Welcome April….The Season is Upon Us

And just like that winter was gone!

April is here and it’s GO TIME on the MO. The fishing is heating up and Wolf Creek and Craig are starting to come alive after one of the more brutal winters in recent memory.

The river is seeing some moderate to heavy traffic, especially on the weekends and especially in the Holter Dam to Craig stretch.

More importantly (from where I sit) the shop is busy and that’s good because spring shipments are arriving daily and the product is starting to stack up. We’re fully stocked with all kinds of great new gear. Simms waders and boots, tons of new bugs, Lamson and Ross reels, Loop, Echo and Redington rods, Korkers boots and the best of men’s and women’s 2019 sportswear from Simms. Piles of fly boxes, lines, leaders, tools and accessories. Boat bags and packs from Fishpond and Simms. Awesome new sunglasses from Smith and Suncloud and a sale rack you’re not going to want to miss. All Remaining Winter gear needs to go NOW! We’ve got the best deals you’re going to find on cold weather gear from Simms including jackets, hats, gloves, socks, flannel shirts, coldweather pants and more. Get em’ before they’re gone.

Adipose Rental boats are polished up and ready to hit the water and don’t forget we’ve got three Mending Waters Montana boats available free of charge to all vets and active duty military. Reserve your boat today at mendingwatersmontana.org

As of today lodging is 100 percent OPEN and we’re excited for our first FULL HOUSE of the season coming this weekend. It’s been a long and lonely winter around Wolf Creek Angler. Let the busy season begin!

Spring Special Guide Trips in effect…just $400 through the end of the month. Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to fish the amazing MO with the best guides in the business and save yourself $150 while doing it. The fishing is good and getting better and while we’ve still been flirting with some winterish weather the 10 day looks good with highs in the 50’s through the weekend and a little cooler heading into next week. Perfect spring fishing weather. Nymphs, streamers, dries….it’s all happening right now.

We are your Missouri River one stop shop with everything you need for your day on the water. Guides, rooms, shuttles, fishing licenses, the best coffee in the canyon and the biggest and best selection of bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Open 8 am daily for all of your fly fishing needs.

Finally…A Farewell to February

Coming Soon?

The shortest month of the year feels like it’s been the longest as winter drags on with no end in sight.

March will pick up right where February left off with single digit temps through the weekend and into the first part of next week but then it looks like something might just be starting to happen. Things could change between now and then but at this point it looks like we’ll be bathed in sunshine Sunday through Tuesday and while the temps will be far from warm we all know how good that late winter sun feels.

We’ll climb into the 20’s on Wednesday and Thursday and near 30 on Friday. Is it a warming trend? Here’s hoping so!

We’re thankful to have made up for winter’s slow start with plenty of precipitation throughout the last month but I for one have had just about enough. I’ve had enough of shoveling snow. I’ve had enough of fighting ice dams on the roof. I’ve had enough of NOT FISHING!

Snowpack has edged up to 110 – 120 percent of normal in our region and most of the state looks good right now at or near 100 percent of average. Only the Kootenai and the Sun, Teton and Marias drainages are lagging behind but  are currently right around 90 percent of average. We like the looks of this map and we’re remaining cautiously optimistic that high water will not be an issue however Mother Nature always gets the final say on this so no guarantees here.

Ideally we’d see a return to normal temperatures sooner rather than later. The average high for February is 39 degrees, we’ve seen highs in the single digits or below zero more days than not this month. The average high for March is 47. We obviously won’t see that the first week of the month but sooner or later it has to warm up and when it does we’re expecting an extremely busy spring as the throngs arrive to satisfy that long-delayed Missouri River Fix.

And speaking of spring fishing, don’t forget it’s time to buy your 2019 Montana fishing license. 2018 licenses expire tomorrow.

Sadly we still have no fishing report to share but as you look towards the eventuality of spring fishing here’s what you need to know.

