March 2008

Many of the fly fishing message boards have fly tying sections and I have always wondered wether it was worth participating in a swap of flies with other members of the forums. I finally got off my butt and decided to give it a try. The Rocky Mountain Fly board started a Freestone Swap at the start of the new year. Each tier was to provide two of their favorite fly patterns for each tier involved in the swap. I quickly churned out 28 flies for the swap and left them on the side of my tying bench for the next two months. Luckily I remebered the flies just before the deadline and sent them along to the swap leader. He distributed the flies and returned the flies from all the tiers. I was impressed with the quality and the wide variety of patterns that came back to me in the mail. I had a great time participating and I am sure I will have to do this again in the near future. Here is a taste of what came from the Rocky Mountain Fly Forum’s 2008 Freestone Fly Swap. Enjoy!!!!

As I opened up the Bozeman Daily Comical this week to see the new featured outdoor writer it was obvious that this week would continue on the downward spiral that the first half of the week has been. I am not sure if it was Dave’s decision to slow down on the articles for the paper or the papers decision but either way I was not as excited to look at the outdoors section of the paper knowing that Dave was not going to be writing and that the dreaded Parker would have the headline. As I expected Parker wrote and article complaining about how people wear their hats and that his reasons for wearing a hat were the only one that mattered. I don’t know how much more time I will spend reading the Comical’s outdoor section if the rants and prejudices of Parker’s continue to grace the headlines.

After reading through the Comical I set out to check on other papers from around the area. The only paper that had a fishing article was the Billings Gazette and the Denver Post. The Gazette article was about the ongoing controversy between Montana and Wyoming over water in Yellowtail Reservoir. The fight has been on because Montana wants in stream flows for the valuable fishery on the Bighorn River and Wyoming wants the water left in the lake so that the boat ramp at the upper end of the lake can be used. The only problem with Wyoming’s claim is that even when the lake is at full pool there is still no one there to use the ramps, except for a few folks from Montana. At least the tone of the article was about the controversy probably being solved for the time being by mother nature who has put copious amounts of water in the mountains that will make it’s way to the lake this year and keep both sides happy.

The Denver Post article was about a broken pipe at Spinney Mountain Reservoir and how it was going to affect the spawning of Rainbows and Cutthroats in the Dream Stream this year. A broken pipe that takes water to the city of Aurora is preventing them from releasing water from the reservoir and the flow will be low, even with a lot of snow pack in the mountains. A couple of anglers were quoted and they were disappointed they would have fewer spawners to harass with the lower flows. One guy was even quoted as saying he was disappointed he might not get to relive his epic day last year when he caught 7 trout over ten pounds, most of which were probably spawners from Elevenmile Reservoir. It’s too bad that the pipe isn’t broken every year so that these guys leave the spawners alone. I really feel for poor Landon Mayer, he will have to find another place to harass spawners for his hero shot’s on next years magazine covers.

Speaking of Landon, I was thumbing through the newest issue of Fly Fisherman and he was on the cover holding a huge cutthroat from the Dream Stream. I looked at the inside cover to see the info on the shot and to make sure it was the Dream Stream. I did find the caption interesting due to the fact that the photo was taken of Landon and he also took credit for taking the picture as well. I am not sure how one accomplishes this feat, but I guess you could set up the camera on a tripod, guess on the focus and framing of the shot and then snap the photo with a remote for the shutter. I don’t get this guy and his need to become famous.

Bozeman Daily Comical: Dave Mckee’s new adventure.

This weeks article by our own beloved Dave Mckee points out many of the different subjects he has covered over his ten year run of writing outdoor articles for the paper. Dave has been a great part of the paper and his articles always bring a dose of humor to all to often serious subjects. He is moving forward and will only be writing a fly of the week article to make way for another writers article in the outdoor section of the paper. I personally am not looking forward to hearing the rants and bitterness that Parker Heinlins writing will bring back to the paper. Mr. Heinlins attitude towards others and his need to degrade and parade pessimistic view points will not have me looking forward to reading the outdoor section of the paper each week. We will miss Dave and his positive fun attitude to all things outdoors.

Billings Gazette: Saturday fly-fishing expo targets youngsters

This weekend the Billings chapter of TU and the FFF will be hosting their long awaited fly fishing expo. The weekend is highlighted by plenty of kids activities along with a visit from Dave Whitlock. The kids will have the opportunity to attend a free fly tying lesson and compete in a fly tying competition at the end of the session that will award them with gear for fly fishing and fly tying.

Missoulian: Do as I say, not as I once did: Get a fishing license

This week the Missoulian actually had a hunting and fishing article that did not include Ice fishing locations. Greg wrote a nice article reminding everyone that the new license year is upon us and he relates his embarrassment over getting a ticket years ago because he forgot about the new license year. Montana has a strange system for licensing and it catches plenty of anglers off guard each year. March 1st is the license renewal month and many people just forget about it since it is a strange time of year to renew. Don’t forget to stop and get a license if you are heading out on Montana waters in the next few weeks.

Denver Post: Rainbows to color South Platte soon

Charlie Meyers column this week speaks of the high cost of gas and telling your child they will have to go to community college rather than Princeton because he is going to use their college fund to pay for the gas to get to his favorite fishing haunts. He then tells about fishing the South Platte above Chatfield Reservoir just outside of Denver. The fishery is near town and maybe there will end up being enough money left in the college fund to send his child to the big name school of their choice. The tone of the article is probably affecting every ones plans and traveling the distances that they once did to fish may change with fishing closer to home because of the high price of fuel and the absurd profits that Exxon and BP are making from stealing from all of us.

About a month ago I was approached by fellow guide Mike Nelson and his friend about helping them out with a new website they were launching. The website has been up a running for about a month now and it features a new fly tyer or fly pattern each week. I was privileged to help out with some flies for the site. There are some great tiers scheduled to be aired on the site such as Kelly Galloup, Slyvester Nemes, Dave McKee, Dave Bloom, Doug Mcknight and many others. Check it out and bookmark the site for a new pattern each Monday. The address is

My first pattern is a fly that I have modified and dressed up a bit. The original fly comes from Brad Downey, who guides on the Bighorn River and he has come up with many great patterns that kill em on Tailwater and Spring Creek fisheries. The Downey Dun is a great bug and it is simple to tie. The materials for the pattern are cheap and make for a very good floating bug. Give it a try. I will take some photos and post it here so that you can see a couple of different views of this wonderful bug.