A couple weeks ago our awesome delivery driver dropped us a very nice set of boxes on our doorstep. The word “Orvis” on the outside let us know that some killer products were finally here. At last we had got a new set of rods and reels, specifically the Orvis Helios 2 5wt and 7wt tip-flex rods and the Mirage II & III reels that lay packaged within those fine cardboard boxes. For the past few weeks we’ve had plenty of time out on the water with these sweet setups and they’ve gotten off to a hot start.
Upon receiving the fly rods, the first thing I noticed was the beautifully crafted carbon fiber tube that safe guards each rod. I could now safely run over my fly rods tubes with a monster truck. Both rods are 4 piece, 9ft fly rods. Zack and myself feel that in order to truly fish Montana rivers to the fullest, you need a dry fly/nymph rod and a streamer rod, hence the 5wt & 7wt selection. Some holes are just too tasty to not have a streamer rod ready to go, and we find ourselves leaning towards the addicting streamer game more and more. We assembled the Mirage reels into the beautiful Helios 2 reel seats. Now these setups are sexy to say the least and not only perform great, but look badass. We are far from gear snobs. If it doesn’t function then I don’t want it, but I’m always ok with an upgrade. The setups we are rocking are as follows:
As soon as I strung out my first cast with the 5wt, the whizz I could hear of the line shooting through the guides put a smile of my face. These rods can shoot some line! Not to mention the swing weight of the 5wt makes casting effortless. Either that or I have been hitting the gym way too frequently. The tip flex, fast action suits my fly fishing style well, allowing me to cast extremely accurate and makes mending line a breeze. I have never felt like I have had this much control over my fly line.
Now on to the 7wt. Over the past year we have realized our addiction to streamer fishing, even more so when your swinging your own hand tied flies. The tug truly is the drug for us. Most people don’t know the caliber of trout we have here in Montana. There are some large fish that can really pull some serious weight.
The 7wt is a streamer chucking beast. One back cast and you can send a streamer across the entire river. Power, finesse, and control all come to mind while handling the Helios 2 7wt. Bull trout, big rainbows, and angry browns are the target fish when stripping streamers, and the 7wt got to test its strength against all these trout species during our test. With the 7wt you can handle everything from light to heavy streamers. Not to mention you can really move large fish and keep them from downfall when needed. Below are some of the fish taken via the Helios 2 on just the first day out.
Both the 5wt & 7wt were outfitted with black Mirage II & III reels. The light-weight aluminum Mirage reel uses the same technology as the brakes on fighter jets. Is it absolutely neccessary? No, but it’s damn nice if your in the market for a new reel and they look so good your bound to get a few numbers when the bikini hatch hits. It also has a positive click system which I thoroughly enjoy. Being able to set my drag accordingly and quickly is a great function of this reel. The Mirage is unaffected by saltwater, dirt, garb, and grime, making it an all-around bomb proof large arbor reel.
If your looking to upgrade your fly rod, make sure to at the least test a Helios 2 if there’s one at your local shop. I’m sure you’ll fall in love. Also be looking for the Orvis Helio 2 & Mirage reels in our upcoming short films. We recently filmed an all-streamer video, but unfortunately our SD card failed on us and the data was unrecoverable which totally blew. We’ll be out with the camera in tow soon and be sure to follow us over on Facebook and if your on Instagram look us up @montanawild. Cheers!
Merry Christmas! Travis and I would like to thank everyone that supported us and enjoyed our work in 2012. We feel very blessed to have been able to experience and share so much throughout the year. We hope that 2013 will be even bigger and better and can’t wait to begin working on new projects. This time of year is a little slow for us as far as content, but I can assure you we’ve been working harder then ever. Hopefully we’ll have a recap of 2012 up soon.
The last few weeks have been a blur. As the snow has been slowly stacking up in the mountains we finally have been able to make it out to try our hand at some mountain lion hunting. A little scouting found no cat tracks and a healthy assortment of wolf tracks. As we headed back towards Missoula, we decided to try our luck on a small slice of the Clark Fork that we have been eyeing for some time. Travis has been putting together some tasty looking streamers on the vice this winter and was eager to give them a shot. After only a half dozen casts he had a nice brown hooked and in the net.
We soon ran out of light and had to call it a day. It wasn’t long though until we were back out in the mountains looking for cat tracks. We met up with our friend Adam Johnson who had his dogs with him, and hopes were high that we could find a good track to run. We met up with Casey Richardson and spent the day looking for a track. Unfortunately, we found a lot of wolf tracks, meaning the dogs wouldn’t be going anywhere that day. These dogs live for this and they were bummed that they couldn’t be turned loose.
