Chef Lanette Drops in on Orvis Flyfishing 101 in Santa Clara

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Our good friend, Laurie Kirk, learned to fly fish behind the lodge on the Wise River over ten years ago and has since become an avid fisher and an integral member of the Flycasters of San Jose, near her hometown.  The Flycasters Club is an organization dedicated to help protect, enhance and restore local, state and national fisheries of all species of fish and types of waters and related habitat through education, volunteer efforts and contributions; with a focus on those waters and fish most important to the Flycasters membership, with a mission to pass on these magnificent resources to future generations.

For the past two years, Big Hole Lodge has supported the organization and last February, our very own chef, Lanette Evener, joined Laurie in Santa Clara, CA for the Flycaster’s annual fundraising dinner.  Image
Last Sunday, Lanette and Laurie assisted the Orvis instructor at Fly Fishing 101, teaching basic casting and knot tying skills.  The Orvis instructor caught a beautiful cast out of the corner of his eye and asked Laurie if she knew who this particular, “beginner fly fisher” was.  In fact, it was Lanette, who has spent the last 20 summers honing her expertise, graciously offering advice to the next generation of anglers.

We wish Lanette safe travels as she heads back to Montana this week and look forward to Laurie’s return later this summer!

 

 

Orvis 101 Fly Fishing Schools

Learn fly-fishing basics in one of our free Fly Fishing 101 classes. Perfect for beginners of all ages. Fly Fishing 101 will provide you with free lessons on fly casting and outfit rigging.

If you’re looking for a great way to get the family together outside, our FF101 class is the perfect event to get started. Fly fishing is a sport the whole family can participate in. All ages are welcome to attend the event, but those under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Bring the whole family and learn what this great sport is all about.

OrvisNews Photos of the Day: Snow and Rainbows on the Missouri

Written by: Wade Fellin,  Big Hole Lodge for OrvisNews

Sleep in or get on the water/ Snow be damned. The boat was already hooked up and ready to go.

All photos by Wade Fellin

Tom Murphy and I picked the boat up at Big Hole Lodge and hopped over to his parents house in Great Falls. We woke up to two inches of snow on the boat and a strong Great Falls wind.

Tom Murphy battles snow and wind to get his fly in the right spot.

Knowing full well we were crazy, the decision to float had been made days before, and we were committed come hell or high water. By the time we got the boat in the water It was 25 degrees, snowing sideways and without rowing the boat was going up river!

Tom’s big rainbow made the frozen fingers and all the difficult casting and rowing worth it.

It took us four hours to get from Wolf Creek to Craig, but the rainbow Tom boated made numb hands and feet all worthwhile.

Wade Fellin is Manager at Craig Fellin Outfitters & Big Hole Lodge.

Hope you got out there before the melt! River is on the rise

After fishing Monday, we reported that the river was in good shape. This is no longer the case at the moment! The warm weather this week has brought out a lot of low snow and the river has temporarily (we hope) blown out.  Fish with big bugs and get em tight to the bank! 

Water flow: 1,950 cfs
Visibility: 12 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 42 Degrees F
Water condition: Off-color 
Best time of day to fish: 1:00-4:00 PM
Best stretch: Jerry Creek- Dewey
Best access point: Dewey
Dry Fly fishing in order of importance:
Skwalas
Nymphs in order of importance:
Girdle bugs, yellow streamers, black wooly buggers
Fish species: Trout
Fishing season: Spring
Nearest airport: Butte
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 3X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod9′ 6 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly lineDouble Taper Trout Fly Line
Best sinking fly lineStreamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line

Craig’s Tip of the Week:

Leaders are probably the most overlooked pieces of equipment that we use on the trout stream. I finely tapered leader either knotless or knotted will turn your fly over with ease assuming you make a good cast and match the right sized tippet with the fly you’re fishing. For example you’d use a 3x tippet if you’re fishing #10 hoppers in the wind, or you’d use a 6x tippet fishing a #20 baetis imitation in a slow pool. What wouldn’t work would be a 5x tippet attached to a #12 Royal Wulff. Another mistake many fly fishers make is using a leader that has been snipped off numerous times during the day adding new tippet to the point where the taper on the leader has been compromised. When this happens, the fly doesn’t land where its intended to, and you spend a critical moment or two searching for your fly on the water and inviting a missed strike. Use a well tapered leader each time you step in the water.

Check back weekly for updated reports! 

Big Hole River Fishing Report: April 8, 2014

Report by: Craig Fellin for Orvis Fishing Reports

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Hank Hunker, of Sweetwater Fishing Expeditions, with a nice early season brown

Fishing has been good in the afternoons! Fish are looking up for midges and skwalas in the slower water and along the banks and they are chasing streamers and chomping girdle bugs in the riffles, especially at the tail end.

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Water flow: 820 cfs
Visibility: 36 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 42 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: 1:00-4:00 PM
Best stretch: Jerry Creek- Dewey
Best access point: Dewey
Dry Fly fishing in order of importance:
Midges, blue winged olives, skwalas
Nymphs in order of importance:
Girdle bugs, yellow streamers, black wooly buggers
Fish species: Trout
Fishing season: Spring
Nearest airport: Butte
Recommended fly fishing leader12 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet6X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod9′ 5 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly lineDouble Taper Trout Fly Line
Best sinking fly lineStreamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line

Craig’s Tip of the Week:

Leaders are probably the most overlooked pieces of equipment that we use on the trout stream. I finely tapered leader either knotless or knotted will turn your fly over with ease assuming you make a good cast and match the right sized tippet with the fly you’re fishing. For example you’d use a 3x tippet if you’re fishing #10 hoppers in the wind, or you’d use a 6x tippet fishing a #20 baetis imitation in a slow pool. What wouldn’t work would be a 5x tippet attached to a #12 Royal Wulff. Another mistake many fly fishers make is using a leader that has been snipped off numerous times during the day adding new tippet to the point where the taper on the leader has been compromised. When this happens, the fly doesn’t land where its intended to, and you spend a critical moment or two searching for your fly on the water and inviting a missed strike. Use a well tapered leader each time you step in the water.

