Why can’t guides advertise in Montana. We need change. (Things need to change in Montana)

Things in this country are being over-regulated and this is just one more. 


As you may or may not know, I am a guide in Montana. I guide under several outfitters in the Montana Region. I have been fly fishing my whole life… (since I was 5 or so). I just starting guiding two years ago and love it. I am as busy as I want to be and the biggest reason for that is because of my followers. I am very grateful for your support and spreading my posts on social media. Getting the word out there to the masses about how I love fly fishing and how I love people, has made me the guide I am today. I have had many clients book me through my outfitter because of an article I wrote, a video I was in, or something they saw on social media about me. I have met the most amazing people because of it and continue to gain unbelievable relationships.  So first off, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So with me stating all of this, let me go into something a little deeper, something I need your help and/or advice on.


So recently, I found out the following… and man does it make me mad. I want to fight this for the guides out there that are working there butts off for the clients we pour into on a daily basis.

This is straight from this PDF form which you can find here: http://foam-mt.org/downloads/FOAMLINEDecember2014.pdf

“Client solicitation rules allow only outfitters to advertise to
the general public when seeking clients and require an outfitter’s
registered business or personal name and outfitter license number
in the ad. Guides may only advertise their services to outfitters, not
the general public. When advertising to outfitters in public media
(newspapers, magazines, websites, e-newsletters, Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), guides “shall include a clear and conspicuous
disclaimer that advises the general public that the advertisement
is for outfitters only, not the general public.” And, a guide may
only make agreements with clients concerning monetary consideration
or services offered, or collect fees from clients, with the express
consent of the supervising outfitter.” (See the following article for
updated information regarding FWP commercial rules and guide fee

Two new rules allow outfitters to “enter into an arrangement
with a person whereby the clients are referred to the outfitter,
but the outfitter is accountable to the board for the appearance and
propriety of all such advertising and for all interactions between the
other person and the clients and potential clients” and “to authorize
any person to schedule trips, provide clients with information regarding
refunds and services, receive client fees on behalf of the
outfitter, secure a guide who is employed by of with whom the
outfitter has an existing contractual relationship, and take other
steps to establish contracts for services, as long as these activities
are at the direction of the outfitter and as long as terms and
conditions of the contracts are directly between the outfitter and the

These two rules attempt to clarify long-term business
standards – third party client solicitation via advertising and socalled
“booking agent” capabilities. FOAM believes clear advertising
and client booking guidelines will encourage compliance, stop
guides advertising for – and illegally serving – clients not referred to
them by outfitters, and curtail guide “outfitter shopping” – referring
clients to the outfitter willing to pay the highest guide fee. At the
same time, outfitters can authorize “any person” to book clients and
assign guides, simplifying and streamlining good business while
establishing a direct line of control starting with the outfitter.
Re unlicensed outfitter assistants (OA’s), a new rule sets
their conduct standards equivalent to those of a licensed guide,
requires OA’s using watercraft to display boat stickers showing the
employing or contracting outfitter’s license number, charges a $25
fee for an OA application, and requires outfitters using OA’s to
include them in logs and inform clients that the OA is not licensed
and whether or not the OA has first aid certification.”

Read the whole set of rules at:  http://foam-mt.org/downloads/FOAMLINEDecember2014.pdf


I love the outfitters I work for but there is a problem… 

When I first started out as a guide my outfitter booked me 1 client for the whole season that came from his own efforts. The other clients I was able to guide came from social media, my blog, and videos that directed them to book me through my outfitter.

If it wasn’t for my own efforts I would have had a very slow summer and wouldn’t have been able to provide for my family. That doesn’t seem fair and is something that needs to be changed.

Once a client has a great experience with you, they want to keep booking you year after year. I hear it all the time. “Matt, who do I need to book through this year to get a trip on the river with you?” So with this rule, I will be asked this question more and more instead of them just seeing it on my blog or website. Am I even allowed to tell people where to book?? Can I hand out a business card? I am a guide but you don’t want me to tell anybody I am a guide?? Only to the outfitters? How does this even make sense?

