Posts

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling

I have always considered the 49th state of the United States to be a mecca for fishing and hunting. It’s a location that has been on my bucket list for many years now, but despite that, I’ve never taken the plunge to buy a plane ticket to, that’s right, you guessed it- Alaska! Who knew that my soon to be wife would be the one to encourage me to finally visit the Last Frontier?killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, AlaskaAfter a red eye flight from Montana to Alaska, and many hours in the airport, we were greeted by a small bush plane hanging from the airport ceiling in Fairbanks. After gathering our gear in baggage claim, we departed the Fairbanks Airport for the first leg of our Alaskan adventure. My fiancé, now wife, has family in Alaska and we would spend the first week catching up with relatives, visiting old mining dredges, 4-wheeling in mud bogs, whitewater rafting, and fishing for arctic grayling. The grayling fishing was like nothing I had experienced before.

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling On a warm, 80 degree day, we loaded up the jet boat and headed out on a small river about the size of the Upper Clark Fork River. Sarah’s (my wife) uncle fired up the engine and we roared up river, gliding over thousands upon thousands of jumbo-sized grayling.

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling

The appetite of these large finned fish was surprising to me. I had assumed grayling were just insect munchers, but soon learned that they are in fact carnivorous water dwellers. The grayling were anxious to eat white streamers; and in just a couple hours the entire boat had reeled in some exceptional grayling.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAll of the folks from Montana were impressed by the number of grayling in this crystal clear river. We only had a short period time to fish, and the experience left me hungry for more. I would love to get back to this amazing location in the future.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingOur next fishing outing would leave us chasing sockeye salmon. The goal was to catch our daily limit, for several days in a row, in order to bring lots of fresh salmon back to Montana. We figured fresh AK fish would be a nice addition to the wild Montana game that currently fills our freezers. I have to admit, before this trip, I had not experienced ‘combat fishing’, and Alaska gave me a fine introduction to the sport. Its an interesting experience to say the least- standing side by side, slinging weights and flies at schools of salmon, hoping to ‘force feed’ a pesky sockeye.

Sockeye are explosive when you hook them. It is very entertaining trying to land a buckin’ bronco of a salmon as it wraps itself in every line along the river bank. We were thoroughly entertained by watching our party, and others on the river, try to land the torpedo on the end of their line. At one point, I even watched a hooked salmon burst out of the water and smack a lady right in the face, while at the same time snagging a few fishing lines!

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAn interesting law in AK is that you must hook a salmon in the mouth in order to legally keep that fish. If you hook a salmon in the back, fin, head, and tail while fishing, you must let them go. As a result, you will consistently see salmon with brightly colored flies hooked in their bodies as they continue to try to swim upriver to their spawning grounds.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling After several hours of working over a couple good runs, everyone in our party had achieved their daily limit. We did this for a couple of days and felt fortunate that the sockeye run was strong while we were there. Everyone would be going home with a nice little stash of omega 3s.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling, fillet, how, toWe filleted our prizes, packed them in our bags and took them to be vacuum-sealed and frozen solid back at camp. Our salmon adventure is one I will not soon forget.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingThe next adventure entailed a 24-hour halibut fishing trip out of Homer, AK. The plan was to catch our daily limit one day, sleep on the boat, and then wake up at midnight and attempt to catch our next day’s limit before heading back to port.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling, homer, halibutWhile attempting to catch halibut is not the most exhilarating fishing I’ve ever done, it definitely had it’s perks. The process involves a fat rod, a 3lb weight, a circle hook and a dead bait fish. From there you drop the weight about 200-300ft to the sea floor, and wait for a halibut to eat it. Most of the time, they are eager to eat and  you have instant action. As soon as  you feel a tug, you reel hard to get it to the surface. Reeling in a halibut is comparable, I would imagine, to reeling a car hood up from the surface of the ocean-tough!killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAfter catching our ‘chicken’ (halibut under 28”), we moved locations in search of the giants. The new fishing hole supposedly held larger halibut, and we would be able to confirm this after catching a couple later in the evening. During the relocation, the crew cut and filleted the chickens. The white meat looked delicious and there is something to be said for catching what you eat.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingThe new spot produced. I hooked into a what seemed like a much larger halibut than what I had felt earlier in the day. This fish actually ran and pulled line. My forearms burned as I continued to turn the reel handle. After what felt like an extended amount of time, the fish finally surfaced. The crew sent in the boom stick to assist in getting the fish into the boat. KABOOM!! Water flew and the large fish went limp. The halibut weighed in the 50lb-60lb range I would estimate.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingThere were a few others on the boat charter that pulled in some +100lb halibut. Rockfish and pacific cod were also reeled in by a few in our group. We had a gamut of fish filling the boat deck, and we were pretty pleased by the productivity of the last several hours.

