9/29/15- Terry Helman is visiting Bill Rusch this week. The two of them spent the day with me looking to get Terry into his first trout on a fly rod. The fishing wasn't stellar by any means, but the weather and fall colors were spectacular! Terry did a great job of fishing and ended up catching quite a few fish, and Bill caught his share while checking out some new water for him.
9/28/15- Don Daniels' guide training continues to go well. We rowed his new RO Deville drift boat down the river today and caught more than our share of trout.
10/5/15- Bill Ballenger and Christy Fullen finished their Montana fly fishing season with me today. After the cold wet weather of the weekend, the sun came out and it was in the high 70s today. The fishing was slower than we'd hoped, but these experienced anglers caught fish most of the day.
9/25/15-Scott and Chris finished their trip with me in strong fashion. We found some good fishing today and a couple of photo worthy trout.
10/24/15- Another sunny day on the MO made for some tough fishing today. We found a few fish rising, but the bugs never really materialized. It was another beautiful day to be on the river though and I enjoyed the company of Joe, Rich, Scotty and Matson. I'm looking forward to the boys return next spring.
10/23/15- Scotty joined me in the boat this morning and we had plenty of time to catch up and tell stories as we were uninterupted by hooking fish. Joe was brave enough to jump in my skunk smelling boat in the afternoon and we spent the rest of the day hunting heads with mixed results. The hatch was not very strong today and the spinner fall was nonexistent, so the spots where I could find rising fish had some trout with phds. It made for a good challenge and Joe was up to the task.
9/14/15- Roz and Jason Lipsey brought the A Team out today: Jerry Lipsey, Mike Silaggi, Kaz and Jon Sikora hit the Yellowstone with ace guides, Robert Stewart and Scott Bohr. There were lots of laughs, mostly beautiful weather with some wind mixed in and a good bunch of fish brought to the nets.
9/11/15-9/13/15- Gary, Mike and I headed to the Missouri for a few days. We started out the first day at the Dam doing some circles in the circus that thousands of large feeding fish always attract this time of year. The fish and social scene did not disappoint, but we ventured down in the canyon to find some solitude the next couple of days and found interesting fishing along the way. It was great to be back in the boat with these guys.
9/27/15- I was lucky enough to fish with two of my favorite local gals today. Susie Fleet and Christy Copeland kept me entertained with tales of their travels and kept me busy netting fish on another beautiful fall day in Montana.
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9/24/15- Chris and Scott have fished all over the West, today we went to the Lower Madison to show them some new water. The weather was again spectacular for late September and we had solid fishing all day. Chris proved to be the rainbow queen.
9/21/15- Don Daniels is going to guide for me next season. This fall we're doing a bunch of training to get ready. Today we fished the lower Madison and had a nice day out there talking about fishing, guiding, life etc. The fishing was really good mid day and I look forward to more days on the water with Don. We were apparently to busy to take a single picture...
9/17/15-Another day with Jeff and Hoshina. More laughs, downpours, and serious upstream winds.
9/22/15- Christy Fullen and Bill Ballenger fished with me on the Yellowstone today. Unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of wind made for a beautiful day to be on the water. The fish did their part as well and we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible.
10/21/15- Well, what a difference the weather makes for fishing this time of year. Today turned out to be windy and sunny...not the combination you're looking for. Don and I had solid nymph fishing in the morning, and some moments of greatness with the dry dropper rig. Then, by mid to late afternoon the wind became too much of a factor and the fishing shut down for us. "Should have been here yesterday." Lucky for us, we were.
10/20/15- Don Daniels hit the right day to fish the Missouri. It was pouring rain on the drive from Bozeman this morning and when we rigged the boat up at the Wolf Creek Bridge, it was calm with a light drizzle...perfect baetis weather. The bugs started to hatch about noon and there was a blanket of baetis/pseudo soup by 2pm. The river was littered with riseforms and the fishing was outstanding.
9/4/15- Mike and Susannah Bush are on an extended fishing holiday. I was lucky enough to have them in my boat today. Wow, did they ever put on a clinic on catching fish. Susannah was on fire in the morning catching them at will. As her wrist began to ache, Mike made the most of his opportunities. It would have taken a clicker to count the fish, a slice of revenge for fighting the wind the last couple of days.
9/23/15-Scott and Chris Linkletter are in town for a few days of fishing. Scott still holds the record for biggest trout landed in my boat. In September of 2007, he landed a 27 1/2 inch brown with me. Today we had some decent fishing, but no trophy browns were put in the net. We did net this mountain sucker though. Only the second one of the season.
10/4/15- Don Daniels is getting ready to do some guiding for Renegade Outfitters next season. Robert Stewart joined us on the Yellowstone today for some fishing. It was snowing when Robert picked me up and the weather on river was cold, calm and cloudy. We all thought there should a baetis soup style hatch in the afternoon. It just goes to show what 3 fishing guides know...we didn't see many baetis at all, there were enough midges on the water to bring some fish up though. We had some good fishing in foam holes for most of the afternoon.
