Category Archives: News & Current Events

Unique Weather Pattern in Bozeman

Unique Weather Pattern in Bozeman

On rare days during the winter months in Bozeman, we get a unique weather pattern that creates dense fog in the Gallatin Valley. It usually sets up to be just below the elevation of our home and this morning “Drone Boy” went out for a spin up to 400 Ft. to capture the art on display. The 3” of fresh powder from last night makes for a great winter wonderland scene.

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More to follow as I work on the video footage.

Plan your trips,

T.O.

PS: I’ve also attached two shots from last week that feature panoramic shots from our deck of a very special sunrise and sunset. We also have a unique pattern in December that creates the intense early morning and late afternoon colors due to the low sun angle in the south, the mountains and low elevation-textured clouds. These photos were taken with my i-phone.

Conclusion to the 2017 Fall Field Campaign

Conclusion To The 2017 Fall Field Campaign

It was a very special trip for Ron Burnside, Trevor Covich and me joining Captain Marty Authement to hunt in the remote Louisiana Marshes as we closed out the Fall campaign for exceptional migratory fish. We had unseasonably warm weather (temps in the high 70’s) with light winds and no rain for all 4 days, which enabled us to sight fish for huge Redfish, Black Drum, Sea Trout and Sheep Head.

Conclusion To The 2017 Fall Field Campaign

Ron summed it up best when he commented on his first trip to fish in the bayou… Continue reading »

New York – Day #4 – 2017 Fall Field Campaign

Another very cold Saturday here in Rochester NY (near historic record lows for the day) as we celebrated Family day at Jim Metcalf’s Lodge on Little Sandy Creek.  Many thanks to Jim and his family for all the work and cooking they do to make for a warm barbeque gathering in spite of the temps which didn’t get above freezing all day.  See photo of ice forming on the submerged log.

There were some special fish landed (for the birthday girl) as well as a few exceptional migratory fish.  I managed to land several nice Brown Trout but the fish of the day for me was a crimson/magenta colored Rainbow.  Jay managed to hook a monster fish that we initially thought was Brownzilla’s significant other but it turned out to be a relatively fresh Chinook Salmon in the 20-pound range.  When he set the hook, the fish created a massive boil on the water’s surface with its broom-like tail.  At that moment, I looked at Jay and the expression on his face was “Holy S_ _ T.”

I ran for the net and after a significant fight, we didn’t get a look at the fish until just before it swam into the net (just about knocking Hip Boy into the river).  The canine teeth on this fish were impressive and we made sure to stay away from the business end of this late migratory beast.  For some reason, it was trying to bite me the entire time I was taking close up portraits.  The word on the river (amongst all species) must be out that I’m here so get even if you have the opportunity.

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Another day today hunting for the elusive monster brown.  The good news is that we will be above freezing all day.

T.O.

2017 Fall Field Campaign – Brownzilla!!!

From the measurement and fishing guy…   What are the chances???

Yesterday we touched on record lows here in Rochester NY as the Fall Field Campaign continued.  The temperatures never got above freezing and the winds made the chill very biting (more so than the fish) but Jay Peck and I still managed to find an area to sight fish for some aggressive spawning trout. My fish of the day was a really colorful 15 pound male and Jay also netted a very plump hen in the 12 pound range.

Unlike fishing in Yellowstone National Park where the air temps can start out in the single digits, the water in the Madison River tends to be fairly warm compared to Little Sandy Creek in NY.  In the Park, the water is in the upper 40’s and low 50’s but here the water is in the mid to high 30’s.  This means that a fly fisherman spends a considerable amount of the day “chipping” the ice accumulation out of the guides along the fly rod. On the Madison River, a fisherman just needs to dip the rod in the water to remove the ice.  In NY, that only makes the condition worse.

More importantly, we stumbled upon Brownzilla (again) and managed to get some excellent close up portraits.  As we were concluding the day, we went to Jim Metcalf’s adult playground and just as we arrived his friend John was about to net a very large Hen.  Turns out, it was the same fish that Jay had visit his net 48 hours earlier a half mile downstream! 

So what are the odds that this epic outlier would be at Jim’s and caught just as Jay and I were arriving on the scene?  A million to one?  Two Million to one?  All I know is that the sun came out just in time for me to capture some terrific close up photos.  See attached.  Now it’s official that the largest Brown trout landed in this region happened in Jim’s back yard.  Very fitting.

What a privilege it was to see up close, touch and photograph this amazing animal. On the drive back to the shop, Jay and I were trying to estimate the fishes age and life’s journey in Lake Ontario.  It’s possible that there may be larger trout migrating out of the Lake to spawn but the chances of catching them on a fly is certainly remote.

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We are still hunting for the 20 pound male and we have a good chance of finding him over the weekend before the campaign sunsets.

Enjoy and more pictures of Brownzilla to follow.

T.O

2017 Fall Field Campaign Update From New York

One word…  EXTRAORDINARY.