Check back weekly for updated reports! 

Pebble Mine Update: Mining Company Rio Tinto leaves Pebble Project

 

Written by: Kathleen Moore for Orvis News

In December, we updated readers on the status of the Pebble Mine project. Since then, we got news that the EPA announced it is invoking its authority under the Clean Water Act to determine whether it should permanently bar the development of Pebble Mine.

Today, a new development: major stakeholder Rio Tinto has announced it is ending its involvement. We are just getting word of this, and will have more information on what this means for the future of the project as the story unfolds, but wanted to announce it here right away.

Read the full story here.

Read about Orvis’s “Stop Pebble Mine” Commitment here.

2014 Preview: Your Own Room, Fresh Faces and a Fresh Look!

ImageWith another snowstorm bearing down on Southwest Montana, I thought it would bolster my mental fortitude to write about fly fishing.  I’ve been tying steelhead patterns to use on the Salmon River next month for the early spring run. This has helped abate the extreme cabin fever all of us in the Big Hole Valley seem to contract about this time each winter, although this winter has been different than most. I think that could be an understatement for just about anywhere in the country, but I make the motion with great enthusiasm that its time to start thinking about big brown trout and beautiful rivers like the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Bitterroot.

“I still don’t know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel.”
Roderick L. Haig-Brown
A River Never Sleeps (1946)

Tight Lines,
Craig Fellin

ImageSPRING FISHING
Our season starts with an early pre-runoff 4 night/3 day fly fishing package (see rates) from April 29-May 2nd. The water level on the Big Hole is usually ideal at this time and the trout are hungry after a long, cold winter. Expect to fish nymphs and streamers in the morning and skwala stonefly and blue winged olive dry fly patterns in the afternoon. Very few people are on the river at this time and the trout haven’t seen many flies yet. This is also a great time to be on the Missouri River, which is well known for its prolific blue winged olive hatches in April and May and superb dry fly fishing.

SPEY CASTING CLINIC
Big Hole Lodge will be hosting its 2nd annual Spey Casting Clinic with Larry Aiuppy on May 3-7. Larry is the only certified spey casting instructor in Montana and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event. For me the spey cast is like watching a well-balanced and well-timed golf swing or even a ballet as some would compare. Granted the cast is meant for large salmon/steelhead rivers but there are also trout applications with the shorter spey or switch rods, fishing streamers or soft hackles in the surface film. This is a 4 night/3 day package for $2,630 per person based on double occupancy and guaranteed to jump-start your fly fishing season.

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YOUR OWN ROOM AND CELL SERVICE
We have changed our total capacity at the lodge from twelve down to eight guests. We still plan on accommodating larger intact groups of 10-12 by special request, but the norm will be eight guests per week. There are several reasons why we made the change, but primarily it will allow each guest to have their own bedroom.  We heard so many tales of guests not being able to sleep because their roommate kept them awake at night, so now your worries are over and you’ll be able to sleep to your heart’s content. We also feel that we can give more attention to the individual at our lodge with the lower capacity and be able to deliver a quality experience that exceeds all expectations. Your satisfaction has always been our utmost concern and now we’ll be able to give you even more attention than before.

We have also replaced a lot of the furniture around the lodge with plush leather armchairs and sofas that we think you’ll really enjoy. The outdoor furniture has also been replaced with cedar Adirondack chairs that will make your cocktail hour even more enjoyable as you gaze at the majestic Pioneer Mountains surrounding the lodge.  We now have Verizon cell phone service at the lodge limited to the dining room and the deck adjoining the dining room.

FRESH FACES ON THE OARS
We have a new guide in our line-up, Rudy Ketchum, whom I think will be a great addition to our team. Rudy grew up in Butte and has fly fished the Big Hole most of his life. He has an MBA and has installed healthcare software in hospitals for the past 22 years. Rudy has two sons and a daughter and looks forward to spending more time with his family and guiding our clients on the Big Hole. We also have a new guide for the Missouri River, Russ  Dobrzynski, who lives in Craig, MT and fishes and guides on the river year round.  Russ will be our Missouri River expert and loves to hunt those trophy brown trout that the river is known for. This is an overnight trip and requires advance reservations so please call us if you’re interested. The additional fee for the Missouri trip is $200 per person. My son Wade will finish law school and sit for his bar exam in late July. After what will be a much-needed vacation, he’ll return to our guide roster in late August and be with us each summer going forward.

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145% OF SNOWPACK
With all the snow we’ve been getting, the Big Hole should have great flows this summer and allow our guides to float their boats with relative ease through September. The snowpack going into March is 145% of normal which is fantastic! We still have some excellent weeks available in July, August and September that should offer some of the best fishing we’ve had in several years with the healthy flows that are predicted for the latter part of the season.

As an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge and being one of the premiere lodges offered by Frontiers Travel, we are proud to have hosted fly fishing trips for our guests for over 30 years.  Please give us a call soon and we can talk Montana trout fishing! This is shaping up to be a very special year and we don’t want you to miss it.

(406) 832-3252
info@bigholelodge.com
http://www.flyfishinglodge.com