Frozen February

Following a week of subzero temps the forecast is calling for a bit of a respite these next few days with highs supposedly approaching the mid 30’s today before dropping back into the 20’s for the remainder of the week. Back to single digits on Sunday and then we’re hoping for that warm up which will get us back on the water.

There’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow and a chance of scattered showers and flurries throughout the week. The snowpack is moving towards average in most drainages so although it’s still very early to say with any degree of certainty what the water situation will be this spring we’re liking what we’re seeing at this point.

Current “most probable” flow predictions have us holding in this 5,000 CFS range for the next couple of months with a bump to around 6,000 in May and a peak of <7,000 in June and then back to around 5,000 for the summer season. If it plays out this way you really couldn’t ask for better conditions for summer fishing. We wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of a flushing flow at the peak but following last year’s 18-20K which kept the walk/wade crowd from coming and all but eliminated spring dry fly fishing, we’re good with the busy spring that these flows would bring.

Max Probable predictions have us creeping up towards a peak of 10K before dropping into the 6-7,000 range for the summer while the Minimum probable has us dropping into the 3500 CFS range by April and holding there for the season. Fingers crossed that this won’t be the case.

If you’re brave enough to venture out this week wading is likely your best bet as the ramps and the parking lots have not been plowed. If you’re wading there’s a fair amount of shelf ice out there, mostly in and around that slow water you’re going to want to be fishing so please use caution and also keep an eye out for those floating chunks of ice.

We’re starting to do a brisk lodging business with the hard water crowd now that Holter is fishing well so if you do see a weather window coming and you think you’d like to come out and fish with us try to call well ahead of time as the weekend lodging tends to fill up by the middle part of the week.

The shop is open from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Wednesday – Saturday and 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Sundays, weather permitting. We’re open EVERY DAY for lodging and guide trips and speaking of lodging and guide trips…don’t miss our winter guide trip and lodging special. That’s two nights of premium lodging and a full day guide trip for one or two anglers for just $500. You won’t find a better deal anywhere.

It’s been a lonely February so far at Wolf Creek Angler. Here’s hoping for warmer weather and mild winter days on the water. We hope you make us your first stop on the way to the MO for lines, leaders, tippet and shuttles. Simms waders, boots and cold weather gear. Loop, Echo and Redington rods. Ross, Nautilus, Lamson, Echo and Redington reels and of course the largest selection of Missouri River flies ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Of Deep Freezes and Fishing Films

We’re in the midst of a DEEP FREEZE here on the Missouri having had temperatures plummet from near 50 degrees last Saturday to single digits and below on Sunday which is where we’ve been since. We’ll see a slight reprieve tomorrow and Friday as we warm into the teens and low 20’s but right back to negative numbers on Saturday through the middle of next week.

Suffice it to say we haven’t got much for a fishing report this week although I hear they’re catching perch on Holter. A pre Arctic Blast float last Friday netted good results on the nymphing front with plenty of action on anything of the lucent pink bead variety.

This week we’re passing the time shoveling snow, watching the SNOTEL charts and patiently awaiting the next thaw.

It was actually perfect timing for the annual Fly Fishing Film Tour which we attended last night in Helena. There’s something about drinking beer and watching fishing movies with a theatre full of fellow anglers on a bitterly cold and snowy night in Montana that just makes perfect sense.

I was trying to remember how long ago I started attending these things, I believe it’s been 10 years or more and while the films tend to blend into one after so many years it’s always cool to see enthusiastic young anglers at these shows. This is the audience we’re targeting so while it may seem like we’re seeing the same films over and over again it’s important to keep in mind that there are young eyes watching to whom this is all brand new so hopefully the F3T isn’t going anywhere.

