2020

The Holiday Haze is lifting and we’re excited 2020 is finally here.

While there was a fair amount of couch time I spent much of yesterday taking down Christmas decorations at home and am doing more of the same here at the shop today. With the holidays falling mid-week this year it feels like two weeks of the world on hold and as enjoyable as I’m sure that is for those fortunate enough to have all this time off, I for one am ready for a return to the normal routine.

As much as I enjoy the glow of the Christmas tree, the day the tree comes down always feels like a psychological weight lifted as we move on from the holiday haze and start engaging in the everyday again. We’re not quite there yet as these next several days will round out the break but with the decorations put away we’re that much closer to normalcy.

Obviously, for me normalcy is restored when traffic returns to the river so by the calendar we’ve got a long winter ahead before the 2020 season gets underway but judging by the mild extended forecast I’m optimistic we may see that traffic begin to trickle in sooner rather than later.

Whether this happens or not, the days are getting longer and with the holidays in the rear view people are already shifting their focus springward judging by the number of calls we’ve received the last couple of days for spring and summer lodging and guide trips. Have you booked your dates yet? There’s no time like the present.

2020 is starting much like 2019 did weather wise with very mild temps in the immediate forecast. High 30’s and low 40’s this week but breezy as you would expect and much of the same for next week. River flow is currently 4460 cfs with a water temperature of 34.5 degrees. Winter water conditions to be sure.

If you’re looking to get out you’ll want to target the slow winter water. It’s officially the season of pink if you’re planning on nymphing so check your stock on Pill Poppers, Bubble Yums, Pink Rays, Pederson’s Sow, Rainbow Czechs, Pink Lightning Bugs, Caviar Scuds, Cotton Candy, Pink Amex, Rainbow Warriors, Firebead Sows and more. We’re fully stocked on all of these and many more of your winter water essentials so stop in and replenish your winter nymph boxes before hitting the water.

As we’ve been reporting these last couple of weeks traffic has been MINIMAL. Many of the anglers I have seen out there have been swinging reportedly with varying degrees of success. Polar leeches, Kreelex, MoJo Minnows, buggers and leeches are all viable options. Swing those troughs and tailouts. If you’re unsure of where you should be fishing a quick drive up and down the river corridor on a moderately busy day can be extremely helpful (or you could just stop by the shop and ask us where you should be fishing). Take note of where you see people fishing and return to those spots when you can. It’s not that those are the ONLY place you can catch fish but there’s definitely a reason you see people in those same runs, day after day, season after season.

And don’t feel like you HAVE to swing. There are always fish to be caught stripping as well. I can’t think of any conditions in which I wouldn’t strip, save perhaps the weediest of summer days but even then I’ll at least give it a try. I’ve caught plenty of fish on the strip every month of the year, regardless of water temp. Obviously conventional wisdom dictates the colder the water, the slower the strip and that’s something you need to be mindful of but that being said you just might be surprised what happens with a moderately fast retrieve (with plenty of pauses) in 34 – 35 degree water. I’ll generally do a strip/swing/pause mashup during the cold water months but I’ve had plenty of trout smash a streamer in cold water with a moderately fast retrieve so don’t rule it out. Switch up your retrieve and your bugs until you find what works and keep your expectations reasonable. You aren’t likely to have any off-the-charts action days during the winter months but you never know. To me, a chase or two and maybe a nice fish to hand beats a bobber any day but that’s just me.

Along those lines of low-percentage winter techniques I’ve seen enough midge activity every time I’ve been out lately that it might warrant having a dry fly rod rigged up. Most of what I’ve seen for rises have been sporadic but I think if you were to put a lot of effort into finding feeding fish you would likely be able to avail yourself to numerous opportunities and maybe even fool one or two into eating.

Remember we’ve got great winter lodging and guide trip rates and with the mild weather ahead I expect we’ll start to see some people around again and while the holidays are over the great deals in the shop are still going strong. Do us and yourself a favor and take advantage of some amazing deals on great gear while you help us clear the way for spring arrivals coming soon.

Our normal winter schedule goes into effect next week. Shop hours will be 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Wednesday – Saturday and 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Sundays. We will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the time being but that could change based on the weather and the traffic. We’ll keep you posted.

Mid December on the MO

Sunshine and clear blue skies this morning in Wolf Creek. It’s a chilly 26 degrees warming to the mid 30’s later today with calm winds. It sure looks like the perfect day to fish the MO but entering this final week before Christmas you aren’t likely to find any crowds at the boat ramps.

I’d bet there may be a college student or two taking advantage of the time off and of the mild weather this week but if winter solitude is what you are seeking I’m confident there will be an abundance of that to be found here all week long.

