2011 Upper Clark Fork Project Update

It’s been an exciting spring on the Upper Clark Fork. The Clark Fork Coalition and Trout Unlimited each hired additional staff to work specifically on restoring priority tributaries in the upper basin—so a big welcome is due to Andy Fischer of CFC and Casey Hackathorn of TU. 

Winter has been holding on a little longer this year across western Montana, and the snow just keeps on falling. But the cold hasn’t kept CFC staff from hitting the field to work on dozens of projects in the upper river. Here’s a quick overview on tributaries receiving funding through The Orvis Commitment:

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Branching Out in Greater Yellowstone

The Madison River, The Henry’s Fork, The Firehole River: blue ribbon trout waters of legendary stature that are on every fly fisher’s “bucket list.” For years, local guides have been taking folks to these incredible rivers to partake of the gifts these waters offer up every season. However, there are numerous other options available to anglers who travel to Yellowstone Country. So let’s talk about a couple of these.

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A Hatch that Doesn’t Match

Like most places in the Rockies, Utah has more water than we know what to do with right now. If it gets warm fast, the largest urban areas in the state will face mudslides and serious flooding. As a result, water managers are dumping as much water as they can from all of the reservoirs, . . .

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Tuesday Tip: Which One Fly Rod Should I Bring?


Summertime on the Kootenai calls for a fast-action 5-weight to beat the wind.

photo by Tim Linehan

If you only want to bring one rod on your upcoming trip to the Rocky Mountains the first thing to consider is what time of year you’ll be traveling.

During the early season in the Rockies, water conditions and weather can vary greatly from day to day, so versatility is most important when you’re considering rod weight. For this reason alone, a relatively stiff 6-weight is your best bet and will cover all bases and handle most techniques from deep-water nymphing with weight and indicators to streamers or early season dry-fly fishing. And it’s not. . .

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The Grassett Deep Flats Bunny

Grassett with a seatrout

Capt. Rick Grassett’s brother, Kirk, with a seatrout that fell to the Deep Flats Bunny.

photo courtesy Rick Grassett

As I drifted over a deep grass flat in the shadow of John Ringling’s Ca’ d’Zan mansion on Sarasota Bay, I stripped my fly next to my flats skiff, mesmerized by the pattern’s wiggle. In an instant, there was a flash, as a fat 22-inch seatrout inhaled the fly and my fly line came tight. Not only did my new fly. . .

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Spring Creeks and Strike Indicators

Mike Heck

The author with a nice rainbow from a Pennsylvania spring creek.

photo courtesy Mike Heck

I guide a lot of fly-fishing trips every year.  But until a couple weeks ago, I’d never had clients ask the same question four times in three trips.  Our Eastern Pennsylvania spring creeks can be some of the most difficult to fly fish, and they have a reputation for extra-wary trout.  So, as we were gearing up, several different anglers asked trepidatiously, “Can I use strike indicators”?  They seemed. . .

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Pattern Your Shotgun for Turkey Season

Every turkey hunter gets excited about the upcoming season as soon as they see birds strutting out in the fields. So we start doing a little scouting to find some turkey tracks and fresh scratchings, and this gets us even more psyched for opening day. Most of us will check out our old gear and maybe break out some calls and start to practice our calling a bit. Some will get some new gear and look at new guns. We try to get every advantage we can, including buying specialized turkey loads and new extra full chokes. It’s all part of the fun of turkey fever.

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Podcast: Five Mistakes Beginning And Experienced Shooters Make

In this podcast I sit down with Orvis shooting instructor, Pete Kutzer to review mistakes made by beginners and then mistakes made by more experiences shooters.

When It comes to mistakes, I am an expert. I know I learned a lot in this episode. I think you will learn a lot about how to improve your own shooting, too, no matter what experience level you are.

Listen to the podcast by clicking the READ MORE link below.

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Pike in the Last Frontier

Thinking of Alaskan fishing brings to mind images of sockeye salmon jumping up Brooks Falls, the powerful brown bear, bald eagles, and snowcapped mountain ranges seemingly touching the skies. What I found on my adventure to Western Alaska near the Yukon River and the Bering Sea was quite different: the land was flat, water was muddy, and no bears were in sight. We landed at. . .

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Tuesday Tip: The Roll Cast

In our last lesson, we discussed how to add line during the cast. But what do you do when you can’t make an overhead cast because there’s no room for a backcast? In many situations, bushes, parked cars, or even people make it impossible to throw the line behind you. That’s when you need to break out the roll cast. . .

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