I have never heard of any other profession where you work so hard and aren’t able to direct business your way for your efforts. The whole thing seems wrong and makes me wonder how these rules even passed.

Outfitter’s don’t pay for our license, our personal insurance, our boats, fly rods, paddles, nets, waders, etc…… but “we” can’t advertise that we are guides?? People book trips for their experience and in my opinion the guides are the biggest part of that because that is who they spend 90% of their time with.

I know as a consumer I love the states where guides don’t have these outfitting laws. It’s much easier and more fun doing research about the person you will fish with for that day. Instead of booking with an outfitter and having no idea the quality of guide you are going to get, or what kind of personality the guy/gal will have.

With all this said I want you to know I love outfitters, I think they are completely necessary and I mean no disrespect to them. I love the outfitters that I am signed with, but having so many other guides under each outfitter… it can be quite the challenge for them to keep all of our schedules full. I just don’t see why we as guides can’t advertise we are guides. It would work out for everybody.

Why be punished if you are good at marketing?


I come from a 10 year background in real estate and marketing. I’m sure other guides also come from a very successful past career as well.

The first thing they tell you when you get into any career is to network. Networking is the #1 thing that makes your business succeed. If a guide can’t network and spread his name through his own efforts. Then he is forced to depend on someone else’s effort and that is not fair.

It’s so hard not to want to promote yourself. It’s the “American Dream” to start a business and have it be successful.

I never like being a rule breaker and so when I found out this I changed everything right away. I still don’t like the rules and I think things need to be changed but I also want to be respectful of the rules.

I  hope clients and also other guides read this. Please comment and let me know what you think. Your voice on this matters to me and I would love your opinion. 


Flat brimmed hat or Rounded hat for Fly Fishing??? (It does matter and you will catch more fish ;)

Generation Gap


I see this discussion on social media a lot. So let’s talk about this subject and find the root of why people wear a certain type of hat.

My cousin’s (Steven Ladefoged “aka Scummy Steve”) # 1 rule in fly fishing is “If you look good, you fish good)

So there is some truth to this statement even though at first, he made it up, just as a joke.

Be yourself and make sure you feel comfortable in the way you look. If you feel good, your mood changes, and there is something to that when you fish.

What were your hobbies before fly fishing?

Not all of us were born into an Orvis family. You might have not been introduced to fly fishing at age 10 by your cowboy dad. Or your dad that is a big business man that belongs to the golf club or the fishing club.

Different genres develop different looks. So if you weren’t born into a fly fishing family and you were introduced to fly fishing at an older age, you might not know the “correct way to dress.” (There is no correct way to dress by the way ;)


What if your hobbies were skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, long boarding, surfing or any other hobby that has a so called “look” before you got into fly fishing. I have noticed a lot of different looks in fly fishing lately and I think it has to do with this a lot. Fly fishing is growing in popularity and all sorts of different people are finding out how fun it is.

Certain looks in fly fishing that you think are done on purpose to look “cool” could be just the way they have always dressed and now they are fly fishing. So I think it is a trend we will see more and more, now that fly fishing is becoming more main stream.


Pro Snowboarder Austin Leonard

Who do you look up to in the sport or who got you into the sport?

The two questions above are huge parts in the way people dress. Anybody can love and get into fly fishing. You can be a software engineer, pro snowboarder, a CEO, high school kid, custodian, and be an avid fly fisherman.  So who will get someone into fly fishing?? Who knows and that could have a huge impact on the way you dress for the river.

Be less harsh to people that don’t think the same way you do.

The whole point of this post is to get you to think outside of the box. It doesn’t matter how someone dresses as long as they are respecting the sport we love.

If they aren’t respecting the sport we love they might not even know what they are doing wrong. Be kind to people and always assume they don’t know everything. Be the good teacher you remember in school, not the bad one that you wish you could go back in time and punch in the face :).