Water temps are currently holding in the 33 degree range….COLD! We would expect much of March to be full on winter fishing as far as the nymphing goes. Slow, deep water is what you’ll want to target with winter fare. Pink should be in the mix along with firebeads, tailwater sows, Yum Yums, Caviar Scuds, Zebra Midges, Rainbow Czechs, Soft Hackle Sows, Lightning Bugs, Ray Charles etc. Fish deep with weight (tungsten bead nymphs or split shot or both) and cover the water from the inside out, shortening the depth of your rig until you find where they’re at.

Warming water will get them moving at which time we’ll start to key in on the traditional spring hot spots, typically a little faster current with a little less depth. We like to run sowbugs all season long as they’re a constant food source but as we move into spring we will typically swap out the winter fare for mayfly nymphs and maybe even a dirt snake. Little Green Machines and the like tend to shine as the water conditions hit the spring prime.

Spring is brown trout time as the spawning rainbows become scarce. Watch those redds and please don’t target spawning fish. Late March through April and into the first part of May are the prime weeks for streamer fishing on the Missouri. We can’t wait!

Spring is also dry fly time as the Midge Machine churns out piles of bugs. We typically start fishing midges in late February but since nobody has been on the river harassing and educating the fish this year, those first few fishable days could be lights out with relatively easy pickings.
Don’t care for fishing midges? Spring is also Skwalla time so if throwing big dries is your thing don’t miss this opportunity. Many of the larger browns we catch each spring fall for the Skwalla.

I think we could be in for one phenomenal spring if this weather ever breaks and while it’s tough to shift gears to fishing mode while winter continues to have a stranglehold, it’s coming soon so there’s no time like the present to prepare.
It’s time to dig out your gear and get it organized. It’s a great time to replace those old, worn fly lines and this is the spring you should treat yourself to a new pair of Simms waders and boots. We’d be happy to help you with that!

How about a brand new Lamson, Ross or Redington reel or maybe a new LOOP, Redington or Echo rod. We’ve also got a limited supply of Nautilus reels we’re clearing out at 25% off. Once they’re gone they’re gone.

Great deals on Simms winter wear including Cold Weather Pants and Shirts and guide flannels….all 25 % off. Help us make space for the new gear arriving daily.

Remember spring is also time for the WCA Spring lodging and guide trip special….we guarantee it’s the best deal you’ll find on the MO’ and it’s happening right now!

$500 for two nights of premium lodging at Wolf Creek Angler and a full day guide trip for one or two anglers through the end of April. This same package will cost you over $800 starting May 1st so don’t miss this opportunity.

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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’.

Mid September Fishing Report

We bid a final farewell to summer this week with the official start of fall arriving Saturday.

The Autumn chill has been in the air for a while now, especially in the mornings. You’ll want to layer up for sure.

The late summer fishing has been outstanding these past weeks and should remain strong from here on out.

On the dry fly side, Tricos are still in the mix but it’s feeling like that ship has all but sailed. Still a daily event but sporadic  at best.

The terrestrial game has been hit or miss this year with ants outperforming hoppers by a long shot. If you stick with the hoppers you’re bound to get an eat or two but trailing an ant has been the right call more often than not.

Hopper wise we’ve had decent action on Moorish and More or Less hoppers in peach, yellow, pink and tan with none of the above consistently out-producing any of the others. You can’t go wrong with purple chubbies. They seem to out-fish the hoppers every time.

Black parachute ants, sparkle ants and Blooms Stealth Ant in purple have all been effective ant options.

There have been enough caddis around daily that a #16 outrigger or plain old elk hair caddis paired with your ant of choice might just make you forget all about the hopper fishing. Hoppers are definitely fun to fish and the takes are awesome but lately your hook up odds have been better with a caddis or even a plain old, tried and true parachute Adams.  If you insist on fishing the bigger dries an October caddis wouldn’t be a bad call. I haven’t personally seen any bugs just yet but it’s time!

