A look inside the "Trout Life" under the Big Sky

Posts tagged “Fly Fishing Photography

We’re Back

To paraphrase the Moose Jockey’s from up North who run LoFiFly… Every now and then your blog and blogging efforts go to shit. Sometimes it’s a little drawn out.

Sorry we’re not sorry. We were busy. Hunting season went from Sept 1st till Jan 15th. That’s a long time and it’s also a lot of work. But we now have an apartment with skulls on the wall and meat in the freezer. So it was worth it.

But we are back. Because we need it…And apparently enough of you want it to bug us about it non-stop… So here it is.

We will have posts about the fall and winter fishing and all of our clusters of hunting outings.

Just give us time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

This is a fish someone caught.

Montana Brown Trout

That’s right LoFi. We called you out. Only because we love you.

We missed you guys.

FCFT


Fish Today. Hunt Tomorrow.

It looks like streamer weather out there. Clouds, rain, not too much wind. Perfect. The browns have been mean lately and will to eat some junky looking streamers.

Tomorrow Stan and I are heading East for a weekend deer hunting trip. We are hoping to find some bucks Stan saw earlier this year. They have been in the back of his mind the whole time and have kept him from shooting anything else. I know what that means and I am excited about it.

-Zach

FCFT


We have a lot to talk about…

I guess that in every blogs lifetime it dies at least once. Maybe 2 or 3 times. We have been absolutely silent over the past 2 months. If anyone missed us I don’t know what to say. Sorry about that.

We have been on the go since the start of the summer fishing season and haven’t been able to make time to post anything on FCFT. Fishing, Hunting, School, and Work have taken over writing time and I really haven’t liked that….

But…

The fishing and hunting has been great. By far our most successful year yet. As for the fishing, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer and fall. We were able to see more water than we have ever seen. Caught more fish over 20 inches than the rest of my fly fishing career combined. And last but not least, met and fished with more amazing people than we could have ever imagined. We can forget the bat shit crazy trico hatch we had this year.

The hunting has pretty much been a dream season so far. We already have a freezer full of game and lots of punched tags hanging over the tying desk. The highlight being two bulls over 300 inches currently at the taxidermists. And its nowhere near over.

So we have absolutely no excuses for not posting in over a month and we are sorry about that. Is is time to get our asses in gear and keep FCFT alive. We will do our best at that.

-Zach

FCFT


Another One of Those Days

Some days we just can’t get it done. No way. No how.

And some days… We manage to find fish that are so willing to eat they make us feel like rock stars.

Last week we had a day that made us feel like we knew what we were doing.

Close to Missoula, more fish than we could count, and only 2 other boats on the river. It was a good day.

The Browns weren’t the only ones who liked the meaty offerings

I felt like a kid in a candy shop. Getting to watch fish follow the fly all the way to boat is pretty darn cool.

Just showin a little love

The coolest fish of the day. First Pikeminnow.

Respect it. Don’t neglect it.

Burke doing crazy guide shit

It was a pretty great day. With the highlight easily being two streamer caught whitefish.

-Zach

FCFT

-Thanks to WordPress for throwing FCFT up on their “Freshly Pressed” page!


Monday Morning Macro

Thumbs up for SALMONFLIES.

It’s already Monday?

-Zach

FCFT


A Long Weekend of Fishing

It rained the entire weekend here in Missoula. We didn’t see blue sky until Monday afternoon. However the fishing was great. We found some fish and some bugs. The streamer bite wasn’t too shabby either.

We all caught some nice fish and saw some big orange hummingbird sized bugs flying around. It was exciting to watch those huge bugs crash land on the water.

Big Bug Eater.

Bigger fish eater… Lesson learned. Never throw streamers with 3x. You never know what you might hook into.

The Zen nympher gettin it done.

Bugs are here and more are on their way. The fish are starting to look up and the days are still getting longer. Floating tomorrow. Life is good.

