West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days – September 21 & 22, 2018

West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days – September 21 & 22, 2018

Welcome to the information page of the

Second Annual

West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days!

Mark your Calendars:  September 21-22, 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!

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 expanded the format this year to 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 had a blast in 2017!

2018 Event Calendar

Friday, September 21, 5pm – 9pm – At the Shop

Big Sky Anglers Fly Shop,  39 Madison Avenue in West Yellowstone
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Meet a host of experienced Spey casters,Trout Spey anglers, and instructors, and get dialed in to enjoy a whole new approach to trout fishing.  Everyone is welcome! Whether you are just beginning your journey with 2-handed rods and Spey casting, or you are a veteran with the long rod, please stop in and say hi, hang out, and talk rods, lines, casting technique, rigging, presentation, and flies used in Trout Spey and beyond.
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Saturday, September 22, 10am – 5pm On the Water & 6pm – 9pm At the Shop

On Water Instruction and Demonstrations from 10am – 5pm

Madison River Bridge at Hwy 191, 3.7 miles north of the shop.  Attendees are encouraged to bring waders, snacks, water, and camp chairs, as well as their own Trout Spey gear.  No gear?  No worries, the reps will have all the goodies from the world of Trout Spey for you to try out.

Feedback from last year’s event suggested that folks had a blast and learned a lot but they also wanted more time and space on the water where they could try out gear, practice, and receive instruction outside of the formal presentations.  We listened, and this year there will be 3 main areas of the Saturday Outdoor Event.

  • Area 1 will be vendor tents. All the tents and gear from vendors will  be set up in the parking lot adjacent to the river for the duration of the event.  Attendees can meet reps, talk gear, and borrow kits for a test cast.
  • Area 2 will be an area of river set aside for folks to demo gear from vendors, get casting lessons from experienced staff and attendees, and generally free form it.
  • Area 3 is the “main stage” – a presentation area on the water. This will be the gravel bar area where the main event was held in 2017.  We will be set up for a series of formal presentations, Q&A, and lots of hands on time with Trout Spey gear.

From 10am – 11am things will build momentum, with folks arriving, meet and greets with BSA staff and reps, welcome messages, and time to hang out and drink coffee.

Following that, there will be four presentation blocks on the “Main stage”.  Each block is 1 hour in duration with a half hour in between for transition between presenters and any potential overrun, questions, and extra hands on casting and chaos from each presentation.  Stay tuned right here for more info on individual presentations.

Party at the flyshop from 6pm – 9pm 
Following conclusion of the On Water portion of the event, there will be an hour break and then we will kick off the party back at the flyshop from 6pm – 9pm.  BBQ, beverages, gear giveaways, swag, and more.

Click the Map for Directions

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Vendors

We are excited to have a great group of industry reps and presenters on hand this year from these great vendors.  There is no better place to try out Spey kits before you buy, or to dial in your existing Spey rod with a new line.

RODS from:

LINES from:

REELS from:

WADERS & APPAREL from:


The on water portion of this event is being hosted on the public lands of Custer Gallatin National Forest.  Thanks to them, of course, for supporting this event!

Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter for updates on this event and more.

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Euro Nymphing Master Class with Robert Van Rensburg – August 25, 2018

Euro Nymphing Master Class with Robert Van Rensburg – August 25, 2018

If you’ve been by the fly shop this summer 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.  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 like 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.


Course Information  

August 25th – 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

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

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

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.

Australian Fly-Fishing with Mickey From Aussie Fly-Fisher

Australian Fly-Fishing with Mickey From Aussie Fly-Fisher

8pm, Wednesday, July 18.

Join us in our new basement Travel Lounge at the fly shop for an evening of fun with Aussie legend Mickey Shanahan.

When he isn’t here at BSA in the summer MCing our Grand Opening events, Mickey guides for the Aussie Fly-Fisher down under.  He will be talking with an accent and presenting photos and video of:

  • Trout fishing the Snowy Mountains of Australia
  • Fishing New Zealand for trout as well as kingfish (aka Yellowtail) in the salt, and
  • Murray Cod – Aussie native freshwater fish and the one Mickey calls “The Coolest species in the world… Think large-mouth bass/muskie/an angry steroid abusing MMA fighter”

 

Big Sky Anglers 2nd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Big Sky Anglers 2nd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Big Sky Anglers
Hi, friends.  We had so much fun at our Grand Opening celebration last year that we’ve decided to do it again!  That’s right, Big Sky Anglers SECOND ANNUAL Grand Opening Celebration.  Please save the date and join us on Saturday, June 30th, 2018 from 10 am to 10 pm to celebrate our first year at Madison and Canyon, and kick this summer off right.  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 30th to get in on store-wide sales, giveaways, fly tying demos, fly casting, and more.  Great presentations and demos from vendors, BBQ, and more.  We are loaded up with new Big Sky Anglers hats, shirts, and other logo gear, and still have some classic Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop gear hanging around if you are looking for a collectors item or two.
Best,
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 add more to the schedule!