This week we made it home for Christmas. We got to spend some time relaxing and enjoying good friends and family. The weather was great, and we got to get out with the horses and cruise up the mountain.
It wasn’t long until we were reminded of our endeavor to find a mountain lion, as we came upon a cow elk that had been killed by a cat a few weeks earlier.
We also had a chance this past week to collaborate on a video project with the guys at Seacat Creative over in Bozeman.
We were able to jump in the drivers seat and edit a desert sheep hunt that took place down in Mexico. With Adam and Steven’s help the project really came together and will be an awesome piece. The video is something we worked very hard on and are very proud of. It will be going live here in early 2013. We’ll have more details as the launch gets closer and hopefully our first hunting episode from 2012 will be up sometime in January. I hope everyone has an awesome holiday season! Cheers!
After a few weeks of wading through hundreds of hours of fishing footage we have finally cut it down to a short and sweet four minutes. These are some of our best shots from 2012. We are excited by the progress we have achieved and are looking forward to 2013!
***Please watch in HD. You’ll benefit two ways – 1) a better viewing experience and 2) improved patience. Enjoy!***
Thanks for the continued support of our site and our hunting and fishing projects. If you’d like to see more and help us out, please head over to our Facebook and give us a [LIKE] @ facebook.com/Montana.Wild.Productions.
December in Montana. The weather is unpredictable and many have put up the fly rods and rifles for the year. It’s a risk-reward time of the year when it comes down to fishing. Just catching fish is a success and often it’s just painfully slow on the water. With the rain steadily falling we threw the waders in the truck and met up with Anthony from the False Casts and Flat Tires crew and hit the road. Not surprisingly we were the first truck at the access. We figured most would settle for a beer and some football on a cold rainy day with the mercury hovering just above 40 degrees. Our plan was to settle for a beer and some streamers on a piece of water we hadn’t visited in a good 6 months. It only took about 5 minutes before Anthony decided to get the ball rolling.
We quickly moved upstream with eats in almost every hole. I quickly was on the board when a beautiful brown hammered my fly just feet from me as I was finishing my retrieve.
It was almost silly the streamer bite was so good. Any decent water seemed to hold a fiery brown willing to mount a vicious attack on any invader of its territory. Soon Anthony had another killer fish on. He had been holding in a very small sliver of water, and a precise cast fooled him.
We kept skipping past each other as we fished upstream. Soon Travis was hollering just upriver. I looked and saw the Echo doubled over. I quickly made it to him to help net his fish. After a few minutes it was apparent this wasn’t just any fish. This was a PIG! After a couple close calls I finally slipped the net under a rainbow that could be mistaken for one straight out of Alaska.
We snapped a few hero photos of this stud rainbow and then let him slink back to his lair.
After everyone’s success it was time to crack open a cold PBR and take it all in. Laughs were had all the way around. Despite the inclement weather it had easily turned into one of the best days on the water. We had been fortunate enough to catch one of those moments where the fish are just eating and it doesn’t matter what you put in front of their face. Unfortunately this brown wasn’t so fortunate. He had seen his last Montana summer and most likely had died of old age.
Again we kept the streamer train moving. After our early success we soon began to loose a little steam. Multiple eats resulted in near misses and the hook just didn’t set. The rain had subsided and the bite seemed to cool off. I was able to trick one last brown though.
He was a solid fighter as he took to the air 3 or 4 times before finally making it to the net. It’s always fun to see the differences between every brown trout. Some are bright and others more subdued in color. The size, shape and type of jaw always seem to vary and are one of my favorite species of trout to catch. It had been a stellar couple of hours, but all good things must come to an end. As we worked back down stream we were left with nary a bite. As quickly as it had started it had shut down. We hit the golden hour that day and all left with smiles on our faces. I want to thank Anthony for bringing his camera and snapping some killer photos. I’m sure we’ll be back on the water soon. If you haven’t fished in the winter before then get out and get after it! You don’t catch fish on the couch.
Here’s our first summer fly fishing video. After runoff we’ve been doing a decent amount of fishing, but just haven’t really had good enough fishing to justify taking the time to try to film an edit. On Sunday I decided that summer just doesn’t last as long as you ever hope and that the camera was coming out. Travis and I headed up to a small creek in the Blackfoot Valley and got ready for an afternoon on the water. This is what we came up with. Watch in HD you fishin fools!