-Zach

FCFT 


Friends and Family

“It’s pretty amazing living somewhere where other people get to come on their vacations”

It’s too easy to forget where I call home. Talking fishing over a Summer Honey with a buddy, I was reminded of that. I am also reminded every time someone comes into town that I get the chance to fish with. Showing someone my favorite reasons of why I live here is like getting a fresh look around. It’s like seeing these mountains, rivers, fish, and animals for the first time again. It’s as much of a vacation for me as it is for them.

That’s just another reason why I love summer in Montana so much. Getting the chance to not only see friends and family but to share this place with them.

Sometimes its too easy to forget that I am fortunate enough to call this beautiful place home. When work is long, money is short, and getting caught up in the little things is far too easy. Thankfully I get the chance to see it all with fresh eyes every time I get the opportunity to share it with someone else. And I am very lucky for that to be the case.

Over the past two weeks Stan and I have had friends and family come into town. Stan’s great friends Dan and Shannon from high school stopped in Missoula on their trip across the country. Daniel had never fly fished and getting the chance to row him down the Missouri while Stan put him on fish after fish was a blast.

Dan’s first fish on a fly rod. I don’t think I caught a fish like that for a few years at least.

It was like he had been doing it for years.

We were blown away by the size of this whitefish. As usual… The photo doesn’t do it justice.

The following week my cousin Austin came up for a few days from North Carolina. We have had the chance to fish all over the country and Canada together, but this was the first time he had come out to visit since I have been living in Montana. Austin said he hadn’t picked up a fly rod in over a year, but he didn’t seem to miss a beat.

Back in the saddle

All the water was high and off color. But the fish seemed to cooperate. which was very considerate of them because we only had two days to get it done.

Like he does it everyday.

We didn’t even get out of town before Austin was sticking some solid fish.

Thanks to Dan, Shannon, and Austin for coming to visit and showing me how lucky I am to live here. Getting the chance to share this place is like I get to see it all for the first time again. So please do me a favor, come visit, and ask to be shown around.

-Zach

FCFT


Monday Morning Macro

Happy Memorial Day. I hope that everyone will take a moment away from fishing, grilling burgers, and time on the boat to just think about all of the great sacrifices that have been made for this country.

A huge FCFT thanks goes out to all of our past and current service men and women.

So have a great Memorial day. Catch big fish, eat the perfect burger, and enjoy.

We are heading out the door to go try and fool some hopefully hungry trout. Wearing thermals and rain jackets this morning sure doesn’t make it feel like summer.

-Zach

FCFT


Friday Fish Face

With a long weekend coming up I hope everyone is planning on getting on the water.

Here are a few fish to hold you over for the last hours of the work week.

I know that one was more than a face… But its a good looking fish. So it’s allowed.

Happy Memorial Day.

-Zach

FCFT


Hmmm

Can anyone out in the Interwebs tell me whats going on here…

Give me your best answers.

-Zach

FCFT


Creeks and Streams

This weekend officially started summer according to FWP and the opening of the creeks in Montana. The amount of water that we can fish for the next 6 months is more than a lifetimes worth.

It’s always exciting to see how the creeks and streams have changed over the winter and early spring push of water. Finding out what holes, bends, banks, and buckets are still there and what is different is kind of like Christmas. Of course new honey holes are always a possibility and who doesn’t love a good surprise?

So this weekend we got a ways out of Missoula to explore one of our favorite streams that we haven’t been able to fish since the fall. The warm weather had the stream running high but clear. Saturday we even found a pretty good golden stone hatch in the afternoon. Fishing dries on 2x to haul fish across the fast currents was a challenge, but worth the effort.

We had some great eats on top. 2 or 3 fish going for a single fly all at once was a pretty cool thing to watch and something that sticks with you to help you make it through the work week.

Pretty water and pretty fish

Perfect

Some fish deserve a few more photos.

The tight casting quarters and the high flows called for some improv fishing techniques. (At one point I had to throw him his rod across the creek…) Stan managed to find fish in all the right looking water.

Deer, Owls, and 2 bears all with in a quarter mile on the stream. Naturally we get close to the bears when we are fishing, not hunting.

Every fish was colored up and full of spunk. The bigger ones even managed to make some impressive runs into the backing when they would get out into the fast water. The fish was either fast and furious or you lost them 60 yards downstream in the whitewater. I think I got my share of water in my waders chasing fish downstream.