Nymphing wise the Zirdle craze may finally be reaching an end. I’m not quite ready to proclaim the death of the Zirdle, I tried that once a few weeks back and was proven grossly mistaken. It has definitely slowed though and I’ve actually had a few days where we ditched it altogether. That being said, they’re still selling well and I’m fairly confident that WCA may have the most comprehensive Zirdle selection in the canyon.

We’ve seen a shift towards rainbow Czechs and a return to Tailwater Sows and have also had a run on black zebra midges. Weight Flies in gold and purple have been consistently producing and Psycho Mays and LGM’s and Peep Shows are still go to options. Outliers have been October Caddis nymphs and Soft Hackle Hares Ear and PT jigs. Look for BWO Magic Flies and Split Case BWO’s to come into play sooner rather than later.

Streamers Anyone?

The streamer brigade has been at it consistently during the low light hours and overcast days and if these past two weeks are any indication we could be in for a fantastic fall streamer season on the MO this year.

Weeds have been a problem, especially in the canyon and will continue to present a real challenge throughout the fall but as we’ve said before if you know that going in and you don’t let the frustration get the best of you it goes a long way towards making your time on the water more enjoyable.

It can be tedious work but it’s imperative that you keep your bugs clean (applies to dries and nymphs as well). Trout don’t like salad on their bugs. If you’re dragging weeds around you are pretty much guaranteed not to catch anything and what a shame it would be to have your perfect placement and/or perfect drift negated by weeds on your bugs.

I haven’t observed a lot of streamer fishing going on out there (aside from that occurring in my boat) but judging by the abundance of empty spaces in the streamer bin it’s game on. Reinforcements are on the way and the bins will be full by the time you get here. ZK’s MK Ultra, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow (JJ or Sculpin), Dirty Hippy in brown, ZK’s Inflated Ego, Autumn Splendor, Skiddish Smolt, Lil Kim, Circus Peanuts and D & D’s are all topping the weekly sales report for what it’s worth.

Traffic is moderate and will continue to increase as we settle into our fall season. Lodging is busy through the end of October but not so busy that we can’t fit you in. Ditto for guide trips. I’d make that call sooner than later though so you don’t miss out on what could very well be the best fall fishing we’ve seen in years.

Don’t miss the fall wader sale going on now at Wolf Creek Angler. 25% off all men’s and women’s waders and boots from Redington and Korkers.

We’re also fully stocked with new cold weather gear from Simms and still have some great deals going on summer gear.

“The Season is Back”

Caddis Sunset – photo by Wolf Creek Angler

I overheard some folks at dinner the other night proclaiming that the season is back after apparently having had a particularly good dry fly day, and while I’m not sure it ever really started to begin with it does seem as though things are coming into shape….just in time for the late summer lull.

There are bugs (tricos a plenty, lingering PMD’s and caddis in the evening). The water is perfect for wading (right around 5K and holding) and most importantly, there are pods of rising fish.

It’s happening much later than what it usually does but better late than never!

As luck would have it the summer traffic cycle has been normal. Prime Time traffic is over but Prime Dry Fly Fishing has just begun.

The boat ramps are quiet (relatively speaking), there’s an abundance of lodging and guide availability and the river is calling.

As if that weren’t enough, starting tomorrow we’re running our Dog Days of Summer Lodging and Guide Trip special. For the entire month of August when you book a full day guide trip and a night of premium lodging we’ll throw in a second night of lodging for FREE.

Does it get any better?

Keep in mind prime time usually books out a year in advance. Now you’ve got a golden opportunity to fish prime conditions on the Missouri at a huge cost savings with a last minute call.

We can’t make any promises about the fishing. It’s been good these past several days and hopefully will continue to be but there are no guarantees. The conventional wisdom is that tricos will continue through the month of August. PMD’s are all but done but terrestrials are about to become a major player. Caddis activity has been somewhat sporadic but is always a possibility.

