The Art of Fly Tying | Montana Trout Fly Fishing
I love fly fishing for trout in the Montana rivers. As winter drags on and the snow piles up I often find myself at the fly tying bench dreaming of the warmth that spring brings and the hatches that come along with it. I was a young boy, maybe 11 years old, when I received my first fly tying vise and some tying materials for Christmas. Enticed by the possibilities that awaited me; I was going to be able to tie my very own “woolly bugger” in any color I wanted and catch every fish in the pond on our ranch. I had no idea that this first fly tying vise would begin a lifelong process of trying to figure out what fish eat and why.
Now, as I travel to different waters during different times in the year, I always have a fly tying kit with me. You never know when you’re going to show up to a particular river expecting mayflies and ending up instead with a prolific caddis hatch. Sure, you will probably have some flies with you that will work, but maybe they are a little too big, or slightly off-color. Having the right fly can turn an eight fish day into a 38 fish day just as easily as having the wrong fly can result in some great time spent on the river with no fish to show for it.
If you were to ask ten different people who tie flies why they like to tie their own, you would likely get ten different answers. I can only tell you that everyone who does it gets something special out of it. Whether you are just wanting to pass the time on a cold winter day or wanting to be able to match the hatch on a riverbank in the middle of Montana, I can assure you that there is something special about landing a fish on a fly you tied yourself. Hand-tied flies can be works of art or simple, plain old fish catchers, but whatever you tie, there is no doubt that it will be as unique as the waters in which you fish it.
Castle Rock Fishing Retreat offers Montana trout fly fishing. The property is a great place to cozy up by a winter fire, watch the water roll slowly by the snowcapped boulders dotting the Stillwater River and practice the art of fly tying with the goal of enticing the local trout once the warmth of spring is upon us.
RJ is an Idaho and Montana ranch sales agent for Fay Ranches. A fourth-generation Montanan born and raised in Whitefish, RJ attended the University of Montana on a rodeo scholarship, and received a degree in Business Management. After graduating, he began selling real estate with a focus on land; he also worked for a number of years as a hunting guide.
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