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Jack C. Mauer has more than a thirty year investment in fishing, floating and wading the waters of western Montana. He is intimately acquainted with the surrounding fisheries and their corresponding ecologies. It is his passion and enthusiasm for the art of fly fishing, a respect and knowledge of trout habitat, and the ability to expertly instruct the technical aspects of fly fishing that clients appreciate as they return to western Montana and Wapiti Waters. Contact Jack at 800-254-5311.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bitterroot River with Jeff Rogers

Jeff Rogers with a nice trout on the Bitterroot River It is all about photos. What else can you say on a day like this!

Jeff and Jack floated the Bitterroot on another beautiful fall day. Above is a photo of Jeff.

Aerial gymnastics

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bitterroot River with Jim & Naomi Shields

Naomi Shields with a cutthroat trout

Jim and Naomi came over from Washington and fished a couple of days with Jack.

They are so much fun, Jack really enjoyed seeing them.

I am posting a photo of Naomi and a slideshow of all the photos including Jim with his rainbow and Jack with his pike. All of these photos were taken by Jim or Naomi Shields.

Pike from the Bitterroot River

Jack with his pike. He gave them to a camper on the bank - I don't know his name
I am a little behind on the posts. I will try to catch up. Here is a photo of a couple of Pike Jack took out of the Bitterroot River.
We are going fishing today, so I will post more this evening and tomorrow. Jack has been fishing with clients all week and there are some nice photos I will be posting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bitterroot River - Doc Bolton and Terry Nobles

Doc Bolton with a cuttbow on the Bitterroot RiverYesterday Jack came home all excited about the Bitterroot again. The water temperatures are dropping (between 50-52 degrees), the cool nights, fall days and waning moon seem to help - the fishing is really turning on in the afternoons.

He was fortunate to have two of his favorite people to fish with. Doc Bolton lives in California but has come to Montana for years and now has a small homestead near the Bitterroot River. Terry Nobles is long standing Bitterroot resident and Marine veteran, the best of the best in our opinion. Both gentlemen are avid trout fishermen and Trout Unlimited supporters. You will see us all at the Bitter Root TU Banquet this Friday, September 26.Terry Nobles on the Clark Fork with Jack Mauer guiding

Doc Bolton also wrote a story called Bitterroot Morning about Doc and Terry fishing with Jack.
Click the hotlink, Bitterroot Morning, to check it out and see a couple more

Above is a photo of Doc with his fish of the day. We didn't get a photo of Terry yesterday, but to the right is one from my files. He fishes all year but we seem to get most of the photos of him and his fish in the fall like this one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Annual Banquet for BRTU, September 26, 2008

This is an invitation to attend the 29th annual Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Banquet. The banquet will start at 5:00 PM on Friday, September 26 at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton. Tickets are $45.00 per person – same as last year-, and can be reserved or purchased now at Fishaus Tackle. Click the hotlinks (names) for addresses and/or maps.
Angler wading on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River
Click this link to see the BRTU blog with a list of auction items - Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Banquet.

There will be a gourmet dinner prepared from local ingredients and catered by Riversong Catering. Silver Coin is in charge of the beverage table and we will again be featuring premium microbrews from Bitter Root Brewing! We will have special awards, drawings, door prizes, live and silent auctions. Premiums will include gourmet dinners, fine wines, elegant jewelry, fishing trips on the fabled Middle Fork of the Flathead, the Kootenai, the Madison, Big Hole and Bitterroot River, tackle, and artwork by local artists and craftspersons.

Here are a couple sneak previews! Tom Morgan of Tom Morgan Rodsmiths, also know as the “Rodfather”, is donating one of his exclusive new fiberglass rod blanks. We have also secured a stay in a flyfishing lodge in New Zealand. Other special items include #2 of the Monte Dolack print that our chapter commissioned last year, and a special outing to Lake Como with dinner for 8 at the Hikers Lodge.

Why should you come? Besides having a great time, swapping fishing stories, meeting people and visiting with your friends, here are just a couple of other reasons. We continue to work hard on the conservation and education side of things. Chapter representatives are deeply engaged in youth education, water quality monitoring, stream setback efforts, native trout restoration, habitat restoration, and a host of other issues designed to make sure that the quality of our streams and fisheries will be in good shape for future generations.

This banquet is our only fundraiser, and we are strictly a volunteer organization. Importantly, all of the money we raise stays in Montana, most of it here in the Bitterroot. Your support is what makes it happen! So, please plan on attending now.
The doors open at 5:00 PM, so there will be plenty of time to visit with friends, buy raffle tickets, view the items and bid on the silent auction. Dinner will be at 6:30 PM and will be followed by the live and silent auctions, door prize and other drawings.

Tickets are on sale at Fishaus Tackle (363-6158, The $45 ticket price is a real bargain. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. Please remember that the last five years’ banquets were totally sold out at least a week before the event and seating will be limited, so reserve your tickets early. And of course, you don’t have to be a TU member to share in the fun.

