Category Archives: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

Plecopteran Purple

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

The Society of Bored Fly Tyers announced today the existence of an experimental line of Plecopteran (stonefly) flies tied predominately in the color purple. The flies for the most part mimic traditional Plecopteran patterns like the Brooks Montana Stone, Parks Stonefly, Minch’s Stonefly nymphs, Stimulators and Flashback stones, etc. The patterns are scheduled to undergo field trials this summer on selected watersheds SW Montana. Trials may be disrupted if the National Park Service fails to open Yellowstone National Park in time for the 2020 park fishing season which should begin on May 23rd. There are key waters in the park that anglers rely on for early season stonefly patterns. However there are plenty of traditional stonefly waters throughout SW Montana outside the park for the trials to begin.

Once field trials are completed late this summer, a report will be published as to the efficacy of the patterns. Fly anglers and fly tiers are cautioned against hoarding purple fly tying material in advance of field trials. As it is not a common color in most trout related fly tying materials, fly shops and online suppliers generally don’t have a strong supply. Society experts caution that these are experimental flies with no track record of success. The flies may be completely useless and cause unnecessary frustration if anglers think they are a panacea Hoarding now may disrupt trials if the flies are successful and the secret leaks out. If the trials are unsuccessful, then overstocking with purple materials now may prove to be a waste of money. The society did ask that any fly tier desiring to participate in the field trials should begin to tie Plecopteran purple patterns now before supplies of purple materials dry up. Successful and unsuccessful patterns should be reported to the society during the summer. more…

Barramundi and Barrages

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

As our Australia trip progressed, we crept closer to the equator as we reached Darwin in the northwest corner. Still over 7000 miles from Bozeman, we were less than 700 miles south of the equator. This is a land of heat and extreme humidity, loaded with all manner of game fish offshore and in what seems to be an infinite variety of rivers, estuaries, and billabongs. Amid the CV craziness in the U.S., Australia seemed a bit laid back. Yes, precautions were clearly being taken across the continent, but it didn’t seem to be affecting everyday life in Darwin.

For the first time ever, we booked a trip online through Fishbooker and was not disappointed. Overall the booking experience and communications with the captain was very efficient. We got a bit of validation the day before our trip from a local fishing shop that our captain—Lincoln Kirby—was a good choice. It would be an early start—0530 just outside of Darwin. Once we met our captain, we’d drive well over 100 miles to the northeast to Shady Camp on the Mary River.

Shady Camp is a popular starting point for anglers on the Mary River as it is equipped with two very well constructed and large boat launching ramps. The two ramps allow access to a massive barrage that separates the upstream freshwater section of the river from the downstream tidal section. Other barrages downstream from Shady Camp would play well into my first Barra adventure. With an eight weight rigged up with a 5/0 Pink Thing we headed downstream in the raging waters of the Mary River. The Territory was at the tail end of the wet season and the massive flood plains of the top end were draining into the vast tidal rivers that flowed into the Van Diemen Gulf inside the Timor Sea. The tide was near low ebb and the exposed muddy banks of the river revealed a tide that might rise nine feet over the next four to five hours. more…

The “Odd” Cod, The “Odd” Yellowbelly, The “Odd” Perch

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Dana Stors Lamb was a New York investment banker, conservationist and author. His angling stories are renown for his poetic, lyrical style. He published nine titles in the 1960s-70s, mostly angling stories about pursuing Atlantic Salmon in New England, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes. One of my favorite stories headlines the volume Not Far From The River (1967). Entitled “The Odd Salmon”, Dana laments a summer where salmon were scarce on the Miramichi, Magaguadavic, Nashwaak and Restigouche rivers in Quebec. A farmer on the river Nashwaak filled with anglers says,“There’s nothing in the river now.” Dana comments, “But surely there is something or they wouldn’t fish”. The farmer, while whacking the buttocks of a cow, “Oh well, they do get the odd salmon now and then.” At the tidal head of the Restigouche, anglers in boats plied the waters and Dana wondered to a local, “they must be there”. The local observer replied: “Of course they are there. They have to be, but all they ever take down here is sometimes the odd salmon.” Back along the Maine coast, Dana encountered a group of southern anglers extremely frustrated over the lack of salmon and crowded rivers. As Dana left the little Maine village, he wondered, “whether anyone [in the frustrated group] among the hundreds along the river bank would latch on to that famous fish so often talked about; so seldom seen; the so much sought but tough to kill the ‘odd salmon’.” more…