Welcome to the information page of the
West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days!
Please, save the date: September 21-23, 2018. We are thrilled to be partnering again with the Custer Gallatin National Forest and hosting our second annual Trout Spey Days event right here in West Yellowstone. Check back in the coming months for details on event schedule, presenters, and party times! Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter for updates on this event and more.
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Are you already into Spey casting and fishing for trout? Maybe you have heard of it, but have never picked up a Spey rod, and are interested in getting involved in this super fun way to fish for trout? This event is open to everyone, regardless of skill/experience level, age, fly shop or industry affiliation, etc. We had a great turnout last year and have plans to expand the format and add even more opportunities for you to hang out and talk Spey with experienced pros and spend time on the water perfecting your technique.
We just received the following press release from officials in Yellowstone National Park. This announcement affects anyone interested in Yellowstone Fly Fishing, and is a big shift in management policy for Western fisheries!
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
Felt sole boot ban and new boating season
Protect Yellowstone from aquatic invasive species
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY –Aquatic invasive species (AIS) could have devastating ecological, economic, and recreational impacts on Yellowstone National Park. They are costly to manage and extremely difficult to eradicate. Due to the urgent need to prevent these destructive species from entering the park, felt sole waders and boots worn by anglers will be banned permanently starting in 2018. The park will also implement a new boating season.
Felt Sole Ban
- Boats will be allowed to enter park waters from 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 4.
- All watercraft are required to have a boat permit and a Yellowstone AIS inspection before launching in the park. Watercraft include, but are not limited to, power boats, sail boats, canoes, kayaks, and angler float tubes. Permits and inspections are available seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at various locations in the park.
- If a boat does not pass the AIS inspection, it will not be allowed to enter park waters.
- Instituting a boating season guarantees the park will have staff to provide timely boat inspections.
Take action. Ensure that you don’t transport AIS to Yellowstone and that your watercraft will be permitted to launch:
- Clean all plants, animals, mud, sand, and other debris from your boat, anchor, boots, and equipment. Use high-pressure, hot (120-140F) water if possible.
- Drain all water from your boat including the motor, bilge, livewell, and other compartments before you arrive. Leave drain plugs out during transport. Do not dump water or organisms from one water body into another.
- Dry all compartments and equipment in the sun for five days.
Watch a video that demonstrates this process.
Words and Photos Thanks to Mikey Shanahan, guide, Aussie Fly Fisher, Canberra, Australia
I come from A Land Downunder
This year I had the opportunity to head stateside for the summer, something that I’ve been dreaming of since I picked up a fly-rod. Although the trout fishing in Australia is wild, free, and spectacular (look it up if you haven’t already), nothing can really ever compare to making the pilgrimage to rivers like Madison and Yellowstone, or the privilege of being able to catch wild trout in their native environment. That and the local beers (which are delicious) pretty much make Montana a must on most serious trout bum’s lists.
I was lucky enough to be based in West Yellowstone. I had a bunch of irreplaceable and radical experiences there. Here are a few of my impressions and a few tips for any other international or domestic trout bum that is thinking of packing up and heading west, although in my case I actually had to head north-east for several thousand miles.
First World Problems
The main problem confronting any angler arriving in West Yellowstone, a place with seemingly more rivers than roads, more lakes than parking lots, and more fly shops than McDonalds, is where to go first? Well, one of the many fly shops is usually a good option, and I was extremely lucky in this case. My good friend Tom serendipitously introduced me to his good friend Justin Spence, who is a part owner and guide of the best option, Big Sky Anglers.
Luckily for me and everyone else who’s had the pleasure of meeting, fishing, or dancing with Justin, he is, as we would say back home, “an absolute #$%^&ing total legend” and all around ultra stand-up-guy. He is also indicative of the whole BSA crew in my opinion.
Justin not only went out of his way to help me, but he also introduced me to everyone at BSA. That was not only the best possible thing that could’ve happened on my fishing trip, but it was also one of the best things in my life.
Focusing on people so much might seem odd for what is essentially a destination fishing blog post (I can see Matt, the awesome guy who asked me to write this, instantly regretting his decision…). I mean one group of people who fly fish religiously in a town where everyone fly fishes religiously isn’t anything special right? Chances are you go somewhere like that you’re gonna find a group of people who you connect with and help you out to a certain extent, correct? I’m not so sure.
You see, there are fishing trips, and then there are times when the universe plucks you out of the inky, sticky depths of the Great Southern Continent and plunges you into the centre of a group of people who are doing something awesome and exciting at an exact time in an exact place. And when that happens, you just gotta roll with it.
Adapt, or Die #neverforgetyourshell
When travelling to a place that has such varied and excellent fishing as Montana it’s important to have goals to focus your trip. A list of species, rivers, or certain experiences is always a good idea and there’s plenty of info out there too research through before a trip, which is half the fun! However it’s also vital to be adaptable to get most out your fishing.
Weather, hatches (both insect and bikini), along with heaps of other variables, can affect your best made plans, but luckily there’s usually another option. Most of the best fishing I had was a result of being open to whatever happened to be the best fishing on the day.
Listen to advice and act on it, sticking with a plan through thick and thin can come through, but if the guys at the shop who have their finger on the pulse tell you something can wait a week or that you’ve got a better option, go with it, make the most of the short time you have.
One perfect day – Every day of the week
The problem about spending a whole summer in Montana is that you end up with too many good stories. Everybody in Australia (and I mean everyone, I haven’t shut up since I got back) are already pretty sick of me stating sentences with ‘in Montana…’
There was opening day on the Yellowstone, hiking into the back end of River X, sliding down the Madison, or rowing around drowned trees, trying to pull psycho rainbows on big dries. My advice – Go make your own memories and bore your own mates with them.
That being said one of the days that really stood out for me was floating around on Hebgen Lake with my buddies Belen and Miles, shamelessly bobber fishing, eating cheeseburgers, drinking beers and listening to house music. It’s because of the great people I had the privilege of fishing with in Montana that made my trip what it was.
I’m writing this for them now (ya’ll know who you are) as an open invitation to get outta the freezing cold and 100 foot of snow that guys get and to get over here ASAP. Bring your board shorts, thongs [Aussie for flipflops. Maybe], sunnies [Aussie for sunglasses], and stubbies [Aussie for who knows what], and let’s party over in this summer until your next one.
My one piece of advice, though, for folks headed to Yellowstone Country, is to get your butt into BSA the moment you’ve touched down, driven up, or walked into West Yellowstone. Those guys are dinky-die Aussie legends in my book.
The shorter days of winter are upon us here in Montana. The weather is cold, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up on spending time outdoors. We are still fishing when the conditions are right, but are also shifting attention to hunting, skiing, riding, and other snow sports. The simple fact is, though, that there is a lot fewer hours of daylight in winter, so a person needs some good indoor hobbies to get through. Filling the fly boxes is Job #1. Hanging out by the fire with a good book is another prime winter pastime, though.
We asked some of the guys for suggestions to add to your winter reading list, and here’s what we came up with.
Suggested by Jonathan Heames
- The Longest Silence by Thomas McGuane
- The River Why by David James Duncan
- Trouthunter: The Way of an Angler by Rene Harrop
- Spring Creeks by Mike Lawson
Suggested by Joe Moore
- Small Fly Adventures in the West by E Neale Streeks
- The Curtis Creek Manifesto by Sheridan Anderson
- Chasing Rumors – A Season of Fly Fishing in Patagonia by Cameron Chambers
- Bud Lilly’s Guide to Fly Fishing the New West by Bud Lilly and Paul Schullery
Suggested by Justin Spence
- Single Hand Spey Casting by Simon Gawesworth
- Instinctive Fly Fishing by Taylor Streit
- Hatch Guide for Western Streams by Jim Schollmeyer
- Modern Steelhead Flies by Rob Russell and Jay Nicholas (with a cameo by Matt Klara)
Suggested By Matt Klara
- What Trout Want – The Educated Trout and Other Myths by Bob Wyatt
- McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss
- Single Handed Fly Casting by Jason Borger
- Birds of Montana Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
It’s that time of the year again folks. The Holidays! The waders are hung by the chimney with care. Give love first, and then if you want to add a stocking stuffer or two into the mix, we came up with a few ideas for the fishing folks on your “NICE” list. Just call the shop and we’ll set you up. 406-646-7801. And, please do it soon so there is time for Santa to deliver in time.
BSA Ouray Ball Caps You could fish while wearing a Houston Astros hat, but why bother? $24.95
BSA logo RTIC stainless Koozie Ever see a sign advertising warm beer? Yeah, didn’t think so. $19.95
THE NZ Strike Indicator System Deadly when you are nymphing slow, clear water for super spooky fish. A top secret option for running double nymphs in the surface film for fussy risers. $16.95
Mimi Matsuda Art Cards Local artist and legendary fish whisperer puts beautiful art on greeting cards, perfect for any occasion. $4.95
BSA Logo Snowflake Holiday Ornament Sarah and Rachel nailed the design on this one $12
Gamakatsu SL12S Big Game Saltwater Hooks Golden dorado, huge stripers, grande roosterfish, marlin on fly? These are simply the best. $8
Trouthunter Leaders and Tippet This stuff is the ticket. So strong. From the Henry’s Fork to the rivers of Patagonia, this is many of our guides first choice. $4.95 to $21.95
BSA Mega Stickers For the coolest coolers, boats, and fishing rigs. The fish is 16 inches long… bigger than the one your buddy caught last time out. $9.50
BSA logo Fly Boxes They come empty, but we are happy to fill ’em up for you too, if you’d like. $10.95 to $15.95
Hand Warmers Winter fishing and skiing essentials. $2.50
Smith Creek Tippet Tamer Keeps all those loose bits of tippet out of the river. Recommended by Jon “The Professor” Heames $15.95
Fishpond Koozie Already attached to a lanyard to hang from your neck, or a boat seat. Stay hydrated. $29.95
Fishpond Gadgets Headgate Tippet Holder holds all your spools. Swift Current Thermometer so you know what’s up out there. Dry Shake Holder controls your powdered floatant. $19.95, $18.95, $9.95
20/20 Magnetic Tippet Threader 6x tippet, and a #22 trico spinner. Those days are long gone for many of us. $10.95
Hatch Nippers With the BSA Logo, it’s just over the top. These babies will last forever. $100
Simms Stainless Pint Glass I heard there was a keg around here somewhere. $14.95