Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide | Reflections – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide | Reflections

I had the opportunity to do some guiding, here around Bozeman, this past week for the first time in 2016. Typically, I spend most of late April and May guiding many of my long term clients on the Missouri River near Craig this time of year. Something had to give this year as it has become too hard to be away from my family and our Bozeman fly shop for extended periods of time. So, with some misgivings, I decided that this was the year to walk away from those spring trips on the Missouri and stick closer to home for a change.

The issue with trying to guide around Bozeman this time of year has to do with the water conditions. This is the start of the spring melt and about the only guaranty out there is that the water will be different tomorrow, everyday. Although it is starting to look pretty tough out there now, things were great just a few days ago and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have spent time on the water with a handful of awesome folks and become reacquainted with why Bozeman is such an awesome place to fly-fish.

The Yellowstone River was my focus as the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch was in full swing and the river cleared dramatically with last week’s cold temperatures. Despite some wind, clear skies, and a dramatic change in the weather, the fish were happily eating bugs in back eddies and along the banks during the early parts of the week. The river started to come up once again on Wednesday and will most likely be in bad shape for several weeks now, so it was special to be able to hit it just right for a change.

Lunch on a Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Trip

I am going into my 15th year of guiding fly fishers in Southwest Montana this year. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for that long, to be honest. There is something inexplicably exciting and peaceful about settling into the rowers seat, staring at the water ahead, and wondering if the fish will be hungry with every pull on the oar.

Sure, I get “burned out” at times, but this week was special for me as I rowed down Paradise Valley without another boat in sight for hours on end. I don’t know how many days like that I will have again as I know now that they don’t happen everyday or every year. The hope is that everyday is unique and memorable, but the reality is some just mean more than others. This week was memorable for me – more so than any other first week of May – and I am grateful to have been able to share some amazing moments on the water with some very special people.