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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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Friday, May 29, 2009

Update on Bitterroot River flows at Victor Crossing

Victor Crossing on the Bitterroot River Despite fairly warm temperatures, with no rain the Bitterroot River has been up, but with stable flows.

The slideshow shows Victor Crossing and it is looking very similar to my previous photos except for the new, large pine tree deposited in the middle just up (south) from the bridge. That will be fun to row around, not.

Click the chart to visit the USGS site.

Florence USGS Bitterroot River Gage Chart

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Bitterroot River from the Air - Aerial Photos

Jack added captions to the photos. This coming week is going to be hot! The snowpack will be coming off in a hurry. Stay tuned....
Bitterrot River from the airHere are some photos from Jack's flight over the Bitterroot River on May 22, 2009. It is not in flood stage but definitely in run-off. The photos begin near Woodside, travel downstream (north) to MacClay's near/north of Poker Joe, then turn and head back upstream (south) to finish near Darby.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Victor Crossing on the Bitterroot River - Photos

Goose near Victor Crossing on Bitterroot River
Here is a slideshow for photos from Victor Crossing. The first photo is May 11 and the last is May 22.

Today the river is dropping but if the weather warms a lot, it could rise again as the snow-pack melts.

For now, it is below flood stage except in the very low areas.

Jack is flying over the river as I type this with a friend. I will blog some photos from the flight when he gets home.
Click here for Wapiti Waters USGS Stream Flow Links.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flood warning issued for Darby, Victor - story by RAVALLI REPUBLIC

The photo is of the Bitterroot River south of Victor Crossing. It was taken yesterday about 2:00 pm. Since then, it rose about 3000 cubic feet per second (CFS) - from approximately 10,000 to 13,000 CFS.
Bitterroot River south of Victor Crossing
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning, as of Tuesday afternoon, for the Bitterroot River in the Darby and Victor areas.

With tributaries rising on the heels warm weekend temperatures, officials with the National Weather Service say rapid snow melt has raised the likelihood of flooding.

The Bitterroot River was measured at 7.3 feet late Tuesday morning, with flood stage at 7.5 feet. The National Weather Service warns that flood waters can be expected to inundate several roads in Ravalli County.

The service issued a flood watch for the South Fork of the Clearwater River near Stites, Idaho. The South Fork of the river is expected to reach flood stages late Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

Click here for Wapiti Waters links to USGS Streamflow Data - River water level information.

I will post a slideshow soon of the river from normal levels, to higher levels, to flood stage (if it happens) at Victor Crossing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fly Fishing the Missouri River with Marshall Knick

Marshall with a brown trout on the Missouri River, MT
Jack fished the Missouri River with his son-in-law, Marshall Knick. It was coming up, the water was a bit cloudy but the managed to hook some fish. Jack caught this fish and Marshall is holding it. Josh Lauer has a photo of Marshall and the bigger brown that he caught. When Josh sends it to us, I will post it, too.

I had to include photos of Jack's daughter, Hannah - of course married to Marshall, and their son's Tristen and Tait!

See the photos in the Picasa slideshow below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yellow Breeches in PA and Fly Fishing Friends

Yellow Breeches in PA Our friend, Jim, sends us photos from time to time. He and his buddies love to fish.

They often fly fish the Yellow Breeches, a tributary of the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania. The first photo was taken in mid-April and here is Jim's message.

Dave Boomer and John Mikita on the Yellow Breeches yesterday. The water was a little high and cloudy.
I caught 2 brown trout, 13 inches and 10 inches. Both on size 16 Hendrickson dry fly.
I think Dave caught the fish he is playing in the picture on a Hendrickson.
I did not get a picture of Larry Clement who did the best. He caught 5 trout on a variety of flies including a white wooly bugger.
We all had a fun time. The weather was beautiful.

Larry on Yellow Breeches The middle photo is Larry on the Yellow Breeches in early May. He caught plenty of fish that day, too, I hear.

By the way, happy tenth birthday to your beloved dog, Tres.

Jim sent us the bottom photo and within it, in the photo on the bookcase, is Jim fishing the Bitterroot River in Montana. Here is the message he sent with it.

Does this dog have a hard life or what!

TresPS: Merle and Jack, if you zoom in on the leftmost picture on my book case you will see a picture Jack took of me and an 18 inch cutthroat that I caught on the Bitterroot. Great guide!

Keep sending us your fishing photos! We love hearing from you all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bitterroot River and Valley Weather

Victor Crossing on the Bitterroot River The photo to the right is from May 11 at Victor Crossing which is about the middle of the Bitterroot. You can see that it is fairly clear and big, but not bank-full or in the run-off stage.

The weather this spring has been cool, cool, cool. The photo below was taken May 12. Yes, it was snowing. The snow-pack in the mountains is growing not shrinking.
Snowing in Victor, MT May 12

Take a look at the weather widget to the right in the sidebar. It is forecasted to be 85 degrees this Sunday and Monday. That is going to be interesting!

Jack and Casey went to the Clearwater Chain of Lakes yesterday. It was cold and a bit windy but they caught some pike. No camera, so I can't post any photos of that trip.
Tomorrow, Jack is going to the Missouri River to fish near Craig, Montana. It might still be cool and windy, but we will find out how the fishing is.
Stay tuned for a look at our rivers. I will be posting photos when I can.
See the sidebar for links to USGS water data and if you go near the rivers, please be very careful. The water is very, very cold, approximately 38 degrees.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Father | Daughter fishing on the Bitterroot River in May

Dave Brandt and KJ Torgerson on the Bitterroot River in early May It was a couple of cold days in May! Dave came down from northwestern Montana and his daughter KJ came over from Idaho to fish two days with Jack.