We’ll see temperatures in the 40’s all week and near 50 on Saturday but expect gusty winds with the warmer temps. That white Christmas is looking unlikely with only a slight chance for snow on Thursday night and Friday morning and nothing after that but we shall see.

We’re open at 8 am every day with great deals on almost everything in the shop. We are running shuttles most days and even if we’re not, we’re always more than happy to help you get one scheduled with another shop.

We do have prime lodging available for just $99/night (plus tax) and guide trips are just $400 for a full day for one or two anglers, all winter long. We’re also offering a second night of lodging free with the purchase of a night’s lodging and a full day guide trip. It’s the best deal you’ll find on the Missouri this winter…hands down!

Dining has become a bit of an issue with Shotgun Annie’s closing for the winter and The Oasis only serving Friday through Monday but not to worry. All of our winter lodging units have a fully furnished kitchen with a full size fridge, an oven with cooktop and all the pots, pans, dishes and utensils included.

So as you prepare for the coming holidays we hope you keep us in mind whether it be for helping you complete your Christmas shopping or getting you set up for your day on the water.

We LOVE being your Full Service Missouri River Fly Shop and we can’t wait to see you again.

Full Moon Fishing Report

Full Moon over Wolf Creek Bridge

All is quiet on the Missouri as December continues to disappear.

We’re in the last full moon phase of the decade with the Winter Solstice knocking at the door.

The days continue to get shorter but only through next weekend when we turn the corner, celebrating the first day of winter on Saturday the 21st and then reversing course. A lot of winter ahead for sure but it’ll be good to be back on the road to spring.

Duck hunters outnumber anglers most days but there are a few folks getting out and enjoying winter’s solitude.

Winter nymphing is on and Swing Season is here. And while Trout Spey continues to grow in popularity, we’re here to tell you that you can actually fish streamers on a single hand rod on the MO in the winter as well. It’s all a matter of personal preference.

Obviously the first hurdle is to get acclimated to cold weather fishing. Its not for everyone but once you talk yourself into it and actually get out there you just might fall in love with the consistent abundance of solitude and the occasional banner day of fishing.

Warmer temps this time of the year are generally accompanied by gusty winds so I’ll usually fish the colder days if I can avoid the hurricane winds. Case in point, today we’ll see highs in the mid 40’s but we’ll also see 20 mph winds gusting to 40 mph….no thanks!
Tomorrow looks like a slight improvement and Saturday looks to be near perfect (by December standards) with highs in the mid 30’s and light winds.

And speaking of the weekend, we do have lodging available should you decide to treat yourself to a winter weekend on the Missouri.
Water temps have dropped considerably (currently right around 36 degrees) so the conditions are definitely right for tried and true winter techniques.

If nymphing is your game you’ll want to be targeting the slow, deep winter waters. Pink is always the go-to during the winter months and firebeads should also be a staple in your arsenal. Best bets are Rainbow Czechs, Pill Poppers, Amex, Bubble Yums, Tailwater Sows, Soft hackle sows, Caviar Scuds, Firebead or Pink Lucent Bead Rays, Pink Lighting Bugs, Pink Radiation Baetis, Rainbow Warriors, Pederson’s Sow, Cotton Candy, Firebead Sows…..you get the picture. Fish deep (7’ – 9’ overall) and make sure you completely cover the run, starting close and working your way out.

Streamer fishing is a go and while it may not generate the numbers you’ll likely catch larger fish swinging or stripping but not always.
Swing the tailouts with something in the leech realm and don’t be afraid to ply the depths either swinging or stripping. If you’re going to strip keep it slow with the occasional swing for good measure. We like Polar Leeches, Hot Head Kreelex, Buggers, Pine Squirrel Leeches etc on the swing or the strip and there’s no time I won’t fish a Sparkle Minnow or Mojo Minnow. A slow strip dredging the depths of the soft, lakey water could surprise you!

The walk/wade option often makes more sense this time of year with the seriously abbreviated daylight but a short float (Dam to Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek to Craig, Craig to Stickney etc) is very do-able and affords you vastly increased opportunities.

We hope to see you in Wolf Creek this weekend. We’ve got everything you need for you day on the water and almost all of it is on sale!
20 percent off bugs, lines, leaders, tippet and great deals on waders, boots and outerwear as well as layering and sportswear. And don’t forget our Holiday rod and reel sale – 25 % off ALL rods and reels and a FREE ARC fly line and backing when you buy a rod and reel combo. The BEST deals of the year just in time for Christmas.

Shop Hours 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Monday – Saturday and 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Sundays through Christmas. We will be closed on Christmas Day and will play it by ear the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  Beginning the week of January 5th we will be closed on Mondays for the winter months.

The Countdown

As of today there are 16 days shopping days remaining until Christmas.