Will we see epic dry fly days throughout the month of August? Time will tell. I expect we will see some good days and some not so good days, as always.

Give us a call today to book your Dog Days Special. You’ll have the potential for some awesome Trico fishing  and there is no better month to fish hoppers on the Missouri. Some of our biggest browns of the season are always caught on hoppers.  I haven’t even mentioned the nymphing since most of the focus seems to be on top right now but should you want to fish the bobber you’ll likely do just fine.

Best bets for nymphing right now include Little Green Machines, Weight Flies (gold or purple), Tung Darts, Psycho Mays, PMD and/or Rusty Magic Fly, Black Zebra Midge, PMD Redemption, Purple Lightning Bug, WD 40’s, Soft Hackle PT jigs, Red Headed Step Child, Dark Peep Show, Doc’s Summer Bug, Nitro Caddis Pupa, Pulsating Caddis Pupa, 2 Bits and various crayfish patterns (Claws R, Snapping Cray, Zirdle etc.)

Best Dries- Indicator Spinner Trico, Hi Vis Trico Spinner, RS2 Trico, Drowned Trico, Barr’s Trico Emerger, Trinas Hi Vis Sprout Black, Bloom’s Parachute Caddis, Outrigger Caddis, CDC Caddis Emerger, X Caddis, Front End Loader and your grass hopper or ant of choice. We like More or Less, Moorish and White Cloud hoppers just to name a few.

It’s also time to take advantage of the best deals of the season on  Simms sportswear during our Annual Summer Sale. 25% – 30% off men’s and women’s sportswear from Simms, Ouray and more.

This could be the best August we’ve seen in years. Will you be here for it?

 

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

11 Days Left -Wolf Creek Angler Holiday Gift Guide

Time is running out!

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping you need to get after it. Christmas is a week from Monday so stop procrastinating and get it done. We ran this a couple of weeks ago but just in case you need some last minute ideas for the fly fishers on your list here it is again.

To assist you we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite gift ideas. If you don’t see something here that fits the bill we would LOVE to help you find that perfect gift for the anglers on your list. And don’t forget we’ve got WCA Gift Cards in any amount which can be used on anything we sell from lodging to guide trips to shuttles to merchandise.

 

Simms Cold Weather Shirt $99.95

Just because the leaves are falling and the days are shorter, it doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting. Set out into the chill of the river in warm, plush comfort with the Simms’ men’s ColdWeather LS Shirt. The quick-drying shirt is made with a soft fleece lining ideal for winter fishing. Two oversized chest pockets offer plenty of storage for your fly boxes. The stylish flannel shirt is finished with UPF 50 sun protection.

This is my absolute favorite shirt from September through March. You won’t find a more comfortable, cozy shirt for those cold fall and winter days. Everybody should have at least one!

Stanley WCA Classic Vacuum Growler and Blackfoot River Brewing Company Beer $59.00

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.

After extensive field testing by the WCA staff we have concluded that this is the best value in growlers you’ll find. A 64 oz vacuum growler for under $60 and your first fill free at Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena…you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere.

Korkers DarkHorse Wading Boots  $179.99

A remastered classic from the optimal traction brand; the DarkHorse is not a one trick pony. Made for the angler that can’t compromise weight and durability
for function.

Traction: OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System adapts your traction 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.

Durability: Molded TPU Toe Cap for durability and toe bump protection and protected stitching for prolonged thread life.

Internal Drainage: Water flows thru internal channels then out midsole ports, removing excess water and weight.

 

Echo Ion Reel  $79.99

 

Maintenance-free disc drag with low start-up resistance
Easy Left to Right-Hand Retrieve Change
Backlash-free, instant drag reaction
Positive position click drag knob
Incoming/outgoing audible click
Durable alloy construction
Large arbor spool design for fast line pickup and low line memory
Warranty:  12 Month Limited Warranty
With a large arbor for quick retrieves and a hybrid machined/cast design, the Ion is a great choice for balancing single-hand and two-hand rods of all sizes. Designed primarily for freshwater use, they can be used in the salt with a little additional care. Six sizes make sure that there is an Ion reel to suit your fishing situation.