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAfter our daily limit, we went to sleep on the large boat and woke a few hours later just to get up and do it all over again.

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAround this time of year Alaska is light almost +20hours of the day. The photo above was taken at 2:04am. My beautiful wife fighting the cold ocean wind while waiting for a bite on the end of her line.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAfter a solid 24 hours of forearm workouts, our halibut charter was complete. We came home with about 33lbs of halibut each, 330lbs between the ten of us.killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic graylingAlaska is an amazing state. After examining a map, I realize I have just scratched the surface of this expansive landscape. If you are on the fence about visiting AK, my recommendation would be go for it and make the trip happen! The hunting and fishing opportunities are endless. As long as you can handle bird size mosquitoes, you will have a great time!

killer whale, fishing alaska, sockey salmon fishing, sockey, salmon, halibut, homer, AK, Alaska, jet boat, arctic grayling

@tjboughton

 

 

cost breakdown, bucknasty browns, 2, brown trout, new zealand

$12K for a fishing film?! Some may see our goal on the Kickstarter and think that number is high, but in reality that number is low! Shooting a six week, high-quality production Internationally takes lots of money. Below is our cost breakdown for Bucknasty Browns 2:

-Flights: $1,500 X three anglers = $4,500

-Checked Camera Gear: $100 X four pelican cases = $400

-Van Rental: $6,880.36 (If you can find it cheaper, shoot us a message)

-Van Insurance: $1,170

-Music Licensing: $700-$900/per song X 4 songs = $2,800 (low end and does not even include music for web series)

-iTunes, Amazon hosting: $1,800

                TOTAL: $17,550.36

 

That number is the bare bones! This does not include the following costs:

-Camera Gear (dry bags, extra batteries, power source, housing, drone): over $2,500

-Gas: ????

-Food: ????

-Film insurance: ????

-Kickstarter and Processing Fees: 10% of $12K goals = $1,200

-Cost to edit:???

-Cost to film: ???

-Cost to deliver rewards: ???

 

As you can see our $12K goal is a very low goal for us to even consider making this film. Take out the Kickstarter fees, processing fees, and cost to produce shirts, hats, streamers, canvas images, and others and we are somewhere well below $12K. Hence why we need your support to make Bucknasty Browns 2! Please, if you enjoy our fishing films and want to see more of them in the future it is imperative that you support the film by clicking here: Bucknasty Browns II

bucknasty, browns, 2, fly, fishing, brown, trout

For the small cost of $5 you can help bring this film to life. That is the cost of a beer or a couple sodas. This is a great chance for our long time supporters to give back by giving a very small amount.  And if you have any input on what you’d like to see in the film or web series leave a comment, shoot us a message through our social pages or send an email! Thank you to all who supported us and Merry Christmas!

bucknasty, browns, 2, II, kickstarter, fly, fishing, film, video, new, zealand

bucknasty, browns, 2, II, kickstarter, fly, fishing, film, video, new, zealand

Our amazing fans have been insistent in asking for a second Bucknasty Browns film and we are here to deliver, but we need your help. This film project will be documenting a Do-It-Yourself trip to one of the greatest brown trout destinations in the world, the South Island of New Zealand. World-renowned for it’s clear backcountry waters, epic spring creeks, and large, trophy sized, AKA Bucknasty, brown trout. The plan is to roadtrip the island in search of adventure and large brown trout. We just launched a Kickstarter for Bucknasty Browns II and we would love if you showed us some support! In order for Bucknasty Browns II to become a reality, we need to reach our goal of $12,000. We are offering a ton of great rewards and you can also pre-order the film (see below). By pre-ordering the film you will be the first to get to download and watch the full film.