Have you finished your shopping?

Have you even started your shopping?

If you’re looking for some fly fisher appropriate gifts we’d love to help you out. We’ve got something to fit just about any budget and best of all, we’ve got some amazing deals happening now through the end of the year.

Deals include, but are not limited to, 20% off all fall and winter sportswear and outerwear as well as waders and boots; 25 % off all rods and reels and a free ARC fly line and backing with the purchase of any rod and reel combo (That’s an $80 value); 50 % off all remaining summer sportswear and 20 % off all lines, leaders, tippet and flies.

These are just a few of the deals happening now through December 31st at WCA.

We’ve definitely got something for everyone on your list and we’d love to help you find that perfect gift. Here are just a few ideas.

Simms G3 Stockingfoot Guide Waders
$549.95

These are undoubtedly the go-to wader for the majority of our guides and are the wader by which all others are measured.
Time on the stream is time well spent. And with the G3 Guide™ Waders – Stockingfoot, those precious hours can be comfortable and well-ventilated. Utilizing new GORE-TEX® Pro Shell, the G3 provides optimal balance of reliability, breathability and all-day comfort. The G3 has all the in-river essentials you need, with legendary Simms durability that can stand up to heavy use in rugged conditions. 3 chest pockets provide ample storage and hand-warming zones, while sore feet are a thing of the past with anatomically designed neoprene stockingfeet with a funk-fighting anti-microbial finish.
• Durable, breathable & comfortable GORE-TEX® Pro Shell 3-layer upper & 4-layer lower
• Top access zippered stretch pocket plus zippered, reach-through micro-fleece lined hand-warming pockets
• Attachment zipper for flip-out Tippet Tender™ pocket with retractor docking station & tippet spool sleeves
• Built-in low-profile belt loops with 2 in. stretch wading belt included
• Patented front & back leg seams deliver articulated fit, improved mobility & increased durability
• Patented abrasion-resistant built-in Gravel Guards with boot hooks
• Anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet with anti-microbial finish
• Custom options available
FABRIC TECH: 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell in upper; 4-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell in seat & legs
WEIGHT: 45 oz. (1275.8 g)

Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boot
$189.99


Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boot w/ Kling-On and Kling-On felt Soles is a fishing boot that is durable and functional. This boot comes with kling-on and felt kling-on soles.
• Traction: OmniTrax interchangeable sole system adapts traction on these boots to any fishing condition
• Closure System: BOA M2 lacing system for quick on/off and custom fit
• Fast Drying: Hydrophobic upper material with ultra abrasion resistance and tonal camo pattern
• Molded TPU toe cap for toe bump protection
• Protected stitching for longer thread life
• Internal Drainage: Water flows thru internal channels then out midsole ports, removing excess water and weight.
• 3PFS Achilles stabilization for the superlative fit and function.

Simms Coldweather Shirt
$119.95


Hands down – our favorite winter shirt.

A hardworking mainstay featuring the boosted warmth of waffle-lined micro-fleece internals. Quick-dry performance and chafe-free, off-shoulder seaming for added comfort. Stash gear in two cargo top load pockets to stay on the water until last light.
• Flannel, waffle fleece‐lined shirt to keep you warm during winter fishing
• Two fly box compatible chest pockets with hook and loop closure
• Off‐shoulder seams for comfort
• Slight drop tail
• Resized in 2018 for a better fit
FABRIC TECH: 100% Polyester flannel, 100% Polyester waffle fleece

Loop Evotec Cast Rods
$475.00


EVOTEC CAST FAST ACTION SIGLE-HAND RODS
Fast action progressive casting styles mean pushing for the limits of performance in modern day fly fishing. Finished in deep pearlised blue, Evotec CAST Fast fly rods are available in single-handed models for both fresh and saltwater fishing and double-handed models for the pursuit of anadromous fish. Evotec CAST Fast fly rods deliver flies quickly to the taking zone without compromising on the positive ‘feel’ response that anglers have come to expect from LOOP fly rods.

Redington Path Fly Fishing Outfit
$199.99


Ready to fish!
The new PATH rod is a smooth-casting, medium-fast action graphite fly rod, offering classic performance for all levels of anglers. Rods through 6 weight have a half-wells handle with a wood reel seat for a classic look and feel, and 7 weights and above feature a full-wells grip with anodized aluminum reel seat that is ready for salt or fresh water conditions.
• All water, moderate-fast action rod
• Wooden reel seats on rods weights through 6 weight models
• Durable anodized aluminum reel seat on rods 7 weight and above
• Alignment dots for easy rod setup
• Durable cordura rod tube with built in rod dividers
• Combo includes: PATH rod, CROSSWATER reel pre-spooled with RIO Mainstream WF fly line, and cordura rod tube
• Lifetime warranty *rod only

LAMSON LIQUID 3-PACK FLY FISHING REEL & SPOOLS
$169.99


All together now. The Liquid 3-Pack includes one Liquid reel and two spare spools in a nylon carrying case all for the price of one reel and one spool. Liquid offers everything you need in a fly reel at an absolute bang for your buck—and this new combo pack opens up easy interchangeability for the multifaceted angler at even more of an extreme value.

