We’ve been swinging with our two-handers for a few weeks now, and we know a few of you have as well. In our brains, the 1st of November is the beginning of “Swing Season”, but as the weeds disappear from the Missouri River and the Brown Trout start to move, we can’t resist. Some of us have even been exploring further form home, using our Trout Spey rods to fish places we’re familiar with but haven’t approached down and across before.
Despite anemic runs of Steelhead, we’ve heard a few decent reports from the Clearwater/Snake/Ronde systems. If you’re headed that way in the next few weeks we wish you luck. Unfortunately, the State of Idaho decided to open a limited “kill” season for the handful of Steelhead that returned to the upper Columbia tributaries. That won’t help your success, but it may do further harm to a fragile resource. If you do catch a Steelhead, take care to land him quickly (not on the beach) and release him gently. Steelhead have enough problems already.
CURRENT SWINGING CONDITIONS – MISSOURI RIVER
Right now things are pretty good for the swing. Water temps are right, and the drifting weeds have decreased to the point that you won’t be pulling your hair out. Both floating and sinking lines will work this time of year, and if you ever wanted to try and skate up a trout on an October Caddis, now’s the time. For streamers, we recommend sticking with our typically small and flashy Clouser’s, Kreelex’s, Skiddish Smolts and the like. Small Buggers like the Thin Mint are also a good call. If you need your fly to be bigger, stick to a heavy sink tip and bury that sucker between the Dam and Craig.
Most freestones in the region should be in play as well. Warm weather this week will keep the water temps on the Madison, Jefferson, Yellowstone, etc. in the right zone. Where you can target Bull Trout you may have some interesting options as well.
We will continue to offer our free Spey Clinics again this year. Like last season, we will be offering 1 day clinics on two separate weekends. The first clinics will be on December 2nd and 3rd. The second session will be February 10th and 11th. Sign up at the shop or call 406-235-3447. Space is limited to 12 students per session. We always have waiting lists for these clinics, so don’t sign up because you’re bored. Our free clinics are designed for those new to spey casting, so please don’t suck up a spot if you’ve attended in past years. We will likely be holding a few advanced clinics for more experienced casters, so keep your eyes peeled.
- 9am to 3pm or later.
- Pastries, Coffee and Juice provided.
- 1.5 hour presentation and Q&A session. Remainder of the day is on-water.
- Rods provided, but bring your own if you have one!
- Demo lines available to use with your rod.
Last season, we began to make the shift from light Steelhead gear to Troutspey gear, and we will pretty much complete that transition this season. While we will still carry a small assortment of “steelhead” rods (and a bigger assortment of lines), we will focus on Montana waters and the ultralight gear designed for them. The majority of the demo gear in the shop (and at our clinics) will be Troutspey rods and reels designed for <350 grains.
We will also be adding a few more rod models in the shop this season, including rods from Gary Anderson Custom Rods (ACR) built in Rogue River, OR. Some have already arrived and more models are on the way.
Swing by the shop if you have any questions about spey rods, spey reels, spey lines, sink tips, leaders, shooting lines, or anything else. Our staff will be happy to help you get setup for the season.