Lessons Learned from our Fly Fishing Road Trip

If you are a regular RiverKeeper Flies follower, you’ve read about our 2017 fly fishing road trip. Not everything came off without a hitch and I thought is might be helpful to provide a few lessons learned from our fly fishing road trip.

Fishing the Yellowstone River | www.johnkreft.com

If you are like me, the anticipation of fishing new waters is very exciting. I’ve read about the places I plan to fish and think I’ve done a reasonable job preparing to have a great time. 

Here are 8 lessons learned from our fly fishing road trip that may help you to plan your own trip. Continue reading

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Galloup’s Compara Spinner

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Galloup’s Compara Spinner.

Galloup's Compara Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

I stayed at Galloup’s Slide Inn on the Madison River during our 2017 fly fishing road trip and I thought it appropriate to feature a few of Kelly’s flies for my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature. I spent some time with him at the shop taking photos of a few of his famous flies and hearing stories of them as well. Continue reading

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Returning Chinook Salmon to the Metolius River

I had a different blog post planned for today, but I always say “take what the river gives you”, so I’m taking my own advice. This post is about a returning Chinook salmon to the Metolius River.

While fishing the river yesterday, I was waiting for the fish to begin rising again and sat on the shore, using my cell phone to capture a few thoughts for a future post.

Something caught my eye and I immediately looked down at a long object swimming past me just over an arms length away.

I was caught a little off-guard because it was a HUGE fish! Was it a Bull Trout moving upstream? No.

It was a Spring Chinook salmon sporting a very nice bright green spaghetti tag from its dorsal fin.

Metolius Chinook Salmon | www.johnkreft.com

This fish was slowly making it’s way upstream along the shore. Continue reading

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Rio Grande King

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Rio Grande King, another fly from the Ray Bergman collection.

Rio Grande King | www.johnkreft.com

I haven’t posted a Ray Bergman fly for awhile, so I thought it was high time I tied another classic wet fly pattern. For some reason, I just like the elegance and simplicity of a Bergman wet fly and it was time to practice setting quill wings again. I sat down to tie this fly last night after returning from the river. After looking at the final product, I need to devote a few days and tie more quill wing flies. Continue reading

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Forest Fire Fish

Forest fires. That seems to be the theme the last few weeks and why I decided to name this week’s post Forest Fire Fish.

This is a picture of the day our fire grew out-of-control. That was two weeks ago.

Milli Forest Fire | www.johnkreft.com

As I write today’s post, the Milli fire has grown to over 18,000 acres. The fires have really impacted my fishing as smoke fills our town as well as the river canyon and burns my throat, creates headaches, and gives me an upset stomach. So I haven’t been fishing as much. Continue reading

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Circus Peanut Articulated Streamer

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Circus Peanut Articulated Streamer.

Circus Peanut | www.johnkreft.comI stayed at Slide Inn on the Madison River recently during our 2017 fly fishing road trip. One afternoon, I went to the fly shop and talked with Kelly about my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature and asked him if I could take pictures of a few of his flies. He graciously agreed and began telling me stories about his flies. Continue reading

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Preparing for October Caddis

It might be a little early to begin talking about and preparing for October Caddis, but while fishing last week, we happened to see a large number of caddis cases … big caddis cases … attached to a rock partially submerged in the water. It looked as though someone had collected all of them and left the cases in a pile. Upon closer inspection, the caddis cases were attached to the rocks.

October Caddis Cases on Rock | www.johnkreft.com

Here is a close up of the cased caddis. They build their houses out of the surrounding rocks where they live. Continue reading

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Troutsman Hex

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Troutsman Hex.

Troutsman Hex | www.johnkreft.com

I stayed at Slide Inn on the Madison River recently during our 2017 fly fishing road trip. One afternoon, I went to the shop and talked with Kelly about my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature and asked him if I could take pictures of a few of his flies. He graciously agreed and began telling me stories about his flies.

Originally I was after a few of his streamer fly patterns like the Zoo Cougar and T & A Leech, but he went into the back room and pulled out this used Hex for me as well.

I’m grateful he did!

If you look closely at the fly, notice the deer hair extending out the back of the fly. He believes this little trick adds to the fly’s flotation ability. In fact, I’ll be including another fly as a TBT that has the same feature.

Kelly developed this fly in the early 1970’s for the Manistee River in Michigan where his first fly shop, the Troutsman fly shop was located. He told me he purchased the Slide Inn on the Madison River in 2001 and moved to Montana in 2002.

The Troutsman Hex was produced by McKenzie Fly in the 1980’s before it was commonplace to include the developers name on the fly.

Galloup is the author of Cripples and Spinners (2001) and co-author of Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout (2004) with Bob Linsenman.

And here is a version Kelly called a Cripple or Spinner.

Troutsman Hex Cripple or Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Fly Fishing the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers

The last stop on our 2017 road trip was fly fishing the Madison and Yellowstone rivers. Our initial planning didn’t include fly fishing the Yellowstone River, so be sure to read the end of this post about how happy we were with our little side trip.

Madison River Sunset over Water | www.johnkreft.com

We arrived at the Slide Inn to the words…”you happen to be between hatches”. Sound familiar? I heard that phrase about the Missouri, St. Joe, and Clark Fork too. But we’ve fished the Madison River in prior years and planned to fish early in the morning and late evening for some dry fly action. That strategy has worked in the past. Continue reading

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Galloup’s T & A Leech

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Galloup’s T & A Leech.

Galloup's T & A Leech | www.johnkreft.com

I stayed at Galloup’s Slide Inn last week during our 2017 fly fishing road trip and had the opportunity to talk with Kelly about a few of his early fly patterns. I told him about my RiverKeeper Flies Throw Back Thursday fly feature and he began telling me stories about how several of his flies were developed. Continue reading

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