Fishpond Cross-Current Chest Pack
$149.95

THE CROSS-CURRENT CHEST PACK IS DESIGNED TO KEEP ALL YOUR ESSENTIALS AND BOXES ORGANIZED, KEEPING THEM HIGH ON YOUR BODY AT THE READY.
When the fishing is hot there is a lot going on and you have to be able to multitask to keep up with all the activity. The Cross-Current Chest pack is designed to keep all your essentials and boxes organized, keeping them high on your body at the ready. Slide your net out of the integrated net slot, scoop your fish, release it, grab your dry shake out of the magnetic drop down workstation, and get back those moments we all love to celebrate.
FEATURES
• Compatible with all Fishpond backpacks
• 210D Nylon Cyclepond Fishpond fabric
• Front magnetic closure pocket for small fly boxes, pucks, and other quick access items
• Front main zippered storage compartment for large fly box storage
• Two small stretch mesh pockets on the front for quick access items
• Exterior VELCRO® attachment for foam attachment (foam patch included)
• Exterior Hypalon® tabs for tool and accessory attachment on each side
• Integrated net slot on backpanel holds a long handle net
• D-ring on top center back for attaching a net release for short handle nets
• One large pocket on the backpanel with a zippered entry on each side
• Magnetic front pocket has velcro interior on one side, and 4 small stretch mesh pockets for organization
• Main front zippered pocket includes one interior zippered pocket

 

Rising Lunker Net
Starting at $159.99

With three handle lengths to choose from and available handle extensions these nets have become the go-to amongst our guides. The 10” and 24” handles make for great wading nets and the 38” net is the perfect boat net. The 14” handle extension converts any net to the next model up so no need to buy multiple nets.

Stocking Stuffers A Plenty
$$


We’ve got piles of unique stocking stuffers…From flasks to lanyards to fly boxes to tools and accessories and more, we’ve got something for all the fly fishers on your list.

Wolf Creek Angler Gift Cards
$-$$$

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Not sure what to get them? Wolf Creek Angler Gift Cards are the perfect option. They are available in any amount and good for anything we sell.

Can’t find the time to make the trip to Wolf Creek? No problem. We’re happy to ship anything anywhere. Just give us a call and tell us what you need and we’ll take care of the rest.

Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

 

December on the MO

Welcome to December on the Missouri.

This is traditionally our slowest month of the year in the shop as people get distracted from fishing by the onset of winter and the busy holiday season.

Be that as it may, we’re here, anxious to help you in any way that we can.

While we don’t typically see a lot of traffic in the shop this time of year we are busy on the phones and busy at the keyboard booking trips and lodging for the coming season.

Prime dates are filling quickly so don’t put it off any longer if you plan on booking with us for 2020, especially June and July which are rapidly approaching capacity.

The Thanksgiving winter storm pretty much shut things down out here over the weekend with folks opting for food and football and couch time rather than battling single digit temps and snow. The weather has improved and fishing could be good this week though if you’re planning on coming out to float keep in mind the ramps could be a challenge. We sold a couple of Wolf Creek to Craig shuttles this morning which were abruptly changed when the guys got down there and found there was a vehicle stuck on the ramp.

It’s never a bad call to have tire chains this time of year or a tow strap or rope at the least just in case the ramps are a problem.

We’re currently sitting at 42 degrees with partly cloudy skies and it looks to be much of the same throughout this week. Expect breezy conditions with this warmer air but don’t let that deter you. This could be your last, best week to fish the Missouri in 2019!

We’ve got plenty of lodging availability and we can definitely find a guide or two if you want to get in a trip before winter really sets in.

Seeing as today is Cyber Monday perhaps you’re online getting all of your Christmas shopping done. If so, good for you. That leaves you three weeks to fish. If not, maybe we can help with that Christmas shopping.

We’re not much for cyber shopping here. We prefer the brick and mortar and while we may not be offering cyber deals we are offering plenty of great deals nonetheless.

Now through Christmas we’re offering 25 percent off all rods and reels and if you buy a rod and reel combo we’ll throw in an ARC fly line and backing for free.

We’ve got soft goods on sale from 25% – 50% off as well as holiday deals on flies, lines, leaders, tippet and so much more.

WCA Gift Cards also make great gifts for all of the fly fishers on your list.