If you would like to participate in our Sponsor Program, please contact Marshall
Bloom (363-3485, or Bill Bean (363-6158,

For more information, to make a donation, or help out, contact Marshall Bloom (363-3485,, Bill Bean (363-6158, or Doug Nation (363-3127).
By September 26, summer will be over and everyone will be ready to have some fun. So, come help us celebrate. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Bluegrass Band, Pinegrass - One of Jack's other hats

View 2007 Bitterroot Bluegrass Festival Album
Jack Mauer and his dobro at the 2007 Bitterroot Bluegrass Festival in Hamilton, MTToday Jack is performing at a wedding in Belgrade, MT with his band, Pinegrass. It is a welcome break in the fly fishing guiding season when he can play music in this kind of venue. Here is a slide show from a wedding in Missoula, MT in September of last year.

View Wedding in Missoula Album

Friday, September 19, 2008

Middle Bitterroot River with John Hickman

John Hickman with a Bitterroot Brown TroutYesterday, Jack fished the Blackfoot again. Well, I cleaned my desk in the afternoon and found the camera card. No photos on that beautiful day with Jerry and Debra O'Connell.

The day before, he and John Hickman floated the Bitterroot River on the stretch from Bell Crossing to Stevensville. The sun was bright and the trout are very well educated because it is a popular piece of water - easy access and not too long a float. During a trico hatch they caught some beautiful fish. Here is a photo of John Hickman with a brown trout.

Today is a day of rest for Jack. Now that this is posted, we are off for a fitness hike to the south of Sweathouse Canyon. Maybe I will take some photos there!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Missoula Performance of the Smuin Ballet - A Benefit for McLaughlin Research Institute

When: Tuesday 09/29 and 9/30/2008 at 7:30

Who: Smuin Ballet

What: Art : Dance - Ballet

Where: University of Montana


Debuting in March 1994, Smuin Ballet has quickly established itself as “one of this country’s most entertaining, original ballet troupes,” (Dance Magazine). Indeed, few names in dance are as widely known and recognized as that of Michael Smuin: at the heart of the company is Mr. Smuin’s singular ability to create pieces which merge the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance forms.
Monday 09/29: Dancin' with Gershwin and other selections. In the Montana Theatre across from the Adams Center. The Monday Gala ticket includes the reception.

Tuesday 09/30: Dancin' with Gershwin and other selections. In the Montana Theatre across from the Adams Center.

Age Group: All Ages
To purchase tickets:
  • call the Adams Center Box Office at 1.406.243.4051
  • call 1.888.MONTANA
  • visit

Where is the University Theatre?
The University Theatre is located on the Missoula campus of the The University of Montana. Driving directions, maps, parking, and much more can be found here. Also, the following PDF map includes the highlighted location of the University Theatre on campus.

We are very fortunate to have this company perform in Missoula and even more fortunate that Michael Smuin was born in Missoula and continued to cherish his home town. Sadly, he passed away last year. Come see the ballet and know that Missoula and Montana creates the people who can change our world as we know it.

You will also be supporting an important world changing institution, the McLaughlin Research Institute with another Montana native as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr. Irving L. Weissman. Irv is orignally from Great Falls, MT and is now at Stanford University.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lower Bitterroot with Jack. Full moon, Northern Pike, trout, birds, and scenery

Today Jack is on the Blackfoot. Fishing can become a chore when you do it every day, all day, but the Blackfoot with its faster flows, boulders, and intricate runs still gets Jack excited. More on the Blackfoot in a day or two after his trips with clients.

About this blog, the lower Bitterroot. In contrast with the Blackfoot, it is a big wide section of river, but slower and in many places much shallower. That makes for flat water, more rowing and during a full moon, very picky trout!
Jack's trout from the lower Bitterroot near Missoula, MT Lower Bitterroot River looking at Missoula
From 2008 09.14 lower Bitterroot River
Jack had yesterday off and in a generous gesture, he took me on a float fairly close to home. One of the reasons he wanted to do this stretch was to research the northern pike that thrive there. Northern Pike in the lower Bitterroot RiverPike are a predatory fish and a highly prized game fish. They are not native to the Bitterroot and prey on all other species of invertebrates. That being said, they can get very big and very fun to catch and we are interested in catching them. Let me tell you, we found them, but didn't do so well in the catching of them. We have much to learn in that area, but are willing. When we catch them, we will not be putting them back. Click this northern pike hotlink to see why.
I took quite a few photos in between catching a few finicky trout. Hold your cursor over the arrow and click to speed it up. See the slide show or "view album" to see all the photos. To see the rising trout and details on other photos, it is best to view the slide show in full screen in a speed that will load the photos, but move along fairly quickly - a speed of at somewhere around 4 seconds per photo.

If the links don't open when you click them, right click and choose "open in new window."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Big Hole River with Peggy and Bob Ratcheson

The Big Hole is a wonderful river. It is quite a bit higher in elevation than the other rivers we fish with much of the Big Hole valley floor above 6000 feet. Today Jack is using his raft because the water levels are also lower than the Bitterroot, Clark Fork and Blackfoot. A raft doesn't make much noise when it hits the rocks, etc.Peggy Ratcheson on the Big Hole River
Bob Ratcheson on the Big Hole River
Bob and Peggy are heading back to Ohio next week and we are having this years last fishing fling on this amazing river.

