Rock Creek Salmonflies

When Are We Fishing In Missoula?

Soon my fishy friends. Soon.

Just watch Snowbowl. When the snow is all gone we are in the clear. And it’s gonna happen fast.

Soon we will be fishing Salmonflies on The Creek. Fish will be gorging themselves. They are hungry from surviving high water for a month, and when they can see the bugs again they are going to eat.

The other rivers will fish too. The Blackfoot, The Bitterroot, and The Clark Fork. They will all be in shape soon. I will go out on a limb, Hold my finger in the air, and Pull a card out of a deck  and say… Fishing in Missoula will be a legitimate option in one week. Hold me to it. Or don’t. I am a fishing guide, I don’t know anything.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish.

Womens Fly Fishing

The Lady MAnglers

Over the past few years here at the fly shop we have seen a huge increase in the number of female anglers coming in. These ladies are serious and have some awesome talent.

Womens Fly Fishing

From stalking big fish with tiny flies to throwing big ugly streamers for aggressive browns, these gals are getting it done. These ladies may have gotten into fly fishing through fathers, boy friends, or husbands but they are leaving them in the dust to get out on their own.

Women's Fly Fishing

We have loved seeing the shift in the the sport of fly fishing. No longer is fly fishing “The Quiet Sport”. Young folks and women have changed the face of the fly fishing industry.

Womens Fly Fishing

The energy and enthusiam is bringing new faces into the shop a lot of them being younger ladies who are kicking some serious trout tail. Not only are the women coming into the sport learning faster than ever, they are doing things in a new ways that are changing the game.

Womens Fly Fishing

We are so excited to see the grip and grins from the Lady Mangler’s, they are catching bigger fish than most of the guys.

So if you are a lady who wants to get into fly fishing stop by the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop.  Chances are one of these ladies will be in here picking up some bugs and showing us the latest monster they put in the net!

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Missouri River Brown Trout

Summer Predictions

As anglers we are perpetual optimists. It is a trait of anyone who fishes to think that it will always get better. More bugs, better temps, more water, less water, and without any doubt… Bigger fish eating dry flies with reckless abandon. So with that said here is an optimistic and very accurate summer fishing forecast. Keep in mind we are fishing guides… “Professional’s”

June: High water will peak in the Missoula area in early to mid June and recede to fishable levels soon there after. The Salmonflies and Green Drakes will show up in numbers like “The Good Old Days” (when Ron was guiding). The big push from run off will clean out the rivers and give both the fish and bugs some great habitat for the summer and an ample supply of cold clean water. Late in June, after we have all had our fill of catching as many fish as you can net on size 4 Salmonfly patterns, the orange bugs will taper off and The Goldens will show up like a plague. I’m getting excited typing this out…

Rock Creek Salmon fly Fishing

July: July 1st I will tie on a big Golden pattern to start the day out and not change bugs until it is just thread on a bare hook from all of the fish eating it. In the afternoon the Green Drakes will still be coming off and I will tie on a Size 8 green drake pattern just to switch it up and watch the fish destroy and different bug. That’s just the first day in July. The PMD’s, Goldens, Sallies, and Caddis will be like clockwork and the fish will be obese from the never-ending buffet they will have every day. The evening caddis fishing will be great too. We will put our boats in after a guide day on the lower Clark Fork around 7 and fish till 11 only stopping because we have to wake up and do it again the next day.

Guided Montana Fly Fishing Trips

August: It will be hot in August, but with the awesome snowpack the rivers will stay full of water and the fish will stay hungry. August will be fun this year. The Hoppers will hit the water and endure gruesome deaths from big trout waiting for the protein packed terrestrial. Hoppers, ants, and beetles will be the main food source for fat and happy brown trout. We will see hopper fishing that we haven’t seen in years. The days everyone dreams about. The Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark fork will all give up some “Fish of the Year” on nasty looking hoppers. The picker fish will snub your hopper but eat the cinnamon ant you have behind it. Either way they are in the net. And you are happy.

September: September will roll around and the days will start getting shorter and the small mayflies will start to wake up. The trout will notice and start to pod up into massive groups to gorge themselves on tiny tricos. After Noon they will move to the grassy banks and wait for hoppers to be served on a silver platter. Most of the traffic will have moved on but the fishing will only get better. If you have a chance to fish Missoula in September, DO IT. Last year was fantastic and this year will be one for the books.

Montana Hopper Fishing

October: This is a month that I can’t wait for. Big Streamers, Small Mayflies, and Huge Trout. That’s all I am going to write. Oh… And no one will be on the water. Show up and see for yourself, or don’t and look at the photos from your buddies. They will tell you how awesome October in Missoula is.