We’re open daily at 8 AM and hope to see you this holiday season at Wolf Creek Angler.

By |2019-12-02T18:57:18+00:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Shop Life|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The First Day of Winter has us thinking SUMMER!

The Winter Solstice is upon us. The shortest day and longest night of the year.

It’s a special day as it means we’ve crossed that threshold officially beginning the countdown to summer 2019.

Sure, we’ve got a long ways to go but beginning tomorrow each day will be a little bit longer and before you know it we’ll be right back into Prime Time on the Missouri.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Winter Solstice is the moment at which the Earth’s axis tilts the Northern Hemisphere farthest from the sun’s warmth. This year’s Winter Solstice is unique in that it coincides with the onset of the December Full Moon. Often referred to as the Cold Moon, December’s full moon is also known as the Long Night Moon, the Moon Before Yule and the Oak Moon. Along with the Cold Moon the Ursid Meteor shower will also be visible in the night sky during the longest night of the year. The forecast is calling for a mostly cloudy night in our neck of the woods but if you can find yourself some clear skies it could be quite a show.

As if the Winter Solstice weren’t reason enough to celebrate we’re also just a few days out from Christmas with New Year’s Eve looming so while the longest night of the year might not sound like a cause for celebration if you focus on what’s beyond it like holiday festivities and more importantly like long summer days and bugs and trout you’ve got every reason in the world to celebrate!

Thinking about summertime… photo by Wolf Creek Angler

We’ll be raising a glass tonight, how about you?

Why not continue the celebration by spending the first weekend of the winter on the Missouri. The weather looks to be decent with sunny skies on Saturday, mostly cloudy skies on Sunday and highs near 40 both days and while the winds continue to howl today the forecast looks favorable for diminishing winds beginning tomorrow.

Knock out your last minute Christmas shopping at Wolf Creek Angler and treat yourself to a day or two on the water. We’ve got all kinds of great deals going on right on through Christmas on the stuff they really want, not just the stuff that didn’t move this year. Waders, boots, rods, reels, sportswear, outerwear and much more from the best brands in the business….all at the best prices of the season. You can’t afford to pass these deals up.

We’ve also got lodging available for $99/night and guides on call for $400 full day Missouri River guide trips just in case you want to make a weekend of it. Remember, $500 (plus tax) gets you two nights of premium lodging and a full day Missouri River guide trip for one or two anglers all winter long. This is the best deal you’ll find on the MO this winter, hands down…we guarantee it!

Happy Winter Solstice!

WCA 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

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Our picks for the best fly fishing gifts of 2018.

Simms ColdWeather LS Shirt/Pants $99.95

Longtime staples around here for cold weather fishing and all around winter wear.

Quick dry warmth featuring micro fleece waffle-lining But Simms takes this hardworking mainstay into the 21st, with the boosted warmth of waffle-lined micro-fleece internals. ColdWeather LS features include quick-dry performance, potent UPF 50 sun protection, and chafe-free, off-shoulder seaming for added comfort. Stash gear in two super-sized, top-close chest pockets. And stay effortlessly stylish in these ultrawarm, brushed-flannel performance plaids.

Pants equipped for deep-freeze conditions. Subzero mornings? No sweat. Simms’ Coldweather Pants combat the conditions thanks to micro fleece-lined internals and hand-warmer pockets. Angler-appreciated extras include COR3™ fabric technology; an adjustable waist with a corrosion-fighting center-front snap; and articulated knees for bolstered durability and massive mobility.

Redington Behemoth Reels   $139.99

Our best selling reel in its class!

Our BEHEMOTH reel combines the most powerful drag in its class with stunning aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel design. The unique, un-machinable, die-cast construction is coupled with a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool design that both looks and functions like a premium reel. A super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package brings the utmost in drag strength, reliability and performance to the family. Sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready, big-game sizes, the BEHEMOTH reels offer performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike.

Korkers Buckskin and Buckskin Mary Wading Boots  $139.99

Our best-selling boot.

 

OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System adapts your traction to any fishing condition. Two outsoles included with every purchase.

Hydrophobic materials faster dry times lessen the chance of spreading invasive species.

Durability enhanced midsole, scratch rubber toe cap extends to side panels, rubberized anti-abrasion synthetic material.

Drainage integrated, large drainage ports and internal drainage channels.

Traditional laces durable metal hardware provides secure fit.

Weight: 3.2 LBS per pair with felt soles.

Redington Sonic Pro Waders $299.99

The all new Sonic-Pro wader uses 4-layer waterproof-breathable fabric and SonicWeld seams to create a simple wader with superior durability for uncompromising performance on the water. We designed this wader with minimal pockets and a clean silhouette to provide anglers a durable wader that simply performs in all conditions, from deep steelhead wading to hot summer trout runs.