I hope you liked this post and be yourself out there! It’s fun to see all the different ways people dress out there. Be proud of who you are and rock your style!

majesticquotes.eu_quotes about friendship-15

The 5 Friends To Invite If You’re Wanting An Epic Fly Fishing Trip (Epic friends make for an epic trip)

You’re planning an epic fly fishing trip but there’s only one problem…..

Who do you take???

# 1 – The “Dude”

This is the guy that is unemployed and is always down for an adventure. The one that no matter what happens, the trip will go on, because he doesn’t want to go back to real life. You might need to pay for his meals but it’s worth it…… because  let’s face it he’s The “Dude”


# 2 – “The Drinker”

This one can be tricky. The key is to find someone that is soooooo entertaining and funny when he drinks, but you don’t have to babysit. One that knows when enough is enough but when the fishing is slow, he is cheap entertainment.

The “Drinker”


# 3 - The “Comedian”

This guy is critical depending on how long your fly fishing trip is. He is the one that keeps everybody in good spirits. He is the one that turns a normal trip into an unforgettable trip. When you look back on the trip, it’s not all about the fish, it’s also a lot about the campfire goof off times.

The “Comedian”


# 4 – The “Beard”

That’s the trend right now and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. You must have a guy in your group with a bad ass beard. If you don’t you won’t be seen as “cool” or make any IF4 or F3T films. Make sure you have…..

The “Beard” Guy


# 5 – The “Initiator”

This is the guy that initiates the whole trip because of his addiction. The guy who eats, sleeps, and dreams fly fishing. He is the one that has the whole plan in his head before there is even a plan. He is the….

The “Initiator”


Go out there and plan a fly fishing trip today, plan for tomorrow, or plan for this summer….. and make it an epic one!!

Top 10 Ways You Shouldn’t hold A Trout (Fishing Pictures Gone Bad)

Top 10 ways not to hold trout! For their safety and to make sure you don’t get nasty comments.

# 1- Holding trout sideways in pictures. It just doesn’t look right. Make sure you hold them soft and with a lot of support. 2_Trout Lemme Go! # 2- If you do decide to pose with a fish this small make sure you at least keep your fingers out of it gills. They breathe out of those buddy! spellgold01  # 3-  We understand you are very proud of the fish you just caught but why strangle it??? What did that fish ever do to you??? 110811-conger # 4-  The double gill hold is never good for the fish or for the picture. Remember the fish need their gills to do a lot of things. Protect those things above all! 2013_0625BD # 5- Your not holding the fish that badly but let’s chat about the hair???? You might need to clean up a little before you brag about that fish to your friends! Pixies22+ # 6- It’s never a good idea to hold a fish that is oozing blood all over the place. Even if you plan on eating the fish, take a little time, and clean the fish before your picture. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA # 7- 12 inch fish that are 45 inches away from your body do look a lot bigger. My suggestion is if you want a big fish, catch a big fish, don’t do camera magic. 1978321_10152795106268709_2916510863705955372_o # 8- It’s a great feeling when you catch a double but if the third person with you looks like he might or might not be on crack you might want to Photoshop him out of the photo. 4-20-3 # 9- Every photographer I know makes fun of selective coloring. Which means you take out all of the color in a picture besides one thing. It’s not a cool effect and needs to be a thing of the past.

# 10-  The death grip! It’s not good for the fish or your reputation as a catch and release fisherman. Make sure to hold the trout as careful as possible. deathgrip In all honesty make this hobby fun and hang out with people that  make it fun. Just make sure you are doing the correct things when you hold trout and post a picture. People are always judging so it is better to post a picture that is good for the fish. It is good for the fish and also you. Go have fun out there and catch lot’s of fish!

The purpose for Montana Matt’s Blog and Social Media presence (Fly Fishing needs to be fun)


The reason I am writing this blog is I want you to know the person behind Montana Matt and what I stand for in life, and in fly fishing.

I picked the image above to be seen first on purpose. It is how I feel the fly fishing community could be and hopefully will be.

