Switch it Up – Montana Spey Video

Here’s the latest edit, featuring the crew that stays around Craig for the winter, fishing the Missouri River with two-handed or “spey” gear. The class at our last Spey Clinic got to see the world premier. Aren’t you jealous?


The last time I filmed a lot of early winter two-handed fishing was when Sara and I shot “Down & Across“, 3 years ago I think? Seems like ages. It’s one of my most viewed videos at 27K views. It seems that you like watching some spey casting and fishing on the Missouri River.

We’ve definitely got a bigger crew doing it now, both in the shop and on the river in general. Many of the rigs I see around Craig in the winter months are not towing a boat, but do have a magnetic rod holder on the roof holding a variety of switch and spey rods. We like to see that. Anglers like Terry Armstrong from Great Falls are out there several days a week.

This video features everyones favorite “Spey Witch” Sara Roholt, along with Ben McNinch, guides Mark Raisler and Beth Hood, and new player Erich Bittman (TroutNV), who makes all of that cool laser engraved stuff at the shop. Pretty diverse group of two-handed anglers. Ben and Sara are Missouri River gurus, and do a bit of Steelhead fishing in the Columbia Basin. Mark is kind of a “trout-only” angler who loves to cast. Beth fishes here in the winter and you can typically find her on the Morice and Bulkley Rivers in the fall. Erich grew up in the Puget Sound and leans towards the Skagit side of things. He fishes all over the place, but moved to Craig full time a few years ago, and you will see him out swinging on the Mo (summer and winter). If you attend any of the Spey Claves in the PNW you will see him there as well.

Also a shout out to Simon Perkins and Orvis, who is a huge supporter of small fly fishing video production, including my own. Check out tons of fly fishing videos on THE TUG

At any rate, the “Swing Season” has been great thus far, and we have a lot of nice weather in the forecast. Hopefully it will hold through the holidays so you can get out for a few days and enjoy the fishing. Int he meantime, enjoy some virtual fishing through Switch it Up – VIMEO LINK.

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15 Comments. Leave new

Jealous? Yes, yes I am.
Thanks for allowing us on the foggy side of the mountains to at least live vicariously through you all!

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Wow. That is a really good one!

Thanks John. Great video with morning coffee in the fly shop this am. ‘
Got me all fired up….

Wow, that’s some good stuff!!

Awesome video -Nicely done!

great video john!!!!!!!!! yes, sara is still our heroine!!!!!!!!

Sweet stuff. Curious what gear set up are you using? Spey or Switch rods?

    Using both Switch and Spey rods in the 6-7 weight, 390-450 gr range. Our current fav’s are the Sage Method 12’6″ #6, Echo Glass 12’7″ #7, Helios and Method Switch rods, and a couple of T&T XF models. Mostly with Scandi heads, but we use Skagit heads with medium sink rate tips a bit.

You using poly leaders off that Scandi rig, deeper tips, or a combination or both?

    Some use of light versi-leaders (3 ups), but usually just a mono leader. We occasionally use a 10′ intermediate Versi-leader on super windy days to keep our anchor on the water. We are using some MOW tips on Skagit heads as well, again, not too deep. In general, we have never found that super deep wins. Medium depth, or a floater with a small heavy fly is usually the most productive. The only thing on the bottom are weeds (or Walleye!).

[…] on the Truckee River especially through the lower stuff and down through Nevada. This is a great clip on winter swinging with the 2 handa’s from my friends at the […]