The all-new WOMEN’S SONIC-PRO wader was designed specifically for female anglers. This wader incorporates our reliable, extensively field tested 4-layer waterproof-breathable fabric and SonicWeld seams to create an ultra-functional wader with superior durability for uncompromising performance on the water. Stretch side panels allow anglers to move easily in and out of this wader and add comfort on the water. The flattering design works to fit a woman’s body properly, with minimal pockets to reduce bulk and a stretch mesh back panel to move with the body while casting and crouching. The WOMEN’S SONIC-PRO wader simply performs; it’s durable, comfortable, and designed for women who fish.

Echo Carbon XL

Our best-selling fly rods…three years running.

A true all-around performer with the features and feel associated with rods four times the cost. Tim designed these rods to be airy-light with actions that benefit a wide range of casting styles and fishing situations. Bass to browns, bluegill to brookies, the Carbon XL covers it all.

A true all-around performer with the features and feel associated with rods four times the cost. Tim Rajeff designed these rods to be airy-light with actions that benefit a wide range of casting styles and fishing situations. Bass to browns, bluegill to brookies, the Carbon XL covers it all.

Fishpond Cutbank Gear Bag $249.95

A gear sanctuary on the water

Designed to organize gear and keep it dry. With the Fishpond signature molded bottom and welded recycled TPU fabric, the Cutbank Gear bag covers the bases. As a specialized tackle bag that keeps gear dry on a raft or drift boat, as well as the perfect size to fit in the hatch of most all flats boats, this gear/tackle bag is an organization system that allows for easy access wherever your adventures take you. Built with our incredibly tough 1680d TPU coated recycled Cyclepond nylon, YKK water resistant zippers, and welded construction with a molded top and bottom, this is more than just another gear bag. Think of this as a gear sanctuary on the water.

Simms Exstream Hat  $69.99

Mandatory headwear for winter fishing on the MO’.

Fleece furnace meets 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell protection Snuff an Arctic assault with Simms’ fully waterproof, quilted fleece-lined 3-layer GORE-TEX® ExStream™ Hat. Features include a plush elastic sweatband and customizable fit thanks to an adjustable circumference with a back cord lock. Black under the brim reduces glare. One size fits most.

Stanley Wolf Creek Angler Growler  $59.00

First fill is on us at Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena

 

 

What’s that call echoing throughout the land, bouncing off mountains and tumbling through valleys? “Cold beer, and lots of it!” the armies of the thirsty cry out. Rising to the call for cold, fresh beer, the 64oz Classic Vacuum Growler lets you transport your favorite brew in fully functional and iconic style. Take control with a rugged handle for easy carry and one-handed pouring. The wide mouth allows for quick filling, sharing, and cleaning. That satisfying ‘pop’ you hear when you open this bad boy is a sure sign your beer is fresh and bubbly. It ain’t Grandad’s old vacuum bottle, but he’ll raise his pint in admiration. You might just have to top him off.

Fly Boxes Galore   $24.00 – $129.00

(and plenty of flies with which to fill them)

Fly boxes make great Christmas gifts and we’ve got something in every price range.  From $24 plastic WCA logo boxes to hand-made  Al Swanson boxes and everything in between. Choose your box and load it up. Don’t forget our “Cheaper by the Dozen” special going on now…$5/dozen flies while they last.

WCA  Gift Cards  $Any Amount

A perennial favorite for any occasion, but especially for the holidays…WCA gift cards are the perfect gift for all of those anglers on your list for whom you have absolutely no idea what to buy. You can get them in any amount, they never expire and they’re good for absolutely EVERYTHING we sell. Lodging, guide trips, shuttles, boat rentals, merchandise….EVERYTHING! We’re happy to mail them anywhere in the world you need them sent. Just give us a call and we can take care of all of it right over the phone.

These are just a few ideas based on some of our more popular items but we’ve got a shop full of all kinds of gear in every price range. We’re more than happy to help you with gift ideas and while we haven’t yet ventured into E-commerce we’re more than happy to ship you whatever you need.

We hope you keep us in mind when shopping for your favorite fly fishers.

 

 

 

 

Mid November

Despite a fairly warm week ahead we’ve decided to proceed with shutting down a few more cabins for the winter as it seems things have pretty much slowed to a halt. Not to worry. We are open for business all year but for all intents and purposes the 2018 season is in the books, capping a fifth successful season for Wolf Creek Angler!

