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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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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fishing on Father's Day - West Fork of the Bitterroot

Jeremy fished last year on the Big Hole. This Father's Day, he and his friend, Chad fished the West Fork of the Bitterroot with Wapiti Waters.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Are you a Montana fly fishing outfitter or guide and concerned about climate change and impacts?

Montana Audubon and guides and outfitters speak up about climate change concerns.

Derek Goldman works for Montana Audubon out of Missoula, Montana. He is concerned about climate changes and impacts on Montana resources. He is reaching out to fly fishing outfitter and guides and asking them to speak up if they share his concerns. He has prepared a letter and is asking for signatures.

Here is the body of his draft letter.

Dear Senator Baucus, Senator Tester and Congressman Rehberg,

As fishing guides and outfitters in the state of Montana, we are writing to express our concerns about the impacts global climate change is having on our rivers, our fish, and our livelihoods, and to encourage you to support energy legislation that includes a strong, science-based cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

In Montana, we are fortunate to have more than 170,000 miles of rivers and streams meandering through our state. (Only Alaska, California and Texas can boast of more waterways than Montana.) Many of these rivers provide habitat for various species of game fish, including native Cutthroat trout, Bull trout, and Arctic grayling. Healthy fish populations and quality habitat are critical for our small businesses and for our way of life. The persistence of this world class fishery, for which Montana is famous, is in peril.

Climate impacts on Montana streams

Today global climate change threatens the health of our streams and the quality of native fish habitat. Studies of 50 years of climate data shows that total annual snowfall has decreased—by 6.3 inches annually in Great Falls to more than 22 inches in Missoula. At the same time, average March temperatures in Montana increased about 5.5° F.3 This is having a dramatic effect on the timing of spring snowmelt, resulting in a 30 percent drop in average spring snowpack throughout the state.

As a result, we are experiencing declining average stream flows and run-off that peaks several weeks earlier in the spring. Unfortunately this does not bode well for our native fish in Montana, many of which are absolutely dependent on cold water. The reduced snowpack and earlier melt-off results in less water in the rivers during the summer as well as warmer stream temperatures that can be lethal to our native trout. In fact, in recent years, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks managers have been forced to close many streams to all angling to protect fish from added stress.

Economic impact of fishing in Montana

America’s 44 million anglers play a major role in our economy, creating 1.1 million jobs and contributing $116 billion in overall economic output.5 Here in Montana, nearly 350,000 people fish annually (39 percent of whom are nonresident visitors) and spend $292 million on equipment, guiding services, lodging and other related expenditures.These anglers create 3,100 jobs in Montana, which pay $50 million in wages and salaries. Putting the breaks on greenhouse gas pollution is critical in order to keep these Montana jobs and associated economic benefits, and to provide the stability our businesses will need to persist in an uncertain future. This holds true for fishing guides and outfitters and also for the many other small businesses—from farmers to ski areas—that stand to lose if we fail to act.


As Congress moves forward in consideration of clean energy and climate legislation, we urge you to support strong, science-based limits on the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing global climate change and impacting Montana’s streams and native fish. Legislation should also maintain the integrity of our Clean Air Act, and provide investments in renewable energy as well as adequate funding to safeguard fish and wildlife from the worst effects of global warming.

Thank you.  (followed by signatures)

You can click here for a printable version of letter in PDF format. The printable version includes citations. Contact Derek if you want to sign the letter or have comments or questions.

Derek Goldman, Field Representative
Montana Audubon
405 S 1st St. West
Missoula, MT 59801
Office: (406) 549-2848 ext.2

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friends floated the Smith River the first week of June - it was BIG

This post is going back in time a bit, but worth it. Derek Goldman and Joe Goertzen floated the Smith River May 29 through June 2 and, in spite of rain, had a great time. The two main wrinkles were: trying to stay dry and fishing was not so good.
Derek said, "the Smith was blown out (1,800 cfs!) and not fishing well; same for the tributaries. Oh well. It rained three of the days, but not all day so we were able to dry things out. Still a great trip and Joe caught some fish."
Derek took the photos of Joe on the Smith. Joe Goertzen, pronounced GURT-zen, is a Missoula artist, businessman and owner of Goertzen Adventure Equipment - "handmade in Missoula."

Goertzen Adventure Equipment combines vintage appeal with modern creativity. Like your favorite pair of jeans, Adventure Equipment gains character with use and is rugged enough to pass on to your grandchildren. His company takes great pride in the design and construction of their products and strive to produce one-of-a-kind and ultimately useful equipment.

An added advantage in buying from them is the excellent service and product support. If you have any problems or need alterations, they will repair all of the products in a timely manner.

