Welcome to the information page of the Third Annual West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days!
Mark your Calendars: September 13-14, 2019. We are thrilled to be partnering again with the Custer Gallatin National Forest and hosting our third annual Trout Spey Days event right here in West Yellowstone. Check back in the coming weeks as we fill in details on the event schedule, presenters, and party specifics! We’ve definitely got a few new ideas on tap for this year.
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 again 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.
2019 Event Calendar
Friday, September 13th, 5pm – 9pm ish – At the Shop & the Golden Stone Inn
Saturday, September 14th, 9am – 5pm On the Water & 6pm – 9pm At the Shop
On Water Instruction and Demonstrations from 9am – 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. Food will be available on site for purchase. No gear? No worries, the reps will have all the goodies from the world of Trout Spey for you to try out.
There will be 3 main areas of the Saturday Outdoor Event.
- Area 1 will include vendor tents and a food truck. 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 and 2018. We will be set up for a series of formal presentations, Q&A, and lots of hands on time with Trout Spey gear.
9-10am – Gather, Hang out, Check out the goodies from the Reps, enjoy coffee and watch the resident ospreys soar overhead.
Presentation schedule is as follows (loosely, of course):
- 10-11 or 11:30am, Brian Chou – Casting Instructor and T&T Pro – Intro to Spey Fundamentals Presentation, followed by some time for hands on casting.
- 11:30 – 12:15, Jake Zirkle – G. Loomis – Presenting the Fly and Fishing with Trout Spey Gear
- 12:15 – 2pm – Lunch break and open casting time
- 2pm – 3pm – Matt Klara – Big Sky Anglers – Single Hand Spey Casting and Fishing
- 3-4pm – Dan Short – Double Haul Outdoors – Trout Spey, Slow Down & Look Around, and Other Helpful Tips
- 4-5pm – Open casting, instruction with presenters, etc
6-9pm – After presentations conclude there will be a short break for cleanup and then we will gather back at the fly shop for food, drinks, giveaways, and more fun.
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!
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.
Brian Chou – Casting Instructor / Thomas & Thomas Pro – Known for his enthusiasm and passion for fly fishing, FFI certified casting instructor Brian Chou comes from a background of guiding and teaching. Through his classes and willingness to share, Brian has inspired countless students to pursue the evolving sport of fly fishing. His technical understanding combined with ability to articulate the relation of rod and fly line design makes him a sought after presenter at events throughout the country. A respected industry consultant and creative fly tier with a functional yet traditional approach, Brian’s patterns are used worldwide. Residing in Portland, OR with his family, he spends the majority of his fishing time swinging flies with his double handers. Over the years, Brian has made many trips to various parts of Montana to fish and ski with his group of local buddies, but this will be his first time hanging out in West Yellowstone, and we’re looking forward to it!
Matt Klara – Big Sky Anglers – 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.
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. 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.
Dan Short – Double Haul Outdoors, Nautilus Reels and Douglas Fly Rods Rep – Hailing from the wilds of northern Idaho, and now residing in bustling Ovando, MT, Dan Short is simply one of the friendliest people in the fly fishing biz. He cut his teeth guiding the Flathead system for years before shifting his focus towards representing some of the coolest brands out there (Nautilus Reels, Stripn’ Fly Wear, Rising Nets, Douglas Rods, and NZ Strike Indicators to name a few). He recalls his grandfather owning some sort of two-handed rod back in the day, but didn’t truly come to appreciate the way of the Spey until about 9 years ago when a nasty shoulder injury threatened to end his streamer chucking ways. Two handed rods and Spey casting were the thing that got him back on the water, but like many of us, the pace of the fishing and style of casting grabbed his soul. His Spey Mantra is “Slow Down and Look Around”, which is great advice in both fishing and every day life!