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!

 

 

 

 

Cruising through Summer

It’s that time of the season when things go quiet.

Dry fly fishing remains prime with an abundance of opportunities available to feed your top-water addictions.

Whether you like targeting specific fish with tiny trico patterns or blind fishing a meaty (and highly visible) terrestrial this is your time.

Tricos, Caddis, the last of the PMD’s, beetles, ants, hoppers…it’s a top-water extravaganza with something for everyone but as luck would have it everyone has rapidly transitioned to no one.

The crowds have disappeared. The fish have not, though we’re certain they’re enjoying the break.

If the fishing is so good, you may be asking yourself, then why have the crowds disappeared?

It’s a valid question and one which is tied to the normal cycles of the Missouri River summer season. These coming weeks are traditionally quiet ones as the prime timers have come and gone and many have started to set their sights on fall.

The exodus typically coincides with hot weather and weeds, neither of which ruin the fishing but suffice it to say that neither really add much to the enjoyment of your Montana fly fishing experience.

This year is a little different.

Yes, hot weather has arrived but it’s been a relatively cool summer up until now and the temps are still unseasonably cool at night which is helping to keep the river cool. These cooler temps along with summer flows in the 6000 CFS range thus far (though dropping now) have helped to keep us virtually weed free through the prime time and things are still in good shape. Expect more weeds as flows continue to drop.

The long winter and the slow march to summer has delayed our “normal” bug schedule by a couple of weeks which means that not only are we STILL fishing PMD’s but we’re just getting started on Tricos so we’re anticipating solid dry fly fishing for the rest of the summer season. Throw in respectable caddis activity and the option of fishing terrestrials and you’ve got a near-perfect time to fish the Missouri.

And as if that weren’t enough to make you change your late summer plans lodging has just become extremely available and extremely abundant and while our guides are enjoying a day or two off they’d rather be working than not so I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be booking yourself an August trip to THE best trout fishery in the country this summer.

Tons of bugs plus tons of fish minus crowds of anglers = the perfect time to fish the MO’.

Best Dry Flies this week – Rusty Spinner, Brook’s Sprout PMD, PMD Drowned Spinner, Hi Vis PMD Spinner, Double Wing Trico, Trico Indicator Spinner, Hi Vis Trico Spinner, Trina’s Hi Vis Sprout, Griffiths Gnat, Buzzball, Bloom’ Parachute Caddis, Outrigger Caddis, X Caddis, Front End Loader, CDC Caddis Emerger, Cornfed Caddis, Para Adams, Purple Haze.

Best Bets for Terrestrials – Moorish Hopper, More or Less Hopper, Water Walker, Cinnamon Parachute Ant, Hi Vis Beetle, Bloom’s Stealth Ant, Parachute Ant, Spruce Moth.

Not to be overlooked the nymphing has been good with a smorgasbord of bugs getting eaten.
Tailwater Sows, PMD Redemption, Frenchie, LGM’s, PT Black, Purple Lightning Bug, Weight Flies, Tung Darts, PMD Wondernymph, Doc’s Summer Bug, Juju purple, 2 Bits, Psycho Mays, Peep Shows and yes, even Zirdles are FINALLY getting noticed.

Fish on top, fish below, fish blind, fish deep, fish shallow, fish fast and medium fast water (skip the slow). Heck, take advantage of the relatively clean water and fish streamers…You know I am.

Your options are limitless right now on the MO.
W

e are your one stop shop for everything you need for your day on the water. The best guides on the river; clean and affordable lodging; Adipose Drift Boat Rentals; Simms waders, boots, sportswear and accessories; sunglasses from Smith and Suncloud; nets, packs and accessories from Fishpond and Rising; ice; fishing licenses; and much more including the largest selection of Missouri River bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Open daily at 7 am.

Springtime in the Rockies

Frozen Pipes in April?

Ahhhh…..May in Montana. Singing birds, sunshine, greening grass, budding trees, freezing temps, frozen pipes, broken plumbing…it’s springtime in the Rockies.

Following some moderately mild spring weather in mid-April, winter returned last Sunday. You never know when the weather will turn but you’d think by late April we’d be done with the risk of frozen plumbing. Not so this year.

