Winter’s Last Gasp?

While we are currently sitting at just shy of 20 degrees and are under a winter storm warning through this evening a major warm up is on the way. Could it be that this is winter’s last gasp?

Not likely. But regardless,  we are looking at mid 40’s for the weekend and it looks like we’ll hit 60 next week as the official start of spring looms, now just 10 days away.

Ideally things warm up and the snow goes away locally while winter holds tight in the high country for a while which looks like it’s going to be the case judging by the latest SNOTEL map which continues to grow increasingly blue indicating snowpack over 110 % of average for much of the region.

We’re expecting it will be busy on the river this weekend and next week, at least by late winter standards,  with nice weather, warming water and hungry fish looking for a spring feast.

We’ve got plenty of lodging available and will be opening more soon to accommodate your early spring fishing plans. We’ve been doing a few trips here and there but guide trip season will get underway in earnest next week as the spring special trips start to roll. We’ve still got plenty of availability for March but April is starting to fill as word has gotten out about THE BEST SPRING FISHING DEAL ON THE MISSOURI….HANDS DOWN! $500 for two night’s lodging and a full day on the water with the hardest working guides on the river through the end of April.

You won’t find a better deal ANYWHERE!

Even if you don’t take advantage of our $500 special we’ve got great rates on guide trips without lodging as well as lodging without guide trips. $350 full day guide trips through the end of April and lodging in our cabins or bungalows for just $99/night plus tax.

It’s going to be a spectacular spring on the MO’ and the shop is fully stocked with everything you need and more with new shipments of Missouri River fly fishing essentials arriving daily. We’ve got cold weather gear from Simms and KAST; wading gear from Redington and Korkers; eyewear from Smith Optics and CLiC; Nomad nets, packs and accessories from Fishpond; lines, leaders and tippet from ARC, RIO and Trout Hunter; rods from LOOP, Echo and Redington; reels from Nautilus, LOOP, Ross, Echo and Redington and the near LEGENDARY largest selection of bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Don’t miss our ever-expanding streamer selection including a bunch of EXCLUSIVES from ZK you won’t find ANYWHERE ELSE. Streamer Season is upon us and while we unapologetically love nymphing any time of year and love to fish dries to sipping trout on warm summer days (and cold winter days as well) it is chucking streamers that really gets us fired up. It’s all about the chase!

We’ve got a bunch of new WCA logo gear you’re going to love and you’re going to want to keep an eye on our sale rack throughout the spring as we clear out the cold weather gear and make room for warmer weather fare. That means the best deals you’re likely to find anywhere on top quality gear from the best brands in the business.

We’ve also offer RO and Adipose Drift Boat rentals and Missouri River shuttle service and if we don’t have it or can’t do it, we’re happy to connect you with the people who can. We pride ourselves on having a great relationship with every other shop in the area and while it’s no secret we are all competing for your business our  business as a collective is taking care of your fly fishing needs and we will gladly send you to another shop if we aren’t able to accommodate you.

We think it’s going to be a great season on the MO’ and we hope to see you soon.

 

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.

Chewy’s Winter Welfare Check & Fishing Report 1.17.17

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been largely absent for some time now. Considering its been colder than Shackleton’s ass on the sunniest of days for the past several weeks, not much has been going on at the shop, on the river or in general for that matter. Cold, abject misery has been the status quo in the canyon. With winter storm after winter storm rolling through, the unrelenting wind, my motivation to drop the thread bobbin and wader up has been practically non existent. Has being the imperative statement. Up until yesterday morning, my days consisted of sleeping in as long as humanly possible, strong coffee, hot soup and tying as many flies as my yeti-esque hands allow.

Weather improved enough  to actually do more than drive the frontage road, dreaming of spring. How was the fishing? Awesome. Typical winter fare in the nymph department, pinks, hot heads, Zebras & San Juans.  Bobber-lobbing definitely the most productive means at this point. Don”t
underestimate the streamer bite though. Swinging brought a few to the net today before a 5 man crew crowded me out of an otherwise, wide open river. White was the color of choice by a long shot. Slow swings over deeper water with a sink tip to get it down, the only way to go. We’ve got all the standards in stock along with some WCA exclusives tied up by yours truly.

If you plan on floating in the next few days be advised: RAMPS ARE SKETCHY! Even at the Dam today a truck struggled but succeeded to get off. Be smart choosing your float, Wolf Creek Bridge is a definitely a no go, along with Mtn. Palace, Stickney Creek & the Dearborn. Few buddies floated Craig to Spite today and did fine. Just be sure to check conditions before you commit and come prepared, even if its just to lend a hand to your fellow floater!

