March on the Missouri

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Recently I’ve had the chance to rally over the continental divide to chase some Missouri River trout with some awesome people. Until this year i have taken the drive to fish this river, but with a chance to catch some really rice Rainbow’s i decided to take the trip to the river that is known as ” The Champagne of Dry Fly Fishing”.

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Max Mclaughlin lets go of a Missouri River Bow

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Running into your buds from Rugged Creek and Stripin’ Fly Wear is always a rad time. Dan Short and Dave Hartman gettin ready for battle.

These where the first times for me to fish the Missouri. Its well known that this river is known for its dry fly fishing, with thousands of trout per mile. Its been a little cold for the bugs to start hatching, but the trout always have to eat. Even though looking at an indicator can get boring at times, you cant argue that nymphing gets it done.

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Scud eater

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Meaty Bows on the MO

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Old Man Bradford and a Football

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Spring time is lookin good

Its beginning to look a lot more like spring here in Western Montana, with temperatures in the 40′s and creeping into the 50′s this week, which means dry fly season is almost upon us again! Hopefully a trip back over to the Missouri is in the works soon, which will hopefully lead to bugs hatching and their trout counter parts sipping dry flies off the surface.

Frozen Feet

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Winter…. its cold, cruel grip has sunk its fangs deep as of lately. That doesn’t mean that you cant get out and enjoy some winter fly fishing. The sun’s been out for the past couple of weeks, which has gotten johnny trout out feeding, which has been pretty awesome for January, and recovering from a knee surgery in September, this weather has made not being able to snowboard, well, tolerable.

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Wyatt checks out Johnny Brown while Zack Orth flings some bugs

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You have to be patient when your out in the winter. One day you can seem to be ripping fish out of every hole you fish, and the next you may not even get a single tap, except for the bottom. If your patient enough though, you can really hook into some great fish.

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With snow and colder temperatures hitting Montana the trout are going to be back in their slow, winter mode for the time being. February is near, which will bring more constant warmer temperatures, and also steelheading in the near future…Here are some photos from the past couple of weeks for your eyeballs to enjoy!

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Business Casual Strippin’ Streamers in a Snow Storm

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Damsel flies on my mind

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With winter in full swing in Montana, Fly Fishing has been hit or miss. Some days are great out on the river bringing in tons of fish, making freezing your bum off worth the effort, while other days are full of slushy rivers, frozen feet and guides so clogged up with ice that your line wont even move through them. The temperature has been creeping up into the 40′s as of lately, the fish have been getting hungry (finally) but not hungry enough for some epic, lights out fishing that i have been anticipating ever since the first freeze. This got me thinking and missing about a day, mid summer of last year with a group of friends throwing damsel flies for hungry Rainbow Trout.

What do you get when you throw 6 dudes, 1 dog and 60 beers into a boat and go rally for some trout?? A hell of a good time that’s what.

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We started the day pretty late i remember, not getting on the water till pretty late in the day, like 1 or so. we were really trying to figure out what these trout were gonna eat.  This was my first time really throwing flies for still water trout, and i had not idea what to expect. I started the day out with this nice little rainbow, followed by a little brook trout, both on the damsel fly.

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The fly that seemed to be working was a blue damsel fly, and nothing was cooler than seeing these trout smash a big dragon fly. It was pretty rad smashing beers and more trout under the big sky sun, and i really cant wait for summer to get back! The next few weeks should begin to warm up a little bit turning the trout on, and the fishing is gonna  get better with time. Hungry trout are on the horizon.

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Haoli boi Kyle McCann hooked up

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Big Rainbows under the big sky

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I was pretty hyped, as well as sun burnt

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Buds under Big, Blue Skies chasing Johnny Boss

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What is the best way to end a day on the water with your buds? A giant pile of fried chicken of course.

November days…

School has been hitting hard, with the last days of the semester in view i FINALLY have some time to update HOOKJAW. Its been getting cold, old man winter is creeping up and the mountains have started to accumulate some snow…not enough to get in the “White Room” yet, but some snow is here. The fishing has been on and off, with some days producing killer fishing and some days bring not even a nibble. Here are some pictures of the last couple of months for your faces to enjoy!