bucknasty, browns, 2, kickstarter, montana, wild

Please click here to support Bucknasty Browns II and/or pre-order the film >>> BUCKNASTY BROWNS II Kickstarter

 

For more info on the film project, click here >>> BUCKNASTY INFO

Our latest fly fishing film, SUMMER HYPE showcases some epic salmonfly fishing, big fish, savage eats, and good times on the water.  Shot by our most recent summer intern Bryant Patterson, this short film captured a few great days on the water.  Pull up a seat, sit back and enjoy SUMMER HYPE!

Shop our hats used in the film, by clicking on the images below.

summer hype, summer, fishing, fly fishing, brown trout, salmonfly, hatchsummer hype, montana wild, hat, apparel

salmonfly, fishing, montana, brown trout
salmonfly, nymph, montana, hatch

Pteronarcys californica

Late each spring salmonfly nymphs begin their migration towards banks, rock walls, logs, boulders and any other good structure where they can hatch.  The largest of stonefly here in Montana mean big food for all the fish in the river.  The hatch exists across the Western part of our state and in many areas across the Western half of the US.  It’s something anglers wait for and anticipate.  My first good taste of this hatch was in 2013 when good friend Dan “Rooster” Leavens, owner of the The Stonefly Inn, called me and said it was on.  I grabbed my camera and showed up for two great days of fishing.  Those days proved to be enough for a short film and Bareback Rider was created (watch below).

Since then we’ve fished the hatch in many places and had many memorable days.  This year we wanted to return to some of the areas that were quite renowned for their salmonfly fishing and take the camera out for a few days.  Fishing a massive dry fly is something I enjoy and love to capture.  This year we were able to get out ahead of the hatch and try to watch it progress and learn more of the intricacies of this impressive bug.

salmonfly fishing, montana, montanawild, film

Where they at?

Early on the fish didn’t key in on the dry.  As a few adults would begin to hatch you’d think it would be popping off at any second.  An hour later and you hadn’t had one fish rise to the big bug.  Nymphing, streamers and other small dries were the ticket to getting fish in the boat those first few days out.  As to be expected when the fish started looking up for the salmonfly the word got out.  It wasn’t unusual to see 10-20 trailers at all the main fishing access sites along the river.  Fish were to be had but catch a few and pull over for a quick photo and you just might get passed by a handful of boats.

salmonfly hatch, montana, fishing, brown trout

Travis kicking the morning off with a slab of butter.

Some days I didn’t know which was better, be out in front and be the first bug the fish see or sit back and let the other boats create the hatch.  We had big fish eat both ways and regardless of pressure you’ll always have those fish sitting in the spot that only 10% of anglers can either cast to or get a good drift through.

salmonfly hatch, bug, tula hats, babe, fishing

Sunny, warm days, salmonflies and pretty women in the front of the boat. Life is good.

brown trout, huge, big, massive, montana, salmonfly hatch, film, video

The “if you’re real lucky” salmonfly eater

At the end of the year we’d gotten enough shots to piece together a short film.  Monday the 9th we’ll release our latest fishing film, BIG GULPS, here on the website!

Zack Boughton

life, beyond, walls, montana, wild, adipose, boatworks

“I love a ground-dog burrito!” We had just spotted a questionable looking Mexican restaurant and already the stereotypes were being heavily flung around. What would you expect from a truck with 4 dudes and a solid five hours plus rallying I-90?

montana, fishing, trout, mexican, food, burrito

An hour later we emerged, bellies full and hoping that no one would be feeling “spicy” in a few hours. We were in the home stretch and soon enough we’d be looking over the waters of the Bighorn River for the first time. A little over a month earlier we had gotten the call from Smith Optics to shoot a lifestyle film for their latest web series “Life Beyond Walls.” Wanting to keep it within the borders of the Big Sky state yet still get a little road trip in, the Bighorn was an obvious choice. A tailwater with above average flows this year meant it was opposite the rest of the state and hopefully full of aggressive trout. Finally we hit the river and pulled onto the bridge in St. Xavier. The water below us was swollen and running a green/brown color. We all started talking about hooking “slam pigs” and raucously expelled typical bro banter.

