Dear Chapter Members and Friends,
The Chapter has a lot of exciting things planned for the 2019/2020 meeting seasons. First, during our fly tying session from 6:30 to 7:00, we will be adding a "How-To" component featuring experts and guides from the local fly shops. In November, John Herzer of Blackfoot River Outfitters, will be demonstrating "terminal tackle rigging" detailing his tapered dropper rig, short leash nymph rig and bunny and bead streamer rig. This is stuff you can use to up your fishing game. Second, each meeting will feature a 10 to 15 conservation presentation by one of our local partners. This month, Casey Hackathorn, TU's Upper Clark Fork Program Manager, will explain what is happening up river and provide the Chapter with some volunteer projects. Third, while we have always tried to be welcoming and open to everyone who comes, we will now have volunteers greeting everyone, providing name tags and making sure anyone who is new to the group is comfortable and feels at home.
The first meeting, on Nov. 13, will feature Jeff Currier. Details are above but let me just say that this is going to be a fun, exciting and dramatic presentation and the perfect program to get you thinking about your own bucket list places. We hope to see you there.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't put in a plug for our annual banquet and auction to be held on February 29. In addition to hundreds of silent and live auction items, we will be featuring a 16' Eddy ClackaCraft drift boat for the key auction. This could be your chance to win a perfect boat for Montana so save the date.
Looking forward to another great meeting season!
Mark Kuipers, President
WSCTU Veteran’s Program Needs Help
by Paul Butler, Veteran’s Committee Chair
Over the last two years the WSCTU has organized fly tying sessions and fly donations that have resulted in over 32,000 flies being given to Warriors and Quiet Waters
a Montana-based organization that takes severely wounded Post 9/11 combat vets on a week long fly fishing adventure. Through our Chapter’s and Paul Butler's
tireless efforts, an anonymous donor contributed $18,000 toward a wheelchair accessible drift boat. It is now taking vets down the river. How cool is that!
There is more to be done, but the Chapter and Paul needs some help. If you are a veteran and want to get involved and make a real difference in the lives of combat vets that have given so much, please contact Paul
. This could be your opportunity to help your fellow vets. Thank you very much.
ROCK CREEK REPORT:
The Winner of the third Annual Race Up Rock Creek is the cutthroat “Bean”!
Bean traveled an impressive 77.7 river miles this year. His spawning saga began in the Clark Fork River and culminated, assumably with a mate, in Miners Gulch, tributary to Upper Willow Creek. Congratulations to Bean and his sponsor Sam from South Carolina.
Don’t miss out and join the 2020 Race – we’re going big!
With new Race rules, we will give away prizes and celebrate with supporters at the end of the summer. Race begins early spring. Thanks to all WestSlope Chapter members for participating. Your donations go directly toward on-the-ground work to conserve and enhance Rock Creek. Curious about our findings from this year’s tracking? FWP and TU are working to pull together results and keep participants informed. Stay tuned or email WestSlope Trout Unlimited’s Rock Creek project coordinator Tess Scanlon.
The Women’s Initiative has planned a shop hop On December 11. T will be held at the Grizzly Hackle from 6-8:00 PM, and will feature Kelly Harrison discussing flies. Kelly will talk about what flies to use, when to use them and where they’re most effective. The complete package on fly choice?
Ladies Shop Hop - December 11
Grizzly Hackle will also be running a big pre-Christmas sale for the group. And it doesn’t have to be gifts! They will also have a raffle for all who participate. The raffle prize will be determined later.
You can look for updates and reminders on the usual places. You don’t want to miss the fun, information or the Sale! Hope to see you there.
WSCTU Starts Missoula Fly Tying Club:
Brandon Dwyer, WSCTU vice president, has noticed a glaring void in Missoula’s fly fishing community, specifically there is no place for fly tyers to gather and tie as a community. Brandon has been involved in clubs like this before, and knows how enjoyable they are. So he has booked a room at the Great Burn Brewery for the first and third Monday from November to March, and that’s where the ThreadHeads will start.