Effective next week our winter business hours will be Wednesday – Saturday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 am – 12 noon. As per usual you can expect to find us here any day (including Monday and Tuesday) if the weather dictates it and likewise we may opt out if hazardous conditions pose a traveling risk or if it’s just too damn cold to fish. We are open for lodging and guide trips EVERY DAY. Don’t forget our MOvember special – $500 for a full day guide trip and two nights of premium lodging. You won’t find a better deal anywhere!

The “fishable” weather parameters tend to shift and evolve as the winter drags on. We’re looking at temps in the mid to high 40’s this week but I don’t expect much traffic. If we see these types of conditions come January however you can bet we’ll be booked solid and busy in the shop.

Mid November through the end of the year is our slowest time as people get busy with the holidays. Many are focused on hunting and have already long since put away the fishing gear for the season. That being said, we will see a bump in traffic (weather permitting) as the colleges go on winter break in a couple of weeks.

It’s been an awesome fall for fishing the Missouri and elsewhere in the state. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. The weather was great and this was hands down the best fall fishing I’ve seen since moving to Montana.

Dry fly fishing will still be an option for the next couple of weeks though it appears as though sunshine will prevail much of this week which is not great for dry fly or streamer fishing.
Plan on settling in to winter nymphing but keep your options open. Bobber fishing will be your best bet for numbers from here on out but keep that dry fly rig and that streamer stick at the ready.

It’s time to start thinking winter fare….Firebeads, Sows, Pill Poppers, Pinkalicious, Pink Amex, Rainbow Czechs, Cotton Candy, UV Crush, Zebra midges, worms, Bubble Yums, Soft Hackle Sows…etc. Water temps are still holding in the high 40’s so you’ll still find the fish spread out in a variety of water types but you’d do well to start focusing on the deeper, slower winter runs.

We’re running fairly deep (7’-9’ overall) and usually running a tungsten bead point fly along with a bb or two. I wouldn’t say we’ve exactly got things dialed for winter quite yet as water conditions are in flux but it won’t be long and you’ll be fishing the same water with the same bugs and the same rigging for days at a time.

BWO’s are definitely a possibility….keep your dry fly rod rigged and ready, especially on the overcast days.

Streamer fishing has been solid and will continue to occupy our time. Some are shifting into Trout Spey season, others are content to stick to the single handed techniques. Either way, this is your time. Get after it.

Chewy has returned to the tying bench for the winter so expect all of your favorite ZK patterns to be back in stock SOON. In the meantime it’s getting to be Kreelex, Skiddish Smolt and Polar Leech time and it’s always Sparkle Minnow season!

As the Christmas shopping season approaches we hope you keep us in mind to help you take care of the anglers on your shopping list. We’ll do a Holiday Gift Guide soon but in the meantime we’re happy to provide you with personalized gift ideas…just give us a call. A new rod and reel, a new fly box filled with Missouri River flies, new waders, new boots, a Missouri or Blackfoot River guide trip? The options are limitless. Give us a call or drop us a line, we’d be happy to give you some ideas to fit any budget.

2017 The Year in Review

Another year and another season in the books.

As we sit through the latest round of winter weather we can’t help but think back to those warm sunny days on the water. And while winter is barely a week underway we know that spring will be here before we know it, at least we hope it will!

Looking back over posts from the year it looks as though 2017 started out much as 2018 will, in winter’s icy grasp. With any luck however it won’t be long until we see that first January warm-up and get back to fishing the MO’. In the meantime, the ice has formed and the hard water anglers have started booking rooms for the days ahead, a welcome development after a slow and quiet December.

The early months of 2017 were quiet around the shop, as they always tend to be with the biggest story of the winter being the renovations to our motel.

Unit number eight received a much needed makeover and our guests loved it. Look for a similar transformation in number 9 this year. A paint job in Cabin #2 and new flooring in Cabin #3 were also welcomed changes.

River life resumed normalcy in late February as the winter weather began to retreat. March and early April brought phenomenal fishing on the Missouri and elsewhere and things got off to an early start at WCA with many eager anglers descending on the MO’. Run off began in mid May and kept things busy as the Missouri was the only fishable water in the region for a time.

We announced our new guide lineup in April, welcoming Kelly Harrison and Jeff Jennings to our team. Both were, and continue to be a great fit and will resume work for us in 2018. Prime dates are filling quickly so don’t miss your chance to fish with Kelly or Jeff or any one of our other amazing guides.

The spring fishing was nothing short of spectacular with the hatches coming off right on schedule and plenty of healthy Missouri River bows and browns willing to play. 

The idyllic spring season soon transitioned into an equally idyllic summer and then around the 4th of July things got a little weird. On July 5th I experienced my first earth quake, a 5.8 mag centered near Lincoln which rattled much of the west central part of the state. It was Montana’s biggest quake in decades and did not go unnoticed by many.