Adipose, driftboat, fly, fishing, montana, bighorn, river, brown trout

That evening we cruised into Fort Smith and swung into the Bighorn Angler. Bryen and Shelly were there to greet us and give the lowdown on the fishing. A few dozen flies later and we began to organize and sort fishing gear in anticipation for the morning.

gear, fishing, montana, bighorn, river, montana wild, video, film, smith optics

Morning came early and after a few slight bobbles getting everything loaded up we finally arrived at the boat launch.  We dropped the boats and got ready for a long day on the river.  At the moment we had the place to ourselves, little did we know that in an hour this would be full of twenty different rigs hoping to launch.

driftboat, adipose, bighorn, angler, river, fly fishing, montana, wild, video, smith optics

Soon we pushed off, hanging to the bank and searching the wide featureless water. A slow twenty minutes put us at the first small island and a pit stop was ordered up. Fifty yards upstream multiple fish were chowing down on the morning buffet. Two casts later and two great browns had hit the net.

bighorn, river, fly, fishing, montana, brown, trout, adipose, wild, film, smith optics

bighorn, river, fly, fishing, montana, brown, trout, adipose, wild, film, smith optics

At that point the boat train had engulfed us. Despite the crowds one thing became apparent, we were having a lot more fun than the other boats. Typical to many rivers there was a lack of yelling, laughing and general good times. Weird. Our float continued under hazy skies as we banged streamers into every nook and cranny we could find. Dozens of fish later we hit our takeout and headed back up to sneak in a second short float. Mice were skated, the golden sun sank in the West but no fish stuck. Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” blared from Lungren’s cell phone as we pulled in under the light hum of a lonely light guarding the Three Mile boat ramp. Day Two was complete.

driftboats, adipose, helena, bighorn, river, montana, trout, fishing

With a good day of fishing under our belts we figured we’d take a risk and give the lower river hell. “Chuck and Duck” was the game plan and flashes and strikes ensued from all the likely spots. A short ways later the line stopped in it’s tracks and a hefty flash gave us a look at the largest fish of the trip. A quick fight ensured there was no chance of him getting away and a plump rainbow laying in the net left the group acting like a bunch of wild monkeys.

bighorn, river, rainbow, trout, montana, wild, fishing, film, smith optics, streamer

Good call boys, good call. Apparently this lower river was the real deal. A few hours later we had changed our tune as things were downright slow. The water had picked up decent color from some of the small feeder creeks and reading the river became much tougher. We embraced the day and enjoyed the great scenery and even better company.

fly, fishing, montana, film, trout, wild, bighorn, river, adipose, driftboat

After lunch we split up and started working a small island. Twenty minutes later a couple goldeyes had been caught. No one in the group had ever caught one before so this was news to us. One came on a dry and another hit a streamer, apparently they were hungry little buggers.

gold, eye, fish, fishing, bighorn, river, montana, dry fly, film, wild

As the float neared its end the roar of a diversion dam pulled everyone back into full attention. Cameras were carefully pulled from the boats and walked downriver. Travis and Sam pushed off and lined up above the man-made rapids. Sam was first and found the right slot, easily pushing through. Travis was up next and despite his best efforts was pulled over into the edge of the main wave formed off the dam. A healthy splash and the skiff cut through the wave and slid downriver.

fishing, montana, bighorn, river, trout, brown, wild, film, smith optics, guides choice, dam

adipose, driftboat, skiff, helena, montana, dam, diversion, river, bighorn, film

We all were beat from another long day under the sun and pulling into the Riverview Lodge was very welcome. Steve had worked some magic and got us the bottom half of some prime real estate. With a great view of the valley and a full kitchen we got dinner on the grill and got some much needed rest for Day Four.

bighorn, river, fishing, lodge, angler, montana, wild, film, brown trout, tailwater

Day Four again saw us boating fish and seeing plenty of new water. Streamer fishing was the choice mid-day as staring down a bobber just didn’t get us too fired up. That evening found us anchored up on a long seam with a long line of noses extending downstream. Hookup after hookup with no boats in sight was the story.

bighorn, river, montana, wild, fly fishing, trout, film, smith optics, guides choice

Fast forward to the takeout. Now I’ve depleted the old Ford’s gas gauge plenty of times but this one was shaping up to be interesting. We had ran our own shuttle and the driving distance between takeouts was further than expected. The gas light had been on for about 30 miles and 20 more remained before we got back to the lodge. It was 11PM when the engine sputtered and the power steering went out. Yes I was a dips#&* and should have put more than $30 in the tank yesterday. We were stranded. Two hours later the Ford had been towed to the nearest fishing access and both boats were safely parked back at the lodge.   The following morning found us back at the truck with a 5 gallon gas can pouring precious fluid back into the fuel hungry beast. We were back in business!

fishing, trip, montana, empty, truck, fishing, bighorn, life beyond walls

This would be our final morning and we figured a quick hammer sesh through the top 3 miles would be just right. A few hundred oar strokes and Travis was into another nice brown. The cameras did their thing and in a flash the brownie was back in the river.

brown, trout, fly, fishing, bighorn, river, montana, wild, film, video, smith optics

It wasn’t long and again we had hit the end of the road. The launch was in sight and the trip was complete. The boats hit the trailers, and we grabbed our stuff and hit the road.

montana, highway, adipose, driftboat, wild, boat, film

As we drove home we relived the past four days. All the ingredients of a great fishing trip had left everyone feeling satisfied. We are excited to share the film with you here tomorrow! Be looking for it to go live  tomorrow August 12th on the Smith Optics website and if you haven’t checked out their other films from the “Life Beyond Walls” Series you should do so! We also had the pleasure of testing out the new “Guide’s Choice” sunglasses which will be available soon.

smith, optics, guides choice, guide, fishing, new, sunglasses, polarized, chormapop

These things are absolute beasts on the water and will definitely make the best days better. Look for them at your local fly shop this fall. Also a big thanks goes out to Steve Galletta and the crew at the Bighorn Angler. Their expertise is unmatched and the lodging they provide for anglers is superb. Check them out next time you hit the Bighorn.

Bighorn, angler, river, fort smith, montana, mt, fishing, brown trout, guides, fly shop

And last but not least, a special thanks to the awesome crew at Adipose Boatworks. They have a rental boat there at the Bighorn Angler if you want to give one a spin on your next trip.

adipose, boatworks, driftboats, skiff, flow, montana, helena, wild, boat, bighorn, river

-Zack

 

The time has come, Bucknasty Browns is now live and online.  After touring this spring with The F3T, we are proud to share our film with everyone.  Enjoy!

Thanks to support from:  Simms Fishing | Smith Optics | YETI Coolers | Scientific Anglers | Orvis | Grizzly Hackle

 

BUCKNASTY BROWNS hats and tees here>http://montana-wild.com/store/

 

-Zack

With our film Bucknasty Browns coming out on this year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour we wanted to put together an informative write up on how to make a sick fishing film.  There are a lots of guys out there trying to break out onto the fishing scene and hopefully this will provide a little insight on how we create our films and help you on your next project.  We have 5 of the 12 steps included here.  For the full write up visit YETI’s Field Notes page @http://yeticoolers.com/pages/blog/12-tips-from-filmmaking-pros/

montana, fly fishing, backcountry, yeti, scenic, film, video

#2. Pick Your Location – Amongst filmmakers and photographers alike this is a big one. Some locations are much more appealing than others. By putting yourself in a scenic setting that is conducive to a camera being pointed its direction, your chances of getting quality shots goes up dramatically. This is something to be thought of ahead of time and even better if you can go pre-scout the area. Take a day or two and go fish your location. Figure out where you can catch fish. What angles would capture that fishing spot the best? What time of day will light the water the best for that location? How difficult is it to get there with camera gear? The list goes on and it’s helpful to carry a notepad with you on these scouting trips. With location you also need to think about what time of year is the most ideal for your story and filming? Do you want to film in the winter when the colors are drab and bleak or would late spring when everything is green and vibrant work best for the feel of your film? If the location has a unique story this will also strengthen the piece if you are telling a narrative throughout the film. With that being said this brings up the question of whether you want to disclose the location or not. There is no right or wrong here, this is a personal decision based off your ethical beliefs. If the water is well known it’s common to use the name. If the story revolves around the fishery then it’s also common to use the name. If it’s a secret spot or something you don’t want others fishing then don’t say and be very careful of what you show in the film. In today’s world there are lots of ways to figure out where someone was especially when they have filmed there.

trout, fly fishing, montana, backcountry, wild, cutthroat

#8. Show the Eat – One of the coolest parts about fishing is seeing the fish come up and gobble your fly. Whether it’s a redfish eating a popper or a brown trout slamming a mouse, it’s always captivating watching the fish take the fly. Get great shots of the eat and instantly improve the appeal of your film.

fly fishing, brown trout, montana, wild, yeti, coolers, film, bitteroot

#12. Fish the Golden Hour – The golden hour is the time of epic golden light just after sunrise and just before sunset. The lighting is dramatic and just about anything filmed this time of day will look sick. If you can line up your best fishing action to take place during this time of day you’re ahead of the game.

filming, film, fishing, montana, wild, sony fs700, cinema, outdoors

#3. Know Your Camera – This is a big one and deserves its fair share of time invested. Having shots that are well exposed, framed correctly, and in focus will make huge leaps and bounds in your film. This means you need to know how to control and optimize the settings on your camera. Spend some time online seeing what information and feedback is out there on your camera. Once you are comfortable with it go do some tests. Shoot in different lighting conditions, different weather, and with different angles and focal lengths. What looked good and why? What looked like crap and why? Be open to criticism and solicit it. You’ll be better off in the long run. Additionally have a tripod and know how to use it well. Shaky footage is hard to watch. If you don’t have a tripod learn ways to stabilize your camera.

To read the full article please visit > http://yeticoolers.com/pages/blog/12-tips-from-filmmaking-pros/

 

-Zack

 

 

fly, fishing, oregon, owyhee, river, brown, trout, june

Travis rifled through the YETI as we sat on the dusty tailgate, consuming the day’s lunch and reliving the morning’s success. Fish after fish had been tackled from the long, complex run and we thought the wise browns had been put down for the day. I walked along the road with a Moose Drool in hand observing and taking in the day. As I glanced down into the current the golden back of a modest brown slowly breached and then disappeared back into the depths. I sat and watched and soon multiple fish emerged, hidden in plain sight feeding on some new hatch that I had no knowledge of.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/109398135 w=580&h=440]

Sam was up on the sticks and soon casts were made, flies were changed and eventually fish were caught. The size #18 whatever was stuck firmly in the browns lip, right next to a past fisherman’s fly, serving as proof of the tiny flies that dominate this waterway. Calling it a size #18 whatever would be disrespectful though given the time and knowledge put into it’s creation by Nate Brumley.

fly fishing, montana, wild, oregon, brown trout, owyhee, grizzly hackle

Nate is one of the nicest human’s you’ll meet and especially amongst fisherman. Ask many folks about one of their favorite waters and your reception will often be ill. Nate on the other hand bursts with knowledge that pulls from the deepest parts of his vast memory. From flies to hatches to stretches of river it all spills out into a novel of highly diverse yet well woven information. It’s the type of thing where you hear it all but only can store about 10% of the data. He does run a very knowledgeable fly tying business (Dry Fly Innovations) that I’d highly recommend, but his generosity runs deep regardless of any ties to business or personal advancement as we quickly found out. Mr. Brummley’s residence was our first stop on our long trip down to Oregon to search for large brown trout during Montana’s annual runoff. We loaded up on flies, mostly size 18 and 20 and set off for parts unknown brimming with confidence after our time spent with Nate.

dry, fly, innovations, idaho, nate, brumley, dry, flies, brown, trout

The first life form on the river was seen from the edge of the road as we rolled up into the canyon. A small back eddy was filled with carp swirling along the desert colored mud. We contemplated fishing them but given the prospects that lay up the road we ventured on. The river was an oversized slough with small sections of riffles and pocket water followed by long deep runs stretching for hundreds and sometimes thousands of yards. Where the biggest of browns would lurk was anyone’s guess.

owyhee, river, oregon, fly, fishing, trout, brown

We soon couldn’t resist the urge to fish and pulled in under a tree and rigged up. The first afternoon would be simply spent fishing and scouting. We wanted to know we could land a few before the cameras rolled out. We soon diverged from the truck and began fishing our own ways. It was hot and I didn’t see much action unfolding on top of the emerald green waters. I’ll admit I’m a streamer junky and the thought of big browns quickly had me avoiding the microscopic bugs and tying on our buddy Gandalf. He was the tan and white variation and the first cast was immediately chased into the calm water by an angry brown. I threw it back in, letting it slide off the shelf before stripping it in towards the slack water. My line went tight and a fat brown quickly went airborne. The fight was solid with this buck but soon he was within the confines of the net resting from his midday battle.

brown, trout, orvis, fly, fishing, owyhee, river, oregon

As soon as my hook was free I was back to casting, this time a bit further across the seam. A black tank emerged slamming my fly but the line went slack a second later. He couldn’t be enticed a second time and quickly we were distracted by a stock truck dumping hundreds of fingerling rainbows off the bridge behind us. The small fish fought the current before being sucked back downriver into the next pool. We knew some opportunistic browns would be up for this type of treat. Soon we found Sam, working a dry through tasty water but the report was fish 1, Sam 0. We told him of the fish stocking and quickly streamers were tied on. As Travis fished just above me a small rainbow swam between my legs followed by a menacing brown. I’m sure he had his way with the newly transplanted fish.

stocking, fish, oregon, rainbow, trout

The following day we fished hard. We switched bugs and moved locations but hadn’t put up much for numbers. After a long spring with little dry fly action we all had to brush off a little rust and try to remember how to fish a size 18 bug. As we fished a hole just a stones throw from the truck Nate pulled up. We quickly made our way back up to the truck to see how his morning had went. After showing us photo after photo of nice browns I had to ask, “What were you fishing.” “Oh I was using a beetle” he said. Ok then. Of course Nate was quick to supply us with an assortment of free flies and his wife had sent him off with some delicious soup to give us. Did I mention Nate is a pretty likeable guy?

nate, brumley, fly, fishing, dry fly innovations, brown trout, montana wild

We had our eyes on a small side channel containing multiple rising fish and set off with renewed confidence as a Brumley beetle was attached to our line. The fishing was silly and we finally were laying down some great footage. The ball was rolling and we had two days left to keep it that way.

brown, trout, film, video, oregon, owyhee, beetle

Now despite any reports or advice on hatches or patterns I know I can always go to a streamer and turn fish, most often good ones. Considering the bucknasty browns that should be lurking here and after the very first afternoon the streamer was a constant part of the menu we were serving up to these fish. It was consistently the big fish producer. It was mid-day and we stopped to fish a run that had been fished that morning. As my streamer bounced into the river off the bank it was freight trained by a “bucknasty.” This wasn’t the first time this trip and I instantly started thinking one thing, mice. As the day progressed the weather started to roll in. Overcast skies and a light drizzle was all it took for Travis to make the switch. The neon yellow mouse skittered and skated and we all watched with anticipation. Finally a swipe was made, a miss but we knew it would be a go to method for the rest of the day. A short bit later Travis hooked and landed the first of the trip as a brown came arching out of the water attacking the mouse.

fly, fishing, mice, mousing, oregon, montana, wild

We were on cloud 9 at the moment and that afternoon found nothing other than a mouse attached to our lines. Over the next three hours we got over a dozen eats and after a lot of misses I was able to end the day with back-to-back browns from the same run. Sometimes it pays to get risky and fish something not on the fishing report. On this day it sure did.

