Tag Archive for: salmonfly

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.

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The Salmonfly, one of the biggest meals on a trout’s menu.  It’s one of our favorite times to be on the water.  Last summer we took the camera out for a few days to capture a bit of why we love that time of year.  BIG GULPS is descriptive of the big eats that these bugs elicit from the trout that call Western Montana home.

If you missed the blog post giving a bit more info about the film and our fishing see the other post right HERE.

Also, if you didn’t quite get what you had hoped for this Christmas please visit our store and consider some of our branded apparel.  The purchase of this gear helps us make more free films for you in the future.  Shop here > MONTANA WILD STORE

-Zack Boughton

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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.

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

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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

summer, fishing, montana

We’re now in the midst of summer and it’s a great time to be outside for most of the country.  Here in Montana its been a great summer so far.  Even though it’s not technically summer we think of June as summer anyways.  That’s when we start getting back out on the water in full force.  It’s a time for salmonflies, early mornings, brown trout, big dries, streamer eats, laughs, roadtrips, sunscreen and lots of great scenery.  This year we got to explore some new water in Southwest Montana and it didn’t fail to impress.  Did we mention summer fishing is tight!?

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June is all about stoneflies!

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Maddie with an early morning brown trout caught on a salmonfly.

The salmonfly hatch is one that is no secret here in Montana.  It happens in most of the Western half of the state but at different times.  Trying to chase the hatch and learn what makes the bugs hatch and what makes the fish eat is something that you could spend a lifetime learning.  Whether you know what your doing or not it’s damn fun to watch a fish rise to a bug the size of your pinky!

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The days menu.

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Early morning on the Madison. Sometimes it pays to be out early and other times it doesn’t.

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Travis striking gold on one of the first few days where the fish were looking up.

Once you’ve started throwing the salmonfly around it’s sure hard to put anything else on the end of your line.  Jumping from river to river though means you might be ahead or behind the hatch.  Sometimes you’re early or the fish are just too full to look up that day and things slow down considerably.  When you’ve had enough you tie on a streamer and see what happens, it usually works out to your advantage.

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Who says you can’t fish streamers mid-day under the sun?

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Back to running banks with the salmonfly

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Don’t expect to have the rivers to yourself this time of year. Still plenty of fish and fun times to be had!

With summer comes our love for the smaller water tucked away in the backcountry of Montana.  It’s where we first developed our love for fly fishing and it seems we always carve out a little time to get back and throw dries to hungry trout.  The scenery isn’t bad either.

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A little work is necessary to navigate some of these waters.

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Enjoying the appetite of these native fish and the great places they live!

Even though we had a pretty solid winter, it seems our snowpack has burned off quickly.  Rivers are getting low and Hoot Owl is out on quite a few rivers now.  We generally shift our mindset over to hunting and scouting this time of year, but if you do get to spend some time on the rivers be sure to remember the fish are already worn down with the warming water and low flows.  Be looking for a new film to be dropping here next week!! Also, thanks to all who read and support our content. As a small thank you we will be offering free USA shipping to you through the remainder of July. Just use coupon code: FREESUMMER at checkout!

-Written by Zack Boughton

When the salmon flies are out and the big trout are on the prowl life is good.  Our latest film, BAREBACK RIDER documents a few days on the river with our good friends Dan “Rooster” Leavens and Gray Edmiston.  From catching big, jumping browns to the guys eating handfuls of salmonfly nymphs this film has a bit of it all.  Check it out!

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/84742433 w=580&h=440]

For the whole story you can read more here > www.montana-wild.com/the-big-bugs/  and if you want to fish with these guys check them out at www.thestoneflyinn.com

-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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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