Rooster's Montana Fly Fishing Blog and River Reports
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Git yer elk yet?
11/29/09 @ 09:36:09 am, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 162 words   English (US)

Yessir. I did. Not a huge bull. No big photo safari. I didnt call one in and shoot him with a bow either (my preferred situation). However we did have a great spot&stalk hunt in which an old friend of mine and I each put a big old cow elk in the freezer. That pretty much does it for big game season for me. As far as table fare is concerned, it just doesn’t get too much better. Now its time to get these couch potato labradors out in the wheat country of Montana to chase some roosters. I cant wait.

In other news - It looks like R.A. Beattie and Simms have some good footage from their stay at The Stonefly this August up on the Simms website - check it out here Simms Montana Part 1.

Whats next? Log books, Fly tyin’, Trade Shows, Mexico and Steelhead season. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Thanks for reading.

Recovery time....
11/19/09 @ 06:50:00 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 209 words   English (US)

It’s hard to believe the summer is behind us, but it sure is. At first glance, the dust seems to have settled around here. However, from the inside looking out - this time of year is quite a bit busier than you might think!
There are tarpon fishing trips to Costa Rica - where we hooked around 25 of these silver bullets….

A small dose of the swine flu kept me off the water down there for about half the trip - but I was lucky enough to tangle with a handful of BIG tarpon.

And then of course, there is the whitetail rut. After 8 or 9 visits to my treestand, and several great opportunites at nice bucks, I couldnt pass on this one. He is going to be a nice addition to the Roost when the taxidermist gets done with him - not to mention the venison sausage!

We still have about 10 days left to find a couple elk. If my legs dont quit on me, I will be spending more time up in the high country. What a great time of year.

Thanks again to all of our guests this summer. Looking back - we sure made a good run at it this year!

Thanks for reading -

Crawlers for sale.....
10/10/09 @ 11:51:05 am, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 305 words   English (US)

A few times a summer guests ask me how long I have been in this business. My answer usually varies from 15 to 20 years (counting Alaska, Washington, Panama and Montana) - but I just found out I have been mistaken.
If you check out this photo, from circa 1980 in Winchendon, MA - you will see that I actually have been in the outfitting business for quite some time. Maybe it was the whiskey, but apparently I had forgotten about my first venture in the outfitting business - selling nightcrawlers. Thanks for the photo sister Sue.

Most of our guests this summer got to know our latest addition - Willy the chocolate lab. I am pleased to annouce that he is well on his way to becoming more than a potlicking couch potato. He went on his first waterfowl hunt last weekend, and passed with flying colors, retrieving a big old goose for his first retrieve. He sat still in the blind, and for the most part payed pretty close attention.

As for the fall fishing - there have been a few big fish to hand lately - one of the nicer ones that I have netted came from the Big Hole River last week with Kent and Joel. After this cold snap I expect to see a few more of these!

What a great time of year. Pheasant hunting this afternoon with my dogs, Brown trout on the Big Hole in the morning, and checking tree stands for the Whitetail season - there is NO shortage of things to do around here. However - no, I haven’t “got my elk yet". (one of the more common greetings heard on the main street of Twin Bridges in the fall…..)

Thanks for reading. Watch for our new video on the home page in the next couple days.

Changing of the seasons
09/15/09 @ 02:45:29 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 170 words   English (US)

There is no doubt about it, fall is here. I spent last evening up on a ridge above Twin Bridges listening to a bull elk bugling (and not coming to my calls), in fact I could see the Madison, Jefferson and Ruby Rivers from my vantage point. What a great hunt.
So this morning we decided it was staff appreciation day, and we brought Eric the Chef, Ke’lah the general saint and office manager, and Sue our housekeeper down to the Spring Creek to try their luck on the smarter than average big browns that live in there.
Well, it didn’t take Eric long to land his biggest brown ever (first cast)…

Ke’lah got in on the action after missing a few opportunities as well….

As for Sue, well the big one got away!
Here is to a great fall for everyone, whether it is chasing big browns, big elk, or whitetails in the river bottoms - its a great time to be in Montana!

Thanks for reading -

Start 'em young
08/31/09 @ 09:45:55 am, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 177 words   English (US)

During a time when “lipstick” and “makeup” seem to occupy my daughters brain more than fishing and other “boy stuff” - I may have turned a corner as a father with her the other day when she came into the shop and we were tying flies. It immediately struck a nerve with her, as you can see from the look on her face.
Looks like we may have a new custom tyer on our hands.

In other news, we have been nominated in a contest sponsored by NBC and AMEX as a small business spotlighted by our guests - here is the link. Please check it out, register and endorse The Stonelfy Inn and Outfitters so we give The Holland Peanut Factory a run for their money! It is important to register with them first - I know its a bit of a pain - but what isn’t these days??