Man, after I read a report like that I am excited for what this year has in store for us. If you haven’t booked a trip to Missoula yet, now is the time to do it. It’s going to be a year that we will talk about for a long time. Don’t forget Friday BBQ’s here at The Missoulian Angler Fly Shop. They are world famous.

The MAngler

… Because You Fish.

(406) 728-7766

The Tying Bench

We are starting a new regular post here on The MAngler. Our in house tying genius Ron Beck will be writing tying posts on a regular basis. I know Ron will tell me he is not a genius once he reads this, but it’s the truth. Ron is not only a mastermind at the vice, but he has a head absolutely stuffed full of Montana Fishing knowledge. He is the type of guy that when he talks fishing, you should at least be listening if not taking notes. I can tell you that there have been more than a few days when I am at the shop if the morning with no idea where I should fish that day and Ron sends me to a blue line on a map and I have a day for the books. 

So enjoy the new posts and let us know if there is anything you want Ron to write about. You can even get a few secrets out of him if you bring him a case of Budweiser. 

I am an old dog, not real good with new tricks. I still use the whip finisher and hair stacker that

came with my first fly tying kit almost 40 years ago. I tie on a vise that is older than some of the

employees here at the shop. I usually don’t get too fired up about new fly tying tools. When the

Rite Bobbin arrived in the shop it caught my attention.

I picked up a Rite’s Mag Bobbin to use in a class last winter and immediately fell in love with

it. The obvious difference from standard bobbins is the tension control. The brass tension wheel

is indexed much like the drag on a fly reel. This allows you to apply little or no tension for tying

#22 trikes with 12/0 Benecchi or cranking it tight to set lead eyes on big steamers. I liked the heft

of the bobbin and how the single arm design fit in my hand. I also found the Rite easier to thread

than standard bobbins.

Rite Bobbin

This year, Rite added a half hitch bobbin with a tapered barrel. It looks much like the regular

bobbin, but the tapered end allows you to half hitch or whip finish without picking up another

tool. With a little practice, both knots became second nature to me. The new model also sports

rubber O-rings to hold the thread in place when not in use.

Half Hitch Rite Bobbin

Rite is a Montana company that offers bobbins with long or short tubes. Ceramic models are also

available. It takes a little longer to change spools with the Rite bobbin and they are a bit pricey

($22 to $32), but the extra time and price are well worth it. A bobbin is in your hand more than

any other tying tool, yet the general design has changed very little. The changes Rite has made to

this basic tool are very practical and make tying easier. Stop by and test-drive one at the shop.

Check them out here 

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Creek Opener

May 17th is the third Saturday in May, What does this mean…? All the creeks that have been closed since November 30th will open to fishing once again.  They have been unfished for 4 long months and are chalk full of hungry rainbows and cutties finishing their spring spawn.

Small Stream Fly Fishing
A Beautiful Fish from the 2013 Creek Opener

Every day this week I’ve heard “I cant wait until runoff is over so I can fish again.”  Well the good news is that most of the creeks are running clear.  They may be high, but many are certainly fishable.

Small Creek Fishing
You may be surprised by the size of the fish you find in these tiny creeks. We were.

This is your chance to go and find that sneaky spot and catch big fish in small water.  So go explore something new this weekend, or go to your favorite unknown creek, it doesn’t matter just get out and go fishing!

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Fishing Report 5.14

The Rivers are dropping right now. That is until we get this week of high temps. Get out there today or tomorrow. The big rivers are going to blow out by the weekend.

The Bitterroot –  The ‘Root will be an option for a very brief window. The worm game will be hot and throwing junk will put some big fish in the net.

The Creek – The Creek looks great. The water is dropping hard and running considerably more clear than the other rivers in the Missoula area. There are a lot of mayflies.  March Browns and BWO’s. We saw fish eating on top yesterday.

The Clark – The Upper Clark is muddy and the Lower Clark is muddier. This will be the last one to clear up. You have better options right now.

The Blackfoot – When The Foot turns that sexy green color the fishing will be off the wall. It is dropping now but that won’t last very long with the heat in the forecast.

The MO – The Mo has been fishing shit hot. The nymph game has been great. BWO, Czech’s, Sow bugs, and anything with fire bead has been putting a lot of fish in the net.

The creeks will open this weekend and they will be the first to have clean water in them. We love creek fishing. There is more than a lifetimes worth of water around Missoula in small creeks. Get out and explore something you have never fished. You might be surprised.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish.