Big Sky Anglers 3rd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Big Sky Anglers 3rd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Third time is a charm, we guess.  Big Sky Anglers THIRD ANNUAL Grand Opening Celebration – a celebration of summer, friends, family, and fly fishing.  Please save the date and join us on Saturday, June 29th, 2018 from 11 am to 10 pm.  We are super excited to see everyone.
We’ve got a number of things planned for the day, so be sure to check out the schedule later in this post.  Also, make sure to check back in between now and the event as we are sure to be adding a few more special guests.  Stop by the shop any time on June 29th to get in on store-wide sales, giveaways, fly tying demos, fly casting, and more.  Great presentations and demos from vendors, BBQ, Echo Gecko Casting Competition, and more.  We are loaded up with new Big Sky Anglers hats, shirts, and other logo gear, and some retro Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop gear too.  We will also be showing off the new Golden Stone Inn, our one-of-a-kind lodge, for those who’d like to see the new grounds.  See you soon!
Joe Moore, Justin Spence, and Jonathan Heames
Owners, Big Sky Anglers
39 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Special Guests and Events Schedule

Be sure to check back as we may add more to the schedule!

Saturday, June 29th

All Day Long: 

Sales and giveaways. Tying demos, fly casting, and more.

11am – Noon:  “Coffee Hour”

Meet and hang out with BSA shop staff and guides.

Noon – 4pm:  Mimi Matsuda Art

Once again, Mimi Matsuda ( will be hosting a CHILDREN’S ART TABLE alongside her awesome mobile art exhibit.  Bring the kiddos down and let them show their creativity with the help of one of our all time favorite artists.  Rumor’s of face painting have been swirling.

2 – 6 pm:  Reps at the Flyshop

Simms Fishing rep Eric Neufeld and Nautilus Reels, and Strip’n Flywear rep Dan Short in the flyshop showing off the goodies, along with a few surprises

2 – 6 pm:  Rods, Reels, and Heels at the Flyshop

Brenna Richardson, Montana native, super-cool lady angler, and Owner of RR&H, will be in the shop, showing off a bunch of her awesome goodies and getting folks stoked to fish.

3:30 – 5:30pm: Echo Gecko Casting Comp

Echo Gecko Casting Competition in the Town Park.  Accuracy and Distance.  3 divisions – Kids, Men, and Women.  Winner takes the rod home!  Stop by, sign up, and make your best casts!

3:30 – 5:30ish pm:  Casting in the Park

Demo rod casting in the Town Park with SAGE rep Kurt Kruger and Scott rep John Dobson, as well as Winston and Orvis reps and rods on hand.

6 – 7pm: ARGENTINA, North to South Presentation

Multi media presentation by BSA’s Justin Spence in the basement Travel Lounge covering the vast diversity of fly fishing options to be found in Argentina.  From the steamy golden dorado marshes of the north to the wind blown sea trout rivers at the southern end of the continent, Justin has experienced so much and will share some great stories.

7pm: Party Time

  BBQ and Refreshments while they last, followed by the usual chaos and giveaways.


2019 Euro Nymphing Master Class Series with Robert Van Rensburg

2019 Euro Nymphing Master Class Series with Robert Van Rensburg

Back by popular demand, Big Sky Anglers’ Euro Nymphing Masterclass with Robert Van Rensburg.  These were a big hit among anglers last year, and Robert has added some new twists to the curriculum for 2019, including an advanced class for those who have already attended one of the earlier courses.  Read on below for details and dates.  If you are interested in signing up, stop in or call the shop at 406-646-7801.  And remember, if you have a group interested in taking one of these classes, Robert may be able to set up a class on a different date than these pre-scheduled classes, so don’t be afraid to ask.