ThreadHeads will be open to tyers of all skill levels. It’s an informal tying session, with participants bringing their own tools and materials, and simply sit and tie. You’ll find that tying wth others will give you a new insight on tying different flies and learning different techniques. And let’s not leave out the fun! Gathering to tie, have a beer, talk tying and fishing, and making a big mess with a bunch of fur and feathers is a very enjoyable time!
As the ThreadHeads expand, there will be theme tying nights, tying contests and loosely formed instructional areas where Tyers can come and improve their skills. Missoula has so many good and innovative fly tyers, it seems a shame not to gather them together twice a month and get some bugs tied. If you are interested in getting together, The Great Burn Brewery is Located at 2230 McDonald Ave. The ThreadHeads will meet at 6:30 and tie till we get tired! And if you get there late, we'll find room at the table! Email Brandon
to let him know you’re coming.
Greatest Hits Night
It's your choice tie your favorite, it you can pick only one…
Streamers of all articulation levels are welcome
Streamers for Giant Arkansas Browns:
Fishing January 27 through February 1
Alex Laftas spoke to the Chapter last April about throwing huge streamers on the White River in Arkansas for giant brown trout. That got a lot of people excited to take a look at the White River! Here are the key details: We fly to Springfield MO on Jan. 26 and drive to Cotter AK where we stay at a large house that sleeps 12. We fish for 5 days and return on Feb. 1. The cost is $1,800 per person and includes 5 days of guided fishing and lodging which is pretty reasonable compared to almost all guided destination trips. Food, booze, flies and gratitutes are extra. Airfare is about $500.
This is winter fishing with an average high of about 49 and a low of 22. But those are just averages and it could be colder. We will be fishing 8 weights with floating, sink tip and sinking lines with big flies so you should be prepared for some challenging casting and weather. There are nymphing opportunities as well to give your arm a break, but think streamers for the biggest of the brown trout. We should catch fish in the 5 to 6 pound range but also some 10 pound plus and there is always the chance of a true monster. This is a prime week for the area and big fish. Contact Mark Kuipers at 406 544-0703 or email Mark for more information. To make this work, we need at least six anglers. If you're thinking about going, thinking about giant Brown Trout, get in touch with Mark!
Casting for Recovery Sweetgrass Rod Fundraiser
Our sister chapter in Butte, the George Grant Chapter, who won the Winston Rod by donating the most flies per member to the Tie-A-Thon Warriors and Quiet Waters challenge, has come up with a challenge of their own as a way to “pay it forward.”
Here’s the deal:
This is a raffle for the benefit of Casting for Recovery, a great organization that helps women recover from breast cancer surgery. Only 400 tickets will be sold at $50 each, raising $20,000. The lucky winner will receive a 3 weight Sweetgrass rod by Glenn Brackett with a synthetic ivory scrimshaw reel seat along with a Bozeman Reel Company classic designed reel, matching 406 Fly Line Company line, a bamboo walking stick, a box of flies and a personal visit to the Sweetgrass shop to meet with the “Boo” team. For all the amazing details, go to GGTU.org
And there’s more!
The chapter that sells the most tickets per capita of chapter membership will win an Orvis H3 9’ 5 weight donated by Orvis. If the WSCTU wins, we will then raffle the H3 off during the banquet, earning more money for Casting for Recovery or local conservation.
Tickets will be available at the November chapter meeting and the drawing will be held when all 400 are sold. If you want to buy tickets and won’t be at the meeting, please email me
and we will work out a way to get you raffle tickets.
All of us have been touched by someone who has been stricken with breast cancer. Buying a raffle ticket is one small way to honor their fight and to help other women.
Thank you for supporting this important cause and our chapter.
Icelandic Brown Trout and Arctic Char or Atlantic Salmon
Last May my wife Kathy and I traveled to Iceland for a 15 day tour with 5 days of fishing. We loved Iceland, the people, the food, the landscape...and the fishing. And it wasn't nearly as expensive as we feared.
Our best fishing was in the north of Iceland fishing for browns, sea run browns and arctic char. We fished with Matti Hakonarson, the outfitter, and he will be speaking to our chapter on January 8. He is a hoot and runs a great operation.
