Blog format on our website

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.

Visit our WordPress format for Wapiti Waters Blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From San Diego to Montana - Quite an adjustment - The Bitteroot fished great!

beautiful cutthroat trout caught by Dusty Bernard Dusty Bernard organizes a spring fishing trip to the Bitterroot. They stay at the Bitterroot River Lodge and fish with Wapiti Waters.

This year was the coldest weather they had fished in and Jack said it was the coldest water temperatures he had ever guided on. There was ice everywhere but the trout, including the Bitterroot native cutthroat you see Dusty holding, still came up to their dry flies. For this fish, Dusty used one of Banjo Jack's Skwalla Dry Flies.

For more photos see the slideshow below. Hopefully, Dusty and others will send us some of the photos from their cameras. When they do, I will update the slideshow. Check back in a few days.

Choose View Album to see the photos in a new, larger window, then choose the slideshow option to view in full screen mode.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bitterroot River update – current USGS water levels and snowpack to-date

Tucker Crossing Fishing Access
Here is a photo taken at Tucker Crossing north of Victor, MT at 9:45 am. It is just about the middle of the Bitterroot River. You can see the sky is overcast and spring run-off hasn't started. The river is not high - normal for this time of year, the weather is cool.

The air temperature starts out in the upper 30 degree range, about 11 am or 12 pm it climbs over 40 degrees. Today's high is forecasted at 52 degrees with the high-overcast sky.

There is no water temperature gage on the Florence measuring station but the upper river water temperature is hovering around 37 degrees.

Click graph below to visit USGS website for water data near Florence MT (north of Tucker Crossing).

Discharge, cubic feet per second
Most recent instantaneous value: 982 cfs, 03-28-2009 12:45
CFS data for Florence, MT

S N O W - P R E C I P I T A T I O N U P D A T E
Based on Mountain Data from NRCS SNOTEL Sites
As of SATURDAY: MARCH 28 , 2009
Data Site Name (Ft) Current Average Avg - Current Average Avg

BITTERROOT RIVER BASIN - click link to go to complete report

DALY CREEK (5780) 101% - 112%

LOLO PASS (5240) 92 - 90

NEZ PERCE CAMP (5650) 101 - 112

SADDLE MTN. (7940) 92 - 88

SKALKAHO SUMMIT (7250) 87 - 97

TWELVEMILE CREEK (5600) 109 - 109

TWIN LAKES (6400) 101 - 102

Basin wide percent of average,
Snow Water Equivilant 97% and Total Precipitation 100%

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cool Weather on the Bitterroot

Wader at Stevensville Access on the Bitterroot River
Jack fished the upper-middle of the Bitterroot yesterday and left his boat at a private access. He also left his camera in the boat bag so I can't show you his photos. They had a cool day, but caught plenty of fish.

I was out doing errands and crossed the Bitterroot River at Stevensville. See the wader to the left, he was floating with friends in a hard boat, but decided to wade a bit. I came back across the Bitterroot at Victor Crossing. See the photo below with the blue boat. The sun was out part of the time, wind was minimal, but the temperatures never got above 45 degrees that I know should be a little bit warmer.

Boat floating near Victor Crossing on the Bitterroot River

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Big Fish - Good Start for Fishing with Wapiti Waters in 2009

Trout caught on the Bitterroot by Jack MauerThis photo is from the middle Bitterroot River near Florence, Montana. The river has been coming up a bit. Near Florence on March 20 it was around 800 cubic feet per second (CFS) and today it is about 1100 CFS. The air temperature is averaging in the lower 40 degree marks and the water temperature is hovering around 40 degrees, too.

The fish are feeding and believe it or not, we like a little cloud cover (which we are getting). If the sun is out, it might feel a little warmer, but it is too bright for the fish to want to feed. The wind is the big comfort factor, if it comes up, it feels much colder. Dress in layers, go out for shorter floats, bring hot liquids and you can experience some great fishing!

See the slideshow below for a few photos taken from March 19 through 23. Jack has been fishing with John Hickman, Jeff Rogers, John Wilson, and Marshall Bloom. It is a nice start to our 2009 season. Tomorrow we have a group coming in from San Diego. Let's hope we get a little warmer weather as is predicted. The Bernard group has been coming for years and they always catch fish! They will be staying as usual at the Bitterroot River Lodge.

To see our webpage with links to USGS streamflow information go to

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our good friend Terrill Nobles

Books from Terry Nobles
Terry Nobles has been fishing with Jack for "I don't know how long." He is a good friend and has contributed to the Bitterroot area as a conservationist for longer than I have know him. We went to visit Terry yesterday.

I was amazed at two of his collections. One is of model airplanes. He has many and as a pilot, flew every kind of plane in his collection. He also is an avid reader and has walls of books. He said he is slowly downsizing so he gifted two books (not the first time) to Jack. See the photo to the left.

Trout Fishing by Joe Brooks, published in 1972
Trout, the Fisherman's Bible by Ray Bergman, published in 1970.

Our friend, John Bolton, wrote a story about Terry Nobles called A Bitterroot Morning.
Terry Nobles fishing with Jack Mauer

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Parts Unlimited, Victor, Montana

Parts Unlimited, Victor MT

Yesterday, Jack and I planned to go fishing. It was cold and windy so we opted to do some work on gear and vehicles. We have been working with Parts Unlimited for years and they provide such great service, we decided to let you all know about them.

Parts Unlimited
1829 US Highway 93 N
Victor, MT 59875
(406) 642-3403
Toll Free: 800-642-3405
Get directions

Parts Unlimited Office Building

In these days of recycling and an economic crunch, this business makes sense. They recycle parts, provide a cost savings and excellent professional service, and stimulate our local economy! Check them out, you will be glad you did.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Last Snow Hoorah for Wapiti Waters

Sundog on Gash CreekThe last 8 days or so we have had a snowy cold spell that provided us some backcountry/crosscountry skiing. This weather also gave us a boost in moisture stored high in the mountains waiting for spring run-off.

Next week, the weather is predicted to warm up to near 50 degrees. That is nice, not TOO warm. We are planning to scout the river and we have a few fishing dates on the calendar, too. The end of March and April are booking up nicely. We will be posting blogs to show you how the fishing shapes up.
Virgin snow a ski loop near Bear Creek
In honor of old man winter, here are some photos of our last ski days. We hiked/climbed to get to the snow, but it was worth it! Soon, we will be sitting in the boat and there won't be as much time for cardio-fitness.

You have to eat when you ski Some days we used touring ski's other days we used backcountry gear. We are fortunate to live in the Bitterroots. Great outdoor fun all year long.

Yesterday was cold, about 17 to 20 degrees, but the sun was brilliant. That might have been our last mountain snow day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bitterroot River in early March 2009

Tucker Crossing on the Bitterroot River It is March. The snow water equivalent and total precipitaition measurements for the Bitterroot (and much of Montana) are slightly below 100%. To the left is a photo taken March 2 at Tucker Crossing looking to the south. At that time, we were in a dry weather pattern. Teller Trailhead Sign
The next two photos are from the same day and taken at Woodside Crossing looking north. As a side note, there is a great trail provided by Teller Wildlife Refuge. It is well used for exercise and nature walks. Woodside Crossing on the Bitterroot River
Snow in Gash Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains west of Victor

The snowy photo was taken March 8th of Gash Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains west of Victor, MT while we were cross country skiing. We just had a few days of snow and cooler weather. It is wonderful to see more precipitation stored in the mountains for later run-off into our rivers and streams.

To see current snow/precipitation data and USGS current stream conditions for the rivers we fish, visit Wapiti Waters Local Stream Flow Links .