Terrestrials | Potato Chips for Trout

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terrestrials

It’s mid-August. The sun is high, the days are long, and the land-dwelling insects are at the peak of their short-lived summer lives. 

Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, and Crickets. They’re all an essential part of Mr. Trout’s diet. 

Fly fishing during August can be difficult at times. In that bright sun, fish can be tough to come by at times. There are periods during the day however, when the fish are actively feeding, and a well presented Ant pattern fits nicely on their lunch menu. 

The Upper Madison River is a top notch fishery for Terrestrials. As with the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and many other local rivers and streams.

Flying Ants are starting to show up more and more each day on the Upper Madison River, meaning the trout are starting to look for them. When headed up to the upper stretches of the river, $3 Bridge area, don’t leave home without a nice selection of both black and cinnamon colored ant patterns. We have quite a few, which you can see above, so swing by and stock up. An ant pattern is often the ticket when trying to fool a picky trout. Another great combo is to fish a Hopper with an Ant Pattern trailing off the back. You can also fish a sunken ant (ant pattern with no float treatment) off the back of your hopper. 

Beetles are a standard Summer pattern. Another fly that you should always keep a few of in your dry fly box. There aren’t many trout that can pass up a well presented beetle fly. These crunchy treats are simply irresistible for many fish in our area, and a favorite among the Upper Madison River Rainbow population.

Hopper fishing is really picking up in the area. Most of the fields have been cut down now, so the action is getting hotter and hotter. Concentrate your efforts on Gallatin River, Yellowstone River, and Upper Madison River near Ennis. Other local rivers such as the Stillwater, Boulder, and Ruby offer excellent Hopper fishing.

Here are a couple tips for Terrestrial fishing in August:

WORK THE BANKS:

This is key when terrestrial fishing. Not to say you can’t pick up fish in the middle,  because you certainly can, however most of your action will be concentrated towards the banks of the river. When you think about it, the naturals are almost always falling off the rocks and sticks and trees guarding the edges of the river. The fish know it’s happening, so they move in a little closer to the banks, ready to pick off anything that drops in. 

TWITCH, BUT TWITCH CORRECTLY:

There is a right way to twitch and add action to a dry fly. There is also a wrong way. We see the wrong way a lot. Think “struggle.” The bug is not just playing and swimming around in the water. It is trying to escape. Fluttering, skittering, popping, flailing. Those are what get the trout’s attention. A couple quick twitches, to simulate a struggling bug, then a complete dead drift is my favorite way to fish Hoppers.

DON’T FORGET THE ATTRACTORS:

When in doubt, bust out the attractors. Humpies, Trudes, Wulffs, PMXs. A “Royal” fly makes for a great Ant pattern, Humpies are beetle-ish, and the mighty PMX is an excellent Hopper pattern. 

Terrestrial fishing can be one of the funnest fishing opportunities of the season! Aggressive takes, big fish, and a lot of visual satisfaction. It’s a limited season, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can! 

We’ve got a lot of great patterns to cover all the Terrestrial fishing! We’ve got hoppers, ants, beetles, crickets, and many other patterns that are crossovers. If you’re looking for up-to-date fishing reports from local rivers such as the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin, check out our Online Fishing Reports.

Stop by either shop and say hi! We’re on Summer Hours still, 7:30-ish AM – 6:00 PM, Monday-Sunday. We’ve got you taken care of for all your fly, gear, and advice needs. If you’re an online shopper, check out our Online Fly Shop. We have all the best gear from Simms, Winston Fly Rods, Sage Fly Rods, and Fishpond. FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $50.00.

August is a great time to escape the heat of your Hometown and plan a Montana Vacation! We have Guide Trip openings for the rest of the month and beyond, so give us a call and we’ll get you well on your way to catching some wild Montana trout. 

 

Fishing Reports | August 12th, 2014

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Fresh Fishing Reports

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It looks like the weather is cooling down a bit, so we should see fishing continue to improve. The rivers have cleared up after the recent rainstorms, however keep a watchful eye on the Streamflow Reports for changing conditions with the afternoon thundershowers forecasted.

It looks like we could be in for some good rain here in Bozeman tonight, so we’ll have to wait and see what the rivers do tomorrow.

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If we hear of any mud, we will let you guys know as soon as possible!

For the most up-to-date reports from the SW Montana Region, check our Fishing Reports. You can also sign up for our email list, which will deliver you fishing reports via email.

Gallatin River Updates

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The Gallatin was looking a little better down at Shed’s Bridge at lunch time. I would say it is certainly fishable, and is likely fishing very well.