We dipped back down into the teens last night but it appears as though a warm-up is underway and with any luck the nervous nights spent worrying about frozen plumbing are behind us for the season.

We’ll see temperatures back in the 50’s for the next couple of days, 60’s by the end of the week and up to 70 by Sunday. More importantly, overnight lows will be hanging in the high 30’s and low 40’s. Good for slowing snow melt and for maintaining water in its liquid form.

Fishing has been fair though not as consistent as we expect it to be this time of year.

Status quo fishing report with the best fishing still happening from the dam to Wolf Creek Bridge. Nothing much new to report on the nymphing scene. Tailwater sows still ruling the day with Pill Poppers, Bubble Yums, Pederson’s Sow, Yum Yums, UV Crush, Caviar Scud, Rainbow Czech, Pink Amex, Firebead Sows, Cotton Candies and the like all finding their targets. I mentioned last week that it might not be a bad idea to start mixing in some BWO nymphs and it bears repeating. LGM’s, S & M’s, Psycho Mays, Radiation Baetis, BWO Magic Flies, and 2 Bits should all be in the mix.

Dry Fly fishing? Coming soon. Widespread reports of BWO’s making an appearance. We like Sprout Baetis, MicroMay BWO, and Olive Para Adams etc trailed with a cripple or an emerger. Film Critics, Flash Cripples, and DOA Cripple Baetis should all get it done. Surface activity has been sporadic at best but it’s only going to get better so keep your dry fly rod rigged and ready….be prepared.

Streamer fishing has been tough, I’m not going to lie. We’ve been working extremely hard at it without much to show for our efforts. Some are discouraged. I am not. Keep at it. Sooner or later it’ll happen. Or not. Try different colors, different sizes, switch up your retrieve. It’s hard work but the payoff is so worth it when it happens.

Good news from the Bureau of Reclamation this morning, it looks like flows are going to drop by around 1000 cfs tomorrow. It might make fishing weird for a day or two but we’re optimistic that things are about to come into fine shape. Water temps are holding in the 43 degree range and should start to increase over the next couple of weeks. Snow pack is average to slightly above so with the current weather pattern of mild days and cool nights continuing we’re cautiously optimistic that things are about to get really good.

Spring special is OVER but spring fishing is just getting started. We’ve got guides at the ready and lodging available most nights so if you’ve been on the fence about doing a spring trip get off the fence and book a trip today. NOW is the TIME!

We are open daily from 7:30 – 5:00 pm for all of your Missouri River fly fishing needs. Shuttles; fishing licenses; Adipose Flow Drift Boat Rentals; waders, boots, outerwear and accessories from SIMMS; packs, tools and accessories from FISHPOND and the largest selection of Missouri River Bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana. We are your GO TO, Full Service Fly Shack on the MO.

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.

 

 

 

 

Out like a Lion

 

It’s hard to believe but March has all but passed us by and while  we traditionally expect March to come in fiercely like a lion and go out gently like a lamb it looks like the winter lion is going to stick around for a while yet.

Rain and snow are likely tomorrow with gusty south southwest winds in the afternoon ushering in a cold front which will drop us into the teens tomorrow night. We’ll see a high of only 32 on Saturday with a chance for some snow but Sunday looks better with temps back near 50. Maybe not the ideal weekend to fish the Missouri but sooner or later we’ll get there.

We definitely saw an increase in traffic this week with spring breakers taking advantage of some decent weather and enjoying the sunshine on the windy MO’. Fishing reports have been inconsistent but overall I’d say it’s been fair for most. As you would expect those who fish here often are having pretty good luck out there while those who are here for the first time or only hit it once or twice a year have been having a tougher go of it.

Nymphing is your best bet for numbers and not much has changed on the bug front. Anything with a pink bead works more often than not and firebeads are getting it done as well. The hottest bug of the spring thus far has been Pederson’s Sow (available exclusively at Wolf Creek Angler and currently in short supply but more are on the way). Pill poppers, Lucent Bead Rays, UV Crush, Bubble Yums, Pink Radiation Baetis and Wayno’s Cotton Candy have all been catching plenty of fish. Don’t shy away from black Zebras, tailwater sows, firebead rays etc. I’m still sticking with a #12 Pink Amex for a lead fly more often than not but Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Casne’s Pinkalicious, Pink Weight Flies and Bubble Yums work too. Some have gone to the worm and done well.