View Bob and Peggy's Album on my Picasa website

Click the link to see a closer view of Bob's Trout.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Patagonia February 2009

Patagonia Riverscape
Jack and I are getting calls of interest about fly fishing in Patagonia - Argentina in 2009. We are beginning to plan our 2009 trip. Today I am going through photos from previous trips. I will put together a slideshow in the next few days and post it. Here are a few photos to entice us.

Argentina is a beautiful country with a good infrastructure. Traveling in Argentina is very easy. Jack was there for 3 weeks in Feb/Mar 2006, he and I went back in Feb/Mar 2008. We loved it so much, we are going again and invite you to email or call us if you are interested in going yourselves. We won't guide, but we will help you find Argentinian guides and accomodations that suit your needs.
Jack Mauer in Patagonia
Jack Mauer, above, with a nice fish.
A few notes: Jack and I made our own travel plans traveling to Buenos Aires, then to Bariloche, and north to an area where there are many rivers to fish. We explored the country by Argentinian airlines, took the bus - which was VERY clean and plush, and rented a car. The scenery is breath taking, the towns are full of life with great food and lodging options, and the skiing and fishing industries are thriving.

If you want to fish: We recommend that you educate yourselves on the access laws and how to find a FULLY licensed guide. Besides your rod and vest, it is difficult to carry much gear while traveling and almost impossible to ship it down. The fishing trip prices are comparable to our US prices and the outfitters have all the equipment needed for a great fishing and camping trip. Don't try to save money by going with a rogue (unlicensed) guide. Let me say it is just not worth it.
Below is Marianne Brant from Kila, Montana.
Marianne Brant of Kila, Montana fishing in Patagonia

The willows can form an actual tunnel. Technical rowing is required on these complex water wayswinding through a willow tunnel in Patagonia!

Hiking in the interesting ecosystems, sightseeing in the many national parks, wonderful markets in quaint little towns, Patagonia is full of excitement and fun. You will see what I mean when I publish my slide show.

Editors update: Jack wanted me to mention the people of Argentina, an oversight of mine. Everywhere we traveled, from Buenos Aires, to Bariloche and north, we found the people to be very kind and helpful. They are proud and industrious. From the planes, trains, markets, hotels, bus stations, shops, bakeries, wineries, and building industry and more, they were very good at what they do. Even when they didn't speak English and could not decipher our bad Spanish, we were able to get what we needed and ENJOY the experience. We love the Argentines.

I am still working on the slide show.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The state of the Clark Fork River - after removal of Milltown Dam

Missoula, Montana - article from eCurrents of the Clark Fork CoalitionThe new bypass channel

Beyond the breach: A guide to Milltown down

The Milltown dam is officially history this fall as the last of the spillway is removed. But how has the river fared during this massive construction project? At the Clark Fork Coalition, we're dedicated to bringing you the facts about what's going on at the former Milltown Dam site as well as downstream throughout the Clark Fork basin. We've started a new online resource page for the public to use, summarizing data from the breach and beyond on fisheries, water quality, groundwater levels, and sediment in the river. The pages are under construction, and we'll update as new information becomes available.

For a full presentation of the impacts and benefits of the breach, plan to attend the upcoming public meeting on the Milltown cleanup on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in Bonner. EPA, state, and local officials will be on the bluff south of the Clark Fork overlooking the project starting at 4:00 PM to answer questions and point out the work to-date. At 6:30 PM, the meeting will reconvene in the Bonner Elementary School gymnasium.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flathead River, Scott Rods and perfecting the technique of "standing on a pontoon"

Jessa is using the X2S, Scott saltwater rod in a 9 weight. Jessa Loman Linford on the Flathead River - using the Scott X2S rod, 9 weight
We were fishing for trout, pike and small mouth bass. The photo was taken south of Buffalo Bridge (south of Polson, Montana). The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes manage this wonderful fishery.

  • Wapiti Waters outfits our fly fishing trips with Scott High Performance Fly Rods out of Montrose, Colorado.

  • To see more Scott Rods visit their site at

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork Rivers with the Tollisons - 3 Men, 3 Days, 3 Rivers

    Boyce Tollison caught this beauty on the Bitterroot River - photo by Dave Heimes
    September is an amazing time to fish western Montana. The weather is cooler, the fish are feeding and variety is the spice of life. Boyce Tollison and his sons, Mike and Tim fished with Wapiti Waters for three days in September. Jack Mauer and Dave Heimes guided them on three rivers. I want to post a few photos, one of Boyce's trout from the Bitterroot River and then Mike and his trout from the Clark Fork. Next, see a slide show with photos of Boyce, Tim and Mike. Thanks for coming guys, Jack and Dave had a great time with you!
    Mike Tollison on the Clark Fork River - photo by Dave Heimes

    I am posting a slide show of all the photos. Click on the slideshow or "View Album" link below to see them or download them.