From the looks of it, we’ve got another few days of warmer weather before things get cold again. We’ll be at the shop for the rest of the week with anything and everything you need to stay dry, warm, caffeinated and fishy  on your way to winter trout nirvana. The best outerwear and warmest layers from SIMMS, kick ass water resistant gloves from Kast Extreme Fishing Gear, the largest selection of flies in all of Wolf Creek and of course, the best free coffee in the canyon. What else do ya’ need?

Oh, lodging? Got that too. Booked solid for the night but the rest of the week is wide open. Clean rooms for $99 just minutes from the MO.

~Cheers, Chewy. 

With the warm up on the way it’s time to book that winter guide trip

The Cure for your Cabin Fever – $500 for two nights lodging and a full day of guided fishing on the MO’. There are other deals out there…NOBODY can touch this one. Call Now (406)235-4350

While it might not be quite enough of a warm up to call it a January Thaw we’re looking at temps in the 30’s and 40’s next week which is certain to bring out the throngs, at least by January standards.

We’ve been cooped up for weeks watching the mercury and the snow fall. Day after day of single digit temps, deadly wind chill factors and treacherous travel conditions have a lot of folks feeling the full effects of cabin fever so we are expecting quite an onslaught early next week when there will once again be drift boats on the water and likely an abundance of wade anglers out there as well.

Fishing has been an ice only game for a couple of weeks now with plenty of action on Holter but if all goes according to plan we will once again be catching trout in moving water.

We’ll be open all week (probably just in the morning on Monday and Tuesday, so we can fish too) so be sure to stop by to load up on winter bugs before you hit the water. We’re also fully loaded up on cold weather gear from Simms and KAST and our streamer bins are overflowing with some awesome exclusives from Chewy if you’re planning to swing.

Hot (free) coffee as well and even a few Christmas Cookies left…come by and help us finish them off.

If you plan to come out please be careful as the launches are snow covered and slippery and shelf ice is definitely a factor in most places. We’re excited about the warm-up but it is still very much winter here so keep that in mind if you are heading out.

Now would be a great time to book that winter guide trip as well. $350 for the day or take advantage of our ridiculous lodging and guide trip special….$500 for two nights lodging and a full day on the water. This is the time! Remember there are NO CANCELLATION FEES for these winter trips so if the weather turns or if you simply change your mind you are off the hook! No questions asked.

Guides are itching to get on the water and get you into fish which haven’t seen a fly in weeks. The current water temperature is just shy of 35 degrees which means that those fish are lethargic at best but a  couple of ticks up could really turn things on.

Call now and get the cure for your cabin fever…..a day of winter fishing on the MO’.

This Week on the MO’

 

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Cold and snowy.

There’s not much else to say other than we are happy to see next year’s water flows continuing to develop.

Expect continued cold weather for the remainder of the week with temps in the teens for the next couple of days and bitter cold returning for the weekend. We’ll see a high of -2 on Friday with a low near -20 Friday night. Saturday looks similar but we begin to warm back to the mid teens on Sunday and it looks like we may see a bit of a warm up next week with temperatures back in the high 20’s.

We’re under a winter storm watch beginning tomorrow evening and running through Thursday night for widespread snow and gusty winds, something we thankfully haven’t seen much of recently. 4-6″ of snow possible with up to 18″ expected at higher elevations. Keep it coming!

We don’t expect much in the way of traffic on the river this week but there will definitely be some anglers joining the waterfowl hunters out there next week with the warm-up and with the college crowd home for the holidays.

If the weather cooperates we will be in the shop every day next week, at least first thing in the morning and may just get out and do a little fishing ourselves as we’re already starting to exhibit symptoms of withdrawal.

If you’re looking for last-minute Christmas gifts we can help and you don’t even need to make the trek to Wolf Creek. Give us a call and let us know what you need and we’ll get it shipped out in time for Christmas.

A Wolf Creek Angler gift card makes the perfect gift for all the fly fishers on your list. You can purchase them in any amount, they never expire, and they are good for absolutely everything we sell.

You don’t need to know what weight Loop, Echo or Redington rod; which Nautilus, Ross, Loop, Echo or Redington reel; which flies; what size Simms or Kast gear; when to book the guide trip and lodging….you don’t need to know any of it, all you need to know is WCA Gift Cards cover it all!

Enjoy the snow, stay warm and start making plans for a great 2017 on the World-Class Missouri River.

