Day Trip – Gardner River

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

You can thank Johnson Gardner, 1830’s fur trapper for the name of the Gardner River. It is one of my favorite streams in Yellowstone. I’ve written about it before. We are having a different kind of year out here in Montana. Streams went into runoff in fits and starts in late May but now its mid-June and we’re on the downside of the curve.

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Three Stones for the River

Guest blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT

Brook's Montana Stone Classic tie with synthetic yarn and without herl
Brook’s Montana Stone
Classic tie with synthetic yarn and without herl

Large stoneflies (Plecoptera) abound on our western trout and steelhead rivers. The number of stonefly patterns available to the angler is large. There’s a lot to choose from, both adults and nymphs. Clearly nymph patterns are the most important as they are year round food for the fish. Despite the wide variety of stonefly nymph patterns out there, in my mind there are just three that should be in every angler’s fly box on a western river. They can be tied with different sizes and variations to suit conditions as well as different stoneflies. They are basic, simple, and effective patterns regardless of variation, anywhere stoneflies are found. They can be fished year round.

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Day Trips

day trip 1- day trips start before first light
Day Trips Start Before First Light

Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Since I actually don’t live on a river anymore (I did live on a lake on the Coosa River in Alabama for 12 years), I can’t pop down to the stream for an hour or so in the morning or evening. I’ve got to make a day trip to go fishing. When relatives or visitors come for a week or two, we’ll make an overnight somewhere to save the hassle of a day trip and get more hours on our favorite waters. But by and large, most of my fishing from March through November is just a long string of day trips to my favorite rivers. Day trips don’t require a lot of planning or preparation. Indeed, different rivers or lakes, different seasons and weather may require some adjustments in fly boxes, fly rods, and clothing, but over the course of the season, these adjustments are made much like the audible in football. Wake up, survey the situation, make a decision on the destination, and grab the right gear and go.

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