Gallatin River Fishing Report

Don’t hesitate to bust out the nymph rig and dredge some of the deeper runs with stonefly nymphs and caddis pupa. You’ll get ‘em. Dry fly action should be picking up as well as the river continues to clear. Hoppers are getting smashed down here in the valley. Get them on the banks and get your set arm ready. Spruce Moths up the Canyon are the name of the game, as well as Attractor Dries.

Here are a couple patterns I would recommend for this afternoon on the Gallatin:

Good luck if you get out! If you encounter clear water or dirty water, great fishing or poor fishing, give us a call and let us know. As much as we wish we could fish every day, we cant. So we fish vicariously through all of you. Tight lines!

Fishing Reports | August 9th, 2014

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Fresh Fishing Reports

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Check out our Fishing Reports page on the website for the most up-to-date fishing reports online. We’ll keep you updated on current conditions from the Gallatin, Yellowstone, Madison, and Missouri Rivers, as well as information on the local Spring Creeks.

We’re seeing some varying river conditions after the evening rainstorms the past few days. The Yellowstone and Gallatin rivers currently have some mud moving down, but give us a call before you head out and we’ll let you know if we hear of anything different. There are plenty of other great fishable options.

Both shops are open at 7:30 AM-6:00 PM Daily, so swing in and stock up on great gear, the best fly selection, and up-to-date information on river conditions.

 

Good luck if you get out this weekend!

 

Sage Accel and Salt Fly Rods | Now Available

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We just received our shipment of the new Sage fly rods!  We’re excited about both of the new rods, and we’re looking forward to getting to fish them. We went out in the grass today and did a little casting, and both the Accel and the Salt perform excellently.

Here is a quick little review of what we thought, upon first casts. We will get out and fish these soon and get you a full review from the river.

The Accel:

The Accel was created as a replacement for the VXP, however I feel it is a much improved rod. The VXP was fairly fast, had a good feel, but the only draw back was the weight. When compared to a Sage ONE, there was a clear difference. The VXP felt much heavier.

When I set up the Accel, there was a noticeable difference in weight. This rod is built with Sage’s Generation 5 technology, with a lot of trickle-down features from their top-of-the-line Konnetic technology. Generation 5 technology allows Sage to create a lighter, yet stronger rod blank, and that is exactly what they did with the Accel.

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I lined the 590-4 Accel with a Scientific Anglers WF5F GPX Taper. It casted very nicely. The rod was very responsive, making it easy to feel the load and throw a nice tight loop. The 5-weight model would make for an excellent mid-priced dry fly rod. The action was a mid-fast, a little deeper loading than the VXP.

Next I set up the 790-4 Accel with a Scientific Anglers WF7F GPX Taper. Again, a great casting rod and perfect for big nymph rigs and big streamers. In my streamer arsenal, I prefer a deeper flexing rod. Too many false casts with a 6 inch streamer can get dangerous in a hurry. Speaking from experience, the last thing you want is a 2/0 hook in the back of your head. So, with that in mind, a rod that loads deep makes it not necessary for multiple false casts. Load it with a double haul and shoot that baby back to the bank ASAP.

The Salt:

The Salt is replacing the Xi3 Saltwater fly rod from Sage. The Salt is a complete workhorse. It’s fast, meant for big flies, big fish, and/or big wind. Ranging in size from a 590-4 to a 1690-4. The Salt is a quick loading rod, built for rapid re-firing when that Permit is coming in hot. According to Sage, the Salt is the first ever Saltwater Action Rod.

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The 5-weight might seem a bit odd in a saltwater series of rods, however it would make an excellent nymph, hopper, and small streamer rod. It could also be used for small Bonefish. Moving up, the six and seven are perfect for nymphs, streamers, and more small-mid sized bonefish. The 8-wt. is a great all around saltwater Rod. Big bones, small Tarpon, and even Permit. This rod will get the job done. When you continue moving up, you get into the Tarpon sizes, then to the Bluewater/Shark/GT rods. No matter what you’re chasing in the saltwater, there is likely a Sage Salt rod for the job.

I casted the 890-4 Salt with a WF8F Scientific Anglers GPX Taper.  There was a noticeable difference when compared to the Xi3. Konnetic Technology allowed Sage to reduce the weight significantly in the new Salt, while still creating a extremely powerful rod, capable of turning even the biggest of fish. At short range, the Salt loaded fast and I was still able to present a cast at 15-25 feet with plenty of feel…a common problem with most saltwater rods. From there, I ripped off about 35 feet of line and was able to shoot all of it with just one cast. Going from 25 to 60 feet in one cast is a big advantage in the world of saltwater fly fishing.

Here is a cool video from Sage Fly Rods about their new technology and the new rods. Sage is always raising the bar when it comes to high performance fly rods.