I took Big Sky Angler’s first Euro Nymphing Fundamentals Masterclass with Robert Van Rensburg and was pleasantly surprised by the knowledge I gained that day.  Although I have been experimenting with the process, I had been struggling to improve over the past year.  After a day with Robert I was able to have a better grasp on the important “tuck cast” and how to implement your left hand during the drift.  All this took place, one on one, while standing in the Madison River. As I looked around that day almost everyone in the class was catching fish. There are a lot of great fishermen in the Yellowstone area but not a lot of good teachers. Robert seems to have achieved both.   

– Bill Ruppel, Island Park, Idaho

If you’ve been by the fly shop the past year you may have met Robert Van Rensburg.  Quiet and humble, Robert’s demeanor betrays his level of experience and knowledge when it comes to fly fishing in general, and Euro Nymphing in particular.  A native South African, Robert has traveled the world, fished in 17 countries, and guided in 4 countries, including in Chile with BSA co-owner Jonathan Heames.  He has also traveled as an instructor of both fly casting and fly tying.  Robert’s deep knowledge of Euro Nymphing stems in part from his background in competition angling.  He has represented South Africa at 13 World and Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships, 11 times as the national team captain.  Robert held the seat of President of the National body of fly fishing in South Africa for 6 years, and has since been named as an Honorary life President.  This year, he was honored with Elite Pro status by SAGE fly rods.  Despite his background, experience, and accolades, Robert remains humble and true to the roots of fly fishing.  He loves being on the water, challenging himself to learn new things, and appreciates the beauty of an 8-inch cutthroat as much as the heft of an 8-pound brown. We are lucky to have him on the BSA staff and are thrilled to be able to share his knowledge through courses A valid Montana fishing license required.  It is recommended that you bring your own waders.  Feel free to also bring any tackle that you own that is specific to Euro this one.

Please read on for more info, and don’t hesitate to call the shop for more info or to get signed up for the class.

Courses Offered in 2019

Saturday, June 8th – Euro Nymphing Fundamentals

Saturday, August 17th – Euro Nymphing Fundamentals

Saturday, October 5th – Advanced Euro Nymphing  

See below for course curricula.

All Classes run from – 8am to 5pm  

8am-Noon Off the water instruction at Big Sky Anglers fly shop, 39 Madison Ave, West Yellowstone, MT

Noon to 1 pm – Lunch is provided

1-5 pm – On the water instruction

Cost – $150 per person, lunch is included

A valid Montana fishing license required.  It is recommended that you bring your own waders.  Feel free to also bring any tackle that you own that is specific to Euro Nymphing.

Euro-Nymphing specific rods/reels/lines will be provided.

Special thanks to Kurt Kruger of Farbank for providing a selection of awesome demo SAGE ESN Rod setups for these classes!

Class size is limited to 10 students.  Spots are expected to fill up fast.

Euro Nymphing Fundamentals – Course Curriculum

The following topics will be covered in detail over the course of the day.

  1. Defined: The difference between Euro/Tight-line Nymphing and Indicator Nymphing.
  2. Essential gear for Euro Nymphing. Rods. Reels. Lines.
  3. Setting up tackle.  Balancing reel to rod.  Joining fly line to backing and leader.
  4. Leader formulas and lengths. When to use various leaders and leader formulas. Knots.
  5. Flies.  Importance of profile,  movement and trigger points. Size of fly, size of weighted beads.  Effects of colored beads on flies. Understanding UV and florescence in tying materials.  Understanding hook design and using the correct hooks for varying patterns and bead weights. Tying materials that give the best results . Weighting flies.
  6. Setting up tippets with multiple flies. Where to place and fish weighted flies on the leader.
  7. Tippet materials.  Diameter,  brand, fluorocarbon and nylon.
  8. Reading a river. Understanding water hydraulics.  Water temperature.  Fish species.  Time of year.
  9. Tuck cast. Tuck and reach.  Oval cast. Roll cast. Casting distance. Double haul . Use and importance of non-casting hand.  Casting for shallow and deep water.
  10. Presentation and Drifts.  Drag free drifts. Fishing 360′ degrees.  Line management.  Inducing takes.
  11. Fishing in the wind.
  12. Detecting takes and striking fish.
  13. Playing and landing fish. Landing nets.
  14. Practical session on the river with demonstrations plus one-on-one instruction.

 Advanced Euro Nymphing – Course Curriculum

This course is for those who have attended one of Robert’s Euro Nymphing Fundamentals courses in 2018 or earlier in 2019.  The class builds on the topics in that course and will take your Euro system presentations to the next level.  If you have not taken one of Roberts earlier classes, but have significant Euro Nymphing experience and are interested in this course, give the shop a call and talk to Robert to determine if the class will still work for you.  The following topics will be covered in detail over the course of the day.

  1. Leader design – longer French leaders
  2. Casting French leaders
  3. Fishing the Dry/Dropper with the Euro system
  4. Nymphing 360 degrees on the river – upstream, downstream, across, and at all angles in between
  5. Fly Design, hook, and material selection
  6. Fishing streamers and soft hackles on the Euro system
  7. Practical session on the river with demonstrations plus one-on-one instruction.
Introducing the Golden Stone Inn

Introducing the Golden Stone Inn

West Yellowstone is home for Big Sky Anglers. Not because we all happened to end up here on a whim, but because West Yellowstone is located in the heart of what is arguably the greatest fly fishing region on earth.  We have chased trout with a fly rod all across this planet, and West Yellowstone is where we choose to live and work. We enjoy easy access to famous and lesser known waters in three states (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming) as well as throughout Yellowstone National Park.  The diversity of waters around here is truly astounding, and finding good or great fishing any day between April and November is usually just a matter of knowing where to look. One lifetime is not enough to explore and learn all of the rivers, streams, spring creeks, lakes, and ponds within a two hour drive.  Expand that driving range to three hours, and 10 lifetimes would probably not be enough!

Within this vast area of remarkable fishing there is no more strategic a location to serve as your home base for a fly fishing trip than the town of West Yellowstone. It is truly in the center of all the prime fishing waters giving you maximum options and flexibility. No matter what conditions you have during your trip, or what fishing situations you’re hoping to find, West Yellowstone has options throughout the entire fishing season.  

We love nothing more than sharing all that West Yellowstone and the surrounding area has to offer to visiting anglers, but for years we have struggled to find a lodging solution for our guests that allows us to provide the personalized, unique experience that we want. The Golden Stone Inn was born from this desire to provide a customized, unforgettable experience that goes above and beyond our guests’ expectations.

The Golden Stone Inn will come to life in May.  It is being built with you, our extended family, in mind.  As you walk up to the main lodge, you will notice the outdoor fire pit is inviting you to sit down and relax with a beer and cigar after an invigorating day on the river.  Upon entering you are welcomed; we have been expecting you! You notice the incredible selection of our favorite local brews and a variety of wines for any taste. This place is different.  You have a warm, comfortable feeling. As you settle in, you notice the patios and chairs outside each of the rooms. Another perfect place for that beer and cigar! Upon entering the cabin, the wader hangers and the rod rack are perfectly situated.  You hop on your computer to check out the latest fishing report from Big Sky Anglers as wi-fi internet is available throughout the property.

Peering out of your cabin to the outdoor fire pit and you see them!  A few of the Big Sky Anglers fishing guides have dropped by. They are there merely enjoying some time with avid fisherman, swapping stories with their friends. There is no place they would rather be than with their own kind, their extended family.  

West Yellowstone is a special place to us, and we know it is to you too. More than just a place to rest your head at the end of the day, we hope the Golden Stone Inn will be a place where we can cater to you, our extended family, and share with you all of the amazing things that make West Yellowstone so special.

Head on over to the new website and take a look at the Golden Stone Inn. It’s a work in progress. So, check back often for updates, and be sure to follow and like the new social media pages to stay current on this exciting project. 

The Golden Stone Inn will be open in late May, and we are currently taking reservations for the 2019 season. CLICK HERE for more information or to make a reservation. 

We look forward to welcoming you to your new home away from home in West Yellowstone!

Big Sky Anglers Holiday Gift Ideas

Big Sky Anglers Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday season is stressful for a lot of us.  Giving a gift shouldn’t be part of that stress.  If you’re looking for something for that fishing friend or family member, here are a few ideas.

Stop by the shop to say hi and check out the full lineup of goodies if you are able.  Of course, anyone out there can order just by calling the fly shop at 406-646-7801.  Free shipping on orders over $50!  Last day to order to ensure shipping arrival by December 24 is probably December 18th or 18th given our location at the end of the road and the possibility of inclement weather.

Fly Selections – 15 local favorite bugs in a BSA box, plus we throw in a sticker for your Lambo. – Price varies by selection.  Give us a call and we can dial you in.

BSA Gift Cards – Always the right size, color, etc!  Fill em up with whatever dollar value you’d like.

BSA Lucky Fishing Hats – We have a ton of styles and colors to chose from.  You can find pictures to look through on our new HATS PAGE! – $24.95 each

BSA Logo Buffs – The classic trout and Madison Valley skyline.  These are great for sun, wind, heat, and cold. – $27.99

Mimi Matsuda Art Cards and Magnets – You know we love Mimi, and these are at least 673% cooler than your standard holiday card.  Becomes a frame-able piece of art once the message has been delivered.  Magnets too! – $4.95 each

Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop Throwbacks: C&R Pins and Fly Pucks – Original stock from when we took the reigns from Dick and Barb.  Pins & Puck Combos are $20.

BSA Sili Pint Glasses and Micro Fiber Glasses Cleaning Cloths –   Keep those shades clean with a microfiber cloth ($8.95) so you can spot the big fish, and then make sure to have an indestructible sili-pint glass ($13.99) on hand for drinking your favorite beverage out of to celebrate catching that fish you spotted.

Stocking Stuffer Selection – Some fun and useful items that we make use of in our regular routines.

YNP Trail Map – $11.95

Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing by Ron Cordes and Gary LaFontaine – $12.95

Fly Vines Lanyard – $14

Abel Rainbow Trout Anodized Nipper – $165

Simms Bottle Opener Fish – $6.95

Johnny Cash Abel Super 7/8 – If that special person on your list has been extra, extra nice this year.  #190 of 250 limited edition.  $1495.


The Big Sky Anglers Hats Page

The Big Sky Anglers Hats Page

It has been scientifically proven that anglers who wear Big Sky Anglers hats not only catch more and bigger fish, but they also have more fun.  So, at long last, we’ve created an online archive of the hat styles we have available in the shop.  If you see something you like, just call us at 406-646-7801 and we will set you up.  Make sure you note the hat’s code name or number so we can be sure to pull the right ones for you.

All hats are $24.95 each

Mens/Unisex Hats

001 – The Classic – 6 panel – Ouray

002 – The Bobcat – MT license plate with MSU Bozeman colors – Ouray


003 – Stack Logo Trucker, Big Sky Blue – Ouray


004 – Stack Logo Trucker, Navy Blue – Ouray

005 – BSA Trucker, Green – Ouray

006 – BSA Trucker, Dark Brown – Ouray


007 – BSA Trucker, Burnt Orange – Ouray

008 – BSA Trucker, San Juan Worm Red – Ouray

009 – BSA Simms 6 Panel, Olive

010 – BSA Simms 6 Panel, Blue

011 – Simms Trout Logo Trucker, Black/Gray

012 – Simms Trout Logo Trucker, Gray/White

013 – BSA Simms Trucker, Blue

014 – The Hunter, Blaze Orange Trucker


Womens Hats

100 – Ladies 6 Panel, Tropical Flats Blue- Ouray

101 – Ladies Trucker, Deep Purple – Ouray

Kids Hats

200 – The Seahawk Kids Trucker – Ouray

201 – Lime-aid Kids Trucker – Ouray

202 – Blue Neon Kids Trucker – Ouray

203 – Hot Pink Kids Trucker – Ouray

Last Updated 12/7/2018