I first wanted to start a blog to just help the fly fisherman that was just starting or was on the verge of wanting to start. I wanted it to be a place where you could get simple questions answered without feeling intimidated or feeling dumb for asking. Everybody has to start somewhere and I was hoping this would be a great resource for those people.

10338749_10154200813220094_1970250489937416526_nSecond, I wanted to share my life stories. I felt deep in my heart that people struggle just as much as I do about finding a life of purpose. Leaving the ordinary 9 to 5 job and going after something your soul desires. I wanted to share my struggles, my accomplishments, and things I learn along the way in hopes someone else would find the courage to do the same thing.

1403495_10153538305400094_2136543414_oI wanted to be a light in a sometimes dark sport. There is so much drama and name calling on the internet about how people should or shouldn’t fly fish. I wanted a blog that was positive and made you feel good after reading it. I also want you to feel inspired or at least put a smile on your face after reading it.

10353090_10154583874315094_4311924152138408864_nAs a Christian, I wanted to share a little about my faith and how it leads me to do things that sometimes don’t seem or look practical in the way the world says we should do things. It’s okay to question things and I think we sometimes forget that.


I want to be able to share stories about how old and young people can enjoy this sport. You are never too old to go fishing. One of my favorite stories was of the man in the picture below. He is 92 years old and still loves to fly fish. We would put out a chair in the middle of a run for him. He would then cast and cast for a fish. Believe it or not, he caught a lot of fish! I love to blog to spread this kind of inspiration from a guy that doesn’t know how to quit.

10592859_602601513189812_5559019939250279370_nI blog to share stories of the impossible. An avid outdoors man that worked his whole life to someday retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor. To only get Parkinson’s disease and the start of Alzheimer’s. A man who thought he wouldn’t have a day on the water ever again and get the chance because of the love of his nephew letting me know of his dream. Pictured below is Dave with the biggest smile on his face ever. Also a huge trout caught at Monster Lake Ranch that he never thought he would feel in his hands again.

10418371_649735401809756_1874676442901166251_nThis blog has also opened many doors for me as a fly fisherman and a person. I have met some incredible people because of it. I have also been able to be on TV and share my story with others. That wasn’t my main purpose when I started it, but I’m not going to lie, it feels good when you’re in the public and someone says “you’re Montana Matt”. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it sure feels good. I also love when people email and message me about their stories. I love to hear from people and know that they are going for their dreams.

10426763_10154311925280094_1020903290449041673_nI love to show people that fly fishing can be a lot of fun!! You don’t have to go out on the river and be mad at the world. You can go out there and have a blast. Go talk to people. Make new friends. 90% of people on the river are amazing and have one heck of a story to tell you if you are willing to listen. The other 10% we will just keep praying for and know they still have an incredible story but they might be just a little harder to crack. Sometimes they are the ones who need the most love.

1240562_10153255363550094_1546805035_nAbove is a picture of my Grandpa and I fishing together. The other main reason I blog is for my family and friends that don’t live close by. They love following our many adventures and like to show all their friends. I also do it to show my future kids someday. That way when i’m all old and wrinkly I have proof I could actually fish a little.


Thanks for following my life and my blog. I hope this explanation helps a little of why I love to blog so much. I love the support I get and hope to get even more fly fishers into this sport because of a blog post they saw.

I hope for you to catch the biggest fish of your life because of a technique or a bug you saw on one of my blog posts.

I hope to hear your biggest success stories because of feeling encouraged to do something you love as your career.

Never hesitate to contact me if you ever need someone to chat with about life and of course, fishing.

Thanks for your continued support and spreading my blog to your friends and family.

We have a video that is so close to making the IF4 film festival. It’s called “Disconnect”. Follow this link https://www.facebook.com/IF4TOUR and let them know you would love to see it in their line up. It’s a story about disconnecting from normal life as a married couple in a hobby we both love, brings us closer and can do it together. It’s a great one to watch with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. 

Thanks :)

This isn’t the Disconnect video below but is a video I did last year on the Yellowstone River. It’s one of my favorites as it shows incredible scenery of paradise valley.