Our rod racks are full here at The River’s Edge! We’ve got rods from Sage, Winston, Scott, and St. Croix.  Stop by, grab a quiver, go cast them in the grass, and see what you think.

Mud Plug Moving Down the Yellowstone?

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Judging by the charts this morning, it would appear that we may see a mud plug moving down the Yellowstone River soon.

Here is the USGS Streamflow Chart for the Lamar River, a major feeder stream.

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The Lamar took a pretty big spike early this morning, and is on the way back down currently.  If there is mud, we should see it around Corwin Springs shortly, then it will continue to move down the valley throughout the day. You should be fine anywhere in the lower valley today, and definitely below Livingston.

Fishing has been good on the Yellowstone!  The Hopper bite is heating up, Nocturnal Stonefly dries are getting fish in the early mornings and evenings, and nymphing is getting anglers into plenty of Native Whitefish and some really nice trout.  Don’t be afraid to throw the big streamer either. There are some whales in that river, just waiting for their next big meal. Feed ‘em!

Here is a quick screenshot from the CoolWorks Webcam this morning.  The ‘Stone is still looking good. We’ll keep you updated.

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Fishing Reports!

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Want to read up on what’s happening in the local rivers?

Be sure to check out our FISHING REPORTS.

We’ll keep you updated with reports from the Yellowstone, Gallatin, Lower and Upper Madison, and Missouri Rivers, as well as the local Spring Creeks.

Fishing has been great lately! Whether you are a dry fly, nymph, or streamer fisherman, there is a time and a place for you to get out and enjoy some Montana fly fishing!  

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Goodbye July, Hello Hoppers

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Another July is in the books here at The River’s Edge. That makes two for River’s Edge West and 31 for River’s Edge 7th Ave!

Many trout were hooked, many were landed, and many great experiences were had on the river!

And if you thought July was good, just wait until you try August. One word for the month…. Hoppers. Trout love grasshoppers, therefore, we love grasshoppers. A nice crunchy meal, full of protein, fun to fish…just hit the banks and get your set arm ready.

These are some of our favorite Hopper patterns in the bins.

We’ve got two stores full of Hoppers and other go-to August fly patterns. Nymphs, dries, and streamers…you name it. We still have a few openings for Guided Fishing Trips in the next month, so be sure to call ahead if you’re looking to get out and experience one of our local rivers with our expert guides.

For more information on Guided Fly Fishing Trips, visit here.

The sun is high and warm, the fish are hungry, and the bugs are plentiful! We’ll see you in August!

 

Gallatin River Fishing Report

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The Gallatin River has been fishing excellent as of late. This is a great place to head out after work for a couple hours and get your evening fish craving taken care of. We love the Gallatin. It’s practically in our backyard. Lots of fish. Opportunistic fish. Hungry fish.

The Canyon seems to be fishing a little bit better than the Valley currently…likely due to cooler water temps. Fish like it cool and clean. When driving South, you will notice that there is no shortage of pullouts and places to fish. Access is another reason we love the Gallatin. Find yourself a pullout with no one else in it, and just go explore the water. You will likely find some big boulder gardens, riffle-y water, and a lot of good pocket water for trout to hangout in.

As far as fly selection goes, the Gallatin is not too difficult. Here are some of our favorites:

DRIES

As far as hatches go, currently PMDs and Caddis are the main ones. PMDs during the morning and afternoon, and Caddis in the evenings. We should start seeing some Spruce Moths (Large Caddis, #10) fluttering around in the evenings any day now. Nocturnal Stoneflies are also crawling around, emerging at night. If you get out early, the fish will eat a bigger (#8-12) Stonefly dry no problem. Down in the Valley, we could start to see Tricos showing up, and the Hopper/Ant/Beetle bite should really start turning on.

  • Royal Trude #12-16
  • Lime Trude #12-16
  • Hare’s Ear Trude #12-14
  • Royal Wulff #12-16
  • H&L Variant #14-16
  • Para Madam X #8-10
  • EZ Caddis #16-18
  • Para Caddis #14-16
  • X Caddis #14-18
  • Chubby Chernobyl #8-12
  • JC Special #10-12
  • Snowshoe Spruce Moth #10-14
  • Almost Dun PMD #16-18
  • Para PMD #16-18
  • Sparkle Flag PMD #18
  • Trico Dun #18-20

 

NYMPHS

Nymph fishing is good year round on the Gallatin. I’m not sure that there is a day in the year, besides a couple during runoff that you can’t get a fish to eat a Stonefly nymph. Besides the Stone, the Gallatin is a great place to try your flashy attractors, worms, small beadheads, and bigger buggers. Get ‘em on the bottom and run ‘em through the deep pools and the shallow riffles.