Saturday, June 30th

  • All Day Long:  Sales and giveaways. Tying demos, fly casting, and more.
  • 10am – 11am:  Coffee hour.  Meet and hang out with BSA shop staff and guides.
  • 1pm – 5pm: Mimi Matsuda (https://www.mimimatsudaart.com/) 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.
  • 2pm – 6pm: Winston rods Rep Travis Morris will be hosting  “Cast a Rod – Win a Rod”.  They will be set up at the town park just up the street from the flyshop with all the rods from Winston.  Test cast any Winston rod and be entered to win a Winston Kairos rod later in the event.

 

  • 2pm – 4pm: Orvis Rep Doug Best will be in the shop presenting on gear and hosting a casting demo.  Heads up for some cool giveaways, Orvis specials, and surprises for those in attendance.  Rumor has it that there may be a Helios 3 involved!

 

  • 2pm – 5pm: Farbank Rep Kurt Kruger will be in the shop showing off all the goodies from Sage, Rio, and Redington.  Come cast the “ Performance Fly Rod Of Your Dreams “ with Kurt, who will have a full compliment of Sage demo rods available at the park.  Heads up for some cool giveaways and surprises for those in attendance. In addition, Kurt will be hosting a SAGE promo where you will receive a free RIO fly line and Limited Edition MOD pen with the purchase of any single-handed MOD rod at full MSRP!

 

 

  • 5pm – 7pm:  Catered BBQ
  • 5pm – 10pm:  Party with the BSA Crew.  Beverages, specials, awesome giveaways, and more.

 

Non-Felt Soled Wading Boots: A Couple of Options from Simms

Non-Felt Soled Wading Boots: A Couple of Options from Simms

When Yellowstone National Park announced that felt soled wading boots would be banned starting this season, it marked the beginning of a new era in our region for fly shops and anglers alike.  Every fly shop in the region has started to stock multiple non-felt soled options, and our rental fleet had a complete overhaul.  While many of us at Big Sky Anglers have used non-felt soled wading boots confidently for many years, there are still plenty of anglers who have continued using their felt soled boots out of confidence, or simply because they were waiting for them to wear out before switching to a non-felt option.  Well, for those holdouts who love fishing the Park, the time to switch is now.  We recommend that you embrace the change.  Like barbless hooks, they are a change that creates new challenges in angling that may ultimately benefit the resource.  The altered traction may take some getting used to, but in the long run you’ll be wading and fishing like you always have.  In fact, there are some situations where non-felt soled boots offer far BETTER traction than felt ever did.

If you are thinking about a new pair of non-felt soled wading boots this year, we’ve decided to do a bit of a writeup on a couple of the options that we sell from Simms to help you in your decision.  We carry a full lineup of the Vaportread (Men’s and Women’s) and Freestone a the shop currently, and are able to special order any other boots from Simms, including the new G3 Guide Boot.  Hopefully you find this little review helpful.

Have Fun and Wade On,

The BSA Crew

VAPORTREAD (Men’s) – Vibram Soles

MSRP $179.95

From Simms:

From high-elevation rivulets to coring into no-man’s land with nothing but bear mace and Ramen noodle rations, Simms’ new VaporTread® Boot gets you into the thick of it – faster. Its lightweight, minimalist design is maximized by a VaporTread® platform/4.0mm Vibram® Megagrip rubber outsole that effectively bridges the worlds of superior hiking speeds and traction-enhanced wading performance. Features include a synthetic leather, textile, and scratch rubber upper that, combined with an anatomical top collar, work with your feet for all-day, blister-free trailblazing. Internals are precision lined with plush neoprene where it counts, generating warmth, redefining comfort, and guaranteeing on/off ease whether it’s time to rally – or rest – your dogs.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather, rip‐stop nylon & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining  & anatomical collar
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • Dual‐density midsole for shock absorption
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 52.8 oz.

Our Take:

These are indeed a nice, light weight wading boot option that is super comfy.  If you feel like standard wading boots are just too beefy, stiff, and heavy for your liking, this is a superb option.  We joke that these are the basketball sneakers of the wading boot world, but in reality they are more like a nice hiking boot.  They will work great if you are looking for a boot that can do double duty.  Wear them over your waders on the roadside runs of the Madison in the Park in June and October and then swap to a set of wet-wading socks and quick dry pants and hike them deep into the Yellowstone backcountry for August!

