Disparate Pirates of the Rockies and Mountain West

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Rivaled only by the rainbow trout for the greatest number of distinct subspecies, the cutthroat trout of the American West provides the adventurous trout angler a unique challenge.  A challenge I must say that I’ve not yet tackled. But still with 14 recognized sub-species or strains, the cutthroat trout remains one of the great angling challenges in the American West.  I’ve been lucky enough to catch four of those subspecies but will likely never see them all. On the other hand, Cutthroat trout, Oncoryhnchus clarki make for great reading as well as angling.  Along with the rainbow trout, they are the “native” trout of the American West.  Surprisingly, the cutthroat trout was also the first North American trout described by Europeans.  In 1541, Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado recorded seeing trout in the Pecos River near Santa Fe, New Mexico. These were most likely Rio Grande cutthroat trout (O. c. virginalis).  The Rio Grande cutthroat is the southern-most variety of cutthroat and has a stable but small foothold in the mountains around Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This is one I haven’t tried for yet.

Continue reading → Disparate Pirates of the Rockies and Mountain West


Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

How many kinds of trout pine to run away and join the circus? All kinds…although not all individuals and not all at once. The “circus,” is, of course, the sea, where sea-horses cavort and clownfish amaze. But we’ll focus on one kind: Oncorhynchus Mykiss, the fish that conquered the world–the unquenchable Rainbow.

Figure 1–Steelhead

Rainbow trout spawn in the spring–roughly April/May, although it’s said that “spring” can start as early as January on some rivers. They can share streams with browns easily as long as there’s sufficient food supply, because their need for prime spawning water occurs at a completely different time of year.

This holds true of steelhead too–which are, of course, rainbows who have heeded the anadromous call. It’s a springtime gig, period. Even in the Southern Hemisphere, such as in New Zealand, it’s a springtime party–August to November down there.

Continue reading → Vagabonds

The Woolly Bugger and I. Can you dig it?

Guest Blogger: Justin Aldrich, avid fly tyer and J. Stockard customer

(We started as rivals, now we are friends….very close and always together friends.)

The good all started with my “Matuka Bugger.”

The classic pattern “Woolly Bugger”, and a few of my Bugger Variants, (Matuka Bugger, Deer Head Bugger, Articulated Bugger, Soft Hackle Bugger, just Bugger style flies.), has turned this Fly Fisherman into a statistic. I am now just one of the MILLIONS of Fly Anglers for whom the Woolly Bugger has accounted for many many fish and fun filled trips. (I’m a firm believer that the beauty that lies in this pattern comes from its simplicity to tie and use on the water.)

The Bugger, my “Matuka Bugger” to be more exact, landed me my FOUR biggest Trout. All earlier on in 2015, and they were back to back to back. ….to back. (On my trusty 3wt and Click & Pawl reel I might add.Lol. What a ride.)Those four Trout on that trip that year still stand as my personal bests.

The story starts in Febuary 2015, while the “Streamer craze” that year was still going strong. So many Trout all through Winter were being taken on Streamers all throughout the United States.

I was riding with a buddy to the Stream, going through a drive thru, amped up as usual, and going over our plan of attack. Coincidentally I was telling my friend how I had tied a few Woolly Buggers to use this trip. I said coincidentally because I also included in telling him that I had no idea why I had tied them. Why I was going to try and produce with them yet again since I had used them several times before, especially in the start of my Fly Fishing journey, and have failed miserably each time.

Continue reading → The Woolly Bugger and I. Can you dig it?