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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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Monday, June 29, 2009

West Fork of the Bitterroot with Jeff Rogers and his Dad

 Colonel Rogers with his cutthroat trout
Jeff's Dad is visiting and they are fly fishing with Jack for a few days. They went to the West Fork of the Bitterroot today. They left around 8:00 am, and it is a good thing. It got pretty darn hot today. Last I saw, it was 86 degrees.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fly Fishing the Big Hole River with Jeremy and Becky Anderson

Jeremy and Becky Anderson went to the Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Annual Banquet last September. They had a great time and won the bid on a fishing trip with Wapiti Waters. Today was the day and boy, did they catch fish! Next years BRTU Banquet is Friday, September 25 - 2009 Annual BRTU Banquet, 5:30 pm, our 30th!!! Mark your calendar and plan to attend. Visit BRTU's site at

Becky Anderson w/Big Hole River Brown Trout
Jeremy sent these terrific photos with this note:
Thank you for a great time fishing on Saturday. Becky and I enjoyed it and learned a lot. We will definitely be coming back for more. Here are some pics for your website.
Thanks again,
Jeremy Anderson

Thank you, Jeremy and Becky. Jack really enjoyed his day with both of you.
See the slideshow below for all four photos from the Big Hole River fly fishing day.

Click here to view all in a new window.

Monday, June 22, 2009

West Fork of the Bitterroot with Billy and Jeff

trout under water
This was the last day of Billy's trip. He just sent me photos. They caught some hogs!! I mean big trout.

I just updated the slideshow below with photos from Jack's camera.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bitterroot River with Nate and Kristen visiting from New York

Kristen on the Bitterroot River
Wapiti Waters has been following Nate Schweber for a while now on his New Heathens' Blog and finally, Jack got to meet him.

Nate and Kristen fished with Jack on the Bitterroot on June 14. Nate is from Missoula but he and Kristen now live and work in New York City.

Kristen had never been to Montana until this trip with Nate! They had so much fun, I am surprised they survived all the activity.

See some of their photos here, the rest of the photos with all the stories are posted by Nate on his New Heathens' Blog.

All the photos are from Nate's camera.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Big Hole River with Jeff and Billy

Billy caught this fish
Jeff and Billy fished the Big Hole with Jack for a few days. Here are the photos that they sent me - taken with their camera. I have yet to see what is on Jack's camera. I will post those as soon as he has the time to give it to me. He has been very busy with fishing clients.

6/22: I just updated the slideshow below with a few photos from Jack's camera.

See the slideshow below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Billy Burk on the Bitterroot River

Billy Burk with a Bitterroot Trout
Billy Burk is up from Colorado visiting his good friend Jeff. Jeff and Billy fished the Bitterroot yesterday with Jack. See the slideshow below.

Tomorrow they will drive to the Big Hole, meet up with Jack (who is guiding there today) and fish another two days. They know how to have a good time. I hope they will be able to take more photos on the Big Hole. Check back to see...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fly Fishing the Bitterroot River with John Hickman

John Hickman's Bitterroot River Trout
John fishes with Jack pretty regularly. John is a retired (more than once) Marine, neighbor and good friend. He is also "godfather" to our Chesapeake puppy, Freda. Yesterday we fished a stretch of the Bitterroot mainstem Jack hadn't been down since high(est)-water. The water level was at about 3000 CFS - fairly big, but clear. John wanted Freda to come, too. In order to be safe and keep Freda in tow (or more accurately, in the boat), I got to come along as dog-sitter. I did get to catch some fish, too!

We saw a LOT of wood - new wood, the big kind with green leaves - in the river. In the slideshow you will see John play a fish and I will include some photos of Freda and new "trees" in the river.

If you are floating the Bitterroot while the water is fast, be sure to do your homework and have safety flotation devices. The hydraulics are dangerous and often difficult to predict. I didn't take photos of the biggest rocks and obstructions because Jack made me put my camera away. Wise choice.

Along the way, we saw herons, ducks, osprey, eagles, kingfishers, Lewis's Woopeckers and many more small birds. Those photos are for another blog entry.

We surprised a whitetail deer on a gravel bar. I loved those photos. To see them click on Merle's Whitetail Deer photo blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fly Fishing the Big Hole River in early June

Big Hole River trout caught by Susan
Jack and Dave Heimes guided some of our favorite clients on the upper Big Hole yesterday. Mike was out numbered by three women, Susan, Peggy and Joyce. It was big water, but not too big and the conditions were "pre-salmonfly hatch." Susan could hardly stop catching. She caught fish after fish after fish! Peggy was the designated photographer with Jack's camera.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A meeting of the rods - Bass and Trout fishing

Randy with a nice bass

Growing up in Illinois during the 1960's, I developed a real passion for both small and large mouth bass fishing. Like many a mid-westerner, I did a fair amount of spin fishing during this time and had some success catching them. Fishing for these species with a fly rod was the next step in angling evolution. However, moving to Missoula in the early 70’s put this type of fishing on the backburner. Recently I am discovering more bass and pike fishing opportunities around Missoula, but that is another story.

Since my early mid-western fishing days, bass fishing has turned into a big business sport with innovative gear, high tech boats and very popular competitions. A good competitive bass fisherman uses a specialized boat and spinning gear (mostly) coupled with incredibly accurate casting and presentation skills. As a tournament angler, one also has to have knowledge of bass life histories, the impoundments he fishes and the endurance to keep fishing.

On my recent family visit to Missouri my sister's friend, Randy Conlon, volunteered to take me out. He is a tournament bass angler who hasn't given up his day job yet. He has the same attributes I've found in my favorite trout fishermen; a genuine love and appreciation of the environment where bass/trout are found and knowledge to predict bass/trout behavior. Did I mention he is super accurate with his casts? He was very handy with an arsenal of rods and lures used to fool his favorite game fish. I enjoyed his pleasant demeanor, excellent boat handling skills and caution while respecting his fellow anglers on the water.

The morning started with us on the water and fishing about 6:15 am. During the morning, each of us caught several smaller bass on top with poppers. Watching Randy handle these fish, I was impressed as he took out hooks and released fish as gently as any neurosurgeon client I have seen. Part of our success was due to our flies and poppers. I had purchased several effective patterns from Backcountry Outfitters Fly Shop in Springfield, MO. See some of them in the slideshow below. It was a good time visiting with Michael Kyle, the proprietor. He is a knowledgeable angler and has the only fly shop in the area that I know of.

To sum it all up, I’ve found that a fly rod trout fisherman and a competitive bass angler have more in common than one might think. Randy, thanks for a great morning of angling. I look forward to my next Missouri bass fishing experience. Yep, I am planning to do it again.

Backcountry Outfitters click here for their webpage.
Michael and Kristina Kyle
2863 South Campbell
Springfield, MO 65807

contact them at (417) 889-6548

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bitterroot River Update - Bell Crossing on June 2

Bitterroot River looking south at Bell Crossing 6-2-09
Victor Crossing looks pretty much the same as my photos a few days ago so I decided go north (downstream) a few miles to take photos of Bell Crossing. Today the middle river gauge says 13,400 CFS - down from the peak of about 15, 600 CFS two days ago. The water is still a muddy brown, but I don't think there will be more than minor flooding. No rain is expected for the near future.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Missouri River in May with the Lauer

Steph on the Mo. Stephanie Lauer on the Missouri River in May. Steph and Josh spent some time on the "Mo" and sent me these photos.

We are at high water here in the Bitterroot so I am featuring a few friends.