Here’s the link to our original write up on the afternoon – Creekside
I’m sure we’ll be filming again soon enough, and we hope to have more summer fishing up soon to keep the stoke alive.
Sun, fishing, and beer. They all go together real well. Maybe throw in a few other items of choice, and it’s hard to beat a good summer day in Montana. Recently Travis and I decided to hit up some smaller water and see if we could find a trout to snipe. No sooner had we pulled into our parking spot and there were already fish rising within sight. We tied on some tiny dries and started wading upstream. After failing to connect on a few rising fish we soon moved to the next bend and sat and waited to see the next nose break the surface. After 15 minutes of imagining rising fish, the silence was broken by a wild thrash on the surface. A few minutes later and another hit. We had a target. After about 6 casts he took my green drake, and immediately I knew I had a nice slab on the other end. After a few jumps and a long stay on the bottom, Travis netted my largest brown and on a dry to boot.
I was pumped up. To top it off the camera was rolling, and I think we got some quality footage. He definitely filled the net up and it was difficult to even grab him with one hand. It’s been a very long time since I’ve landed a fish over 18″ (the Missouri doesn’t count) on a dry. Last summer seemed to sneer in our faces as we struggled to find any solid fish during the summer months. Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come this summer.
We’ll be back home on the lake for the weekend and no fishing is planned for a little while but we’ll be back after it soon enough. We’re banking on the fishing really being off the charts in a few weeks and we plan on getting out with the camera and hopefully cranking out an edit in the near future.
Summer is never long enough so we always try to make the most of the weekends knowing they come in short supply. This weekend the plan was to fish, scout, and sit a stand or two in the open country in hopes of luring in a coyote. We left the house at 6AM and drove east to a spot we’ve called coyotes at before. We walked in to our stand and called for about half an hour in hopes of getting to test out the new Vortex on the AR-15.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to call anything in. This area only holds a couple smart coyotes and trying to call them in the summer makes things even more difficult. We figured if we were going to be in the area we’d give it a shot. We quickly moved on and headed back down to the river and got geared up for a long day on the water. We were fishing the upper Clark Fork, and with the warm weather we hoped a hatch might come off at some point during the day.
Things started out a bit slow as the water was still running high and fast, but the clarity was fairly decent. Of course the one day we decide to take a good drive and commit a day to fishing the wind decides to make a heavy appearance. It would only pick up as the day wore on. The Clark Fork fished just mediocre. We never netted a trout over 14 inches. A handful of healthy whitefish decided to eat and put on a good show. The eagles have a strong presence on the upper stretches of river as we saw at least eight during the first four hours of fishing. They were very vocal and we saw two nests with juvenile eagles in them.
After numerous missed hits and plenty of walking under the summer sun we decided to move on to new waters with a small pit stop at the local gas station for some tasty ice cream. Once again we began exploring miles of new water. Of course the wind only decided to pick things up a notch and began to make just about any cast impossible. We even managed to watch a three hundred pound willow tree branch get ripped from a tree. Mother nature sure can be hard to get along with sometimes. We kept fishing where we could cast downwind.
We soon worked up a feeder of the Clark Fork in search of any browns lurking in the deeper pools and undercut banks. We had lots of strikes from smaller fish and a few larger browns and rainbows chase and nip the tails of our streamers, but we never laid into anything of good size. We tried a variety of different patterns and found that white was really moving the fish. We finally trekked back to the truck and fired up the grill.
We grilled for about an hour and then sipped some beers until dark. A long day under the sun wears you out quick, and it wasn’t long until we were out for the night. The next day we decided to get into the mountains and do a bit of backup elk scouting. Even though we both drew tags for elk we always like to keep tabs on some areas that have potential. It’s always nice to have a few spots to hunt that are within an hour of home and having cams up gives us an idea of what’s lurking in the dark timber come September. We decided to make a 3 mile loop around a mountain where I’ve ran into some good bulls in the past. We found a fair amount of fresh sign, and the area still seems promising. We aren’t the only hunters in the area though. About half way through our hike we found a marker on a tree along a good game trail.
We kept moving on unfazed though. We know the area gets pressure, it’s just a matter of hunting harder and smarter than the 90% of hunters that won’t give it that extra bit during season. We soon came across a seep in the mountain where the deer and elk water as they move from their feeding and bedding areas. This was going to be camera spot number 2 for the year. We quickly set up the camera that will catch animals in both the seep and walking along the game trail.
