February 2009

Enjoying the Summer sun on Depuy's Spring Creek

Enjoying the Summer sun on Depuy's Spring Creek

Biggie’s Bugs and Guides

Spring Creek Brown Trout

Spring Creek Brown Trout

Welcome to Biggie’s Bugs and Guides home page.  I hope to share my passion for Family, Friendship’s, Montana, Fly Tying and Fly fishing with you in the pages of this site.  Many pages will be changing and evolving over time as I share my journey through life with all of you.  Some of the pages contain information about how the fishing has been, my outfitting business and my love of fly tying.  I encourage you to take a look around and contact me with any questions, comments or ideas that you would like to see in addition to what I have provided.

The first question that most people want to know is where the name “Biggie” comes from.  Many people believe it is from my appearance as a middle aged overweight father or two, which is not too far off base.   Others have commented on it being my caring personality.  As Paul Harvey would say though, this is the rest of the story.  The name really came from my good friend and fishing buddy Eric Paulson.  Eric and I met just after college and soon became great friends.   Eric and I have spent thousands of miles together in drift boats chasing whatever insect was on the soup de jour, drinking far too much beer, breaking equipment and living as Trout Bums.  After spending a few days chasing Salmonflies on the Bighole we made one of our customary stops at a fast food drive thru late in the evening.  I needed some food to soak up all the beer and the only place still open was Wendy’s.  I ordered my meal and had it “Biggie” sized.  The nickname stuck and rather than fight the inevitable I embraced it and have used it to my advantage since that faithful night in Butte America!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will visit often.


Josh “Biggie” Stanish

Enjoy the Show!

“Swans on Depuy’s”

With 50 degree weather the need to get outside and play over rode the requirements of my to do list at home. Jason called and wanted to fish so I took a look at the internet weather reports and saw that the wind was blowing a consistent 34 MPH out of the South with gust to 50. I called Jason back and we planned on a quick fish on the Gallatin later in the day. Just to be sure the weather underground was accurate I placed a call over to Livingston to get a real time in person report. They told me it was a bit breezy but not all that bad, which for a Livingston resident means that if you can open the door without the aide of a numatic jack than it is calm outside. I called Jason back and mentioned that the Gallatin wasn’t that interesting to me and that we should give it a shot over the hill, he needed to return a pair of broken waders anyways so we headed over the pass.

“Loomis, Trico and Jackson”

We made it to Bailey’s to exchange the waders and once we stepped out of the truck the typical Livingston breeze was blowing close to the report from the internet. We exchanged the waders and headed up the river to check out the prospect of getting some firewood from RY timber. There wasn’t much left in the wood pile so we deemed coming back with a trailer for a load of wood as useless. Even with the steady wind we proceeded up the valley to check to see if the wind was less above the Wine Glass gap. We stopped at the outflow of Depuy’s to let the dogs run around a bit as well as drown a couple of flies. The wind was managable but the fish were not interested in either of the two flies that I had on my rod. The local sherriff stopped by to see how the fishing was and to give us a few pointers on where to get em with a worm sunk on the bottom. There were a few midges flying around on the Yellowstone and we witnessed one whitefish rising to the occassion. After the dogs wore off some energy and snapping a few photo’s of the swans on Depuy’s we headed for the Trail Creek route back to Bozeman.

“Elk on the Hillside”

Heading up the dirt road we spotted two nice groups of elk on the hillside and Jason scanned the herd for any sizable bulls. There were a couple of smaller bulls in the herd but nothing that made the jaw drop. It was a nice ride over the pass and we returned home content with knowing we at least got out and let the dogs burn off some energy.

Wow been a bit since I added anything to this. Winter is in full swing but the weather has been fairly nice. The Job search sucks, especially for finding seasonal employement. Soon I will be back to the river with clients in tow and this miserable existence of being locked inside will come to an end. I did make it outside with the nice weather and spent some time driving around looking for ice free flows to catch a fish in.

Paulson and I headed for the Lower Madison with overcast skies and hopes of grasses that would be standing straight up pointing to the heavens. Paulson has been intrigued with perfecting the use of his Spey rod so we were in search of a hike into the canyon to one of the deeper runs where he could improve his nymphing techniques and fine tune his skills in preperation for the trek to Idaho. The 30 minute ride to the river was basically an attempted persuasion to get me to make the trip to Idaho with him and Bird. Paulson is relentless and I was not going to let him talk me into making the trip to harash steelhead in the South Fork, where the fish have spent a ton of effort to get to their spawning grounds.  The party would be fun but the fishing doesn’t sound appealing to me.

Once we reached Black’s Ford we were greeted with the unpleasant reality of the Madison River in the winter. When the weather isn’t too nasty to make the drive to the river the wind is usually blowing sideways and this was the case as so often it is. We took a quick stop at the Warm Springs ramp just to be sure and after having to pry the door open against the wind we decided to head for the Jefferson to see if we could escape the breeze. We dropped down the hill on our way into Sappington and as we approached the Jefferson we saw that we should have brought the Ice Fishing Auger if we were going to fish the frozen river. We headed back to Three Forks in hopes of trying the Lower Gallatin or making the turn back up the gravel road to Cobblestone. The draw of the deep holes at Cobblestone made us turn to the south and head back in the direction we started from. We made it to Cobblestone and took a peek over the dyke and saw the river was in the same shape as the Jefferson. I had been at Greycliff early last week and I knew that the river was open and free of ice so we loaded the dog back into the truck and headed for yet another haunt.

As luck would have it the wind picked back up to gale force between Cobblestone and Greycliff but we were bound and determined to wet a line. Luck was on our side when we pulled into the upper ramp and there was not another sole in sight. We geared up and made our trek to the other side where we were afforded a bit of protection from the wind. It took only a few minutes for our efforts to pay us back and we both had fish to hand within the first 5 minutes.

The big run was very productive for about and hour and then it turned cold and we moved downstream to the next run. Paulson landed a nice Whittie and we decided to call it a day. Trico spent most of her day chewing sticks, digging for rocks and getting dirty. We made it back to the truck just in time for the wind to lay down. It was nice to get out of the house and away from the bleak prospects of job hunting. Spring can’t get here fast enough!!