Top 10 Reasons Why People Should Never Tell You To Quit Fly Fishing!!!! (Fly Fishing is something you shouldn’t quit)

photoTop 10 reasons why people should never tell you to quite fly fishing!

# 1 – If you quit, you might end up like this guy.


# 2- If you don’t have fly fishing in the beautiful outdoors as an escape what else would you do?


# 3- You have to replace fly fishing with another hobby. The scary thing is…. what will it be! (Warcraft??)


# 4- The self esteem you get from being a so called “trout legend” on social media will go away and it will be hard for you to wake up in the morning with a purpose.


# 5- The worst thing that will happen is your best friend will have no one to go with anymore.


# 6-  You will have to substitute all your fishing posts with something else to post about.


# 7- The coolness factor of your flat brimmed hat won’t have that coolness effect without a fishing logo on it.


# 8- The coolness factor of your hat that is to bent won’t have the coolness effect without having a fishing logo on it.


# 9- You won’t have clever ways to get out of work and still be halfway honest.


# 10- Instead of being outside enjoying nature at it’s finest with friends that appreciate the same thing. Now you will have to find new friends that talk about how good they look.


Point of this post is to never quit fly fishing!!! It is something that keeps us feeling alive and in touch with the outdoors. Get someone new into the sport and watch their life change for the better.

Best Places to Ski/Snowboard in Montana (Montana’s Best Places to Ski/Snowboard)

# 1- Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky Snow Report and Conditions: http://bigskyresort.com/the-mountain/snow-report-and-conditions

Big Sky Resort is a 5,800-acre ski resort located in southwestern Montana, an hour south of Bozeman, Montana.

In October 2013, Big Sky Resort became the largest ski resort in the United States by acreage with 5,800 acres and a vertical drop of 4,350 ft. In October 2013, Big Sky Resort acquired the terrain and facilities of Moonlight Basin Resort, a neighboring resort that shared the Northern Exposure of Lone Mountain.

It has some of the best skiing in the country without the lines. Make sure you make it to Big Sky sometime in your lifetime.

# 2- Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana 


Whitefish Mountain Resort Report and Conditions: http://skiwhitefish.com/favorites/snow-report/

Whitefish Mountain Resort is located at The Big Mountain in northwestern Montana, located west of Glacier National Park. It is 4 miles from the town of Whitefish.

Whitefish Mountain Resort currently has 9 chairlifts.

The mountain is separated into three faces. The front side is primarily serviced by the Chair One high speed quad and has the most skiable terrain. Chair 2, which also runs on the front side. The back side has more tree skiing terrain, and additional terrain can be accessed by T-Bar on weekends and during select holiday periods. The western aspect of the mountain contains the Hell Roaring basin. Hell Roaring basin is the most advanced skiing on the mountain with cliffs, vertical chutes, and tight tree skiing. The intermediate Hellfire trail is the longest on the mountain; it runs 3.3 miles.

# 3- Bridger Bowl


Bridger Bowl Report and Conditions: http://bridgerbowl.com/weather/snow-report

Bridger Bowl Resort is near Bozeman, MT. Located north of Bozeman in the Bridger Mountains, Bridger Bowl is a locally owned non-profit ski area. It provides locals with affordable skiing, great terrain, and outstanding snowfall.

Residents of Bozeman, MT are alerted to the arrival of fresh snow by a flashing blue beacon placed atop the Baxter Hotel in downtown Bozeman.

Bridger Bowl opened the new Schlasman’s chairlift for the 2008/2009 season, the first lift-served terrain expansion in 30 years. This lift adds 311 acres of new lift-served terrain for expert skiers only. To ride this lift, skiers are required to carry an avalanche transceivers; partners and shovels are highly recommended.

Bridger Bowl is noted for its expert-only skiing terrain known as “The Ridge”. There are six sections of the ridge known as Schlasman’s, D Route, C Route, B Route, A route, and Northwest/Hidden Gully Areas. In order to ski or snowboard the ridge, an avalanche beacon and shovel are required. Most of the ridge is hiking terrain

Even if you are a novice skier or snowboarder you will find plenty of amazing runs for you to enjoy.