  • Delekta’s McGolden #10
  • Tungsten Terminator #10-12
  • Rubber Legs #6-12
  • Girdle Bugger #6-8
  • Dirty Bird Hare’s Ear #10-16
  • Yuk Bug #6
  • Goomie Worm #8
  • Jim Dandy Worm #12
  • Prince Nymph #10-18
  • Super Flash Pheasant Tail #14-16
  • Lucent Prince #14
  • Copper John #12-18
  • Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear #12-16
  • Air Head Soft Hackle #16
  • Glint Nymph #14
  • Rubber Leg Wooly Bugger #6

 

STREAMERS

A favorite summer activity of mine is stripping streamers in the Gallatin. For this river, I usually bust out the smaller streamers. Wooly Buggers, Crystal Buggers, Sculpins, and Zonkers. They all seem to get the job done, and every now and again I run into some bigger fish.

  • Crystal Bugger #4
  • Burgin Bugger #2
  • Kreelex #4
  • Bow River Bugger #2-6
  • Sculpzilla #4
  • Sparkle Minnow #4
  • Bighorn Bugger/JJ Special #4-6
  • Zonker #4-6
  • RL Fire Tiger Bugger #4
  • Catch Em All #4
  • Circus Peanut #2
  • Sex Dungeon #2
  • Gonga #4
  • Smoke ‘N Mirrors #2-2/0

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If you’re lucky enough to get out and fish this weekend, have fun! To see more reports from area rivers, visit our Fishing Reports Page.

If you need any of the flies listed above, we got ‘em. We’ve also received a ton of great new gear from Simms Fishing Product, so stop by sometime and check it out! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Tight Lines!

Montana | The Wild Trout Factor

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It’s been roughly 40 years now. Forty years since Montana quit stocking river and streams that supported a wild trout population. Let’s look back at what made it that way..

Before about 1968, scientists and biologists more or less accepted the fact that stocking of the streams was going to help increase trout population, increase size of trout and really overall, increase the success of fisherman leading to increased tourism. Every year, Varney Fishing Access on the Madison River was stocked with anywhere from 10,000-15,000 catchable trout. In 1966, Dick Vincent was hired on by MT FWP to help develop new techniques for monitoring trout populations. His first couple years were spent creating new electroshocking equipment for the department. With the new and more accurate equipment, FWP was able to observe and track trout populations with much more detail. Time was spent shocking and collecting data from both Varney Bridge, which was stocked annually, and below Ennis Lake, which was not being stocked at the time. They were surprised at the data.

With increased flows out of both Hebgen and Ennis dams, the biologists were sure that fish numbers would increase in both sections.  They were wrong. In fact, fish numbers did increase in the Norris section of river, however contrary to their previous thoughts, numbers did not improve in the Varney section.

In 1969, Vincent proposed the plan of cutting all stocking efforts on the Varney section of the Madison River, while stocking a tributary in Ennis called O’Dell Creek, which had never seen stocked fish before. According to Vincent, there were not a lot of people that were happy about his plan. Many thought that cutting the stocking of fish in the Madison would ruin the trout population, and additionally ruin the fisherman traffic and business. If it wasn’t for the many complaints the FWP department was receiving on poor trout fishing, and smaller sized trout, Vincent’s plan would have likely never made it through.

In 1970, with the backing of Fisheries Chief, Art Whitney, Vincent’s plan was able to begin. Fast forward a couple years and what do you think happened? Fish number in O’Dell Creek dwindled, showing data that was half of before stocking efforts began. And the Varney stretch? By the time 1974 rolled around, nearly four years after the study began, the number of wild trout, 10″ or larger had increase by 213%.

In 1973, at the official end of the study, the department studied the data, and it was obvious what needed to happen. A significant change to the stocking policy was imminent. By the end of 1973, the FWP had agreed to haulting all stocking of trout in Montana streams and rivers.

To read the full article from FWP’s interview with Dick Vincent can be read HERE.

Here we are now…wild trout numbers are flourishing in many places. The Missouri river, with nearly 6,000 wild trout per mile is one of the best fisheries in the country. The Gallatin…nearly 1,500 wild fish per mile.

Trout numbers are good, but there is always room for improvement. Moving forward, if we, all of us, don’t continue furthered efforts of trout population management and river conservation, we could reverse the effect of all of Vincent’s efforts. It’s very much up to us now. Wild trout need a cold, clear river to thrive in. Catch and release practices are good, but Catch and Release live practices are sometimes hard to find. If you love them, like we all do, take care of the trout. They deserve it. Take care of the rivers too. Let’s clean up after ourselves.  I don’t think the slogan “leave it as you found it” applies any more. Better would be “leave it better than when you found it.”

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