Welcome to the information page of the
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
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 a series of presentations on the “Main stage”. We’ve left lots of time for interaction with the presenters and any potential overrun, questions, and extra hands on casting and chaos from each presentation.
- Matt Klara (Big Sky Anglers, Thomas & Thomas, Echo, and Airflo) – Introduction to Spey and Trout Spey Fundamentals.
- Kurt Kruger (Far Bank – Sage, RIO, and Redington) – Rod and Line Setups for Different Trout Spey Applications
- Alice Owsley (Riverside Anglers, Winston, and Scientific Anglers) – Presentation and Fishing Tactics for Trout Spey
- Jake Zirkle (G. Loomis) – Spey Casting In Tight Quarters and Around Obstructions
- Open mic?
Scroll down for Presenter Bios and learn more about these interesting folks!
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.
WADERS & APPAREL from:
Matt Klara – Big Sky Anglers and Prince Outdoors (T&T, Echo, Airflo) – Matt’s journey into Spey casting and fishing began with trout back in 2000, thrashing around with a borrowed 14 ft 9wt rod and an old Rio Windcutter line on the Madison River just outside of West Yellowstone. His technique and understanding of two-handed casting and fishing have come a long way since then, to say the least, and so has the equipment available for trout Spey. At one point he left Montana for Oregon, where for 7 years, nearly all of his fishing was done with two-handed rods. Matt moved back “home” to Montana in 2015 but still enjoys swinging the two-hander. He has also become keenly interested in incorporating Spey principles into everyday trout angling situations with single-hand flyrods, dry flies, nymphs, wets, and streamers. Currently residing in Helena with his wife and young son, Matt’s the guy that folks at Big Sky Anglers look to for help with their Spey casting, gear selection, and more. Whether its Spey for trout, steelhead, or salmon on the two-hander or single-hander, he is happy to teach and share what he’s learned on his own journey.
Kurt Kruger – Far Bank (Sage, RIO, Redington) Rep – Kurt’s Spey angling foundations lie on the legendary winter steelhead rivers of Washington State, and the wilderness salmon flows of Alaska. His life changed forever when he moved to Montana and discovered Trout Spey. His enthusiasm for the pursuit is unmatched, and swinging light two-handed rods for fish that are holding and feeding rather than migrating is now a central focus of his angling. As the regional sales rep for Sage, RIO, and Redington, Kurt’s rig is always filled with the newest and best goodies in the Trout Spey world. From his home base in Bozeman, he continues to carry out his mission of making the world a better place for anglers. We are excited to have him presenting at this year’s event.
Alice Owsley – Riverside Anglers Inc., R.L.Winston Rod Co., Scientific Anglers, Simms – Alice’s first casts with a Spey rod were on the Madison River back in 2001 one night hanging out with fellow fishing guides. Her more serious casts with a two handed rod weren’t until the fall of 2009 while preparing for her first steelhead trip on the west coast. Her boyfriend at the time (now husband) started teaching her how to cast a two handed 7 weight rod that fall but always had a soft hackle fly tied on to fish. Fishing for trout with a two handed rod was always secondary to practicing for steelheading for the first few Autumns, but now Alice targets trout with a Spey rod throughout the fishing season around West Yellowstone. When not fishing for herself, Alice is an outfitter and guide on the Madison River and in Yellowstone National Park. She owns and operates Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone. https://riversideanglers.com/
Jake Zirkle – G. Loomis Fly Rep – Jacob Zirkle was born in Washington, and at the age of 6 his family moved to Alaska where his love for the great outdoors started. At the age of 7 his grandfather gave him the best present ever, an Orvis Clearwater 7wt fly rod. He would rent 3m videos at the local library so he could teach himself the art of fly casting. He spent all his free time casting on local lakes and a neighborhood creek catching trout, steelhead, salmon, and dollies. Traveling to see family and competing in Soccer tournaments he was able to explore many fisheries in WA, OR, ID, and MT.
In 2000 he started his guiding career working in Cooper Landing, where he learned that the fishing industry is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Within two years he started Alaska Fly Water Guides and spent the first year flying out to remote rivers and doing 5-7 day float trips. He found his way back to his home water, the Kenai where he worked till 2015.
Throughout his career guiding he always looked for the next thing to bring his customers and push them to become better anglers. Spey casting was one of the crafts he took on, in 2006 he began the journey with a class from friend and Sage Rep George Cook. Over his time with two handed rods, Jacob focused most of his attention casting to monster trout with short speys.
In 2016 he took a job as the NW GLoomis Fly Rep and spends his time traveling his territory showing off new sticks to others who love fly fishing with 2 handed rods. Jake’s favorite GLoomis two handed rod is the new IMX Pro Short Spey Series, paired with today’s short head systems make chasing trout in the West a blast.
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!
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