Category Archives: Headhunters Life
What’s happening at Headhunters Fly Shop Craig Montana…The lifestyles of the staff, guests, and clients.
A terrific short story. A feel good one at that. Thanks to all the people in this story. All of them, truly great folks. We need more of this activity and behavior from folks. Give. It’s good.
John and Phil visited Headhunters here on the Missouri this last week. A true treat for us to get to know these two individuals.
Project Healing Waters Erie PA Missouri River Excursion
Here is how this whole deal got started. Yeti Coolers, Simms, Headhunters Fly Shop, and Craig Trout Camp put together a month long Facebook Photo Contest last year. Submit your ‘Best Fish Picture’ for a chance to win A Yeti Cooler, a boatload of SImms gear including the world’s best American Made waders etc, a couple nights @ Craig Trout Camp and a guided trip from Headhunters Fly Shop on the Missouri River. A ton of submissions were filed through and voted on…Kevin Hospodar of Hatches Magazine was the winner.
Thanks to Kevin Hospodar who set the wheels rolling on this trip and created something quite special. Really quite amazing.
You see, Kevin already had waders, a cooler, and wanted to pay it forward, so to speak. So Kevin parlayed his winnings into dollars on Ebay having decided to use those dollars towards a donation to the Erie PA Chapter of PHW.
Then Kevin contacted us at Headhunters to see if we could help in any way to make this a bigger trip, for the soldiers in Erie PA. We gladly fell quickly into step. Carroll & Margaret Jenkins discounted the lodging, Carroll a PHW Montana Board Member as well, and the grand plan started to take shape.
Kevin Hospodar and Skip Hughes of the Erie PA Chapter of Project Healing Waters masterminded the rest of the plan and this trip was born.
They should’ve named Montana, ‘Awesome.’
A great quite from John during the week
Check out the Erie PA PHW Facebook page for more on this fantastic trip!
Thanks a ton to all who participated including our most gracious guests Phil and John. We had a ball and the entire community met and loves these fellas. They seemed to get around this tiny fishing ‘burb of 44 residents with ease meeting friends at every non-paved dirt corner.
Phil had not trout fished in quite some time. So, he was fresh while John is an avid trout angler. These two meshed perfectly. Throughout the 4 days fishing we had some really fantastic fishing. The Missouri River can produce. No kidding.
John caught several fish on the dry fly and they both murdered them on the nymph.
Then, after only 4 days of fly fishing…Phil cast, hooked, and landed his 1st fish on a dry fly with Headhunters Guide Peter Skidmore. A testament to Phil’s attention, fortitude, and learning ability.
We’ll miss you guys. Come see us again fella’s. Rest easy knowing the Missouri River will always have your back. We do too.
This will put a smile on my face for a long time…
Phil’s quote of the week
Rain today. Calm and overcast. Seems like the right feeling for our rising trout.
This image from June 2012. Happy dudes after a great Missouri River day!
June foreshadowing for very good dry fly fishing…it’s coming.
Are you coming?
A monster weekend in Craig Caddis Festival, the Montana small stream opener, and Mothers Day Caddis blowing up in perfect conditions on the Missouri River. Also, a weather forecast that promises good dry fly fishing and much needed rain. Yes.
The Caddis Festival gets rolling around 2-3pm, so that does give you time to enjoy the river beforehand. I was out early this morning along with a few Headhunters guides. There were fish rising early. Not like your going to see in the afternoon, but they are there. A Translucent Emerger might be a good call. Just sayin’.
Fishing reports were excellent yesterday, will be today, and I expect will be through the weekend. You can throw dries, nymphs or streamers and have success. How could you not throw dries, however? Fish are feeding on March Browns, BWO’s, and Mothers Day Caddis. There are a lot of ants around. Big ones. You might try a Blooms Parachute Ant #12. Just sayin’.
It is also an excellent time to take your kids out. The river is low, so nymph rigs need not be long or heavy, especially in the low light/cloudy conditions we’re experiencing. Wind is light in the forecast, and the fish are hungry. Jordan Channel spent a few days
playing hookie fishing with his father outfitter Lindsey Channel. Smacked ‘em good from the sounds of it, including the above fat brown using an Echo Gecko. Thanks for the pic’s Jordan and Lindsey!
Doing some wade fishing on the lower river this morning I noticed tons of hoopers in the adjacent meadows. Tons. Flying and everything. That means that it’s dry, and that hopper fishing will turn on early. I didn’t even have any hoppers on me, so I can’t give you a report. It is dry however, and we sure hope to get some rain. Substantial rain, and soon.
I was able to get out on the river a few times this week. One evening with Headhunters top guns Sara Roholt (above) and Ben McNinch (below). We had some excellent evening dry fly fishing. Great to see the two hardest working fly shop people in Craig out enjoying the river that they help so many others enjoy.
I also spent a day with good friend Jon Yousko from Bozeman. Again, excellent fishing on top. I even caught a fish or two. Maybe more than that. I can’t remember.