# 4- Red Lodge Mountain Resort 

trailmap2013Red Lodge Mountain Resort Report and Conditions: http://www.redlodgemountain.com/snow-report

Red Lodge Mountain Resort is an alpine ski area near the town of Red Lodge, MT. Located along the eastern front of the Beartooth Mountain.

The ski area has recently undergone a large expansion of terrain and includes a well-developed terrain park.

From the Red Lodge Mountain Resort website “Remember when ski vacations were awesome? When you’d ditch the parents at the top of the first lift and spend the whole day pushing your own limits–a little faster, a little steeper, through trees a little bit tighter?

Red Lodge Mountain has always had its own kind of magic. In part it’s the small-town attitude. The no-wait lifts. The value priced lift tickets. But everyone who’s stood at the top of Grizzly Peak, looking west to the deep couloirs of Cole Creek, or east to the untracked paradise of Barriers, or straight down the 2 1/2 mile cruiser run of Lazy M knows, it’s more than any of that.

It’s riding the lift with locals who want to get to know you. It’s knowing the kids (or parents) are fine–wherever they are. It’s pausing halfway down Latigo, with views to the limestone palisades below and the Crazy Mountains beyond, and knowing without a doubt that “Right now, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

It’s magic. And we’ve still got it.”

# 5- Showdown Montana Ski Resort


Showdown Montana Ski Resort Report and Conditions: http://www.showdownmontana.com/report

Showdown Montana Ski Resort is an alpine ski area located in the Little Belt Mountains.

Created in 1936 and originally called King’s Hill Ski Area, Showdown is a small-scale ski area normally closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, receiving most people on the weekends. During the summer months, the area offers a variety of activities ranging from mountain biking to hiking to camping. Showdown Montana Ski Resort is known for the 100% natural snow, beautiful scenery, and family atmosphere.

When planning a trip to Showdown Montana Ski Resort, make sure you plan a night at the Hot Springs in White Sulphur Springs. It’s only about 40 minutes away and is well worth it.


Go to: http://www.spahotsprings.com/ to find out more.

# 6- Discovery Ski Area 


Discovery Ski Area Report and Conditions: http://www.skidiscovery.com/snow-report/

Discovery Ski Area is an alpine ski area near the old mining town of Anaconda, and is situated along the scenic Pintler Loop opposite of Georgetown Lake. Situated on Rumsey Mountain and Jubilee, the area consists of 4 different faces and provides for beginner groomed runs to expert bowl skiing.

This is from the Discovery Ski Area Website “Discovery has three faces. The front face is the perfect blend of gently sloping runs and more advanced groomed cruisers. Off the Granite Chair, things step up a notch with steeper groomed runs and mogul skiing. And the backside? Well, imagine the Chugach without the costly helicopter ride. Point is, we have great terrain and lots of it. No matter what kind of mountain you like, you just discovered it.

And new for 2014, Discovery is offering a Downhill Mountain Bike Park from June 15 through September 21. The trails will be intermediate to advanced with loads of features for downhill riders to enjoy.”

When planning a trip to Discovery Basin you can’t forget to go to Fairmont Hot Springs!!

# 7- Black Tail Mountain Ski Area


Black Tail Mountain Ski Area Report and Conditions: http://www.blacktailmountain.com/category/snow-report/ 

Black Tail Mountain Ski Area is an alpine ski area in Northwestern Montana off Flathead Lake.

I have seen some of the best pictures come from this hidden gen of a ski resort. I love how the pine trees get covered up in snow.

# 8- Montana Snowbowl 


Montana Snowbowl Report and Conditions: http://montanasnowbowl.com/report.php3

Montana Snowbowl is an alpine ski area located 12 miles northwest of Missoula, Montana. It is known for long expert runs such as West Bowl. The ticket prices are quite reasonable.