Often times the films are neutral to me. I don’t dislike them, I’ve just seen most of them in one form or another but every once in a while one will come along which captures my attention and draws me in, immersing me not in the subject matter of the film but rather in my own history as an angler. Maybe it’s a mountain stream, maybe it’s moody Midwestern sky backlit with the fading colors of fall…these are my connections and these are the ones that transport me from a sold out theatre in snowy Helena to a lifetime of memories on the water. Memories of those I’ve fished with, some of whom are gone, some of whom have returned. Memories of moments in time captured by pieces of water I’ll never let go and contemplation of my journey from there to here and of the way passing time manifests itself with tinges of regret and strong doses of hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And sometimes connection is a mere nod of appreciation of a frame or a story or just the here and now of gathering amongst so many friends and acquaintances. This place and these people mean the world to me.

So while I may not always talk these film tours up (as I should) there seems to be in every one at least a moment or two that trigger all of this which is exactly the point of going.

And besides…what else are you going to do an a sub-zero snowy night in February? If you happened to miss the F3T the IF4 will be coming to Helena to Grandstreet Theatre on March 8th followed by the Montana Fishing Film Festival at Lewis and Clark Brewing Company on March 24th. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Late January Report

The 2019 Season is Coming Soon

It’s hard to believe but we’re a week out from closing the books on the first month of 2019. The coming season looms large and the December doldrums have been replaced by days filled with a lot of time on the phone booking and confirming trips and lodging.

Lately we’ve also spent some time shoveling snow which we haven’t had to do much of so far this winter. While we’re keeping a close eye on the snow pack and spending some time on the water battling ice in the guides we know that the season will soon be upon us and winters cold will be but a distant memory. After all, spring is a mere 55 days away. Can you feel it?

I’ve admittedly become less of a fan of winter fishing over the past several years, perhaps I’m getting soft in my old age. But I do love this time of year. There may be snow on the ground and the thermometer may be hanging south of 20 degrees but spending time on the phone much of the day talking with clients about their upcoming fishing plans has a way of transporting you to hot summer days in the rowers seat. As the rooms and the guide days fill in the season begins to take shape, once again shifting gears from contemplating what was to preparing for what’s coming SOON.

Bookings for the prime season are up from last year which means a lot of you have fishing on your minds. If you’re thinking of fishing and staying with us this season it’s probably time to stop thinking about it and make those reservations. It feels like it’s going to be a busy year on the Missouri, especially after we lost a good part of the dry fly season last year due to the high water. There are a lot of folks who skipped last year who’ve already secured their dates for 2019 so don’t let this one get away from you.

There’s so much to do to get things ready for the coming season and not a lot of time left to get things done. Time has run out on putting off winter projects…its go time for property maintenance and also for shop stuff.

The cold weather gear needs to move to make way for spring shipments which will be arriving soon. We’ve already received our big SIMMS wader and boot shipment and while those waders look great hanging in the shop, they’d look even better leaving the shop on you so if you’re in the market for new waders this spring we’d love it if you got them from us.

It’s also time to review preseason orders and make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Rest assured we’ll have everything ready to go come spring. Our major project is completing renovations in the motel which will commence next week. Upon completion of #11 all motel rooms will be fully renovated and while some of you have only ever stayed in the renovated version of the rooms those who have been with us from the start will appreciate what I’m talking about when I say it’s nice to be able to be proud of these motel rooms because I definitely wasn’t prior to the renovations.

Another winter project was getting the WiFi situation figured out. This has been a constant issue and one which we’ve made several attempts to fix. The problem was that the WiFi signal was not reaching the bungalows (#12,#13 and #14). Well, it is now. Mind you we don’t have the fastest internet in Wolf Creek but we have the best that is available to us and now that signal is covering the whole property.

As always you can expect continuous improvement at Wolf Creek Angler. It’s our mission to do everything we can to provide you with an excellent experience and one which you’ll hopefully remember for all the right reasons. It won’t happen all at once but we’re chipping away at things and judging by our annual growth and by the vast majority of the feedback we receive our efforts are making a difference.

A call to action

This is a call to action recently issued by Pat Barnes Missouri River Trout Unlimited. We are expanding this call to action to all of you who enjoy trout fishing on the Missouri River. Please take a minute to read and more importantly we urge everyone to click on the link below and submit your comments to FWP.