Fish are still holding in the slower, deeper runs but we are starting to see a migration to transitional water so  fish the slow stuff but don’t be afraid to hit that medium fast, medium depth water as well. Some are fishing deep rigs and doing fine, we’ve been sticking with a 7′ – 8′ overall depth, sometimes with no weight, sometimes with a bb.

Streamer fishing has been hit or miss but if you stick with it throughout the day you should encounter at least a hot stretch or two. Kreelex, Craven’s Dirty Hippy, Sparkle Minnows, Lynch’s Drunk and Disorderly, Baby Gongas, Polar Leeches, Montana Minnows, Clousers and ZK’s Son of Bunny in pearl and MK Ultra in grey (both available exclusively at WCA) have all been effective. Greys, whites and olives have been good but as I say often fish what you like and what you have confidence in…it makes all the difference in the world.

Midges a plenty daily. Some days the fish are on them, some days they aren’t. Keep that dry fly rig at the ready. I’ve been running a hi-vis para adams with a Bucky’s Midge Cluster and haven’t seen any reason to switch it up but any Griffiths gnat or midge cluster ought to do the trick.

Overcast days have definitely been better overall (especially for streamer fishing) but we’re catching plenty of fish in the sun as well. Fish when you can.

Our spring lodging and guide trip special has been gaining in popularity as folks come to realize what an absolute STEAL of a Deal it is. Once again, that’s two nights of premium lodging and a full day guide trip for one or two anglers for just $550. We challenge you to find a better deal on the MO’.

We’re at about 50% open on our lodging just waiting for temps to stabilize before we open the rest but hopefully it won’t be long. Cabins and bungalows available now, motel rooms open soon.

The shop is rapidly filling up with new gear from Simms, Redington, Echo, Ross and more and we’re thrilled to announce that we are now your Exclusive Missouri River dealer for Damsel Fly Fishing, an AWESOME line of women’s fly fishing gear and apparel made right here in Montana. Check them out at www.damselflyfishing.com. We’re also excited to announce that we are now featuring Douglas Fly Rods. More on this soon but in the meantime check them out at   douglasoutdoors.com We’ll let you know as soon as we have them in. We’re sure you’re going to love these rods and we’re hearing  nothing but good things from the other dealers around the region.

It may not feel like it and it may not look like it just yet but spring is definitely here and we can’t wait to see you back on the Missouri.

Remember Izaak’s opens Thursday, April 5th and we can’t wait!!

 

 

 

 

Looking Towards Autumn

Autumn is a magical time on the Missouri – photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Cool mornings, shorter days, hungry browns, back to school specials, preseason football and the first of the Oktoberfest beers hitting the shelves has us thinking autumn. Have you booked your dates yet for fall fishing on the Missouri?

The leaves are beginning to change and while we’re still experiencing summer weather with abundant sunshine and highs in the 80s and 90’s it won’t be long before cooler temps will prevail.

It’s hard to pick a favorite season on the Missouri but if I had to choose, autumn definitely ranks right up there and is considered by many to be the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s been a great summer but we’re ready for the change.

The fishing has remained solid this past week with good nymphing, especially in the top section, and plenty of hopper and ant eats to keep things interesting.

There are a lot of bugs you could be using right now and catching fish but I’ve found no reason to stray from the black zebra midge/crayfish combo. Other good options would be Peep Shows, Pheasant Tails, Green Machines, Weight Flies, PsychoMays, S & M’s, Two Bits, Tailwater Sows, Fishfinder Worms, Wire Worms, UV Czechs, Lightning Bugs and Rainbow Warriors. Claws R Cray and Snapping Craws have been effective on the Crayfish front.

Moorish Hoppers in pink, peach  or yellow have been effective as have Cinnamon Ants, Black Parachute Ants and Blooms Stealth Ant in purple. Chernobyl Ants, purple or gold chubbys and spruce moths have also been getting noticed.

There are still tricos to be found and you might find fish on them but we’ve pretty much abandoned that game and committed to the terrestrials.

Streamer fishing is heating up and will only improve from here on out. The weeds are definitely an issue but if you can work through it and maintain your composure you could have some outstanding streamer action.