# 9- Lost Trail Powder Mountain


Lost Trail Powder Mountain Report and Conditions: http://www.losttrail.com/weather-snow/

Lost Trail Powder Mountain is an alpine ski area on the Montana – Idaho border. It’s in the Bitterroot Range right next to the Continental Divide.

From Lost Trail Powder Mountain website  “sits atop the Continental Divide on Highway 93 where Montana and Idaho meet. With over 300 inches of snowfall every year, these still undiscovered slopes await your visit.”

# 10- Teton Pass Ski Resort 


Teton Pass Ski Area Report and Conditions: http://www.tetonpassresort.com/snow-report/today-s-snow-report.htm

Teton Pass Ski Area from their website “At Teton Pass Ski Resort, you will find zero lift lines, oh-so-rare continuous vertical, and some of the friendliest folks around.  It also has tremendous alpine touring terrain above the lift and great backcountry skiing access. Teton Pass, a 400 acre ski resort, is located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, along the Rocky Mountain Front which is one of the most beautiful places in Montana.  The closest town is Choteau, while the closest regional airport is located in Great Falls, Montana.  One thing you will also notice immediately, is your dollars go so much further than in a typical big ski town. Teton Pass is a treasure waiting for you to discover it.”

I hope you enjoyed my favorite ski resorts in Montana to ski. I feel as if all my snowboarding trips are a combination of boarding and fishing. So here are some great areas to bring your fly rods with you as well!

Have fun!

Scuds are awesome!!! (Fly fishing the Big Horn River in Montana with Scuds)

Since I guide the Big Horn River the most. Let’s talk about the scuds we find all under the rocks on the Big Horn River. If you want to be a successful angler on the Horn you need to know how to use these bugs.

What is a scud: 

Scuds are not insects but small crustaceans and in the Big Horn they are a primary food source for trout. They grow quickly and can survive in all sorts of habitats. They love weedy spring creek like waters. They never hatch into a dry fly.

Scuds can be an extremely important food source. They are often the most abundant type of food for trout in the riverScuds start out as small scuds, grow to be big scuds, and die.

They can come in a variety of sizes and colors. They run from size 8 to as small as size 18. The most common colors on the big horn are grey, orange, and pink. It is very important to find out what size the trout are after on that particular day to better your chances that day of catching more fish.

First let’s go over all the different scuds you can fish with on the Bighorn River and then we will go over other scuds.

All these scuds can be purchased by going to http://catchflyfish.com/scuds-and-sowbugs/  or http://bighornflies.com/scuds-and-sowbugs/.

Here is how you tie the original Bighorn Scud:

Here is another great video showing what scuds look like in the water. Scuds are everywhere in tailwaters and they are great flies to have in your box.

How I fish with scuds?

When I’m fishing the Big Horn, I like to use my 9 foot 6 inch rod for nymphing or my 10 foot rod.

Here are some different choices if you are wanting a rod just for nymphing: 

I use a 9 foot 4x fluorocarbon leader made by RIO.


I use a New Zealand strike indicator on the top of my leader. I usually prefer white wool but use whatever you like best. The reason I like the New Zealand strike indicator so much is because you can move the strike indicator up and down with ease without kinking your line. This makes fishing different water columns easy and very effective.

I cut my leader about 18 inches from the bottom of my leader. Then I retie that section back on with a blood knot or a triple surgeon knot. I prefer the blood knot though. The reason I do this is because I like a stopper for my weights I will put on above the knot.

I then will tie my scud anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches away from my weights. It depends on the day which works better.

My second fly will be something that I see hatching in the air but in nymph form or just a go to nymph like a pheasant tail or a hares ear.

If you are fishing slow moving water or lakes with scuds: 

You can also use a striping technique for scuds. Scuds can swim and move fairly quickly. When I’m doing this technique I usually like a olive or green scud. I will use the figure 8 retrieve and then pause method.

This technique works great on slow moving water in the river or on lakes and ponds.

