Fly Fishing Report Steve Hollensed Missoula Montana

| April 27, 2011

Report Courtesy of Captain Steve Hollensed –

Captain Steve Hollensed
Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide
FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor

Summary of Hosted Trip to Blue Damsel Lodge, Missoula Montana, April 10-14
I hosted a small but enthusiastic group this month to the Orvis Endorsed Blue Damsel Lodge in hopes of hitting a stonefly hatch which was reputed to produce some awesome dry fly fishing on the Bitterroot River. Our hopes were to find the Skwalas ( a medium sized, olive colored stonefly) in full hatch, find pre-runoff water that was low and clear, and find uncrowded conditions on some of Montana’s most fabled water.

We found all of these things and much more.

Day 1 involved fishing the beautiful Big Blackfoot River with big streamers cast to the bank and structure. We caught cutts, bows, browns, all day with a couple of nice bull trout thrown in. When you hook one of these fish you will understand why they are called “bull” trout! We did not see another angler all day on our 13 mile float.

Day 2 and 3 involved fishing mostly big Skwala dries on the Bitterroot, another gorgeous river. We fished two different sections each day, so for the entire trip we never fished the same water twice. We fished the dries as close as we could to the bank. These fish were hungry…I am sure these were the first flies they had seen in awhile. The takes were not “sips”, they were very aggressive strikes on top…exciting to say the least. Cutts, bows, and browns were found on the Bitterroot. We saw a few other boats but not many at all.

All fishing was drift boat fishing with extremely professional Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing guides. Shores lunches were tasty and plentiful. The lodge had their own drivers in new vans to take us to and from the fishing and to and from the airport. Everything was easy.

The lodge, a three story log building, was perfect in every way…exceptionally beautiful, comfortable, western, and luxurious. The food was…indescribable. Pork Loin, Leg of Lamb, Cornish Hen, with salads and deserts and more to die for. As stellar as the fishing was, the evening meal at the lodge always seemed to add a degree or two of excellence to the day.

The Montana spring weather was pleasant… lows around freezing with most fishing done with temps in the high 40’s and mid 50’s range. With the low humidity and proper clothing it was very comfortable. One afternoon got into the 60’s with a warm spring feeling.

This trip will be a repeat…we will go on the same approximate date. I will be announcing the exact date and details sometime early next fall.

I have put together an album of the trip on my facebook page…Flywater Angling Adventures.

Summary of Casting Instructor Course, Spirit of the West Resort, April 1-3
Twelve students were on hand for the weekend to learn more about the Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor Certification Program. And learn they did…the students learned about casting and the teaching of casting. The course reviewed the basics of casting mechanics, how to make and teach a wide variety of specific casts, and good teaching methodologies in general.

A few other notes on fly fishing events
Our April 30 Loop Lab 101 is full and sold out.
Rob Woodruff’s “Entomology for Fly Fishers” is May 14 & 15
Rob Woodruff’s & Doc Thompson’s “Trout Lab” is June 4 & 5
Chuck Easterling may have a few slots left in a Continuing Ed class for Certified Instructors in Mtn. Home Arkansas. Emphasis is on distance casting. June 10-12.

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Category: Events, Fishing Reports

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