We have two options:
Brown Trout & Arctic Char-- 8 anglers May 26 to June 1
Staying in the Mýrarkvísl Lodge from May 26th to June 1st and fishing the Mýrarkvísl, Laxá in Aðaldal, Lónsá and Brunná for brown trout, arctic char and sea trout. This is what we did and we caught 16" to 22" brown trout and arctic char to 26" in good numbers, mostly nymphing but some with streamers and a bit of dry fly action. We also caught some browns in the 4 to 6 pound range. The sea run brown fishing was very exciting and we caught them up to 9 pounds and I swear I cast to a 20 pounder! They were eating #14 scuds! The price is $5,350 per angler.
Atlantic Salmon Fishing--6 anglers
The Atlantic salmon start to enter the rivers in June. Our dates are July 31 to August 6. The average catch is 15 to 20 salmon plus all the brown trout you want to fish for. These are large fish and some of the rivers are small, about the size of upper Rock Creek. I can hardly imagine fishing a 20 pound salmon in a stream as small as the one in the picture.
As all Icelandic rivers are private, we will be assigned beats that no one else is fishing. And because it is light about 20 hours a day that time of year, you can fish and fish and fish. The wading is fairly easy on most of the rivers although the Laxa is a bit intimidating in some places.
The price for the Atlantic salmon fishing is $7,450 per angler.
Included in the price for both trips is fishing license, guiding 2:1, accommodations and full meals. Gratuity, flights, alcohol in the lodge and flies. Round trip from Seattle to Reykjavik is about $650 and then we need to fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri, about $200. The flights are very reasonable. If you're interested in either option, email Mark
Pyramid Lake, NV Fishing March 26, 27 and 28
2019 was the second year that the West Slope Chapter of Trout Unlimited ventured to Pyramid Lake, Nevada. 2018 was a great trip and everyone caught Lahontan cutthroats, but the 2019 group surpassed that great adventure. On the first day, our group of eight fishermen caught over 50 trout, 8 of which weighed 10 pounds or more. The second day we did well with several fish over 10 pounds, the highlight being John Snively’s 15-17 pound Lahontan cutthroat! All total, we caught nearly 100 cuts, 12 of which were 10 pounds or greater. That is an absolutely fantastic fly-fishing experience anywhere in the world. This was a trip all of us will remember for a lifetime.
And we are going to repeat it again this year. All 8 of the 2019 crew are returning and we have room for a total of 12 in 2020.
Pyramid Lake has become a world-class trophy trout fishery in the last decade or so. This is due to several factors including the fisheries and stocking program led by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Indian Nation. This effort was accomplished using similar genetic strains of Lahontan cutthroat trout that were once prevalent in Lake Pyramid.
Our TU group gets a special rate at the Reno Nugget Hotel $69.00 per night – that’s $35 each for double occupancy. The outfitter is Rob Anderson who owns Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Outfitters. Rob spoke to our chapter a few years ago and also runs a peacock bass operation in the Amazon. The trip includes breakfast rolls and lunch. Our group usually has dinner together. Contact Bill Ruediger at 406-721-4868 or email Bill
for more information or to claim a spot.
Women's Initiative Shop Hop at the Grizzly Hackle
Fishing The Flathead with Justin Lawrence from Lakestream Fly
Fly Fishing Iceland with Matti Hakornarson, Icelandic Outfitter
3rd Annual Veteran’s Tie-A-Thon
DIY Alaska with Camille Egdorf from Yellow Dog
Orvis 50/50 Movie
Annual Banquet and Auction- SAVE THE DATE
Rattlesnake Creek From Top To Bottom
with Rob Roberts and Ladd Knotek
Pyramid Lake Fishout
Up Your Streamer Game with the master himself, Kelly Galloup*
*Kelly will be taking a lucky member streamer fishing on April 9
Thanks To All Our Members for A Fantastic Year!
WSCTU is looking to make 2020 even better, and we couldn't do it without your support! Thanks for your membership, time and effort. We will look for you at our upcoming events!