It was great to see them both and to catch some trout. Thanks to you both, hope to see you again soon.

All the photos are from KJ's camera, thanks for sending them in - see them in the Picasa slideshow below.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Big Hole River One Sunday in Early May

Jack and Freda checking out the Big Hole River We drove through the Big Hole Valley a few days ago on our way to Bozeman and Billings. The slideshow below starts just east of Lost Trail Pass (it was snowing on our way over) and then visits the Big Hole River near Wisdom, Wise River, and Divide, Montana. Click the town names for more information on the Visit Montana site.

The river was big and fast, the weather was overcast and in the 45 degree range, but we saw a few boats with people fishing...not sure what the success rate was.

For USGS water data/flow information for the Big Hole River at Maiden Rock near Divide MT click this link.

Jack is a permited Fly Fishing Outfitter for the Big Hole, has fished and guided on it for over 30 years, and loves that special high mountain valley. Click Wapiti Waters Big Hole web page for more information, including more links.

To see the slideshow in a new window, click Big Hole River Slideshow on SmugMug.

Interesting facts about the Big Hole:
  • With much of the valley floor above 6,000 feet in elevation, the Big Hole Valley is the highest & widest mountain valley of southwestern Montana.
  • From it's source in the Beavehead Mtns at 7,000 feet it flows down to 4,600 feet falling more than 1650 feet in elevation.
  • The Big Hole River holds the last remaining native population of river-dwelling Arctic grayling (a species of concern)in the lower 48 states.
  • Game Fish Opportunities:
    Arctic Grayling, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Burbot, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fly shop owner dies in rafting accident

Fly shop owner dies in rafting accident
by PERRY BACKUS and WILL MOSS - Ravalli Republic

The owner of a Hamilton fly shop died in a rafting accident on the Bitterroot River Wednesday.

Richard “Dick” Galli, 72, drowned after the raft he was riding in overturned just south of Hamilton at about 2 p.m.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said the three men launched their boat from a fishing access site at Anglers Roost.

Just downstream, they apparently hit a brush pile and the boat overturned, Hoffman said. It landed on a tree limb and the men were ejected....

...While the Bitterroot River isn’t running bank full, Hoffman said it has reached the point in the spring when floaters need to be very careful.“It’s always a fairly tricky river to float, but the danger increases in the spring,” Hoffman said. “We urge people to use extreme caution and maybe consider waiting to float until the river drops enough so they can see debris.”

Click here for the full story at the Ravalli - Fly shop owner dies in rafting accident

Dick and Jack were friends. Jack stopped in the shop often. He liked and respected Dick. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jeff Rogers Fly Fishing the Bitterroot River on a WET Day

Jeff's beautiful cutthroat trout from the Bitterroot RiverWet and rainy, yes it was, but Jeff and Jack still wanted to fish. They had a great day and here are some of the fish Jeff caught.

I will upload one and do a slideshow of a few more photos. Enjoy!

The weather is getting wetter and warmer and the river is on the rise.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bitterroot River - IN, then OUT, then IN

Tucker Crossing on May 2Best laid plans: On May 1, Jack had a great day of fishing with John Hickman and Terry Nobles.

Yesterday, May 2, he and I were going to fish - actually scout, but if I get to go along, I get to fish! We pulled into the access and I (and a few other cars) hear Jack yell, "What the heck happened!" As, I look at the river, I see what he means. Water that was gin clear the day before is chocolate brown, muddy as heck. We had looked at the hydrographs and there was no surge in run-off. This meant that a "ditch" up-river had blown and deposited sediment, a lot of sediment, into the river. Jack has a client day today and tomorrow. He was visibly concerned. All we could hope was that somehow, it would clear. It did and Jack is fishing his clients.

In the photo below, taken at the same access early this morning, the water is clear. Maybe it isn't gin clear, but it is very clear and fishable. We are happy campers even though I didn't get my boat fishing in. So that is the 3 day "In, then OUT, then In" story.
Tucker Crossing on May 3

It is a tough business. According to some shuttle drivers, there was a flurry of shuffling guide boats and rigs up, and up, and up river to try to find fishable water on May 2. I hope they found some.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bitterroot River, Fly Fishing with Terry Nobles and John Hickman

Terry Nobles - his trout from the Bitterroot River
John caught fish, but the photos are all about Terry and his fish. John is in love with our Chesapeake puppy, Freda, so Jack had to take her along. She is a bit of a handful and won't be a fixture in the boat on guide days, only as a special request.

Terry insists on sitting in the rear seat, but with Jack rowing and Terry's skills, he doesn't get the short end of the rod, he catches trout, always.

Another Bitterroot River trout for Terry Nobles

Clark Fork River, Northern Pike and Casey Hackathorn

Casey with a northern pike on the Clark Fork River

Jack owed Casey Hackathorn on a bet - something about the Pittsburgh Steelers... The payoff was to row Casey on a stretch of his choice for a day, so he did on April 20.

I just found this photo of Casey on Jack's boat camera. Casey is holding a northern pike. Ugly, huh? That must have been fun to reel in.