If you are looking for a boot to screw metal studs into for added traction, this is probably not the boot for you.  Check out the Freestone, below.

VAPORTREAD (Women’s) – Vibram Soles

MSRP $179.95

From Simms:

Lightweight, high-output boots meet all day comfort Wade confidently in Simms’ award-winning Women’s VaporTread® Boot, powered by a hiker-inspired design and the always-agile VaporTread™ underfoot platform. Features include the unmatched durability of a synthetic leather, textile and scratch-rubber upper. Partially-lined neoprene internals add appreciated wading warmth, cushioning, and easy-on/easy-off performance. And Simms’ precision women’s fit – that works with your feet for bolstered support from bottom to top – puts a long haul to feeding fish within easy reach.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather, rip‐stop nylon & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining & anatomical collar
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 44.9 oz.

Our Take:

Ladies rejoice.  Light weight, comfy, and shaped for your feet. Beyond that, our take on these matches our take on the Men’s Vaportread.  These are indeed a nice, light weight wading boot option that is super comfy.  If you feel like standard wading boots are just too beefy, stiff, and heavy for your liking, this is a superb option.  We joke that these are the basketball sneakers of the wading boot world, but in reality they are more like a nice hiking boot.  They will work great if you are looking for a boot that can do double duty.  Wear them over your waders on the roadside runs of the Madison in the Park in June and October and then swap to a set of wet-wading socks and quick dry pants and hike them deep into the Yellowstone backcountry for August!

If you are looking for a boot to screw metal studs into for added traction, this is probably not the boot for you.  Check out the Freestone, below.

FREESTONE – Rubber Soles

MSRP $149.95

From Simms:

Navigating strong currents and slippery rock river beds is part of the experience. Our Freestone® Boot has a proven record of durability and traction in rocky rivers around the world. It provides the support underfoot and at the ankle for negotiating slick, unseen river bottoms. The synthetic uppers take the abuse of brush, rock and water in stride, while a cushioned midsole and partial neoprene lining provide all-day cushioning and warmth.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining
  • Dual‐density EVA midsole for shock absorption

Our Take:

The Freestone has always been a classic boot from Simms.  The combination of rugged design, comfortable fit, and wallet friendly price point has made it a top choice for our customers and guides for years.  The Freestone is a burlier boot than the Vaportread, so if your fishing style requires more aggressive wading,a bit less hiking, or you just like a taller upper with more ankle support, this might be a good boot for you.

According to Matt, who has fished in both of these boots and spent a lot of hours on the steelhead rivers of the PNW, the Freestone is also a better choice if you intend to add screw in studs for the extra traction you might need on basalt rivers like the Deschutes or North Umpqua.  Another tip on the Freestone:  If you have a low volume foot or simply like the comfort offered by Superfeet footbed liners, the freestone will accept those aftermarket footbeds with ease, while the Vaportread generally will not.

Ladies, unfortunately the Freestone is a unisex boot.  But fear not, as many of the women we know fish in these.  Just drop down one or 1.5 sizes from your women’s street shoe size and try those on first. 

G3 GUIDE BOOT – Vibram Soles

MSRP $229.95

From Simms:

Time spent on the river is knowledge. And the more time you spend on the river, the more your gear needs to perform at a high level. Our G3 Guide™ Wading Boot is designed with working guides in mind. This means the support, traction and durability that 200-plus days on the river demand. The boot features big-time ankle support and an enhanced feel underfoot to help you get to hard-to-reach places. Our Rivertread® build gives you more feeling under your boot, so the unseen becomes easier to navigate without compromising on the overall support or traction of the boot. With proven durability to handle the wear and tear of hiking and wading day in and day out, the G3 Guide™ Boot gives you confidence to move across rocky river bottoms anywhere in the world.

  • Waterproof nubuck leather & lace‐to‐toe upper
  • High abrasion textile with full scratch rubber rand
  • Molded external TPU heel counter & heel clip
  • Dual‐density midsole for shock absorption
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 62.4 oz.

Our Take:

While we aren’t carrying a full line of these at the flyshop yet, a couple of our guides have been wearing these, and if their feelings on them are accurate we may need to carry them for the fall. These are beefy, burly boots that are rugged but comfortable.  If you are/were a fan of the discontinued Simms Rivershed boot, you might recognize a lot of that legendary workhorse’s genetics in the new G3.  Virtually 360 degree rubber rand for durability and minimal leather to eliminate stiffening and shrinking when dry.  Like the Freestone, these are great option for anglers who intend to add screw in studs or aftermarket footbeds.

These boots follow typical Simms sizing, so if you’d like a pair of these, just give us a call and we’d be happy to order them for you.