Happy Earth Day!

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Living here in Montana, we are truly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful mountains, endless rivers and streams, and more wildlife than most people will ever know existed. The wild trout, high mountain lakes, pristine mountain ranges, national parks…I could go on and on… Montana has it all.

We’re not here to make a political statement, but simply to remind you to not take for granted what we have.  We are very blessed to live in such a nice part of the world.

Let’s take it upon us to clean up after ourselves, even if that sometimes means cleaning up after others.  Stash that extra tippet in your pocket instead of dropping it on the banks, pick up that beer can sitting in the parking lot of the fishing access site.  All the little things add up.

Here’s to you, Montana, and to you too, Earth!

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A frosty January morning on the Upper Madison River, Montana.

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Yellowstone River, Paradise Valley, Montana

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A perfect Gallatin River Rainbow Trout

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Just a 15 Minute Drive South of Bozeman, Montana.

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Three Dollar Bridge, Madison River, Montana

Don’t be THAT guy.

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TRE’s own, Rick Smith, snapped this photo the other day when he was out at the Lower Madison River.  This is the kind of stuff that makes me mad..

As fly fisherman, I see us all as sort of keepers of the river.  We try to not leave a trail behind us, pack out whatever we pack in, that sort of stuff… And I would say we do a pretty good job at it. Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it.  They throw big bonfires out at the river, get drunk and leave their trash behind.  They don’t understand how lucky we are to have beautiful, clean rivers, like the Lower Madison, so close to us and so easily accessible.

Thank you, Rick, for being gracious enough to clean up after these clowns.  Whatever you do, don’t be THAT guy.

Don't be THAT guy.

The trail of trash..what a beautiful sight…..

FRESH REPORTS!

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freshreports1 Fresh fishing reports up at The River’s Edge Online Fly Shop!  There have been changing conditions around our area over the past week, but there are always fishable options!

The Lower Madison River is pretty dirty, as are the Yellowstone and Gallatin Rivers.  The Lower Madison should return to good clarity soon enough.  As for the Gallatin and Yellowstone, we will just have to wait and see.  We’re not too far out from Spring Runoff, so if you want to fish these Freestone Rivers, you better do it soon!

The Missouri River continues to fish great!  The river is pretty high, about 8000cfs, so fishing out of a boat is probably the way to go.  Nymphing continues to be on fire, but there is also some opportunities for dry fly fishing with the Spring BWOs.

April is one of the best fishing months of the whole year!  Now is the time to dust off the fly rods, go buy your fishing license, and get out there!

Tight lines!

SHARKWAVE!

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A cool little short video from Scientific Anglers!  We’ve got our Shop wall and Online Store stocked full of the new Sharkwave fly line.

 

Here’s the rundown on the new line…

This spring, Scientific Anglers introduced the newest addition to their line of textured fly lines; the Sharkwave, the worlds first triple textured fly line. Sharkwave is a combination of the two textured lines Scientific Anglers has produced over the past few years, and a section of smooth fly line.

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Sharkwave Line Profile

Let’s go over the three different textures of lines and the significance of their location on the fly line…

  • The first 5-8 feet (*based off of the GPX taper) of the fly line, the front taper, is composed of Sharkskin textured line.  The Sharkskin texture is without a doubt the highest floating line on the market today, but some found it to be too abrasive on the hands.  SA realized that an entire fly line built of Sharkskin textured line was not necessary, so they only integrated the Sharkskin into the front taper, where the angler needs maximum “float-ability.”
  • When the front taper meets the belly, the line switches textures. The belly and rear taper are composed of the Mastery Textured fly line.  The Mastery Textured line is a slightly less aggressive texturing as compared to the Sharkskin…Think dimples on a golf ball.  The line is still a super high performance, high floating, and high line speed fly line, just a little less aggressive, making it perfect for this section of the fly line.
  • At the junction of the rear taper and the running line, there is a 36″ section of smooth Mastery series fly line, essentially an indication of the ending of the rear taper.  This is the point that is most efficient to recast from in many instances.
  • After the section of smooth, the line is finished up by a running line composed of the Mastery Textured line.  The reduced surface area and reduced friction of the Mastery Textured line creates a running line that really shoots out of the guides, letting the angler cast to those tough to reach locations.

All together, there is a whole lot of technology built into one fly line.  But don’t let that scare you, the technology is in all the right places, creating one heck of a fly line.  Like they say, its fun, fishy, and friction free!

Stop by either one of our shops to check them out, or feel free to ask us any questions here.

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Sharkwave GPX and Ultimate Trout Tapers

 

Fresh Fishing Reports

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freshreports

 

Fresh fishing reports up at theriversedge.com/fishing-report!

Our area rivers have been fishing great, but we don’t have long before Spring runoff conditions start to show up!  Now is a great time to get out and fish here in Montana!

The Lower Madison River has been fishing great, although recently there has been some poor visibility.  Likely a result of Ennis Lake turning over and sending some mud down the valley. The Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers have been fishing consistently well, with mostly nymphs on the menu.