October lodging is filling rapidly and we’re starting to book a good number of guide trips as well. We know the end of summer is a busy time for everyone but we urge you to take a few minutes and book your Missouri River fall fly fishing trip of a lifetime with Wolf Creek Angler soon.

We are your Missouri River fall fly fishing destination with everything you need for your visit. Clean and affordable lodging; the hardest working guides on the river; RO and Adipose drift boat rentals; shuttles; Simms outerwear, sportswear and accessories; lines, leaders and tipped from Rio, ARC and Trout Hunter; rods and reels from LOOP, Redington, Echo, Ross and Nautilus; Smith optics; piles of WCA hats and logo gear; tools and accessories from Loon and Fishpond and the near legendary largest and best selection of bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Stop in and check out the best Missouri River fly shop you never knew was here.

 

This Week on the MO’

The Big Muddy. Blackfoot River from Scotty Brown Bridge on May 6th. Photo by Blackfoot Angler Fly Shop

The BIG PUSH has begun. Runoff has started and with it the migration of guides from around the state to the Missouri seeking fishable water for their clients.

The MO’ is definitely where you need to be if you plan on fishing western Montana in the immediate future and while we are largely immune to the blow out conditions found on the freestones during runoff we do have some big pushes of water coming from Little Prickly Pear and the Dearborn adding cold water and color which present challenges but also opportunities. LPP is currently running at a muddy 274 CFS while the Dearborn is cranking at 800 making flows on the MO below Dearborn somewhere in the neighborhood of 8500 CFS. Above Prickly Pear the Missouri is currently flowing at 7440 CFS with a water temp of 47 degrees.

Reports from Sunday were mixed but it sounds like the rain and cooler air temps so sought after by the dry fly and streamer guys were negated by the influx of cold, muddy water from the tribs. Solid nymphing reports from the Dam, not so much from Wolf Creek on down.

Conditions will remain somewhat status quo this week as temps in the 70’s and 80’s continue to contribute to runoff. Plenty of sunshine this week as  well which may not be what you want if you can’t wait to throw a dry fly but don’t rule it out, we could have some great evening activity this week. Again, blue skies and sunshine are not exactly optimal for streamer fishing either but you might be surprised. Sunshine or clouds, I know what I’ll be throwing this week and it ain’t nymphs or dry flies.

Speaking of nymphs though, we would definitely recommend including a worm in your offering, especially if you’re fishing low. Sow bugs are still getting the biggest nod but it’s time to start throwing the kitchen sink at them. Purple Lighting Bugs, LGM’s, Hot Belly Pheasant Tails, Hi Def, Radiation and Juju Baetis, Split Case BWO’s, Dark Peep Shows, Rainbow Warriors, 2 Bits, S & M’s…..you get the idea.

We’re pretty well booked up for lodging through mid-week but we do have openings for later in the week and through the weekend and we’ve got guides at the ready each and every day.

The shop is full of all kinds of new gear from Simms, Korkers, Fishpond, Redington and more and the fly bins are overflowing with every bug you need for the MO’ and beyond.

Stop in for shuttles, Adipose and RO Drift Boat Rentals, Realtime Missouri River updates and intel and what has frequently been referred to as the best coffee in the canyon.

 

Thinking Spring

The snow continues to pile up but we’re thinking spring at Wolf Creek Angler

It’s two degrees in Wolf Creek today but as we close in on just under six weeks until the first day of spring we cant help but begin to get excited about the rapidly approaching season.

Winter continues to make its presence felt with frigid temps and plenty of snow over the past couple of days. We’ve got more snow piled up around the shop right now than I’ve seen in my years here and we didn’t get a fraction of what our friends in NW Montana  got over the last couple of days with some areas receiving up to 50″ of new snow.

The Montana SNOTEL Snow Water Equivalent map is beginning to transform into what we like to see and while much of the region is still below 90 percent of average we’re seeing more and more green (and some blue) daily which we’re hopeful will mean a good water year again on the MO’ and hopefully around the region. With plenty of winter ahead we are optimistic conditions will be ideal.

The SNOTEL Water Year map for total precipitation (% of average) looks even better but keep in mind this is total precipitation, not snow pack.