Our best selling reel, the Ion is an incredible value at under $80.

Simms Cold Weather Pant  $99.95

Enjoy winter weather without the sting in Simms’ Men’s Coldweather Pants. The DurapelPlus® durable water-resistant finish on 100% nylon coupled with COR3™ technology blocks water penetration and harmful sun rays with a UPF rating of 50, all while controlling odors. A textured 100% polyester microfleece lining retains valuable body heat. Slash handwarmer pockets with self-fabric abrasion panels protect hands from the bitter cold. Adjustable waist with plastic center-front snap fits comfortably for long wear. Double-layered, articulated knees for durability and ease of movement. Traditional fit.

The perfect companion to the Cold Weather Shirt, you’ll find me wearing these pants all winter long!

Smith Optics Guide’s Choice Glasses  $219.00

The Guide’s Choice has been reimagined to exceed the needs of our most demanding customers. Incorporating our most advanced eyewear technologies, this style boasts wide temples and an aggressive wrap for superior light protection. Add to that premium Italian spring hinges, megol nose and temple pads, a detachable sunglass leash, and premium 8-base ChromaPop™ and Techlite glass lenses, the Guide’s Choice is engineered for those that truly believe in the life outside walls.

Redington Path Combo $199.99

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, medium-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
8 and 9 weight, saltwater application, available with RIO Saltwater® Floating Line
Lifetime warranty *rod only

Ready to Fish for under $200!

LOOP Cross S1  $795

The new LOOP Cross S1 fly rod series is the single most important revolution to occur in fly fishing since we introduced the large arbor reel over 20 years ago. It’s that big.
If the large arbor provided revolutionary function that made the fly reel exponentially better, you won’t believe the difference Cross S1 construction makes with fly rods. We could write an entire book on the adventure that has led to the Cross S1 series of fly rods. We could look up and write down all the available superlatives that are yet unused by other manufacturers (not many left nowadays), but the only way to truly describe what we mean is to hand one to you and let you test it for yourself. If there has ever been a time in our history of development of high-performance fly fishing gear where Loop merited a “look” and a test from the fly fishing world, it is now. Over a period of two years we have developed these fly rods where we used the new 3M™ Powerlux™ Composites. The result is amazing, the strength associated with the 3M™ Powerlux™ Composites generates a lightness and controllable elasticity that simply must be experienced.
We have carefully restricted the inherent elasticity of the Loop Cross S1 so that the rod is working evenly over a much wider range than other fly rods. We have managed to make super-strong featherweight fly rods, with an emphasis on fishing where the rod is working with minimum vibration through an entire load range – from close-in and out to even extreme distances. The design requires minimal input power where the rod does the job. It has never been so easy and taken so little effort to deliver precision loops at 10-meters or 30-meters while easily controlling the line or changing the pace of the cast.

Simms Rogue Fleece Hoodie (His and Hers) $99.00

Your right-hand, with cold-killing power under the hood For microclimates of the brisk and blustery variety, Simms’ Rogue Fleece Hoody comes equipped with weather-shielding attributes to soldier through the day, including a 100-percent polyester woven face backed with a water-shedding DWR finish. Thaw immobile hands inside fleece-backed handwarmer pockets, and duck sideways weather under the three-panel ergonomic hood. Rogues block UV rays with industry leading UPF 50 protection and include fly box compatible chest pockets, comfort-enhanced rib knit cuffs and hems, and a hardworking YKK Vislon® center front zipper.

The Simms Women’s Rogue Fleece Hoodie is designed for all-day comfort on and off the water. This hoodie is constructed of a polyester and nylon fabric blend to provide warmth and ease-of movement. Other features include a water-repellent DWR finish, UPF 50 protection, and a full, center-zip, adjustable hood.