Thanksgiving Week on the MO’

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Good fishing to be had out there right now and you can have it virtually all to yourself.

It’s the quiet time of year for the quiet sport.

Winter continues to elude us this week with partly to mostly sunny skies and daytime temps in the mid to high 40’s. It’s not exactly what you picture when you think of late fall on the Missouri but it’s what we’ve got so you may as well make the best of it and extend your fall fishing season with a trip to the MO’.

Our winter guide trip/lodging package continues to draw attention and if the weather stays like this we may just be in for a very busy winter season.

Just $500 for two nights of lodging and a full day on the water with NO CANCELLATION FEES?

You heard right. Don’t wait any longer. Book your trip today.

We’ll be open regular hours tomorrow (Wednesday) from 8:00 – 5:00 and will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. We’ll be back in the shop bright and early on Black Friday. You can knock out your Christmas shopping AND fish on Friday with a visit to Wolf Creek Angler.

If you are planning on fishing Thursday and are in need of shuttles or flies or other shop stuff please visit our friends at Headhunters in Craig. They will be open from 8 – 1. We will be watching football and eating turkey.

Our Black Friday Fly Rod Sale officially runs Friday – Sunday but if you want to get a jump on things come on by tomorrow and we’ll be sure to give you a great deal on rods from Loop, Echo, Redington and St Croix. We’ll also be offering combo deals with reels from Loop, Ross, Redington and Echo.

We’ve also got a shop full of great gift ideas including sportswear and outerwear from SIMMS and KAST, packs, nets and accessories from FISHPOND, custom fly boxes handmade in Helena Montana by Al Swanson, WCA Logo Gear and much more.

Not sure what they want? We’ve got the perfect solution – Wolf Creek Angler Gift Cards in any amount good for EVERYTHING we sell!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Weekend Update – Closing out October

 

Wolf Creek Bridge on the Mighty Missouri River near Wolf Creek Montana.  - photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Wolf Creek Bridge on the Mighty Missouri River near Wolf Creek Montana. – photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Closing out October this weekend with awesome autumn weather and great fishing on the MO’, a perfect combination and a great way to spend your weekend.

Plenty of fish, not a lot of traffic on the river and tonight is your last night to enjoy dinner at Izaaks in 2016.

We’ve got a full house tonight but things open up tomorrow and looking at the forecast it looks like it’s going to be another mild week, the perfect opportunity for a fall getaway on the Missouri.

We’ll be closing our motel units next week but will have cabins and bungalows available all year-long.

We are your exclusive year-round lodging option in Wolf Creek Montana. Whether you’re here to fish or to hunt or you’re just passing through, we offer a great place to stay at an affordable price. And speaking of affordable prices, winter lodging rates kick in November 1st!

Just one more reason to book your Missouri River fall fly fishing getaway today.

If you’re planning to hit the river today bring plenty of sowbugs. There’s been no reason to fish anything else though we’ve also done well with Rainbow Czechs and Bubble Yums this week.

Not much to report on the dry-fly front though I did see some bigger bugs the last couple times out so once the weather conditions start to cooperate it could definitely be game on. Expect plenty of sunshine this week and enjoy it. Cloudy, cold, rainy/snowy, nasty weather is what we’re waiting for to get the BWO action going but in the meantime enjoy it while it lasts.  The snow will fly soon enough.

Streamer fishing would likely improve with an increase in cloud cover as well though I will say I fished streamers for roughly 15 minutes in the sun yesterday and moved two and hooked one so there really is no reason to not fish streamers. Zach is doing a great job keeping the streamer bins full so be sure and stop by WCA for what some have called the best streamer selection on the Missouri.

We are your Missouri River fall fly fishing headquarters with everything you need for your day on the water. Vehicle shuttles;  Adipose and RO Drift Boat Rentals; the best bugs in the canyon; outerwear and sportswear from Simms and Kast; Lines, leaders and tippet from ARC, Rio and Trout Hunter; LOOP rods and reels and much, much more.

Open daily at 7 AM. Nobody is open earlier!

 

 

 

Sunday Update

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Plenty of traffic out there this weekend despite some breezy conditions on the water.

A mixed bag of reports from yesterday with that sow bug bite reportedly dropping off a bit. Mayfly nymphs coming on strong.

It’s on the quiet side here today but still a few folks willing to brave the 30 mph gusts in their quest for Missouri River fall Trout Nirvana.