Skwalas are pretty much done, but that doesn’t mean the dry fly fishing is over.  Spring Blue Winged Olives are starting to show themselves and the fish have noticed!  There was a fantastic BWO hatch on the Lower Madison River last weekend.

We have a couple more weeks before the rivers start to blow out, but that means a couple more weeks of great fly fishing!

 

6th Annual “Chica De Mayo” at The River’s Edge Fly Shop

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Don’t miss out on our favorite event of the year!  The Sixth Annual Chica De Mayo hosted by The River’s Edge Fly Shop and Simms Fishing!  This Ladies only party is on May 1st, out at River’s Edge West.  Last year we had a bunch of gals out here having a great time, talking about fishing, learning about fishing, and drinking some margaritas!

This year will be just as much fun!  We will be joined by guest speakers Diana Rudolph and Paige Johnson.  In addition to the free gift for the first 30 women that show up, we will have drinks, appetizers, and raffle prizes, as well as a Rowing For a Cure Pink Boat fundraiser raffle.

Ladies, we hope to see you there! Guys, tell all your lady friends that this is the party to be at!

ChicaDeMayo

Fishing Reports

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freshreports

Some fresh reports up at The River’s Edge – Fishing Reports.

Our area rivers have been fishing great lately.  It’s still mostly a nymphing game, but BWOs have started showing up on the Lower Madison River and Yellowstone River as well as Lower Gallatin River.  The dry fly fishing is going to really pick up over the next few weeks.

The Streamer Bite has been hot on the Gallatin River and Yellowstone River. Mostly smaller Sculpin patterns, but some bigger baitfish patterns have taken some large Browns recently on the Yellowstone.

We’ve heard some reports of Skwalas on the Jefferson River and Big Hole River, but not too much around here yet.  We typically don’t get the major hatch like the Bitterroot River, but there will be a few big bugs on the Madison River and Gallatin River.

Stop by either shop before heading out and we can point you in the right direction for flies and location.

2014 Simms Vapor Boots

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Are you an active fisherman doing a lot of hiking or walking between fishing spots? Maybe you just want a really comfortable pair of wading boots? The new Vapor Boots from Simms Fishing Products could be just the ticket for you.  Built off a hiking boot platform, these boots have built off of many great features you know and love with your comfortable old Simms wading boots, cut out any unnecessary weight, and added some new high-tech features such as the Simms VaporTread™ Vibram sole.

Simms 2014 Vapor Boot

Simms 2014 Vapor Boot

When we first heard about these new boots, about a year ago, we immediately thought they would be the perfect summer-time wading boot.  However, we’ve since realized the versatility that this boot brings to the table.  You can size it up to be worn with your waders for Fall, Winter, and Spring use, then when summer comes around, pick up a pair of Simms Guard Socks and wear them for summer wet wading.  If you’re looking for a pair of summer wet wading/hiking boots, buy them as you would your normal hiking boots.  Combo that with a pair of Simms Wading Socks and you’re in business for hiking around the Gallatin River on a beautiful July morning.

Breaking Down the VaporTread Sole:

The new sole that Simms built into the Vapor Boots is top notch.  Similar to the new RiverTread sole in the G3 Guide and G4 BOA Boots, the VaporTread has shown some major improvements on its predecessor (StreamTread).  By simply comparing the two, you’ll notice one difference right away: The 90 degree cuts of the rubber lugs vs. slanted cuts on the older boots.  One complaint of the older boots was the longevity of the sole grip.  Simms took this to heart and came out with the new cuts.  Because of the 90 degree angle, the lugs will essentially be self sharpening.  As they wear down, they will continue to stay sharp and provide maximum grip.  The sole features these lugs throughout the middle, with a slightly more aggressive “hiking style” tread on the outer edges of the sole.

VaporTread Sole

VaporTread Sole

The new lugs aren’t just the only cool new feature in the Vapor boots, but the next is something that is still relatively unknown to many consumers. It might sound like just a big word (one that our Simms Rep, Michael White, loves to use), but the term proprioception basically refers to your body’s perception of it’s location in space.  It’s one way for your brain to perceive the location and function of your limbs.  Your typical wading boot has a rigid material glued between the sole and the insole.  While this rigidity does help with support and durability of the boots, it also significantly reduces your ability to “feel” what your walking on.  Through extensive testing, Simms realized that there are only few select points on where a good boot needs the rigidity, the rest can be cut out.

To make a long story short, the new VaporTread sole is rigid on the outer edge and flexible in the middle and is noticeably lighter in weight.  This technology creates a “cupping” effect when the user is stepping on rocks and moving their way in and around the river.  The result is an increase in proprioception, and all around better balance and grip.