Thansk again for reading - we are prepping for a super busy September and some great fall fishing. More photos and reports coming soon!

Dan “Rooster” Leavens

Somebody's watchin'.....
08/21/09 @ 06:41:10 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 159 words   English (US)

You ever get that feeling? Someone, or something is watching??? Out in this country, it’s usually true! Just ask the Walker brothers, who were pretty focused on watching their hoppers float down the river until I noticed bullwinkle about 10 yards to our right! He even stuck around long enough for a couple photos….

On another note, sometimes you may be being watched by an “unfriendly". Luckily for me and my flip flopped feet, this guys tail didnt have the rattles on the end. If you know me at all, you can imagine how high I jumped when I stepped on this bull snake. We sent him on his way unharmed, which is not normal protocol for most serpents around my boat.

Fishing remains really, really good in these parts right now. Hoppers, Hoppers, and more hoppers.
Its a good time to be a fishing guide in Montana. Snakes and all.

Thanks for reading, see you on the water!

Lady Luck will do it every time....
08/14/09 @ 02:02:19 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 217 words   English (US)

We just finished up a few days of filming our new promo video with RA Beattie and Joey Macomber. Trying to get the full effect on film (the bite, the strike, the fight and the photo) can be quite chellenging. So, what do we do? Go after the biggest fish we could find, of course…. After several attempts by several anglers, a certain fish was really starting to get on our nerves. Naturally, I brought in one of the luckiest anglers I know of - my wife - and let him try to slip by her and a little bit of lady luck.
You will have to wait for the video to see it all go down, but here is a snapshot of that fish.

We put over 72″ of fish on film that day, which might not sound like much - unless you divide it by 3. These guys are real pro’s when it comes to filming and were a blast to work with. Joey even found his biggest brown to date on the end of his line later that day.
Summer is cranking along here, interrupted daily by thunderstorms - which dont do much for the hopper fishing unfortunately. Have to make hay when the sun shines - literally!

Thanks for reading, keep the comments coming.

Lots of laughs.....
07/30/09 @ 12:13:23 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 213 words   English (US)

After a couple crazy weeks of Dayna & McCall being gone, it was time to load up the family - Willie the new dog included, and head to the greatest fishin’ hole on earth. (At least thats McCalls name for it).
A nice breezy summer afternoon made for some great hopper action. Pretty safe to say that the fish are now not just looking for hoppers, they are eating them with wreckless abandon.

Plenty of this going on almost everywhere you looked…..

So after catching some hoppers, and feeding the fish, and playing fetch with Willie, McCall decided she wants to cast the line without dads help. Thats Wille keeping watch for those of you that have not met him yet. He is our latest addition to the herd.

Well, sure enough we get a fish to eat the fly, and Willie decided to help McCall bring him on in…..

A quick group photo and it was time for more (with Willie on a leash).

What a day. I need a few more of those. The last couple weeks have been great fishing for everyone, with all of our rivers in absolute prime shape. It wont be too long and the elk will be bugling!

Thanks for reading, see you on the river.

Changing tactics....
07/22/09 @ 04:07:22 pm, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 145 words   English (US)

Things are changing around here pretty fast. The high water days of spring are behind us now. As of the last few days, we are in-between hatches and right on the edge of the terrestrial bite turning on. There are a few fish around willing to cooperate, certain banks on certain days on certain rivers…. you get the drift. It’s also been pretty interesting ono teh Spring Creek these days. The fish in that clear water are SUPER spooky, but can be tricked on occasion, today NOT being one of those days. With 10 hookups and zero to hand by 2 oclock, we decided it was time to find some shade and enjoy a cold one. A good choice, by any standard.
Here is a guides eye view of some pretty tough fish…

More to come as hopper season winds up!
Until then ….. let ‘em eat it!

equal opportunity fishing.......
07/14/09 @ 10:28:13 am, Categories: 2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles, 219 words   English (US)

Someone had pointed out lately that there are “other” fish around here than huge brown trout. How about a big old bow to cover that category?

Ian Davis and Dave paying a little respect to the ‘bows of Southwest Montana.
As we are hovering around the hump day of our season, it’s interesting to watch the styles and flies of the day change. The days of tying on a stonefly nymph and a random beadhead are behind us for a little while. The fish are getting a bit more selective as the water drops. The terrestrial game is in its infant stages, with some zones of the river producing some pretty remarkable hopper and beetle action in the afternoons. It wont be long and we will be feeding the fish foam on a more regular basis.
In the mean time, you are starting to get your moneys worth out of your guide - tapping into the knowledge of the bugs (or lack of them at times), and the holding water the fish will be in.
Its a great time to be a guide in Montana - especially with the water flows and the recent cloudy weather.

As of today its a few days in the office for Rooster - time to let the sunburnt ears turn a different color.


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2009 - Twin Bridges Fly Fishing Chronicles