Monthly Archives: February 2016

False Spring – A Blessing In Disguise

Yellowstone River - Emigrant - February 2016

Yellowstone River – Emigrant – February 2016

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

It is mid-February, February 11th, 2016 to be exact. Here in SW Montana we’ve had five straight days of 40+ degree mild weather. Many of our overnight lows stayed above the freezing mark. When Bozeman’s February daily mean temperature is 25° and the average lows around 15°, a week in the 40s is a heat wave. Heat waves in mid-February have consequences, good and bad. The fly shops and outfitters are seeing renewed interest. A few are actually running guide trips on the Madison River. Of course the rivers are free of ice and in most places the shelf ice along the shoreline is gone or inconsequential. The waters are low and clear, albeit still very cold. more…

Mixing Two Passions

Meet a New Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher and photographer

Fishing In The Early Morning Mist by Phil Rispin

Fishing In The Early Morning Mist by Phil Rispin

I frequently find myself standing in a stream with my Fly Rod in my left hand, line in the water drifting through a great piece of water while my right hand is fumbling for the Camera I keep in my vest so I can take a picture of something I just saw. In a stretch of stream like the one just below the dam on the Little Red at Heber Springs Arkansas this means that you are going to miss a lot of strikes. The trout there carefully mouth very small offerings barely moving the strike indicator and if you aren’t concentrating hard you miss them. more…

Ice Flies

ice_fishing_smallGuest Blogger: Perry Morrison aka Montana Guy Flies

To those of you who also dabble in fishing the hard water in the winter, I will suggest trying scud flies in various colors and sow bugs in dark and light brown. I live in Wisconsin where hard water fishing can be a religion for some. A few years ago while at the local bait shop where I sell flies I was asked if I tied scud flies. I replied yes and got an order. The gentlemen requesting the flies were hard core ice fisherman but not fly fisherman. I had the order to them within a day and asked for a report on their success using my flies. I made them dark brown sow bugs, green scuds and some Czech nymphs using all materials purchased from J. Stockard. The success report got out and thus I was commissioned to make more flies.

The only downfall (pardon the pun!) to using the nymphs is they do not drop at the rate tungsten jigs do. I told the gentlemen not to jig the flies up and down but to simply wiggle their rod back and forth because scuds and sowbugs do not swim that well. They tend to flutter in the water just off the bottom. The combination of my flies and technique proved deadly on panfish.

My scuds were made using scud dubbing and both clear and green scud back. The sowbugs were made using 10″-12″ ostrich herl in dark brown with tan scud back. For both flies I used black bow serving string to make eyes by tying in a small piece then carefully melting into round eyes. The eyes are tied in back at the bend of the hook prior to adding your rib and scud back material.

Good luck and give them a try if you are out on the hard water fishing for panfish. And, please make sure the ice is safe prior to heading out!