10/8-10/9/15- Patrick Eisenhaur and I have been talking about fishing the Bighorn River in Thermopolis Wyoming for a long time. We finally got there for a couple of days. What a beautiful place to fish.
9/5/15-Audrey and Paul Lysko signed up for a day of fly fishing with me. Again, the weather was a factor with classic fall Montana weather: a bit of sun, rain, West wind, East wind....seriously cold East wind. We wore all the layers we had in the boat and made the most of it. Fishing was slow in the morning, but a good baetis hatch got the fish out and about in the afternoon and the Lysko's finished strong. Here's a shot of Paul wearing the "urban sombero" and Audrey's indicator, not pictured are the 2 nymphs stuck in his back. Also pictured is Audrey. You can tell how badly she felt about the whole incident.
9/15/15- Manoa Hoshina is back in Montana. He just returned from a successful antelope bow hunt and hooked up with me for some fly fishing. It rained all night and was pouring and 45 degrees when I went to the Lucky Dog Lodge to pick up Hoshina this morning. The forecast called for more of the same, so we opted to do some spring creek fishing. We were the only people at Armstrongs spring creek today. The rain was in and out...mostly in really, but that made for some outstanding rising. I enjoy watching Hoshina fish. He has been a big influence on my technical dry fly tactics. He ties the best flies and is incredibly efficient when targeting a rising fish. He put on a clinic again today with midges in the morning, baetis mid day and midges again in the afternoon. He even got one on a PMD. When the clouds did clear out there was a nice coating of snow on the peaks. Fall is in the air. How about the bend the fat Armstrong rainbow put in that Yamame rod?
10/10/15-Tetsuya Ogura last visited Montana in 2008. He's on his way to British Columbia for some salmon fishing and stopped in Montana to fish with me for a couple of days. We fished the lower Madison river today. The warm, sunny weather continued today and there was a steady downstream breeze when we put the boat on the water. The wind ramped up and I'd guess it was gusting in low forties. I wouldn't want to ride a chairlift in that wind. Needless to say it made fly fishing a challenge. Mr. Ogura never gave up and caught more fish than I thought he would given the conditions. He even caught a beautiful westslope cutthroat which must have made it's way down Cherry creek and into the Madison.
9/8/15-Jason and Roz Lipsey are back in town. Today they brought their friends: Rob, Jenna, Michelle and Amanda Lipsey too. Robert Stewart rowed the other boat for us and we had a good time on the Yellowstone. How could you not have a good time with this crew. We switched around boats a bit. Here are some pictures.
10/12/15-More guide training with Don Daniels today. We floated in the Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone today. We caught fish on small nymphs, single dry flies and got a big brown stripping a streamer.
10/11/15- High winds were forecast again today. In fact, predictions for the Yellowstone River area were for gusts up to 70mph. IForecasts were for gusts only in the mid 40s for the Gallatin valley so we planned to spend the day there. My thought in the morning was that if the wind was howling on the Gallatin, we'd drive to different spots on the Madsion and Gallatin and wade fish. When we arrived at the put in there was almost no wind, so I put the boat in the water for a 5 mile float. Weather forecasters in Montana make their share of mistakes and the day started out promising. That all changed by mid day when the wind was kicking up white caps on the water. It was blowing so hard that I had to drag the boat downstream in some areas. There was also a raging fire nearby and we were treated to an airshow of 2 helicopters dipping buckets in the river. With all that going on, we had plenty of excitement. We even found a few spots that were protected from the wind enough for Mr. Ogura to catch a bunch of nice fat rainbows.
9/16/15- Bozeman legend and co owner of the Lucky Dog Lodge, Jeff Copeland took some time off from his busy schedule to guide Hoshina and I in search of some exotic fish. We had a lot of laughs and even caught something. None more exotic than Jeff putting a hook in his thumb and wader at the same time. "Uh, guy's I have a little problem..." We had to agree with him there.
9/9/15- Michael Barbour and Gary Hancock missed coming to Montana in 2014 for the first time in 20 years. I think we've been fishing together for around 15 years now, but my memory isn't the best. Anyway, it's been while. We started their trip on the Yellowstone and had one of those perfect days. We didn't see another boat, the weather was gorgeous, and they caught a bunch of fish.
10/22/15- Joe Goodrich, Scotty Earnest and Rich Rorem are in town for another round of fishing on the MO with me and Matson Rodgers. Today, Rich was in my boat. There wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning and I didn't have high expectations of dry fly fishing. I was wrong about that, we saw a spectacular baetis spinner fall and good numbers of rising fish. Rich and I had a nice combination of head hunting and blind dry dropper fishing.
9/10/15- Another ideal fall day for Gary and Mike as we found some exciting fishing in the raft today. Gary as always on this water was on fire today. He quietly sits in the back of the boat and wears out my net.