Redington Predator Rod  $299.95

The all-new PREDATOR is the ultimate fly rod for big flies, heavy lines, and aggressive-fighting fish. It features a powerful, intuitive fast action that commands enough power to combat big gamefish and pick up and cast today’s heavy lines and massive flies. Its action is designed to perform in both freshwater and saltwater scenarios, and all components are saltwater-ready. The PREDATOR family encompasses models ranging from spooky-bonefish duty 5-weights to tarpon-ready 12 weights, including unique specialty models like a 7’10” 8-weight and dedicated PIKE and MUSKY models with extended fighting butts for boatside figure-eights.

Your new go-to streamer stick!

Rio/Fishpond Headgate Tippet Holder

RIO has teamed up with Fishpond to offer the perfect bundle to attach to your vest or bag. 5, 30-yard spools of RIO’s Powerflex tippet material (2X to 6X) are included with Fishpond’s Headgate tippet dispenser in a ready-to-hit-the-water configuration. The Headgate has a spring loaded hinge design that allows anglers to easily add or change tippet spools, and features a built in cutting blade for ultimate convenience. Powerflex tippet has a high knot and tensile strength, and is made of a clear, nylon copolymer. It is ideal for dry flies, soft hackles and nymphs.
Includes 5, 30 yard spools of RIO Powerflex Tippet: 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X and 6X
Rotatable razorblade line cutter
Holds up to 7 tippet spools
Secure, spring-loaded pull for access to change spools

Simms mid-weight and thermal socks  $29.95-$39.95

Advanced, optimized warmth without added bulk, Simms’ Midweight OTC Sock is powered by a 75-percent merino wool blend that delivers moisture management and anti-microbial protection. Midweight over the calf engineering bolsters coverage while keeping your temperature range permanently tuned. Extended high-loft toes add warmth where it counts. And Right Angle® arch support improves overall support across rugged trail and river conditions. Made in the USA

So often, it’s the marginal moments at the end of the day that deliver the magic. That’s why we made our Guide Thermal OTC Sock. Priority number one is to keep your feet warm, so you can make it to the end of the day and experience the magical moments. Pure Merino wool is naturally sweat-wicking and provides insulation so your feet stay warm and dry all day. They have just enough stretch to stay in place and are naturally odor-resistant for a long lifespan.

By |2017-12-14T15:57:41+00:00December 1st, 2017|Categories: Shop Life|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Cooler Weather Ahead

 

It seems the weather forecasts are wrong more often than not but it looks like cooler weather is on the way, which is exactly what we need right now. It’s a week out so who knows but at this point they are calling for temps in the 60’s and a chance of rain next Thursday and Friday. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

This much hoped for fall weather will coincide nicely with the start of the “second season” with an influx of anglers bringing life back to the quiet Missouri. They are starting to trickle in already but judging by our lodging and trip bookings next week marks the real start of the fall fishing season.

If you happen to be in the area this weekend don’t miss 710 Ashbury Saturday night at 6 PM at Izaak’s Log Stage. From what it sounds like what started out as simply a fall bash has now turned into a full on fundraising event for the local firefighters assisting with the fight with the numerous wild land fires in the area. Resources are rapidly being depleted so come out and enjoy the band and do what you can to help with the war effort.

We’ve got a couple of rooms left for the weekend and things open up the first part of next week before we start to fill up again late next week. Guide trips are revving up again starting this weekend but we’ve got plenty of availability so if a fall guide trip is on your agenda give us a call and book your trip today.

Don’t forget we’ve got our Fall Rod Sale happening all month long with 30 to 50 percent off and also have some great deals on what’s left of the summer gear.  We are open daily at 7 AM for all of your Missouri River fly fishing needs. Lodging, guides, shuttles, rental boats, Simms sportswear, outerwear and accessories and a fly selection rivaling that of any shop in the area. We are the COMPLETE PACKAGE….your one stop Missouri River fly shop.