These fish even got some camera time. Hopefully we can throw all of our spring footage into a short sometime in the near future.

Hungry, healthy, and willing to play along. What more can you ask for?

Small Water… Big Fish. Who’da thunk?

Thanks to Sam, my brother, for an amazing net job. I wouldn’t have been able to get my hands on this fish without his help.

We had a great weekend chasing fish on some little water. Last week Stan had some friend visiting from back east. We had his buddy Dan catching his first fish on a fly rod. I fished for years before ever catching a fish like that. We will have photos and a write-up later this week. My cousin Austin from N.C. is flying in this week. While he is a big time large mouth guy, I am sure we will find ourselves on the water chasing trout at some point during his visit.

-Zach

FCFT


Monday Morning MacROE

Had a big bow spit a few of these at the boat while she was in the net.

Holding eggs this late. Does anyone know if that is normal?

-Zach

FCFT


Bugs

They are here and we like them. So do the fish.

Mayflies, Caddis, and Stones.

Signs of good things to come.

-Zach

FCFT

 


High Cotton

This weekend was a weekend full of sun, water, and fish. High’s in the 80’s made for perfect weather to float the Mo. The sun was a little strong and with no clouds the fish were a bit hesitant to eat up top like we wanted but there were heads up and we managed to stick a few of them. Really what more can you ask for.

At this point we are looking at months of great fishing ahead. It’s a great time to be in Montana. But when isn’t a good time to be in the Big Sky?

Here are a few shots from the weekend. The whitefish were awfully frisky and seemed to be particularly big and hungry.

Maybe the biggest whitefish I have ever seen

Getting Humbled…

The Caddis are starting to show up and the trout know it.

Friend of FCFT Caleb is the newest guy on the crew at Headhunters. Burger Duty.

Lots of fishing, floating, and sun to come. Good times ahead.

-Zach

FCFT


Friday Fish Face

It’s Friday. So that means its only a few short hours until we start the first weekend of the summer. By the sounds of it Missoula is going to be well represented on the Mo this weekend.

Until we can actually see some fish face in person I guess this will have to do.

Happy Friday.

-Zach

FCFT

 


Long Time No See…

It’s been too long since we have posted anything on FCFT. But we are now done with finals and a couple months of fishing is rapidly becoming reality.

Anthony is heading back to No-Dak in the morning for the summer with thoughts of big pike and small mouth keeping him company on the drive. We will be expecting many warm water posts to come from him while he is home.

The rivers rose and fell, and look like they are going to rise again. Run-off is temperamental so far with fair to good/great fishing coming on the falls. There have been lots of bugs around and we even had some skwala eaters on the Clark this evening. Pretty good way to bring in summertime.

Please Sir… Can I have another?

The Mo is the plan for the weekend with Ivan of YGF gracing us with his presence. I am sure Headhunters will play a role as well. Not to mention the dollar beers at Joes…

Hopefully now that school is finished for some time we can quit with the lame excuses and start posting up some quality material. Photos, videos, and other shenanigans.

Rising fish and big bugs on the horizon. Come up this way and fish if you can make it happen. I know the dudes from Chasing the Dream are planning a big MT trip this summer. And Jake from ChiWulff keeps saying he will make it over the divide at some point. We would be more than happy to spend a day or three on the water with anyone.

Hopefully after this weekend we will have some photos to post up, and I am willing to bet Ivan will have a video in the works.

Summer time in Montana. Damn that sounds good.

-Zach

FCFT

 


Twiddling Our Thumbs

Run-Off.

It seem like it happens every year… Oh wait.

As I have mentioned, it’s already here and it’s already taking trees down the river. Is this true run off? Who knows. Your guess is probably better than mine.

Either way our normal fishing routines are thrown out and we have to improvise. It seems like a real bummer but it keeps fly fisher people on their toes. It also give us the opportunity to target fish that we wouldn’t normally see.