If you’re thinking of hitting the Dearborn River for the opener, things are looking good. The river is on a hard drop and clearing. We like it between 350 and 450 cvs. As you can see, things are promising. And if you were one of the folks that fished it last weekend, you can hit it again this weekend. You’ll even be legal this time around!
At any rate, it’s going to be a great weekend for fishing, food and fun in Criag, MT. As usual, Headhunters will be the “fun” center for the Caddis Fest. We will of course be serving up some BBQ, and Nick English and Michael White from Simms Fishing will be at Headhunters as well. I heard what they are serving up last night, and I’m already getting excited. They will have some awesome food, and possibly some shwag for the public as well. Better hit the Simms booth early and before they are out of either.
See you Saturday. Headhunters BBQing Tri-Tip Sando’s w/ slaw on a tasty bun.
Come help us raise monies for the Craig Volunteer Fire Department.
Eat and drink too, with live music to keep you occupied before or after your fishing day!
See you then, man.
Eagle in Flight on Montana Missouri River.
Eagles like to fish too.
See you tomorrow at the 7th Annual Craig Caddis Festival & BBQ Cook-Off
Pelican Point is one of my favorite areas of the Missouri River. For those who have spent most of their Missouri River fly fishing career exploring the reaches above Craig, here’s what it looks like downstream.
Just above Pelican, the river breaks out of the Canyon and spills out onto the plains. You get that dramatic view in a wide open valley with big Cottonwood bottoms. It reminds me more of SW Montana than any other stretch of the river.
It does look different than many other parts of Montana. The missing ingredient? Sagebrush. Just doesn’t seem to like it around here. That’s fine with me. Sagebrush make deer and Antelope taste bad.
The fishing is pretty fair around here as well.
If you read our recent post on Loon Products, you should know that UV Flies and Fly Tying Materials are the hot new thing. Well, not really new, but the applications and material selection are increasing to the point that we see trout bums cruising the fly bins at Headhunters with a UV lamp. They seem to be looking for flies that glow. Do they only buy UV flies? It seems as though some are on that path.
- Most humans can perceive only a small section of the Light Spectrum. We call this the Visible Spectrum, or VS, which runs between about 400 to 700 nanometers
- Below the VS light spectrum is the Ultra Violet spectrum. There are 2 types. One is a UV Reflective Light or UVR and the other is UV Fluorescence or UVF.
- UVR are the shorter wave lengths the human eye does not usually perceive. These are what we are primarily concerned with. UVR reflects through a material or is emitted by the species and cannot readily be seen by the human eye unless very expensive equipment is used.
- UVF are what we all know as the usual florescent tying materials which absorb light and will emerge back out in a longer wave length we can see as brighter or will radiate under a black light.
- The UVR spectrum is extremely common in the animal/insect world. This is how bees find flowers and mayflies find mates. While many male species exhibit UVR to attract mates or to feed, many females exhibit less UVR to camouflage themselves and their young.
- UVR is abundant in plankton, algae, baitfish, invertebrates & similar species. UV sensitive cones in the eyes of fish allow them to see in much greater detail in adverse water and light conditions. While visible light is lost in red at approximately 10 feet and orange at 25’…UVR and UVF light can penetrate up to 150 feet depending on water clarity. The RODS in a trout eyes do not allow them much sight in low light periods of dawn and dusk. However, UV sensitive CONES in their eyes do allow fish to see more details and at greater depths. Perhaps this is why some species prefer to feed at night. Bass anglers have known about UVR and UVF which is utilized on many of their baits and lures.
In Our Bins
Today, Sara, Jess, Julie and I went through all of our bins to see which flies are incorporating UV materials, and how it looks to our eyes. We found obvious ones, and were surprised by some others. There were more than I thought. Interestingly, many of the UV flies are some of our top producing and selling nymphs.
From what we saw, beads and thread showed off the most brilliant UV bling. One Marabou Streamer (Ish’s Cool Herc) lit up light a glow stick. Others had subtle underwings, collars and throats that showed off a little UV reflection. Dubbing – one of the most common UV materials – showed the least amount of bling to our human eyes.
We’re definitely going to play around with these materials more at Headhunters. I’ll need to break out some old Led Zeppelin Black posters from my youth and turn on the black lights. I can already see Ninch tying under the black lights with some Jefferson Airplane blasting in the background. This could be fun, whether the flies work or not.
Use the comments to let us know what you think about UV flies and materials, about your experiences with them, or if you think this is all a bunch of BS that nobody will be talking about a year from now.
Missouri River Flows
Great Falls Intl Airport, MT
Last Updated on May 22 2013, 12:53 am MDT
Current Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Wind: East at 18mph
Used Drift Boat For Sale
Used 2005 EMR with trailer, Cataract Oars, anchor, new rope, new NRS rowers seat. Trailer just rewired and hubs packed. Used hard but still in good shape. $4000 OBO. Call the shop.
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They’re Just Sayin’
- Richard 45 wt on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion
- Murray on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion
- Kevin Hospodar on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion
- Bob Glassen on Trout Feeding Efficiency | How far would you walk for a peanut?
- Squeeky Oar Lock on Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5.19.13