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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Attached are photos of a recent catch, close to home, on the Arkansas River, and Walter the Wapiti; finally mounted on the wall in our living room. He was harvested from Jeff's Dad's ranch in western Colorado last October. Take care and God Bless..............Billy Burk
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I am experimenting with a new photo site and wanted to embed a slideshow from SmugMug. I haven't figured it out yet so I will post a photo of the Osprey that caught the fish (I am not sure if it was a trout or whitefish or what) and give you a link to the slideshows. I hope you like them!
The fish in my earlier blog DID NOT catch the fish. This photo is of a different Osprey we saw about 15 minutes later and down river. It was a really fun bird sighting day not to mention great fishing.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The second photo is, of course, a female skwala stonefly on my wader pant leg. She stayed with us in the boat for most of the trip.
Below is a fish Jack caught while wade fishing during a mayfly hatch. I can't tell you what fly he was using, it is too obvious.
When you fish the hatch, you will have to match the size.
Jack also caught the brown trout in an earlier post during this hatch. AND with my camera around my neck, I caught one of the biggest fish, another brown trout, right at the end of the hatch. Now that I am learning to set my hook better, it is getting a lot more fun!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Martha and I back from BA and trying to catch up after two weeks away. Our hunt for red stag in the Pampas was very interesting. Very different ground to Patagonia. The country is open savannah with gentle rolling wooded hills mixed in. About 400 miles SW of BA. Very like southern Africa or northern Australia savannah country, quite dry, good cattle country.
All hunting was for free ranging animals, no fences. Stags were in full 'roar' which is always a remarkable natural event, just like the experience of witnessing our elk bugling. Shot a nice stag as well as a cull and a small (young) wild boar, all with the little 6.5mm, Jack, which did the job in each case with one shot and with as much aplomb as any .300 magnum. The 6.5mm is a fine hunting rifle, my favorite caliber for deer sized stuff at present.
The estancia barbecued the little boar in a typical Argentinian asada, it was amazing, the best meal of the whole trip, with natural vegetables from the estancia's garden. Homestead was an old Spanish style from the late 19thc, early 20thc, very authentic feeling.
Then BA for a few days including a night at a traditional (versus a Las Vegas type) tango, and another at a wonderful Flamenco theatre with a Flamenco guitarist you would have loved, Jack. Martha finished her wedding shopping (shoes and a shawl to match her wedding dress). You have to love the Argentinians and their priorities: barbecued red meat, red wine from Mendoza and dulce de leche (on everything) and chocolates (after everything)!
Couple of pics from the estancia are attached. I couldn't post this on your blog, you are welcome to use any or all of it if you wish.
All the best to you both,
Alan Pilkington is a wonderful writer. See his website at www.alanpilkington.com to check out his books and learn more about him. To see all the posts we have done about Alan, click here: Alan Pilkington posts by Wapiti Waters.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We caught fish, mostly in the afternoon during a mayfly hatch and the birds were extremely active. I ended up taking about 500 photos of fish we caught, scenery of course, our puppy, flowers, Hooded Mergansers, Osprey, geese, mayfies and more. Consequently, I am really busy editing them and haven't done a post recently. Today I will post a few teaser photos. I will do more and a slideshow as soon as I can.
Check back soon to see if this osprey comes up with a fish!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The association, which was formed in 1999, offers a slate of events throughout the year to promote bluegrass music. This includes sponsoring performances by local and nationally recognized bluegrass bands, campouts of bluegrass pickers and fans, and workshops where enthusiasts can develop their music skills.
The 2009 spring festival, which is in its 10th year, gives bluegrass fans an opportunity to hear outstanding performances across spectrum of bluegrass music. Started by a few “bluegrassers” from the Missoula and Bitterroot Valley, the association now has over 250 members.
Bands performing this year:Acousticals, Bill Anderson & Jeff Trask, Black Mountain Boys, Bonnie Bliss & Stan Hall, BVDs, Gravel Road, Ken Benson & Friends, Larry Gangi, Sr., Mike & Tari Conroy, Pinegrass, Ramblin’ Rose, Salmon Valley String Band, Spring Thaw, Three Rivers Bluegrass, Will Williams, Wise River Mercantile. To read more about this event and the late-night jam and campover, visit our website at http://www.mtbluegrass.com/.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Joe Graziano fished this beautiful day with Jack on the Bitterroot River. With the very cool nights, the river is coming up, but fairly orderly and there are fish to be caught.
The forecast for next week is for 70 degree days and nights above freezing. Those ingredients make for a rising river and possible run-off conditions.
Check back to see what happens and if the fishing turns on or off. For Bitterroot weather (ten day forecast) and local USGS streamflow data click www.wapiti-waters.com/stream.htm.
Friday, April 17, 2009
He wanted to fish with me. It is always good to get on the water with incredible casters, professional oarsmen and genuinely good people. For a decade, mid-80s to 90s, Jeff and I were part of a team of about 6 other guides at the Complete Fly fisher on the Big Hole River. We all shared the resource, the clients, the expertise, and the fun. This was a really good time in our lives.
Jeff has since gotten out of guiding and works in the oil fields of Wyoming. He and his wife, Lisa, and their two beautiful young daughters live in Butte.