CALL TO ACTION – Every Member Needed!

Good Afternoon,

As some of you may have heard, Montana’s Statewide Management Program & Guide Draft is out for public comment until February 4th.  The Statewide Management Program & Guide is the guiding document for how FWP manages fisheries statewide.  As you may have also heard, Walleyes Unlimited is pressuring FWP to consider walleye a native species east of the Continental Divide, which could potentially alter the current management of walleye downstream of Holter Dam.  This would threaten the Missouri River trout fishery we have all come to love.

PLEASE, visit the link below and comment on the plan to back the Department’s science-based management as a non-native species in Montana.  Particularly, not to alter the current management status of walleye in the Missouri below Holter Dam as anything other than “suppression”.  If nothing else, please copy and paste the language below into the “Comments” section at the link below and click “Submit Comments”.

“The Statewide Management Plan & Guide should uphold the current status of walleye as a non-native species in Montana’s waterways.  I support the peer-reviewed science that guide’s the Department’s classification of this illegally-introduced species as non-native to Montana.  Additionally, I support the full suppression of walleye management in the Missouri River below Holter Dam.  People cross continents to fish for wild trout in the Missouri River, and altering the management of walleye from anything other than full suppression places unnecessary risk on this world class fishery that draws millions of dollars to our local economy.  Thank you.”

http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/fishing/pn_0091.html

Right now, the Missouri River needs your help.  PLEASE take 3 minutes and leave a comment. The effort by Walleye Unlimited to have the Missouri managed as a walleye fishery is organized and energized. The Missouri River’s trout need your comment.

Thank you,

Sincerely,
PBTU Board Members

2019 Off to a Fishy Start

New Year on the fly. Photo by Matt Hargrave

One week into 2019 and we’re off to a fishy start having done our earliest ever guide trips on January 3rd. It looks like we’re in for a mild winter so hopefully we’ll be running a bunch more trips and while we may be losing out on some lodging for the ice fishing crowd (zero ice on Holter to date) I think we’ll more than make up for it with river traffic.

The Wolf Creek Bridge parking lot looked like July this weekend with rigs filling the pretty yellow lines. It’ll be interesting to see how that all works out this spring when things are going full bore. At this point, with around a dozen rigs in the lot (roughly half full), it felt a little crowded but I’m sure everyone will adjust just fine this spring when it’s all about the peace and harmony.

The forecast is calling for highs in the 40’s for the majority of the ten-day outlook with no high wind warnings and zero chance for precipitation in the mix (though it is howling today with 40 mph gusts). The January outlook is for above average temperatures with below average precipitation which means there’s no time like the present to book yourself a winter guide trip with Wolf Creek Angler.

$500 for a full day Missouri River guided float trip for one or two anglers AND two nights of premium lodging all winter long! Guide trips only with no lodging are $400 and lodging with no guide trip is $99/night plus tax. Try to find a better deal on the Missouri…. I guarantee you won’t.

Winter fishing techniques are a go. Deep nymphing and swinging or slow stripping streamers are what you should be doing from here on out.

Deep, slow water…. double nymph rig 7’ – 9’ overall with or without split shot (your call). I like a #12 Pink Amex or Rainbow Czech paired with a #16 or #18 caviar scud, Petersen’s Sow, Pink Lucent bead Ray, Tailwater Sow, soft hackle sow, Zebra Midge, Pill Popper, UV Crush, Cotton Candy etc. They’re all good. They’ll all catch fish if the time is right and you get them in the zone.

The best time of day has been in the 10:30 am – 2:30 pm zone. Nighttime lows are dropping into the 20’s so no point in starting any earlier than 10 am. Let things warm up a bit, you’ll be glad you did. Predictably, most of the traffic has been in the upper stretches but with things being as mild as they are there’s no reason you shouldn’t be fishing below Craig or right on down through the canyon.