We bought a couple Moultrie M80 game cameras this year and hopefully they will work well and give us some cool pictures to look at in about a month. We skirted around the hillside and back to the truck. We parked in a nice clearing and to our surprise held a healthy population of gophers. Well let’s just say we spent some time slinging lead at gophers. Managing the small game population always provides some good fun, and after about an hour of shooting the gophers had wised up and kept their heads below ground. We moved on and drove back down to the river. We were sitting in the truck enjoying some PB&J’s when a couple guys pulled up with their personal drift boats in tow. They came over and we chatted for a while. They claimed to be from Missoula and acted like they knew the river. Either they were pulling our chain (California plates made us think twice about this) or they haven’t learned much about fishing etiquette on the river. We told them we were going to fish one large pool about a quarter mile upstream. Of course we had been fishing there about ten minutes when they showed up and proceeded to fish the same hole about 70 yards downstream. I wasn’t a fan of their bad manners or the wind so we picked up and decided to call it a day. The fishing wasn’t even close to hot so it was an easy decision. The weekend was a bit duller than we had planned, but it can only get better from here on out right?
This spring Travis and I decided we wanted to film multiple days on the river and start out 2012 by creating a short fishing film. Well what was going to be only a handful of days turned into about 10. When your out there filming you learn a lot very quickly and the shots don’t always turn out the way you see them in your mind. We caught some great fish and lost some even better ones. All the biggest fish we hooked into other than one got away at the net. Looks like we just need a bigger net. We had hoped to tell a story through our film but without any pre-planning before shooting it turned into one big highlight reel. We didn’t want any cheesy recreations and gimmicky lines like so many other films. Highlight reels aren’t usually 10 minutes but we saved the best for last in this one. We’re excited by what we were able to produce and look forward to this summer and improving upon our previous works. Enjoy in HD!
Thanks for watching and we look forward to getting out with the camera and fly rods soon.
Memorial Day weekend is always hit or miss in Montana. Well this year it was a big ole swing and a miss. If there was one good thing about the crappy weather though it was the fact that we were forced to stay home and glue our butts in front of the computer and do some long awaited editing. Two eight hour days and I’m glad to say were finished with our first short fishing film of the year. We should have that up here later this week so be checking back and we’ll also be releasing our 4th and final installment of hunting episodes from 2011.
Well by Monday we had the itch to get back after it and we geared up for a long day doing something in the great outdoors of Montana. We drove up into the mountains and headed off on a gated logging road in search of bears. We were in new country and sort of looking for sign and hoping the area was a good one. We ended up making it up to the snow line which probably wasn’t the best hunting strategy following a snow storm in the mountains. I think the weather had pushed everything down towards the valley but I wanted to check out a new area. We found some sign and a pretty solid area that we’ll definitely go back to as soon as the weather warms up and the bears start moving up to higher country.
We headed back to the truck and figured we’d kill the afternoon with some fly fishing. The water is still high and off colored and even the creeks are tough fishing but soon enough there was some tug in the line and a little fishy in the net. I led things off with a solid string of whitefish and couldn’t seem to trick the old trout but Travis finally warmed up and landed a few nice browns.
We ventured back to the truck and got back into hunt mode to finish off the holiday. We once again found a gated road and headed off on the bikes. This spring weather makes for some on and off showers that come and go like a ____________ (insert your own lolz here). It made for some beautiful scenery or some very gay bears in the area.
The video below was basically how we felt about it.
After that we kept hiking for another mile and a half but didn’t see much other than a lone cow elk. We cruised back and got to the bikes and loaded up. Of course it was all downhill and when your on a bike you can cruise pretty fast. Well just our luck about two minutes into biking back down the mountain we round a bend at about 20mph and there’s a cinnamon black bear feeding up the road. He saw us and went scorching back into the woods. We tried tricking him into making a second appearance with the distress call but he was a little too smart for that trickery. Of course we had the pleasure of seeing another rainbow right afterwards.
We figured it would be pretty unreal if we were to find a bear at the end of the rainbow. Like all such dreams we didn’t find a bear at the end and had to call it a day.
Ice, elk, cutties
It’s spring break and of course the weather could be better. Yep it’s spring in Montana. Saturday we had a mellow day and went up to the Deep Creek Range to shoot the rifles.
We had some new loads to fire through the 6×284 and the .300 Win Mag. Both rifles were on point with some minor adjustments. Let’s say we’re very deadly at 300 and anything bigger than a coyote should be very scared at 500. If worst comes to worst the .300 will have to do some bear damage again this spring but let’s hope we can get up close and personal with the bows.
