New Mugs in Stock for the Holiday Season

Kirk Belding, a potter and Bozeman native, has been creating with clay since the early 1990s. He developed a line of trout inspired pottery while going to school at Montana State University. With the success of his trout design, he decided to leave the food service and construction industry and start his own pottery studio.

In 1997, Kirk began his current business adventure in Virginia City, Montana. As he was looking for a retail location in this quaint historic gold mining town, he found Bob's Place, which at the time was a bar without a liquor license. This became his new retail space, and home of the Amazing Bob's Place Pizza! So here is the full circle enterprise of Kirk Belding Pottery. Depending on the time of year, you will find Kirk shaping clay or pizza dough and bringing about works of art! 

So now for the science of the art, straight from Kirk himself...

The salt firing process:
In a self-made brick kiln, the propane torches are lit. Pieces undergo 16 hours of firing time at high fire temperature (2300 F). Then salt is introduced through ports in the kiln, and the flames carry the salt throughout the kiln where it melts on the art, resulting in a unique surface texture and coloring to each piece. So even with the same glaze, each piece has its own unique finish depending on the placement of the piece in the kiln, making each creation one of a kind!

All of Kirk's work is individually formed using a potter's wheel and a hand building process. Always Montana made with an exceptional, out of the ordinary style.

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New Umpqua UPG Fly Boxes

We are very excited to stock the full line of Umpqua's new UPG fly boxes. These boxes feature Umpqua's new FlyTrap inserts, which are made of injection-molded TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer). This material is extremely grippy and will keep your flies in place better than any other material on the market, and is much more durable than comparable foam inserts. We have both the LT (Light) models and the HD (Heavy Duty) models in stock. Check them all out HERE.

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New T-Shirts Available Now

Our Shakey Beeley shirt is now available in a brighter Royal Blue color. We also have a brand new design available called the Montana Drifter, which is available in a Military Green Heather color. Both shirts were designed right here in Montana by our own Peter Scorzetti and Siana Mihova!

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Two-Handed Rods for Fall Fishing

Two-Handed Rods for Fall Fishing

John Juracek spey casting on the Madison

Two-Handed Rods for Fall Fishing

John Juracek

Thirty-some years ago, Mike Maxwell, the Canadian steelhead guide and fly-casting instructor, demonstrated the use of two-handed (spey) rods while visiting the Yellowstone area for a Federation of Flyfishermen conclave.  A few local anglers watching his demonstration were immediately struck by the utility of such rods for fishing the “swinging fly” during the fall run of fish out of Hebgen and Quake Lakes.  For those of us interested in pursuing this kind of fishing, there weren’t many options when it came to choosing a rod.  Orvis was the only American company building two-handed models; they made them principally for Atlantic salmon fishing.  Our choice for the Madison ended up being their 15’ 11-weight model—a beast of a rod by today’s standards. 

Fast forward to now and almost every rod company offers two-handed models, most in a wide range of lengths and line weights.  It’s become ever more common to see these rods in use by anglers plying the waters of the Madison in the fall, and why not?  They offer unparalleled advantages over single-handed rods—less tiring to use, easier distance when necessary, no need for stripping in line before making another cast, no need for false casting or for maintaining backcast space behind you, superb control of the fly swing, and an ability to fight fish more efficiently.  Not only that, but they’re just a heck of a lot of fun to fish with, too.

If you’re a fisherman that enjoys swinging flies for fall-run fish (or if you’re a steelhead or salmon angler) you owe it to yourself to try a two-handed rod, if you haven’t already done so.  Once you discover the pleasures and efficiency of fishing with two hands, I doubt you’ll ever revert to a single-handed rod.  I sure haven’t, and I don’t know anyone else that has either!

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Fly of the Week: Grouse & Pink

Photo by John Juracek

We're all quite fond of swinging soft hackles here at Blue Ribbon, especially in the fall when we get to fish large flies for aggressive fall-run fish on the Madison in the Park. Pink has been a highly effective color here for years on a variety of patterns, from nymphs to dries and everywhere in between, and a few years ago we realized that no one seemed to be fishing big pink soft hackles for these fall fish. From there, the Grouse & Pink was born, and it has proven to be a very successful pattern for us over the past few seasons. If the usual classic paterns fail to produce for you and you want to show the fish something different, give the Grouse & Pink a try this fall.

Materials

Hook: Dai Riki 075 Size 8

Thread: Fuchsia Uni-Stretch

Tail: Ruffed Grouse fibers

Rib: Black Small Ultra Wire

Thorax: UV Black Ice Dub

Hackle: Ruffed Grouse

For tying instructions, check out our How-To video HERE!

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