Turkey and Bear season are also underway. So while the rivers may be blown out and the trout are put on hold we get the chance to mix it up a little bit. It seems to be a pain in the ass right now, but maybe run off isn’t so bad. Like Sean and I once decided… Run off is like the first intermission of a hockey game. You get a short break and fresh ice to skate when it’s over.

Here are a few photos from our run off remedies.

They beat us to ’em.

Anthony and I put down 11 miles in search of bears. We managed to find two. One very blonde bear we jumped in some timber 60 yards away and couldn’t get a clear shot. And one pitch black bear that we couldn’t seem to catch up with. We will be back.

A throwback from Alaska. Big fish and big animals.

-Zach

FCFT


Monday Morning Macro

The rivers look like the milk at the bottom of a bowl coco puffs. So we are doing what we can fishing wise. And we seem to have gotten bears on the brain also.

Regardless, the Monday Morning Macro must be obtained.

I forgot how sharp their fins are…

Happy Monday. One more week till finals here at U of M and then a summer full of fish can begin. Early run off has me hoping for some real live Salmon Fly fishing. I haven’t seen that in all it’s glory yet.

See you at the ponds until then.

-Zach

FCFT


Exploring

It was hot this weekend in Missoula. Hot enough to blow out the water. So we made like Lewis and Clark and explored.

While we didn’t find the easy passage to the Northwest, we did find some fish. And some other critters.

Of course we find the bears when we aren’t hunting them.

A wide range of fish made themselves present. In one weekend we managed to find Bull Trout, Cutties, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Pike, and Whitefish. It was pretty exciting. It was one of those weekends when you go exploring on a hunch and find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Bull fighter

Buggy

Just making mountains out of mole hills

Getting after it.

We put Anthony’s “new to him” boat to the test this weekend and it passed with flying colors.

The gold at the end of the rainbow

Anthony and I both caught our first perch on a fly rod. We were pretty excited.

I know there are bigger ones in there, but more research is required.

 When the rivers give you lemons… You go find your own lemonade. It feels like summer here. I even got a great jump start on my Chaco tan. A sign of good things to come.

-Zach

FCFT


Monday Morning Macro

Bucket mouth style.

Its late April and it appears that run-off is here… Here to stay? Who knows.

I just hope it doesn’t put us on the bench for 3 months.

More to come later.

-Zach

FCFT

 


Friday Fish Face

It’s finally Friday. I think that’s something we can all be happy about. We haven’t been fishing near enough, so that will have to change.

These are a few glamour shots from some of the better looking subjects.

Cutt’s, Bow’s, and Browns. Love em all.

Secret Spot.

Great weather this weekend. Gonna have to find some water.

-Zach

FCFT


Monday Morning Snap-ro.

Dammit.

We have been on a rod breaking spree lately.

But I guess that’s just part of the game.

The lesson here: Always pack an extra rod. Always.

Happy Monday.

-Zach

FCFT


The Last Hurrah

The entire FCFT crew hadn’t fished together in too long. So when Anthony got back from his spring break trip home we all managed to make time for a last day of spring break fishing trip.

Over the past 2 years Easter has turned out to hold some pretty fantastic fishing for FCFT and this year was no exception. I caught my largest trout in MT to date and we all caught fish that made us act like little kids in a candy store.

We hiked 7 or 8 miles up and down river, starved, and even managed to break a rod in the process. But we had a great day in a beautiful river with lots of nice fish. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up an amazing spring break of fishing.

A great fish to wrap up my best week of fishing yet.

“You don’t see him? 20 feet down between the rocks under the whitewater in that sunny spot. I can’t believe you don’t see him”

Like I said… Kids in a candy store

Marsh mellow peeps or trout?

Midgeness

They are all worth 1000 words. So I won’t say anything.

Maybe our best day yet. It will certainly be hard to beat it.

-Zach

FCFT

P.s.- Stan’s best catch of the day…

…Easter Dinner


Brownies

Yummm.

Orange Belly

Kype jaw in training.

It’s hard to get good photos of a fish by yourself. Another good reason to always take someone with you.

Stan and I are off to chase fish around today. Anthony is tearing it up over there in NoDak. Big pike and some dry fly action is the report.

-Zach

FCFT