Hot head Kreelex, Brown and Yellow Kreelex, Skiddish Smolt and Polar Leeches in various flavors have been the go-to options for swinging. I’m still stripping Sparkle Minnows, MK Ultra and Ultralites, Dirty Hippies and D & D’s and occasionally trailing a Polar Leech off any of them and moving plenty of fish.

There have been plenty of folks staking out their claims and swinging out there and there’s been no shortage of walk/wade nymphers as well. If you’re fishing from a boat, be courteous and grant them their space. It may be busy by winter standards but there’s miles of good water. No need to crowd anyone.

The water temperature is holding steady in the 35-degree range which is right about where it should be. The fish are not going to expend a lot of energy chasing down a meal whether it’s a nymph or a streamer though I’ve found that you’re much more likely to entice the chase with a streamer when they’re looking for a quick calorie fix.

Once again, whether nymphs or streamers you’ll want to get them deep enough that the fish don’t have to move much for them. If streamers are your thing you should be dredging right now and stripping ever so slowly.

Embrace winter fishing on the MO’. After all, spring is still a long way off and you can’t sit inside all winter long. Make plans to escape to Wolf Creek and enjoy winter solitude on the Missouri. The shop still closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the time being but we’re always open for lodging and guide trips and speaking of that…have you booked your dates for spring and summer yet? If you haven’t you should. Prime dates are filling fast.

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!

BIG news from Wolf Creek Angler

This post is one I’ve been wanting and waiting to write for years, really since we opened our doors. It’s a post that represents a milestone and a huge victory in the battle we’ve been fighting from day one and which we will continue to fight for the foreseeable future.

That being said, as I begin to put words to it I am realizing that it’s probably not something that’s going to mean much to the reader but since it means so much to me and so much to this business I hope you’ll humor me and at least feign some enthusiasm for our HUGE NEWS!

After battling the powers that be since the beginning and committing to a policy of tact and patience and perseverance. After a few missteps in the fight driven by the desire to provide our customers with the absolute best products available in the industry Wolf Creek Angler has FINALLY been granted a FULL LINE SIMMS DEALERSHIP for 2019!

What this means to me

Since the first time I picked up a fly rod (sometime in the late 90’s) the Simms brand has beckoned to me. Simms is fly fishing…period. Yes, the brand has been expanding into other fishing markets and will continue to do so but to me the Simms brand will always be synonymous with fly fishing and Montana Fly Fishing to be exact.

I remember coveting everything Simms but especially those waders. I remember wandering through fly shops to the wader section and admiring those waders and wishing and hoping that someday I would don a pair of G3’s. I knew that when it happened it would change my life, in the way we always think that things we covet will (but looking back, I think that this time it actually had a small role in doing so).

MADE IN THE USA IN BOZEMAN MONTANA. Reading that tag in my first pair of G3 waders conjured up images of mountains and rivers and endless skies….I had yet to travel to Montana in my adult life but that was about to change.

PILGRIMAGE – My first trip to Montana

The G3’s were the gateway drug after which the floodgates opened and I began to replace all of my gear, followed by much of my wardrobe. I hold few brands as near and dear to my heart as I hold SIMMS FISHING PRODUCTS and this all started years before I had any inclination that I would ever own a fly shop in Montana.

Jump ahead to 2014 and imagine my surprise and my disappointment when we opened Wolf Creek Angler in Wolf Creek Montana and were told we would not be able to sell Simms products. It was a crushing blow but we took what was given to us which was logo gear and entered into a battle which has persisted since that first season.

Eventually we were given sportswear and accessories and while I had moments of anger (sometimes even bordering on RAGE) in the heat of this battle, I was still thrilled to sell what we were allowed to sell and my love of the brand never diminished as evidenced by the piles of Simms clothing and gear items I own and wear and use every day.

I couldn’t be more proud to announce that Wolf Creek Angler is now a full line dealer for 2019 which to me is not only a personal victory but is also a validation of what we’re doing with our business. We’re still fighting the fight trying to offer you the best of everything in the industry but securing the SIMMS brand is a major accomplishment in this fight and the fact that they’ve partnered with us tells me they believe in what we’re doing. It affirms that we are LEGIT!