Rooms turning over  as we welcome the next bunch of guests primed for their week of fly fishing the MO’. It looks like it’s going to be a good one weather wise with winds diminishing and temps holing in the 50’s all week under partly cloudy skies and a chance of showers each of the next several days.

Nymphing and streamers will be preferred for the next while as we wait patiently for the bigger bugs but keep the dry fly rigs at the ready because you never know when it might happen. Start late – end late, evenings have been worth sticking around for.

The transition is underway in Wolf Creek and Craig as we move towards the off-season. The Oasis is currently open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on  Thursday – Monday and last we heard Izaaks will be open Wednesday – Sunday for the remainder of the month. We will keep you posted on the food situation as it changes but as of right now Tuesdays are food free in Wolf Creek and Craig save breakfast and lunch from The Trout Shop deli through the end of October. Just something to keep in mind as you make your plans for late season fishing on the Missouri.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we offer rooms with full kitchens and access to gas grills so that whole no place to eat thing actually doesn’t have to be a problem at all, just bring your own food and dine in.

We are your year-round Missouri River fly fishing destination with more on-site lodging than anyone. We are outfitter owned and operated and able to get you on the water most anytime so hit us with those last minute plans….we would love to have you as our guest. Vehicle shuttles, Adipose and RO Drift Boat rentals, cold weather gear from Simms, Kast and Redington, Loop Rods and Reels and of course, the largest selection of flies ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Open daily at 7 AM. Nobody is open earlier!

Rainy days on the MO’

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Weather got you down?

It shouldn’t! This is what we think of when we think of fall fishing on the Missouri. Cold, wet, cloudy…..what’s not to like?

This is BWO weather and it’s also the kind of weather the streamer junkies dream of. With a chance for showers (both the rain and snow varieties) all week long and temps hanging south of 50 you can expect plenty of traffic out there and while we make no guarantees we think the fishing could be off the charts.

It’s a great time to fish the Missouri provided you have the right gear but there are few things more miserable as being stuck in a drift boat on a rainy 40 degree day , soaked to the core. Hypothermia tends to really detract from the experience.

We’ve all got our favorite pieces of essential gear for this type of weather but at the very least this is what we would recommend for ultimate comfort.

Redington SonicDry base layers. These pants and crew shirts are the perfect next to skin layer. SonicDry™ baselayer is powered by 37.5™  Permanent Technology and dries 2X faster than the competition, making your outdoor experience warmer, drier and more comfortable. This product is the answer for any outdoor adventure.

SIMMS Wading Socks. Use these premium Merino Wool Socks in conjunction with Simms liner socks to wick away moisture and keep your feet warm and dry all day.

Simms ColdWeather Pants. These micro-fleece lined pants are the best thing since sliced bread! If it gets really cold you can wear them over a base layer but I wear them by themselves until the temps drop into sub-zero conditions. They feature an adjustable waist and the Velcro closures on the cuffs prevent them from bunching up making them the perfect under-wader pants. You won’t believe how comfortable these pants are. It’s the best $100 you’ll spend this fall! coldweather

Simms ColdWeather Shirt. Equally as cozy and comfortable, these brushed flannel shirts feature waffle fleece lining and are the perfect insulating layer over your base. We love them for fishing of course but we wear them on and off the water. Quite possibly THE perfect fall and winter shirt. 20314-furyorangeplaid-l

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redington Sonic Pro Waders. At just under $300 you won’t find a more economical choice. These ultra-durable 4-layer waders feature Ultra-Sonic welded construction, articulated seams for ease of mobility and a reinforced lower leg for increased durability. You can spend a lot of money on waders and you generally get what you pay for but we sell a pile of Sonic Pros because they have many of the same features as some of the higher end waders at a fraction of the cost. sonic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simms Guide Jacket – The  Guide™ Jacket is a proven work horse that is built-to-fish with Gore-Tex® Shell fabric that’s waterproof, breathable, lightweight, and tenacious against tears.

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Kast Steelhead Gloves. We talk about these gloves a lot and we sell a bunch of them. There are all kinds of gloves to choose from out there but we know of none other quite like these. Patented OutDry technology makes them 100% waterproof/submersible, windproof, and breathable. Plus the warm fleece lining, and durable stretch shell give you the snug fit and uncompromising feel that you need in the fingertips, and an extended cuff for valuable additional coverage at the wrist.

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Block out the wind and the rain and you’re good. You’ll be surprised just how nasty of weather you can tolerate as long as you are dry. We’ve got all of the listed items above (and many more) in stock now at Wolf Creek Angler, your Missouri River fall fly fishing one stop.