So what’s it all mean?

Once again, it’s still early to tell but we like what we’re seeing. We will hopefully continue to accumulate snow pack in the high country but as always, the unknown is the amount of precipitation we will see in the spring which will ultimately determine what we see for water this year.

The latest predictions from the Bureau of Reclamation are calling for most probable average flows on the Missouri below Holter in the 4ooo cfs range based on current conditions at Canyon Ferry Reservoir which at this point  is 75% full which is 95% of the 30 year average for this date. Translation….good most probable flows but the Max Probable would be even better with a nice 10K flush in June.

It looks like we will see a hint of spring at the end of this week with temps in the high 30’s and low 40’s beginning on Thursday. The 10 day is calling for plenty of sunshine and sustained moderate temps through the end of next week so we may be on our way.

As we move towards the more mild temps of mid to late winter keep in mind Wolf Creek Angler has the undisputed best deal on the water this winter with two nights lodging and a full day of guided fishing with the best guides on the river for just $500 plus tax and NO CANCELLATION FEES!

Whether you’re fishing with our guides or doing things on your own, make us your first stop on the way to the MO’.

We are your Missouri River fly fishing one stop shop with clean and affordable accommodations, great guides and THE up and coming Missouri River fly shop fully stocked with anything you need for your day on the water.

Shuttles; Adipose and RO drift boat rentals; cold-weather gear from Simms and Kast; wading gear from Redington; rods from Loop, Echo and Redington; reels from Ross, Nautilus, Loop and Echo; Nomad nets and accessories a plenty from Fishpond; all kinds of great WCA logo gear and of course the biggest and best selection of bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Holiday Gift Guide

 

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Looking for that perfect gift for the fly fishers on your list?

We can help.

Something we know about fly fishing….it is definitely gear intensive…or as much so as you want it to be.

Sure there are those that go the minimalist route with one rod and a dozen all-purpose flies for any and all situations and there are those on the opposite end with piles of rods ranging from 0 – 12 weight and a reel for each and boxes crammed full of thousands of flies designed to mimic any bug in any stage in any part of the world. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

If you are shopping for fly fishers we are confident we can help, regardless of how much or how little gear they already have or want to have.

10. Redington Path Combo $189.958122

How about rods and reels? We’ve got a vast array of both in all price ranges but since our emphasis here is on quality AND affordability we’ve got an abundance of options in the entry-level to mid-price range and we would love nothing better than to assist you in choosing the perfect set-up whether that angler on your list is a seasoned pro or aspiring to be one.

Are you looking to get someone interested in fly fishing? Our advice is don’t break the bank. Go with an entry-level set-up and see where it goes before you invest too much into it. You could easily spend over $1000 on a rod and reel only to find out it really isn’t their thing.

We’ve got the perfect solution in our Redington Path combos. You get the moderate-fast action rod, the reel, the fly line the backing and a rod case for under $200 and the rod has a Lifetime warranty!. This is undoubtedly our best-selling set-up for beginners.

9. Ross Colorado LT Reel 800-ross-reel-colorado-lt-p1290898$285.00

Designed around our original Colorado’s click and pawl system, the new award-winning Colorado LT retains the same ruggedness and the signature all-metal clicker of its older brother. However, that is where the similarities end as the Colorado LT is built with a new aesthetic and modern design evident in its large arbor and highly detailed porting. Adding to its elegant simplicity, the Colorado LT boasts only 15 different parts in total, all designed, machined, and assembled in Montrose, Colorado USA.

 

 

8. Simms Guide Jacket simms-guide$349.95

This proven workhorse from Simms should be on every angler’s list.

The redesigned Guide™ Jacket is built-to-fish with Gore-Tex® Shell fabric that’s waterproof, breathable, lightweight, and tenacious against tears. Guide-tested features include two top-loading, fly-box compatible storage pockets with integrated retractors and Shingle Cuff™ engineering for unimpeded casting. A Tuck-Away fly patch folds out to hold sidelined bugs.

 

 

 

7. Fishpond Nomad Boat Net 229.95 nomadpig

Nomad Nets are constructed with carbon fiber/fiberglass composite material. The result is a very lightweight and durable net. Nomad Nets are built for the conditions that prevail where great fishing exists; they are waterproof, UV protected, and float like a cork. All Nomad Nets come standard with a rubber bag.