I frequently describe my fishing outings as having a “Top Ten Day” which in practice can only really happen 10 times – Right?

Yesterday was one of those days where Jay Peck and I put over 30 fish into his extra large salmon net.  The only thing was that the fish weren’t salmon but they might as well have been.  Quality vs. Quantity was the word for the day as we managed to land the largest Brown Trout in the following classes:

  • 4 at 12 pounds
  • 3 at 13 pounds
  • 4 at 14 pounds
  • 4 at 15 pounds
  • 2 at 16 pounds and
  • 1 at 17 pounds.

ALL MALES!

Little Sandy creek is recruiting some exceptional specimens this year and Jim Metcalf is once again providing the special access.

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Without evidence (aka pictures) most fisherman would not believe these numbers.  Well, this isn’t a fish story.  Attached are some of the shots.  It will take me considerable time to process all the photos and I will get to them over the holidays.

More to follow as we head out for another day (this one being very cold 22 degrees and windy 20 mph swirling winds).

Enjoy,

T.O.

Brownzilla has Landed!

Brownzilla the 24 Lb Beast

Brownzilla the 24 Lb Beast

It finally happened.  Brownzilla made it into Jay Peck’s net today and tipped the scale at just over 24 pounds!  A massive Hen that dwarfs the 15 pounder Male that I landed (see attached) but we now know where the big fish are staging and tomorrow, we will be on the hunt for the 20+ pound male that has been eyeing her.

Impressive 15 Pound Male

Impressive 15 Pound Male

The water was high and muddy (just the way we like it) and the weather is getting colder which means that a new wave of fish should be arriving later this week.

More photos to follow.

T.O.

Conclusion of the 2017 Fall Field Campaign in Yellowstone

The Fall Field Campaign finished up in Yellowstone with an abrupt overnight change from Fall to Winter.  The Snow came in heavy but it didn’t affect the fishing, just the fisherman as we started out the day fishing in 16 degree temps, swirling wind and snow.  My body managed to stay warm (with 5 layers of high tech clothing) but my hands took a beating as the guides in the fly rods were constantly handicapped with ice.  Just try tying on a size 18 CDC Emerger with frozen digits.

The fish were nothing short of amazing this season with everyone consistently landing big Browns between 21 and 23 inches.  The close up “fish portraits” I was able to capture over the past three weeks are definitely some of my best ever (see attached from the last two days).

As I was leaving Wednesday evening, I encountered a massive buffalo heard migrating down the road which shut down traffic for about 15 minutes.  Many of the largest beasts passed within 3 feet of the Roadtrek and fortunately, none were pissed off enough to headbutt the vehicle with their horns.

The Fall Field Campaign continues next week with fishing on Little Sandy Creek in Hamlin NY.  Early reports are that the migratory Brown Tout have arrived and they are massive.  This could be my best chance to land the 20-pound male.  Jay Peck and I will be hunting and I will forward reports with pics of course.

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Enjoy and Plan your trips,

T.O.

Contrasting Seasons

Thought you would enjoy the contrasting colors of the “secret fishing spot” in early June (GREEN) and in late October (GOLDEN BROWN).

Secret Spot in Spring

Secret Spot in Spring

Secret Spot in Fall

Secret Spot in Fall

Plan your trips…

T.O.

2017 Fall Field Campaign – Yellowstone Day 4

Another grand day out in Yellowstone as Katie and Sarah traveled down to join the party (the smiles are priceless).  Once again, the fish were on as we put over 20 fish into the net but a few of them had the rare-intense spawning colors that made them truly stand out.  For the 4th straight day with the sun out and clear skies, we were able to sight fish all day trying to coax the largest fish to take our fly.

These were definitely some of the most impressive fish caught during the Fall Field Campaign.  Three more days this week to close out the season in the Park.  Still hunting for Mr. Brownzilla and will provide an update at the end of this week if he makes it into my net.

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Enjoy the photos and plan your trips.

 

T.O.

Yellowstone Day 03 – The Most Beautiful Trout

The most beautiful trout I’ve ever seen…

The most beautiful trout I’ve ever seen…

The most beautiful trout I’ve ever seen…

What a day…  The weather was perfect AGAIN (sunny, a warm 48 degrees, no wind, no people – just elk, trout and gin clear water).  If it’s possible to have the most gratifying and frustrating day fishing all in the same 8 hours, well that’s what today was.  I landed 21 spectacular fish (all over 18” and up to 7 pounds) but I missed at least 30   :-0  More than 10 fish broke me off and I saw about half of them as they went airborne and they were really big.  Mid-day I switched over to a slightly heavier 4 X leader to increase the tippet strength about a pound but it didn’t seem to help.  These fish are HOT!

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The spawning colors are the most vivid I’ve ever seen and the fish are by far the healthiest in the 17 years that we’ve been fishing the secret spot.  It will take me a week to process all the photos but here are a few that defined the grand day out.

Enjoy and plan your trips.

T.O.