Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Missoula fly fishing and the horse it rode in on. Or, gone round the bend.

   Missoula Montana fly fishing could be good or bad right now. It's been too damn cold to tell. I did take a quick walk along the Clark Fork with the new dog yesterday and saw oodles of midges on the bank. I still wasn't inspired or hopeful. Go lace up those wading boots and let me know how it shakes out. I heard it was really great between Hamilton and Missoula on the Bitterroot, and there were no toobers. I'll be home with my slippers on next to a fire with a Lab curled up at my feet. 
   So, Ive had enough of this winter. I know I complain every February about how long winter gets, but good Lord! Bipedal mammals aren't meant for this sort of agony, unless you're an Eskimo happily waiting next to a narwhals only breathing hole.  I guess that could be deeply satisfying. I'd never post pictures on Instagram with my bloodied and lifeless narwhal, but I'd certainly tell all of my Eskimo pals down at the Igloo Saloon. They tend to be a jovial bunch. 
   So how about some of the usual b.s.? Snowpack looks about right. It was a touch low, but after the last two weeks we're good. The streamflows on the flowing streams looks about right. On the un-flowing streams it looks like it might be challenging.  
   Our guide "community" lost two really great humans this year. I'm not talking about guys who went out and got "real" jobs- anyone can do that. I'm talking about two men that made the world a better place to wake up to. Patch Godown and Curt McChesney both passed in the last two months, both way too soon.  Curt was the kind of guy who'd take the time for a conversation about whatever, help you load a boat at the ramp and would always greet you with a big smile. He was a tremendous guy. Shit, he taught me about chickens and how a dozen eggs were way cheaper at the store. I have a six chickens now thanks to Curt.  Patch was hilarious and always made you laugh. He was sensible, courteous, provocative and genuine. Let's leave it at that. My thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones. God bless both of these guys.  Google both of them. They meant so much to so many people. Don't forget them. 

The BEST day of 2018!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Please Patagonia, please make a boot foot wader!-Missoula, Montana fly fishing news

   The fly fishing season is just about to get cranked up here in Missoula, Montana.  I have spent a long winter in my pathetically messy and stinky fly-tying room, often looking longingly at my collection of broken gear. It seems I never have the time or memory to send broken rods or leaky waders back to the manufacturers for replacement. I mean, I never get to use this stuff anymore, anyway.  But alas,  last spring I did send a pair of Simms G3 boot foots back to Simms HQ and so began a long, long wait. After some time, I inquired as to the status of my waders and if the defectiveness would be cause for replacement.  If I sold my waders for that much coin, I too would be reluctant to warranty a defective product. But with some cajoling, Simms agreed to replace my waders! That, in and of itself, was a monumental victory.
   Wader season came and went. Then in August ( when you really don't need waders), I called Simms  and was told that it would be late September before my waders would be available. In my mind it was at least getting cold enough to wear waders, not that I received my replacements from Simms in September. In the interim, I had ordered a pair of Orvis Encounters with the attached boot. I gotta say that the entire Orvis experience was a good one. I wouldn't hesitate to buy their waders, ever.  In mid-October Simms shipped me a pair of waders, nearly 7 months after I had initially sent them my DEFECTIVE G3s. Now I don't know how you all feel about customer service, but this experience and process sure was one one poor example. My saga with Simms isn't unique, however.  Listen, if you're going to sell $800 dollar waders you should probably take care of the folks that buy them.
   So, Patagonia fly fishing product development people, PLEASE make a boot foot wader. Orvis too, make your Silver Sonics with a boot foot. We would all buy a pair from you guys vs. the "other guys".
   Remember this:
"Do you validate?" Epic.
Thank me later.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing Report-2/26-Crushed or cubed?

Ooooh, so wintery.

Well, we've been waiting and wiring and waiting for this weather to break. It snowed again last night and it all seems so endless.
Here's a snowpack update: WOW! Snowpack S/W equivalency

and here are streamflows:


So, the best we can hope for is a quick, warm early-March spring and blow all of this low-level snow out. That, or we face another crappity-crap skwala event like last spring.

If I wanted to fish this week, I would go to Rock Creek, Warm Springs or the Missouri. I would bet that the same flies that you would use in January will work in February.