For those of you don’t know, at the end of last summer my wife and I started a new adventure which included quitting my stable and comfortable job to pursue other interests in the world of fly fishing. Crazy?!?! Yes, we think so too, but it’s what we love so here we go! Along with that change meant I was able to spend more time on my local rivers than usual. Being that the fall is already an exceptional time of year to fly fish, I felt rather blessed with the additional time I spent tugging on nice fish. The video above is short compilation of some shots I walked away with. Below are some of the more memorable fish and moments recorded by stills broken into categories.
Brown Trout Beauty
Most anglers know that browns color up in the fall preparing for the spawning season. This fall my mind was blown once again by the many fish that were truly remarkable in not only size and strength, but especially color.
I’ve been fishing the same couple of rods for the last five years or so. Some are high end, and others more mid range. I’ve been content with my arsenal until this fall when I first laid hands on Syndicate’s 11′ 3 wt. Most of my fish this fall were caught Euro Nymphing. Many of the larger browns were caught dead drifting large streamers using this same technique. The Syndicate 3 wt performed extremely well under both conditions. Both Kohler and I have enjoyed this rod so much that we decided to pick them up and sell them here on Fly Tying 123. We truly believe they are the best mid price range rod on the market for Euro Nymphing, and we wanted to offer them to our friends. The 3 wt is offered in both 10′ and 11′ lengths. Check them out in our shop here SYNDICATE RODS.
No surprise here, right?!?! The Rowley Stone has been my top producing stonefly for years now. I’m excited that Rainy’s has officially picked up this pattern starting this year, 2016. For those who like to tie, check out the tying video for this pattern ROWLEY STONE it could change your fishing life completely!
Back to Beauty
Tungsten Embryo best egg pattern I fish.
I hope this fall treated all of you just as good.
Here’s to enjoying our current winter conditions for a completely different set of compelling characteristics!
Montana is not that far from me. To put it simply, it’s a six hour drive with only one state in between. Turns out the state between me and Montana holds some remarkable trout water, and thus I’ve spent most of my time exploring the waters of Idaho. I don’t regret my many Idaho adventures, and I still plan to spend most of my “out of state” days fishing there, but after a three day trip to Montana this Spring I’m wondering why it’s taken me so long to fish in the Big Sky Country.
Our trip (Kohler and I once again) evolved from an opportunity to do a Euro Nymphing presentation for a fantastic Pat Barnes Trout Unlimited group in Helena. My good friend Brad Hansen who has lived in that area now for a couple years set the whole thing up. He was also awesome enough to take time off from work to show us around his local fly fishing play ground, (which just happens to includes the Missouri and Madison Rivers, along with MANY other awesome stretches of water). His kind wife Janelle and their old pup Bruce were also willing to let us crowd their house for a few days. Truly the royal treatment, and we still owe them many thanks!
Brad spoiled us and took us down the Missouri in his drift boat. We threw streamers most of our first day up there, and we lucked into some amazing fish. The next two days were spent Euro Nymhing. As it often does, Egan’s Tungsten Surveyor along with the Rowley Stone, caught a good majority of our fish on both the Missouri and the Madison. We caught some of the most beautiful Rainbow’s I’ve ever seen, and a handful of beefy browns. The surprise of the trip came the evening of the first day when Brad landed a beautiful thick cutthroat in the Missouri. That was his first Missouri River cutthroat and it looks to be a very rare catch (see video above for a quick clip of the fish).
Part of the reason both Kohler and I fell in love with Montana was the quality of the fish. Pound for pound, even the smaller fish in the 15″ range fought as hard as any trout I’ve ever hooked, and the pigs we got into put a major bendo in the rod as well.
On our last morning there Brad and his friend Will took us to a place where the “locals” fish. All I’m going to say is it didn’t disappoint 😉
I hope it’s not long until I can return to Montana for another three days of fly fishing. Only next time, I’ll have a better idea what to expect and three days will not be enough. I can see why Paul Maclean once said, “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, brother.” (A River Runs Through It), and now I partially understand why.