As you can see by these photos in the slideshow below, his passion for angling has not diminished.
Jeff came to fish today with his close friend, Patrick Botzet, now from Missoula, but raised on the Front Range near Cutbank, MT. Patrick and Jeff were extraordinary river companions and I learned a lot about the energy development in Wyoming. See Patrick's website at Teton Exploration.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The river was up enough to be pretty fast and a little bit cloudy, especially where the tributaries flowed in. We did see skwala, but not very many. We worked hard at trying different patterns and even some nymph fishing. The morning fishing was slow, but we had better success in the afternoon.
The slideshow below will take you down the river by photographs. By the time we got to the take-out, I was busy keeping the puppy close so I stopped taking photos just above it. I did capture an old car rip-rap bank, various birds, pretty cliffs, stone outcroppings, vistas, and of course some trout.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
In early March, you can start looking for Skwala stoneflies. They are similar to salmonflies in appearance and habitat, though they are smaller.
The Skwalas are related to the little yellow stoneflies though they do not belong to the same biological family.
For more information about the Skwala hatch, give us a call.
Here are some photos of skwala we saw on the Bitterroot River a few days ago. See the slideshow below.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Here is a slideshow of Doc's fishing. You will see different days, different sections of the Bitterroot River.
Then choose "Slideshow" to get a full screen view.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Two days ago it was freezing, now our lows are 36 degrees and our high for today is forecasted at 68 degrees. Currently, in the late morning it is about 50 degrees.
Warm weather will bring the bugs but it will bring down the snowpack, too. The upper river has come up close to 200 cubic feet per second (CFS) in the last two days. If we can have cool nights as forecasted, we will have an orderly, slower rise in CFS and better chances of great fishing.
Nice photo of John. Yes, he is always this happy!
Click http://www.wapiti-waters.com/stream.htm to see links to weather in the Bitterroot, USGS water data sites, and snowpack information.
Monday, April 6, 2009
No, we have not resorted to the use of indicators and nymphs…PLEASE! Spring angling is about finding a few fish “looking up.” It is about getting the rust out of your cast; reminding yourself that sometimes you need to mend downstream, not only upstream, in order to get the extended drift; and it is about making a slow, firm hook-set when a fish does happen to inhale your dry fly. You had better have just enough line slack to drift your bug just right but not too much line slack reducing your control and reaction time. Early spring fishing is about the joy of casting a single, buoyant big stonefly dry or mayfly pattern and observing the sights and sounds around you, the life that is teeming on the river and banks. So for me, it is not about hooking a bunch of whitefish or watching a bobber all day long… this is my philosophy.
Yes, there are those that want to fish with droppers off of large dries or indicators in nymph rigs. Many anglers coming from a tail-water expect their guides to produce lots of fish and have lots of action. So be it. I do respect their right to lose as many flies as possible on all the woody debris that is found on the Bitterroot River. With that said, yesterday was the first bright sunny day in three weeks after clouds and snow, and it fished tough. We found big fish tight to some cover and a few out in the open lanes. It turned into a good day despite the conditions.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I can't say enough about how much fun it is too fish with Terry Nobles and Kent Myers. Both are great to be with and love the Bitterroot River. This photo of Terry shows the very young but mature male trout he coaxed out from under a log. It took patience and technique as he teased the trout with his dry fly and expertly set the hook.
Kent showed his fly fishing prowess as he caught fish after fish. We used small bugs and small tippet AND big bugs and big tippet. It all seemed to work.
See the slideshow below for more photos.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Jack has been guiding a lot recently, but the clients for today decided it was too cold for them. It was a cool morning but about noon we decided we would do a short float together and scout a middle stretch of the river for water level, woody debris and shifting gravel/sand bars. There weren't many bugs yet the trout came up to our dry flies. It turned out to be a productive and beautiful day, though we did encounter some squalls with rain and wind. I forgot a warm hat so by the time we took-out, around 5:15, I was ready to get warm in the truck.
Check out the slideshow below for more river photos including some birds and fish.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 2, 2009
River Closures Remain Around Milltown
Small sections of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers near the site of the old Milltown Dam remain closed to fishing, boating and other recreation.
Although the dam has been removed, construction work continues and river conditions are unstable. Riverbed levels are expected to drop this spring as the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers work to reclaim a natural channel, exposing wood and other debris that could create hazards to recreationists.
The Clark Fork River is closed from about one-half mile below the old Milltown Dam site (at the railroad bridge) to three miles upstream from the bridge. Turah Fishing Access Site (FAS) is the last public take-out for floaters upstream from the closure area, and Sha-Ron FAS, is the first public access below the closed zone. Sha-Ron may be unusable this spring because of sediment deposition at the ramp. This sediment is expected to erode during high flows.
On the Blackfoot, the closure covers a stretch of about 1.5 miles upstream from the river's confluence with the Clark Fork. Floaters must take out at Weigh Station FAS. All closed areas are signed.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) expects the public safety closures will remain in effect for at least one more year. FWP will continue to monitor river conditions and construction activities and will lift closures as soon as conditions stabilize.
For additional information on the closed areas, contact the Missoula FWP office at (406) 542-5500. -fwp-