Rock F.A.S
- The entire length of the Jefferson River
- The entire length of the Blackfoot River
- The entire length of the Bitterroot River
- The Clark Fork from the headwaters to its confluence with the Flathead River
- Flint Creek from the Highway 1 bridge downstream to its confluence
- Silver Bow Creek from its confluence with Warm Springs Creek to the confluence with Blacktail Creek
This portion of the post strictly represents the opinion of the poster (me) and does not necessarily represent the opinions of CrossCurrents Fy Shop.
That’s the official list, just because a certain stream, creek, or river isn’t listed doesn’t mean it okay to fish. Common sense and even the slightest amount of morality both go a long way in protecting every fishery in the state. Is it against the law to go fishing when the water is bathtub temp if it’s not listed with F.W.P.? The short answer is no, but it’s morally reprehensible and to be honest you just look like an
tool continuing to fish in conditions that are dangerous for trout. That means you shouldn’t be double nymphing on the Smith just because FWP hasn’t told you to stop. I’m not saying don’t get out this weekend and wet a line, I’m just saying be responsible. Bring a thermometer and check the water temp. throughout the day, anything above 67° is dangerous for most fish. Keep your fish wet, we all love getting a picture of fish we catch, I get it. But how many grip and grins do you really need? Leave em’ in the water and get creative with your pics. Go high, getting closer to a river’s source generally means colder water and happier fish. Spend time with your family, I know a lot of you fish to avoid human contact, but you married her (him) and decided to have a family and now you’re stuck. It’s a great weekend to try to remind yourself why you made such a silly choice in the first place. As for me I’ll be cracking many a cold beverage and whipping up some flies for the fall, dreaming of cooler days.
Humble Suggestion to help beat the heat:
Woolly-Bugger Wheat Ale is back on tap at Blackfoot River Brewing Company and for everyone you buy me you’ll receive a FREE HIGH-FIVE!