Today we decided to attempt to fish despite all the rivers spiking up in flows. We went up on the Bitteroot and found dirty, but fishable water. Travis has been tying up some streamers and he wanted to give them a go. About an hour into the day he hooked up on a nice brown with an freshly tied streamer.
I had a large rainbow snap a nymph off and then proceed to jump out of the water to taunt me. Travis lost a big one, and I missed a few nibbles on the streamer rig. We fished till about 4 and decided to call it a day. Unless your really itching to fish I’d stay home and do other things. Once the flows start to drop, which is a big if right now, the fishing should heat up again. Only saw 2 skwallas and there wasn’t much for any type of bug activity on top. We’ll be heading to the Mo tomorrow for a two day fish trip and I can already predict that there will be lots of photos and video to come from the trip. Check back soon and until then “carpe diem.”
After a long night of studying I was ready to get another exam over with and head to the river. After a solid twenty minutes I was the first one done and happy to be leaving campus for the day. The more and more I go to school the more I resent it due to the fact that I learn twice as much during during the course of my life then I’ll ever be able to attribute to the classroom. Just as we were about to leave the house we heard a knock on the door. A new lens for our camera had showed up and I was pretty amped. After some weekend eBay maneuvering I was able to get my hands on a new but MINT Nikkor lens. I was a little skeptical about buying glass over eBay, but it showed up basically in new condition and it shipped crazy quick.
Our lenses are of fair quality, but we knew an upgrade was in short order. I won’t get all techy on you but it’s sweet and we got to break it in right away. With the rivers dropping after a solid bump in the flows, we were hoping to catch some hungry fish off guard. Things started off slow, but as we got further and further from the access we started seeing a few hits. Travis quickly let a couple slip the hook, followed up by a couple white dogs and a small rainbow. I soon thereafter stepped up to the plate and started drifting a couple nymphs on a slow water seam. Two quick seams split and then came back together leaving a prime piece of real estate for a hungry trout. Sure enough a few short casts later I had a pretty solid fish fight going. A good brown came leaping out of the water multiple times and sealing his fate as another fish fallen victim to the internet.
We know there’s some large browns lurking in this river but haven’t caught anything worthy until today. We’re trying to wrap up filming for our still un-named film, but it seems like every time we go out we add to the bank of solid footy. This one should make the cut.
We kept working upstream and a few holes later my eye was caught by a slim slice of holding water. This was a quick run about 4 feet wide by 20 feet long and only about knee deep. First cast I hooked into a large and colorful spawing rainbow. As I lured him closer to the net he somehow managed to eat my nymph. “#$%%!” was the reaction from us both as we both yelled at each other. We fished well into the afternoon without much excitement. Travis was able to end the day with a fair rainbow that came from a small turbulent hole. The camera rolled once again as we reached the turning back point for the day.
We ended the day with a timelapse mission on the way home. Unfortunately, it was quite windy out and the wind wreaked havoc on that plan. The footage turned out all bumpy from the cameras being swayed by the wind. Oh well, we learned something at least. We got a few solid pictures anyway.
Another long week is ahead of us. We’ll have more product and gear showing up this week so I’m sure there will be more soon here at Montana Wild.
A fly trip to fish and film the Missouri river…
Winter?… What Winter? It’s pretty much spring here in the Western part of the state, and spring means one thing, some mean fishing to break in the new year. The plan was to cruise over to the Missouri River and catch some more nice fish to start off the year. We got up at 4:30 AM to get the boat and headed off down the highway headed east. Temperatures dipped to -8 degrees along the drive, and we were wondering if we may have underestimated Old Man Winter. Fortunately, as we wound down through the windy highway to Wolf Creek the temperature quickly rose into the mid 20s. We swung into Craig and stopped by the Headhunters fly shop. The guys were super nice and we picked up a few nymphs. The fly selection definitely can be drastically different at times compared to the river’s surrounding Missoula. If your lost just ask anyone at the Headhunters and they’ll put you on the right track.
After getting our shuttle taken care of with Mark, we got back in the truck and headed to the put-in at the dam. We quickly got to the put-in only to realize Travis had left our boots in the truck bed. They had been wet and had frozen on the way over. A mandatory beer delay had to take place while we did some thawing. We soon were in our waders and gearing up to another trio of Missoulian anglers. By the time we put the boat in there were about 7 other boats that had showed up for a day of fishing. Some of these fellows seemed to have a little attitude. As Jeff put it, “These dudes are mean muggin us.” Let’s just say we got the vibe that either these guys didn’t like us being there or they really must hate fly fishing. I can only account for the other boaters that day, but we all were pumped up to be getting on the river. We even left a PBR for the shuttle driver (we left a note telling him not to drink and drive).
Finally we were drifting down the river and fishing. Travis was rocking a Sow bug and a Lightning bug rig with some splitshot about 8′ deep. It was windy and on the cold side, but things soon heated up as Travis hooked into a solid rainbow. After a few missed netting attempts, Jeff was finally able to slide the black rubber net under our first fish of the day.
The Missouri River is known for it’s large fish size and entertaining wind. This respectable rainbow is extremely common and very often outdone proving this is an exceptional trout fishery and one everyone should fish at least once.
After that things started to pick up. Travis had multiple hookups on some large Whitefish and one smaller Brown trout. Jeff was getting itchy at the oars and soon the guys switched spots and we got back to fishing.
Finally we were catching up to some boats that had left earlier in the day. They were anchored up fishing some nice bends in the river. We stopped for lunch and then quickly drifted through in search of our own little slice of river that would hold a good number of hungry fish.
I immediately spotted a nice pool where a small branch of the Mo came back and met the main channel. We beached the boat and Jeff started casting. The pool was slow with a nice drop off providing some holding water for what appeared should be a good number of fish. After only a couple casts Jeff had a strong rainbow on the end of his line. I’m sure he told himself to “let er run!” Jeff had his first nice fish of the day just as another group of floaters drifted by.
We proceeded on as the sun was beginning to drift lower and lower. We continued to get into fish and we were more than happy with the day considering it was only the 4th of February. Travis and I have never fished this river before and Jeff has only a handful of times. Reading a river that large is definitely a different mindset. I’m glad we were able to read enough good water and get the fly in the right spot. Oh and it always helps when the fish cooperates.
The fishing only got better as the further the sun started to set over the western skies. Again this warm weather had some good things going for the river. There was a strong midge hatch from about 1-530 PM and we saw numerous fish hitting top water. With the fish feeding we were able to land another few good rainbows to add to the day’s list.
The river was in full form as we found good trout and good views throughout the whole float. I felt like I was capturing some good video of the day and vibes were high. As we neared the end of our day, Travis once again layed into another fun fighting rainbow. If you start it with a bang then ya better end it with one to.
We found our way to the boat ramp in Craig and got the raft loaded for the long ride home. Another solid day on the river in the books and many more on the way. Travis is working on editing all the footage together from that day and we hope to have that up for you guys by Friday. If your around Missoula we hope to see you at the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday night.
Its January 3rd, most people would be thinking about skiing, sledding, and yes maybe even some ice skating, but not us! We’re thinking about fishing! The weather has been so spring-like that we have the fly fishing itch once again. We met back up with Jeff and took off for the Bitteroot. Today was going to be more of a filming mission, since we managed to land some nice browns last week. We were greeted with frost and some colder temps on this particular morning. Jeff is sometimes a little ‘clumsy’ on his feet and he started out great for the first 30yds of wading into the river…….before he tripped and fell into the river! Haha I couldn’t believe it. Fortunately he didn’t get water in his waders and we had extra layers in the truck.
Zack was rocking some tandem nymphs (zebra midges are working well), while Jeff was throwing his prototype streamer we named the J-Pro (aka Jeff Prototype). As the story goes the J-Pro streamer came about as an accident. Jeff said he accidently tied this deadly combination together by accident one night and decided to fish it, and has been catching nice browns ever since.
The morning was starting off slow, and could have been due to the colder morning temperatures.
We saw hundreds of birds that morning and were constantly being watched by a couple of wary bald eagles. Ducks were constantly flying overhead, along with large groups of Canadian Geese.
Jeff made his way to some calm water and was stripping streamers off the opposite bank. The ‘J-Pro’ did the trick and Jeff hooked into a nice brown trout. At the time I was filming Zack and didn’t get the hookup/fight, but still managed some photos and small amount of footage.
The rest of the day was slow fishing. Zack ended the day with two nice hookups. He landed a nice rainbow, but I was way downriver filming Jeff at the time. That is the tough thing about trying to film two people. Sooner or later your going to miss shots of fish, but oh well. We had to end the day short and go to work. Have to make the money, or there’s no fishing. Fishing>Working. More updates soon, including our Missouri River trip!
High of 44degrees, variable winds, possible showers, time to dust off the fly gear! Zack and myself met up with our friend Jeff for an afternoon of winter fishing. Jeff had just two days ago pulled in a 20+in brown trout, so we had high hopes.
