The fire next to the kitchen table is keeping all of us, both hounds, a kitty and myself warm on this ultra wet chilly morning.  Once again, we slept all night through the pouring rain and woke to the same soaking from above this AM.  In a couple hours I will be packed up and ready for the four hour drive to Craig, the self proclaimed fly fishing capital of the world, (however we all know that West Yellowstone will forever hold this title) for my last push of guide trips of the 2014 season.  The next month will find me living with Kuhnert and Courtney….tying flies at night, watching play off baseball mixed with some EPL and rowing a boat during the day. Twenty-two trips in total and I can only hope that cloudy weather and cool temps continue to be in the forecast through late October.  Greg Falls has been working nearly everyday up north and providing me with weekly reports – they’ve had solid fishing and each day it get’s more Fall-like.  The Missouri gives me a chill, it always has and it always will……

An old friend, exceptional fly tyier and fellow guide passed away a few days ago after a two year battle with cancer.  Nick, you will be missed by us all….over ten years ago you showed me the $3 dip – that fly changed my outlook on flies and guiding.  You were a ghost amongst the rest of us and I very rarely knew where you were fishing.  When I did happen upon your rig, I always made a mental note but never went back there with clients.  Thanks for being a friend to young guide trying to figure out the way down the river.

August and September were wet as wet as anyone can remember in recent history.   The photo above was from early September and our first snow of the year on the level.  That was a particularly windy day, out of the north, and I don’t think I ever made a back stroke on the oars all day long.  The fish have stayed hungry through September, mostly eating nymphs and streamers, but there were several days of solid dry fly fishing.  Small flies like $3 dip, Black Crystal Dip, the DOB, #12 Prince, Olive Serendipities, Pink SJW and #10 black rubber legs were my best flies down in the Madison valley over the past few weeks.

Big Trout are running up the Madison in YNP as I write this.  The flows have been higher than normal and the daytime temps cooler as well.  What that really translates to is more trout in the system for a longer period of time.  October will provide some solid fishing opportunities around West Yellowstone and I look forward to seeing photos of big browns in the month to come.   While I love guiding and fishing the Missouri River in October, I will miss swinging flies for the grab of a migratory brown who has been lurking in Hebgen Lake all summer long.

You will very rarely see me all tuxed out like this……my wife is stunning….me?  Well, I just look good cause she is standing by my side..  See ya soon Molly!  Can’t wait to fish with you on the Missouri.