brown, trout, mousing, mice, fishing, fly, oregon, montana, wild, video, film

The rest of the trip was a success and we were able to stack up some awesome footage, I’ll even go out on a limb and say some of it is our best to date. For the rest of the story you’ll have to catch our film, “Bucknasty Browns” in the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour. A special thanks to our project supporters: Simms, Orvis, Scientific Anglers, Grizzly Hackle, YETI, DECKED, and Bozeman Reel Co.

brown, trout, friends, fishing, montana, oregon, last light

///Be sure to tune in to our Facebook and Instagram pages this week as we release content culminating in the release of our teaser for Bucknasty Browns coming on Friday!

-Zack

Well life has been a bit on the crazy side around here.  Summer seems to suck up your time like none other.  A few weeks back I was able to go meet up with good friends Dan “Rooster” Leavens and Gray Edmiston for a little salmonfly fishing.  With no trips booked it was time for a couple personal days on the water.  The word was that the bugs were popping off and I quickly grabbed my fishing gear and camera and began trucking east to meet the guys.

mountains, fly fishing, montana, salmonflies, fish, trout, nikon, ford

That night I got to hear of the carnage that ensued under that day’s cloud cover.  It seemed that the fishing would be red hot, but with a week full of sun headed our way we’d see if the trout would keep up the feeding frenzy.  The next morning we were up at 5 and on the river by 7:30.  It was cool and we were the only guys on the river.  We began floating, hammering the banks and waiting for a take.  Well it wasn’t long until we had smacked up a few good browns.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster

The big bugs were out but as the day progressed it appeared the fishing was slowing down.  The main river was only giving up some of the smaller fish and we quickly pulled over for a short lunch.  Strategically, Rooster had put us right at the bottom of a usually lucrative side channel.  After hitting the main current with no luck, a slightly longer cast bounced off the far bank, and ten feet into the drift was attacked by a hungry brown.  The camera was rolling and Rooster had a great fish in hand.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout, scott

The rest of the day was beautiful, but less productive than the previous days onslaught.  It appeared the bulk of the hatch had moved upstream.  Bugs were out but it appeared the fish were full and shy of the bright sun.

Day 2 we rose again by 5am.  Our plan was to move upstream another 10 miles and test some new waters.  Again the day started off big early with Gray hammering a nice one off the sunny side bank only 20 minutes into the float.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout

The bugs were out thick on the bank, but seemed to be loving everything but the water.   We slowed down and hit a few side channels to let things warm up a touch.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout, scott

Gray put the new Scott Radian 6wt to work and quickly fooled a brown sitting under the foam.  We got some shots and then kept the train moving.  Another rest stop showed the bugs were out in mass.  Gray decided to load up and give a Lebron chalk celebration with salmonflies in hopes that it would bring in a big one further down river.

lebron, salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster

Around noon the big bugs started hitting the water and the fishing quickly picked up.  Soon risers began to emerge in the deep water.  The fish were picky and didn’t want much to do with bugs that weren’t skittering on the water.  As we progressed downriver, a 20+ inch fish refused the bug and we quickly pulled over downstream.  After a dozen casts, the salmonfly finally found his feeding lane and Gray had a big boy hooked.

monster, brown, trout, fly, fishing, montana, wild, stonefly, inn

After a long run downstream he found the net and we had a hog in hand.  Everyone was stoked and life was good.

brown, trout, monster, hog, montana, wild, fly, fishing, stonefly, inn, rooster

The two days were pretty killer despite the bright sun and fishing salmonflies is always a blast.  Chucking the big bug to big trout is hard to beat.  If you want to check out the salmon fly hatch next year be sure to get in touch with Rooster at the Stonefly Inn and prepare for a lot of fun and a bunch of nice fish.  Check them out at http://www.thestoneflyinn.com/.  Both days they had zero trips booked and it turned out to be a good thing for us.  Laughs for days and plenty of nice trout.  Life is good folks.  God bless!

-Zack