Jeff and Zack settled into two nice looking holes in the river. After about ten casts I saw a large brown trout come out of the water! Fish on! Zack had his first fish of 2012, and it put up one of the most amazing fights I’ve had the pleasure to witness. That brownie looked more like a dolphin coming out of the water than it did a trout! I managed to net the beast, but not before it snapped the tip of Zack’s fly rod.
With one fly rod down, Zack picked up the camera, while Jeff and myself searched for more fatties. Jeff hooked into a couple…… or should I say handful of fish, but couldn’t bring one to the net. I wasn’t having much luck, other than I was able to untangle more than one of my rats nests that I acquired. That’s a small success right?
I was determined to catch a fish. We hit hole after hole with not much success.
We got to a hole with an overhanging log, and after a couple attempts, I managed a perfect drift under the log. My indicator disappeared. I finally reeled in my first fish of the 2012 year! It was a 12in brown, but fought like every first fish of the year should (catching air, diving under logs, etc.). I passed the fly rod on to Zack, figuring he had the lucky touch that day. The next hole Zack fished he hooked into a MONSTER trout! The fish was on and off in a couple short tugs, but I got a glimpse of that trout for a split second, and let me tell you, it was a BEAST!
Zack pulled in a minnow rainbow a couple moments later and passed the St. Croix back to its master (me). I hooked up with my last fish of the day in a deep whirlpool. It turned out to be the first rainbow of the day.
Jeff was in overtime and had only a couple more holes to hook up with a fish for the day. As Zack and I were walking upstream Jeff starts whistlin and yellin. I ran downstream, crested some tall grass and saw that Jeff had an amazing rainbow in his net. Jeff had earned it, after hooking into so many fish earlier in the day.
What a great way to end a winter day in January. Today seemed alot more like spring fishing than it did winter fishing. With warm temperatures in the forecast, be looking for more fly fishing action from the Montana Wild Crew. Zack and I have been working around the clock on our 4 hunting episodes and giving a ‘facelift’ to Montana Wild. Expect BIG things in the near future.
Ok so what better way than to break in the new year than with the Best of 2011 and a broken rod on a fat brown. Well not much I’d say. Check out a compilation of our season here in our 2011 Fish Reel.
Oh and here’s my first fish of 2012.
Starting with a real healthy brown, healthy enough to snap the Echo Carbon. One fish down, one rod down. Oh well, I’ll take that any day. Were getting real excited to get into some good spring fishing and have the nice camera this go round. We’ll post up more about our first successful fishing day here soon.
Winter has been more of a cold, dry spring. Trying to chase wolves a day at a time without snow has been difficult. The more we drive the more the rivers have been enticing me to bust out the fly rod and get back to swinging flies. In pulling together footage for a fishing highlight reel for 2011 I came across this fish Travis caught last year and thought I’d throw an edit together to get stoked to be back on the rivers soon. Check it out and drop by soon for more video from 2011.
Yesterday was the end of the 2011 Montana archery season. I’m not too stoked on that. It’s going to be a quick transition from bow to rifle and this morning I drove north to pick up some rounds from my Dad for my 6×284. With only a few days to make sure the rifle is still on it was a task that had to be done. On the way home we decided to dust off the old fly rods and swing some streamers and nymphs along one of Montana’s many beautiful rivers.
The rivers this time of year are amazing. The fall colors pop and the fishing is usually superb. Today it started slow and never really got going to hot.
Travis hasn’t had the most amazing archery season so it was only fitting that he pulled in the big fish for the day. We finally found some slower water and got to searching the depths for an elusive brown.
Travis started it off with a small brown followed up with this fun sized rainbow.
Soon Travis was into another fish. This was a sizable brown but he was very camera shy. He slipped out of the net before the Nikon got a good look at him. Travis didn’t let it phase him. He kept dropping his flies into the right seams and loaded into an even bigger one.
Fall is a great time to catch those big browns that get ever so smart during the summer. Head out and try your luck. All it takes is one day on the river to make your season.
Soon we had to pack it up and head home to gather up our rifle gear and get to the range before sundown. Finally we got to the range and joined a full line looking to get their gear ready for the Montana big game rifle season.
My 6×284 was already pretty much dialed. I just tested some fresh rounds my dad had loaded and they flew great. Travis’ X-bolt 300 Win. Mag took a little finesse to get sighted in properly. After a few rounds and some scope adjustments we had her dialed in for opening weekend.
This next weekend we head to Havre, Montana to join up with our good friend Tyler McCann for some mule deer hunting. Let’s hope we see some big ones.