Joe welcomes custom orders and  ideas you may have for innovative products.
To contact Joe:
Phone: (406) 546-0061
Location: 1029 Edith St., Missoula, MT 59801

Derek Goldman is field representative for Montana Audubon; he is working out of Missoula. He has been concerned about Montana snow pack, water levels and climate change. To read more about Derek's work and how you can speak up about climate change concerns, visit our blog post titled, "Montana Audubon and guides and outfitters speak up about climate change concerns."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bitterroot River and Chief Joseph Ranch - a great combination

This blog entry has many topics. Enter Frontier Packaging, Inc located in Seattle, Washington. Providing excellent products with hard work and dedication merits a Montana fishing get-away. Add, a small corporate meeting at a comfortable lodge. Last ingredient, the Bitterroot River and trout fishing. The result is a successful corporate retreat that was also casual and fun.

Wapiti Waters has fished with company personnel from Frontier Packaging before, but this June a larger group came to the Bitterroot and stayed at the Chief Joseph Guest Ranch in Darby, Montana. The ranch is historic, beautiful, well-managed and, to top it all off, located south of Darby near the banks of the upper Bitterroot River.

Learn more about the ranch at

Frontier Packaging was established in 1985 and is a Seattle-based manufacturer and distributor of quality packaging materials throughout Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and beyond. They specialize in providing innovative and efficient packaging solutions to the Northwest region's internationally-renowned seafood, food, beverage, and agriculture industries. Visit their website to learn more about them -

Now, when you are staying at Chief Joseph Ranch near the Bitterroot, you have to fish. Not only was the retreat successful, so was the fishing. See the slideshow below for photos. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bitterroot River with Keith's family and friends

Laurie is holding the trout she caught on the upper Bitterroot. The Bitterroot has been bank full, but it dropped just enough for Keith and his family and friends to have a few good days of fishing and floating on the Bitterroot.

Laurie just happened to be in the boat with the camera. Thanks Laurie, we love the photos. See the slideshow below for a few more photos. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tony Fauci fishes the Bitterroot

Currently working for National Institute of Health (NIH) as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony (Tony) Fauci was on a visit to Hamilton, Montana. The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) is a branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and more than 20% of DIR's research is conducted in western Montana at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton.
Read more about RML and the campus at "Rocky Mountain Labs: NIAID’s Montana campus" by Karen Honey published February 2, 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI).

When Tony came to visit, he also got to fish. Marshall Bloom, associate director of RML, knows Jack and set up an afternoon of fishing.  Everyone needs a break and Marshall wanted Tony to see what is in the lab's backyard. Tony knows that the beautiful Bitterroot is part of the draw for RML's talented scientists. In fact he told the JCI that "over the last 20–25 years, the potential liabilities of the physical separation between RML and Bethesda have morphed into assets, where the beauty of western Montana and the collegial working environment couple with state-of-the-art facilities to make RML highly attractive to world-class researchers and an integral part of the DIR."

Read more about Tony Fauci at the Director's Page on the NIAID website. He is a personal hero of mine for his contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body's defenses leading to the progression to AIDS and that is just one aspect of his work. You can learn more by visiting Anthony Fauci's biography on

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fishing for bass on the Clark Fork near Noxon, Montana

From 2010-05-09 Jay Evans near Noxon Montana with a bass
Jay Evans donated a bass fishing trip to Bitterroot Trout Unlimited. Doug Nation and Jack Mauer "bit" on the trip. Jay, Doug and Jack fished the Noxon Reservoir on the Clark Fork River in early May of this year. The water temperatures were in the mid 50 degree range and the water was clear (no big run-off yet). Both smallmouth and largemouth bass were well into the pre-spawn stage. A few weeks earlier Jay and a friend caught about 40 bass staging on main lake points (mostly 2-3 lb males, both small and large mouth) and saw a few big females starting to move up shallow (4-5 lb smallmouth and a 6 lb largemouth). The larger fish were very spooky and would not bite and according to Jay this is often the case when they first come up to the shallows.

Jay also spotted a couple areas with a bunch of 15-25 lb pike. It would be fun to fish for them with a fly rod! But that didn't happen on this trip.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fishing the James River in Missouri with Kyle Kosovich. A great day!

Introducing Kyle Kosovich - Longboat Outfitters in Springfield Missouri.

Jack visited his mother and sister last week and had the opportunity to fish with Kyle on the James River. Visit Kyle's website to see more about him, his rivers and his fishing outfitting business. If you don't know about longboats, give Kyle a call. Jack really enjoyed his day. Check out and you will see why; professional, knowledgeable, experienced, organized and the list goes on. Jack, as an outfitter himself, sets high standards and he thinks very highly of Kyle. Thanks! and we hope to see you up here one of these days!

A new target for Jack. He saw and briefly fished for Long-nosed Gar. To see what gar are, click this link for Long-nosed Gar on Wikipedia. They are prevalent in Missouri and some other states.

Bitterroot River in high water stage - photos from Victor Crossing

Here is a slideshow from June 4. If it doesn't rain too much, the water levels should recede soon.