 

The now legendary Nomad Net needed a bigger basket for the boaters. The Nomad Boat delivers it, as well as extra-long handle for extra-wily fish.

6. Redington Sonic Pro Waders $299.95 sonic

Four layer breathable fabric and SonicWeld seams for under $300!

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.

 

 

 

5. Simms ColdWeather Shirt  $99.95 20314-furyorangeplaid-l

Our absolute favorite winter shirt….hands down.

Quick dry warmth featuring micro fleece waffle-lining. 
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 UPF50 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.

 

4. Simms ColdWeather Pants $99.95 coldweather

If you like the ColdWeather shirt wait until you try the pants.

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.

 

 

 

3. Yeti Drinkware $24.99-$39.99 img_8174

Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. 10 OZ Lowball,   30 OZ Ramblers and the stainless steel koozie you thought you’d never need the Colster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Stanley Wolf Creek Angler 64 OZ Growler $59.00 img_7774

As always, your first fill-up at Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena   http://blackfootriverbrewing.com/is on us. 

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. An audible ‘pop’ when you open this bad boy is a sure sign your beer is still carbonated. It ain’t Grandad’s old vacuum bottle, but he’ll raise his pint in admiration.

 

 

 

  1. Wolf Creek Angler Logo Wear $20.00-$99.99 img_8175

Hats, T – Shirts, Guide Shirts, ColdWeather Shirts, Fleeces, hoodies….all adorned with the logo of your favorite fly shop.

 

 

 

Can’t decide  or not sure what they want? A Wolf Creek Angler gift card makes the perfect gift for all the Missouri River Fly Fishers on your list. The cards can be purchased in any amount, they never expire, and they can be used for absolutely anything we sell. Shuttles, Guide Trips, Drift Boat Rentals, Lodging, Merchandise…..Anything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Update

Moody Missouri Sky - Craig Montana. photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Moody Missouri Sky – Craig Montana. photo by Wolf Creek Angler

It was a little tougher out there yesterday than it’s been. Still good but we definitely had to work for them. The Tailwater Sow still won the day but I ended up doing a fair amount of bug and rig changes throughout the day. Rainbow Czechs, Tan UV Czechs and Bubble Yums were all ignored for the most part while the grey LGM, purple lightning bug, tailwater sow, grey soft hackle sow and purple Hi-Def baetis all caught fish.

A few bigger bugs on the water and a few fish in the places you would expect to find them but definitely far from a dry-fly extravaganza.

Traffic? Non existent!

You know what I love about November (and the rest of the late fall and winter) on the MO’? I love miles of empty water as far as the eye can see and being able to fish every place I want to fish, and more often than not being the first one through. Of course it’s not always this way but if you can have this experience on a 50 some degree gorgeous day in early November then you can bet the more seasonable (colder) weather will usually yield the same results.

You know what I like least about this time of year? Paradoxically its miles of empty water and the drop in traffic that ushers in the lean times for Missouri River fly shops. One in the same! It’s a fun time to fly fish the Missouri but on the shop side we’re ready for spring!

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to do in the shop right now. We’re busy counting flies, checking in winter product booking trips and lodging for next year, winterizing lodging units, forecasting and planning for next season….we’re plenty busy. What we miss is seeing and chatting with all of you every day.

Keep your eye on the forecast and keep us in mind for a late fall/early winter getaway. At $99/night for a cozy cabin or bungalow just minutes from the river you can’t afford to pass up this opportunity.

Remember the winter months are when the town of Wolf Creek shines with the only services available between Helena and Cascade. Need fuel, food, groceries, a post office? Wolf Creek is where you’ll find them all in addition to affordable lodging and the fastest growing fly shop on the MO’ Wolf Creek Angler.

We are your Missouri River fly fishing one stop shop with more on-site lodging than anyone; the hardest working guides on the river; vehicle shuttles; RO and Adipose Drift Boat Rentals;  cold weather gear from SIMMS, KAST and Redington; packs, bags and accessories from Fishpond and Simms; LOOP rods and reels; lines, leaders and tippet from Rio, ARC and Trout Hunter and of course, the largest and best selection of flies ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.