Not much new around the Montana Wild camp but we did head out to the river this morning. The fishing wasn’t great but I did catch a nice rainbow to start off the morning.
Only a few days till school and only 7 days till hunting season. We’ll be checking our game cameras once more before archery opens and hopefully we’ll have some action opening weekend.
Well the day’s are getting shorter and that means summer is slowly leaving us for fall. Travis and I have been trying to get in some fishing in cause there’s only 23 days till archery season! Stoked. Anyways we headed up to the Blackfoot to get some fishing in.
If your ever looking to take a guide out around Missoula be sure to check out Doug Jones @ Clear Creek Outfitters. He’s a good friend of ours and always knows the goods. He said that the spruce moths were coming off in the mornings and sure enough we showed up on the river around 8:30 and they were everywhere. The fish were keyed in on them and we were surrounded by rising fish for a good couple hours.
A size 12 caddis did the trick, and I finally got in some fun dry fly fishing. The small fish were everywhere and it was tough to keep them off your fly. A couple good fish missed my fly, and I didn’t catch any fatties. Overall it was a fun hatch to be able to fish.
Travis and I set off down river and I milked a couple more fish to the net before we headed home.
A couple days later we were headed up to Holland Lake which is north of Seeley Lake.
The lake is fed by a small river which has a great waterfall just a few thousand yards up from the edge of the lake. It’s an easy mile and a half hike in.
On the way down from the falls we got to see a small black bear and he let us get about 50 yards from him.
After that we made it back to the Dodge and has a great feast on our tailgate. We were eating subway and drinking some Bud Light Limes next to a family going on what looked like a week long backpack trip. I don’t think those kids made it more than a couple miles before they dropped to their knees screaming at their dad. We rooster tailed out of there and headed to the lodge to rent a canoe. After three hours of canoeing, fishing, and swimming we headed back towards Missoula. Of course we had to stop and throw a few flies on the way.
Overall it’s been a nice relaxing week and next Tuesday were headed to the South Fork of the Flathead to do some fishing.
Well its that time of year as we know it….. RUN OFF has begun as of this afternoon I believe. I was able to make one last fishing adventure on Saturday with Montana Wild Outdoors friends Aaron Bonsall, Ben Morin, and Stephen Anglin. We fished the Victor Braid and managed lots of whitefish, a beast of a cutbow, and a couple nice browns….. oh and a mystery fish that Aaron caught. Here’s a video of the last couple of weeks before runoff hit. Primarily filmed on the lower half of the Bitteroot and it was phenomenal. Check it out and be sure to bump the quality up to 720p!
“We were born to fish.”
Well the fishing as of late has been sporadic at best it seems. Last Thursday we went up Rock Creek about 12-13 miles to fish. The rainy weather and low cloud cover, matched up with the green moss and grass so well I could have sworn we were in a different country.
That day was productive though as I caught a fat 18″ rainbow out of a deep side hole and later on my brother caught his first fish off a dry of the season. Of course I always seem to catch the fatties when I’m alone and thus no pictures. We’ll learn. Soon enough it was dumping snow and hovering around freezing and this pushed us off the river.
The next day I made it out was Saturday and the weather was gorgeous.
Again the fishing was very slow. We nymphed for about 2-3 hours as there was no surface activity. Only one measly whitedog made it to the net but the sun felt amazing after the long winter. Our random spring weather made for up and down conditions and an almost non-existent skwalla hatch. With the warm weather this weekend the rivers are gonna spike and fishing may be on hold until runoff is over. That’s fine by me as I’ll be dusting off the bow or the .300 and seeing if I can’t find myself a bear. I’ll leave ya with a couple pictures of a bird I can’t quite identify but is badass nonetheless. Hawk or golden eagle you be the judge.
March 15, 2011
Well I had 3 exams this week but lets just say fishing is priority number one especially when it’s been this good. The water on the Blackfoot and the Clarkfork was a little muddy from lower elevation run off and so Rock Creek was an easy choice even with 3 people fishing.
After gearing up and getting to the river I quickly landed 3 fish out of the same hole and had one kick off. I caught a nice brown to start it off. I waded back out and BAM!! sure enough I had another fish on which turned out to be a respectable rainbow. I then proceded to catch a bull trout. Doesn’t get a whole lot better. I caught all three on a stonefly nymph (see image below) which I decided to declare my fly of the month considering I’ve caught fish with it on the Root, Rock Creek, Blackfoot, and Wild Horse Creek.
Ian and Travis both caught fish today also so overall it was a great day on the river. Check out some of our fish and Rock Creek in our edit below, enjoy!