By mid July the heat and lack of precipitation brought Hoot Owl closures to many rivers around the region and also opened the door to what ended up being one of the worse fire seasons in our history with over a million acres burned state-wide.

Smokey skies, poor air quality and evacuations were the story for the remainder of the summer. Fishing was fine but the poor air quality led to a noticeable drop in business as we awaited the cooler weather of fall and prayed for precipitation which we finally got in mid September  in the form of an early winter storm which delivered rain and snow and effectively brought the fire season to an end.

The Lookout Fire west of Wolf Creek MT Photo by Rocky Infanger

October brought with it more winter weather along with some of the best fall fishing in recent memory. We had a handful of awesome BWO days throughout the course of the fall and streamer fishing was as good as I’ve seen it since I’ve been in Montana.

The BIG news in October was that after a couple of seasons of trying to make it happen,  Wolf Creek Angler received a brand new Project Healing Waters Adipose Flow Drift Boat available to all US Military Active Duty and veterans FREE of charge.

Wolf Creek Angler has partnered with Montana Project Healing WatersAdipose Boatworks and Headhunters Fly Shop to expand this popular program which up until now had been administered exclusively through Headhunters in Craig.  Now with one boat at Wolf Creek Angler in Wolf Creek and two at Headhunters in Craig we will be able to accommodate even more vets.  If you are a vet or an active duty US Military member you qualify for a free rental boat courtesy of Project Healing Waters, Helena Chapter.

Of course the other BIG news of October in Wolf Creek MT was the much anticipated Grand Opening of Shotgun Annie’s Eatery and Tavern.

The wait was worth it and we are so pleased to be dining and drinking in this establishment again. It was the topic of conversation all summer long amongst our guests, most of whom were unable to experience Shotgun Annie’s during their 2017 visit. We’re pleased to announce that dining has returned to Wolf Creek…breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

It appeared as though it was going to shape up to be an excellent late season on the Missouri with some off-the-charts fishing action and a brand new eatery and tavern in town. We were fully stocked with cold-weather bugs and gear and ready for that coveted last gasp of the retail and lodging season but alas it was not to be.

Mother Nature had different plans and early November brought snow and arctic air, essentially bringing the 2017 season to a close. The weather improved and the fishing stayed hot through the month of November and the first half of December but aside from local traffic the river was empty.

Late November Days on the MO’

Christmas brought more winter weather which brings us back to where we are today. Two days remain in 2017 and we are in the midst of a significant winter storm. I’ve fished my last day of 2017 (over a week ago) and it looks like it will be mid week next week at the soonest before I fish the new year.

Snowpack is in great shape and the season forecast is for below average temps and above average precipitation so all is well but watching the snow pile up outside I can’t help but dream of spring.

Happy New Year from all of us at Wolf Creek Angler.  Thank you for making 2017 our best yet. I have a feeling 2018 will be even better!

December Beckons

November’s early winter blast pretty much shut things down on the Missouri and for whatever reason folks stayed away for most of the month despite plenty of very fishable days. Sure the wind has howled seemingly more often than not which is less than ideal but by late fall standards it really hasn’t been  bad.

If you’ve closed the book on the 2017 season it may be time to reconsider.

December has thus far brought mild temps and a lack of precipitation which is not great in the grand scheme but which should have you thinking late fall fishing on the MO’.

Traffic will remain light as many are occupied with holiday preparations and celebrations which means you could have this thing virtually to yourself for the rest of 2017.

The weather is unseasonably warm, the fishing is good, the traffic is light and the deals on lodging and guide trips are too good to pass up.

Why not treat yourself or someone you love to an early Christmas present. Two nights of lodging and a full day guide trip for just $500.  You won’t find a better deal anywhere. Nobody can touch this one!

We’ve got plenty of guides and rooms available all month long so don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Sure we’re offering this deal all winter long but sooner or later we will actually get winter weather which will challenge even the most hard core anglers.

The short term forecast looks more like October than December so what are you waiting for? Book yourself a room and a guide or just grab your gear, stock up on firebeads and everything pink and come out for the day.

We’re stocked up with the best selection of winter bugs in Wolf Creek and everything you need for your day on the water. Shuttles, Simms cold weather gear, RO and Adipose drift boat rentals (including our Project Healing Waters Adipose FREE to all vets and active duty military personnel) and plenty of great gift ideas so you can get your holiday shopping done while you are here.

Just want the guide trip without lodging?  Only $350 all winter long.

Just looking for a bed? We’ve got you covered with cozy cabins and bungalows for just $99. All of our available units have full kitchens and  private baths and sleep two to three comfortably. Cook for yourself or check out Shotgun Annie’s. The food is good, the service is friendly and we’re thrilled to have them here!

Wolf Creek is the place to be this winter on the MO’.