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Oh the Red Worm

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Rainbows, Rainbows, Rainbows

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Brandon Smith, Bedlar Bugger enthusiast and Lover of Brown Trout

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Mayflies in the snow

Summers Coming to an End…

With cooler days on the way it only means that summer is coming to an end. It also means that Fall, and the fall spawning season is on the way! i couldn’t be more excited for the fall, but summer’s end is always bitter sweet. Here are some photos from the past summer, and here’s to some kick ass fall fishing!

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Big Trout Candy

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Copper John Piercings are so hot right now. (I caught this fish and found the fly in him!)

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Tons of Cutthroat Trout in the net all summer long

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Trophy Mountain Whitey

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Secret Bull Trout Spot (All Bullies!)

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Exploring has its benefits

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One of the reasons summer is so rad, high mountain stream fishing with your buds (Business Casual with awesome cutty)

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Norther Pike Minnows eat streamers too

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Happiness and Beauty

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The Johnny Boss Hog of the summer, a 26″ Bull Trout

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This is what fly fishing is about, exploring new waters and seeing amazing things.

Montana Gold

HOLY! its been a while…sorry about that people! Its been a summer filled with beers, floats, parties, swimming amongst other things…. what can i say a guys been busy!

Aside from  not posting on here, I’ve been fishing…a lot. When all the rivers got too low to fish for trout, We decided to go give something new a try…time to go Carpin!

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Jordan and i decided it would be fun/challenging to go give these guys a try. This was a first time for both of us so we didn’t know what to expect. We Loaded up our gear, got some food and headed out to the closest spot to go fishing for carp, which is two hours away on the Missouri River.

The tools of the trade (i think)

The tools of the trade (i think)

We geared up, not really knowing what to expect. I decided to throw a crayfish imitation, while Jordan put something between a leech and a worm on…It was time to go test the water (literally).

Fresh water flats fishing

Fresh water flats fishing

I have yet to go try any kind of saltwater fly fishing…its definitely on the bucket list. That being said, if you want a cheap, challenging and fun way to come as close to saltwater flats fishing, i suggest you go try “freshwater flats” fishing for these guys.

The first night we went “scouting” the flats of Canyon ferry Reservoir looking for fish “Tailing” like a bone fish would be. We ended up running into fish, hooked into a couple bug nothing to hand. We realized what we where actually in for. If i learned anything from fly fishing for carp its this: 

1: You have to be a Ninja to catch these fish                                                                             

If you think that you can tromp up on a feeding carp, cast to him a dozen times and hook into one you are wrong. We would get 30 to 40 feet away from some of these fish, and they would spook, creating a wake big enough to surf on. One to three Pin point casts and Ninja like stealth is the name of the game.

2. Patience, Patience, Patience

Being mostly a trout fisherman, you can almost always find the Mountain Whitefish to eat a red copper john if Johnny Trout isn’t hungry. With carp though, you have to  be patient. You will spook fish just getting line out of your reel to cast. You will get frustrated, and you may or may not flip off and curse at a fish (or multiple fish)that you hook into. I know i did.

If your can do these two things, your chances on catching one on the fly are greatly increased. 

The next morning, i woke up before Jordan to go explore some back sloughs of the Mo’. after a couple miss fires, i hooked into this guy, and to say it was awesome is a understatement.

First carp on the fly

First carp on the fly

Not long after, i called Jordan, telling him to get his ass outa bed and come catch some fish! About an hour later, He was holding his first carp on the fly as well!

One Handed

One Handed

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Back out on the flats, Jordan hooked into this awesome mirror carp!

Muddy big gut

Muddy big gut

Carp fishing might be the hardest, most frustrating fishing i have ever done, but the reward is worth every ounce of frustration. I really wish there were carp closer to home, because i wanna go hike muddy waters and back slough, looking for tailing carp. You can bet i will be back doing at this soon enough.