What this means to you

As I’ve already stated, I don’t think this will mean near as much to you as it does to me. After all, fly shops are supposed to sell Simms right? And the fact that we’ve had the logo gear and the sportswear for the past few seasons may have even led you to believe that we were a Simms dealer.

Practically speaking, what this means to you is that now you can purchase any and all Simms gear from Wolf Creek Angler and we’d be super stoked and super appreciative if you’d keep us in mind next time you’re shopping for a new pair of Simms waders or boots or anything else they make.

Starting in January we’ll be going exclusively to Simms waders and outerwear. We’ll likely go fairly deep on the entry level and mid-range items and not quite so deep on the high end but we will be happy to order absolutely anything you need anytime.We’ll continue to carry essential outerwear and accessories as well as a smattering of sportswear.

Beyond the practical, what this means to you is that by choosing to do business with us you’ve helped to build our business to the point where Simms has given us their stamp of approval so thank you again for your business and for your loyalty to WCA. It’s all of you who have made this realization of a dream possible for me and for this I am eternally grateful.

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.

Bidding a Fond Farewell to October

The season continues to wind down as we bid a fond farewell to the month of October.

We had our last full house over the weekend and this morning all is quiet at WCA as only a few guests remain. The motel units have seen their last guests of the season and will be winterized by week’s end. The last of our long term RV guests left yesterday and we’ll soon be wrapping up our guide season.

It seems as though the end of the 2018 season is looming but before we close the books on another great year we want to remind you that we’re not going anywhere! The shop is open all year (not necessarily every day, but on the days that make sense) and we’re open for lodging and guide trips each and every day.

Keep an eye out for our MOVEMBER special….details coming soon. In the meantime, as October draws to a close, I just wanted to take a minute and proclaim that October may in fact be my favorite month of the year.

Fall fishing is my favorite fishing period and the peak of the fall color can’t be beat. October fishing on the Missouri was nothing short of spectacular with some of the best fall dry fly fishing we’ve seen in years.

I’ve also made a habit of wandering every October. It’s a magical time of year in Montana.

Every year since we moved here we’ve made a fall getaway to Glacier NP. Often times it can be pretty gloomy in that part of the state in mid-October but this year we were treated to four straight days of blue skies and sunshine and temps in the 50’s and 60’s….Indian Summer at its best.
It’s strictly R & R. It’s sight seeing, eating a lot, sampling local brews, hiking, drinking wine on the porch on chilly nights, sleeping in etc.  and there are very few things I look forward to as much as I look forward to this annual trip. It was on the bittersweet side this year being that it is our son’s senior year in high school. He was in sixth grade the first year we made the trip.

I’m certain there are more reflections on mortality and the passage of time to come (what with the empty nest now on the immediate horizon and all) but for now suffice it to say that we enjoyed the trip immensely, knowing that it may be a while before he joins us on this one again. We’ve had some great times over the years but we’ve also had some downright unpleasant trips where our mopey kid had no desire to be there and in some cases where we’d  preferred he wasn’t. None of that this time! This was a great family trip and I think we all enjoyed most every minute of it.

I’ve also made a streamer float on the Yellowstone an annual October event. This one has evolved over the years and now includes a night of revelry with friends who live in YNP and who tolerate my obsession with hunting big browns on streamers and streamers ONLY. No behemoths for me this year though our friend Sara lost what may have been the fish of the year in my boat.

Add to these trips my first ever day fishing the Jefferson, a few days on the Blackfoot and a bunch of awesome days on the Missouri along with a steady diet of football and baseball and the chance to see a bunch of our favorite regular guests who have become friends and who have made October their annual thing at WCA and you’ve got the best month of the year.