Fishing with scuds is a must if you have not tried it yet. It can produce a lot of fish. I sure hope this post helps you out and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

I hope you have lots of fun out there and catch some trout in your journey as well.


There are so many different types of scuds out there. The best thing to do is to talk to a local fly shop where you will be fishing or do some research online about that particular river.  Here are some more that you can try:


January 10th is going to be a great day!!! (Shorelines with April Vokey is airing)


It’s almost here! The first episode of Shorelines with April Vokey is this Saturday, January 10th on WFN.

Tracy and I were blessed to have been up in BC when they were filming Shorelines. The amazing crew at Vantage Point Media is incredibly talented and we can’t wait to see this show.

April, Charles (her husband), and Cat were so fun to hang with. They taught us so much about steelhead fishing and the history behind it. They are truly some of the most inspirational people we have ever met.

What do you get when you get a girl like April and a girl like Tracy together????

A whole lot of this:

Shorelines is going to be an incredible show documenting April in her journey of writing a book about the evolution of steelhead and Atlantic salmon fishing in North America. She fishes with a traditional bamboo spey rod and traditional spey flies.

April is an incredible caster, speaker, and advocate of fly fishing. She wants nothing more than to take care of our natural resources and we love that about her. We need more people that care as much about the fish as the sport itself.

So tune in Saturday January 10th, Tuesday January 13, or Wednesday January 14.

Check out http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/shorelines for a complete guide of showings and for when all the shows will air.

We are so proud of you April and we are so excited to tune into the show!!


Top 10 Must Have….. Best Trout flies for catching Trout (Best Fly Fishing Flies)

Do you want to catch lot’s of trout? Make sure you have these patterns with you at all times and you will catch trout.

# 1 – Midges – They are found everywhere and I would suggest having a wide variety with you at all times. If you ever need a fly that works on almost every river in the world this is it.

How to tie the midge: # 2- Dry fly Midges- Do you like to dry fly fish?? These are great to have with you! The only disadvantage is the size of midges are quite small so get ones that you can see well and game on!

How to tie the dry fly midge: # 3- Caddis – a small, moth like insect with an aquatic larva. This is also a must in your fly box. You must have both dry fly caddis and nymph caddis.

How to tie the nymph caddis: How to tie the dry fly caddis: # 4- Stone fly Nymphs- Major food source of trout. Great for all year but especially during the spring time.

How to tie the stone fly nymph: # 5- Dry fly Stone Fly- One of the best times of the year is when the stone fly’s start to hatch. Trout love them and anglers love seeing trout go for them. It’s a win win and you must have these in your box of flies.

How to tie the dry fly stone fly: # 6- Mayfly- There are so many different kinds of mayfly’s. You’ll need to do some research on the river your going to be fishing but this is a fly you must have in your collection.

How to tie the Mayfly: # 7- Dry Fly Mayfly- Just like the nymph you must have some versions of the dry fly may fly’s. They are abundant during a good hatch and fish go crazy for them.

How to tie a dry fly mayfly # 8- Streamers- You have to have a good collection of streamers to catch trout and especially big trout. So make sure you have all sizes, colors, and different variations of the same pattern.

How to tie a streamer: # 9- Worms - They seem to always work especially when the water is off color or after a big rain. I like to keep all different sizes and colors in my box.

How to tie a worm:

# 10- Terrestrials- Nothing is more fun on those hot summer days then throwing big hoppers, ants, or beetles to the shore and seeing big trout slurp them up. Make sure you have plenty of different types in your fly collection and be ready to have some fun.

How to tie a couple of different terrestrials:

I hope this helps you fill your fly box with flies that will catch lot’s of trout. Make sure to check out local fly fishing reports to find exact flies that work in the area you might be fishing that day.

Good luck and if you are looking to purchase any of the flies mentioned today check out www.orvis.com. They have a great selection of flies for you to choose from.

I also highly suggest going to your local fly shop and helping them out. They will have great insight for you as well.

You can also purchase a lot of these flies from www.bighornflies.com. Best of luck to you and good luck on all your fly fishing ventures!