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Close Up of the Lugs

Final Answer:

If you haven’t noticed yet, we are sort of intrigued by the new Vapor Boots.  The new VaporTread sole is great.  The decreased weight and increased grip and “feel” is great.  The boots feel like a nicely broken-in hiking boot, but have the grip that only a pair of wading boots can bring.  Whether your plans include a 25-mile backpacking trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the “Bird Float” on the Yellowstone River, or walk/wading the Gallatin, we’re convinced that the new Simms Vapor Boots will be a great addition to your arsenal of gear.  If you’d like to check them out in person, come say hi at either one of our shops here in Bozeman.  You can also find them in our Online Store at The River’s Edge.

Vapor Boot

The Vapors

Four Tips To Make Your Gear Last Longer

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We all know that guy.  The guy that has a bunch of nice gear, but treats it like the month old garbage sitting in his garage.  Some may call that guy “The Ultimate Gear Tester”, but we call him “The Ultimate Gear Abuser”.  We all know that fly fishing gear ‘aint cheap, especially if quality gear is what you’re after.  When you spend a good amount of dough on good waders, good boots, good fly rods and reels, etc.., we don’t recommend ruining it within the first year or two. Here are a few tips to help make your waders, boots, and fly rods last a bit longer.

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If your fishing rig doesn’t look like this, you’re doing things right.

The first tip is about your waders and boots:

  • WASH OFF YOUR GEAR, LET IT HANG DRY.  – Not only is this good for our rivers, protecting them against aquatic invasive species, its also good for your boots and waders.  Spring time in MT can be a bit muddy at times.  On your way back to the truck after a great day of fishing you are likely to encounter some mud, grass, dirty, etc..  All it takes is a couple minutes after you get home, head over to the hose, spray them off, and hang them up in the garage.  Getting that mud and other unwanted clingers off of your waders and boots will be huge in increasing their longevity.  The drying factor is huge.  Mildew is the number one killer when it comes to waders.  After a day of fishing, the one thing you absolutely don’t want to do is wad up your waders and leave them in the car for the next six days in between fishing trips.  Not only will your car smell awful, your waders will simply not last.
  • ROLL, DON’T FOLD. – Assuming your waders are dry, your next move will be putting them back in your rig before departing for your next fishing trip.  If you have the space in your car, just lay them out as flat as possible or hang them from one of the clothes hangers.  However, if space is an issue, you may have to resort to space saving techniques.  Rolling your waders as opposed to folding them will do you wonders in making them last longer.  When you fold your waders, you are creating creases in the fabric.  Rolling them prevents this, and significantly reduces any cracks or leaks that could develop.

Next, lets move on to the fly rod:

  • DO NOT PUT YOUR ROD AWAY WET. – With the cork and nice wooden reel seats on today’s fly rods, the last thing you want is to put a wet rod into the rod case, essentially creating a oven to cook your fly rod in.  Once you zip up the rod tube the mildew creation has begun.  Your cork grip and reel seat will be happy with you if you dry them off, or let them dry before putting them away.  Speaking from experience, I once put my Winston BIIIx away after a rainy float on the Lower Madison.  I then proceeded to work for the next four days.  To make a long story short, the next time I went fishing, my Winston had to be put on the IR.  The reel seat swelled up from the water absorption and I couldn’t move the reel lock.  What a great way to break in an $800 fly rod.  After an overnight stay in a bag of fresh cat litter, the BIIIx had returned to its original state, but that is one mistake I have not made since.
  • BREAK DOWN AND UN-RIG YOUR RODS. — *A bit of a contradiction to the previous tip, but use some common sense..If your rod is dry, put it away.  If it’s wet, wipe off the top three sections, put them away, and let the butt section dry out for the afternoon, and then put it away as well.*  This is a great way to avoid a $60 repair fee.  I can’t tell you how many broken rods I’ve seen because the owner did not un-rig their rod before putting it in the case, or left it rigged up in their car.  Again, I may be speaking from personal experience here.

 

Hopefully these four tips will help with keep your gear happy with you.  A happy fly rod equals better casting, right?

Tying your Dropper Knot with Forceps?

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A little “guide tip” we learned a few years back.  

A common nymphing rig for us here in Montana is a two nymph, split shot, and indicator (Yes…I said indicator, not bobber..).  Most people know how to correctly tie the improved clinch knot (tippet to fly), but a good amount have not quite mastered the fly to tippet knot.  The concept is the same, you just tie a clinch knot around the bend of the hook, but a few years ago I learned a quicker, easier way to tie the clinch knot using my trusty forceps (or are they hemostats?)

Here is a easy to follow YouTube video I found from InTheRiffle.

Note:  This video shows the directions on how to tie tippet to fly.  In order to tie fly to tippet, you will use the same method, only you will create a loop without threading the tippet through the eye of the hook.

Here are a few pictures that may clear up the hook to tippet, dropper knot.

 

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The Tools.

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The Loop

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Insert Forceps, twist 5-6 times.

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Open forcep jaws, pinch tag end, and pull out through loop.

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Inset hook point through loop. Moisten loop, tighten down by pulling the long end of the tippet.

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Finished Product

 

Good luck with this one!