We’re hopeful that with the mild forecast we’ll continue to finish strong at least through the middle of November but dark winter days are looming. It’s already been a month or more since the shop has seen direct sunlight and with this coming weekend’s time change it’s only going to get darker. But that doesn’t mean the fishing won’t be good. Sure the days are shorter but this slow transition to cold has delivered the best fall fishing we’ve seen in several years.

Dry fly fishing has been, and should continue to be strong and if streamers are your obsession this is definitely your time. Nymphing will always deliver so if you think late fall is the time to put away your fishing gear…think again. We fish all winter long when the weather allows for it and so far from what it sounds like we may see a relatively mild winter which means plenty of fishing ahead.

Once again, keep an eye out for our MOVEMBER Lodging and Fishing Special and keep us in mind for lodging whether its fish or big game you are hunting.

October on the MO’

The second season is in full swing here on the Missouri on this second day of October and if the last few days are any indication we could be in for one phenomenal fall fishing season.

Cloudy skies and chilly temps (with the exception of yesterday afternoon when summer made a brief return) have made for ideal conditions. The bugs are going strong and the fish are feasting. These past several days have been a DFO’s dream….a target rich environment to say the least.

Those focusing their efforts below on nymphs and streamers are finding success as well. Fall is definitely among our favorite times to fish the MO’ regardless of the conditions but this fall feels like it has the potential to go down as one of the best in recent memory.

We do have some interesting weather on the horizon next week with the forecast calling for snow with highs in the 30’s and lows in the 20’s. Wednesday could be challenging with a high of 31, a low of 22 and up to 3” of snow. Thursday looks roughly the same. Will winter be here to stay come next week? I wouldn’t count on it but be prepared for the elements if you’re headed out there.

I hit the water a couple of days ago on a 40ish degree morning and opted for muck boots instead of waders and a flannel shirt and vest instead of a jacket. Bad call. The forecast was for highs in the mid 50’s which I’m not sure we ever saw. I didn’t bring gloves, I didn’t bring a stocking cap. Thankfully my buddy had extras.

To be fair, I have piles of gloves and hats and jackets stashed in my boat so I’m used to having what I need when I need it, but on this day we were not in my boat and I didn’t do a very good job of being prepared for the elements. Being cold will rapidly ruin a good day so layer up and bring an extra pair of gloves. Err on the side of too many layers….you can always remove the ones you don’t need.

Along these lines we’re stocked up in the shop with great base layers, outerwear and hats and gloves a plenty from Simms and waders and boots from Redington and Korkers. Stop by the shop for all the best cold weather gear.

With the exception of the chill in the air it feels a bit like July around here right now with close to a full house all month long. We have had a few cancellations from folks who didn’t like the looks of next week’s forecast so we do have a couple of rooms available should you decide to brave the elements. We do have guides at the ready as well who’d like nothing better than to get you dialed in to fall fishing on the Missouri.

Six weeks from now we’ll likely be looking back at the awesome fall season that was. Don’t let it pass you by. Give us a call and book NOW! We’re open daily 7:30 am – 5:00 pm and we invite you to come in and discover what the buzz is all about. Wolf Creek Angler is the best Missouri River Fly Shop you never knew was here. Our mission is to earn your business, one customer at a time by providing you with exceptional customer service and the quality products and services you expect from your Missouri River fly Shop.

Come discover all that Wolf Creek has to offer. Not only is Wolf Creek home to THE up and coming Missouri River Fly Shop, Lodge and Guide Service, but it’s also got great dining (and drinking) options with Shotgun Annie’s and The Oasis; the best cell service for MILES AROUND; The Canyon Store which is the ONLY gas station/convenience store between Helena and Cascade and  all  closer to Holter Dam and Wolf Creek Bridge FAS than ANY  OTHER SHOP.

And speaking of Wolf Creek Bridge FAS – The FAS will be closed to the public starting tomorrow for a capital improvement project which will take approximately 30 days or less.

This will definitely be an inconvenience for the time being but it sounds like we’ll soon also be closer to the NICEST and NEWEST FAS on the MO’.