Tail of the Permit

Photo by Cam Coffin

Permit fishing was tough in Belize this year with low fish numbers, but the boys still found a few fish to cast to.

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Fly of the Week: Royal Wulff Cripple

Photo by John Juracek

The Royal Wulff Cripple is one of our favorite attractor patterns here at BRF. It's proven, fish-catching color combination obviously mimics that of the Royal Wulff, but the cripple style makes this fly much easier to tie than it's split-winged predecessor, while the synthetic wing material aids in flotation as well. We love searching the Madison all summer with this pattern, but it can also prove highly useful this time of year. On days when trout are rising sporadically to midges, a big, visible dry with a small nymph dropped underneath can be a deadly combination, and you'll be surprised at how often trout will rise to the big dry. We're not really sure whether they mistake it for a large midge cluster, or if they just think it looks like an easy meal, but what we do know is that it works!


Hook: Tiemco 100 or Dai Riki 320 Size 12-20

Thread: Black 8/0 Uni-Thread

Shuck: Mayfly Brown Crinkled Zelon

Abdomen: Natural Peacock Herl and Scarlet Pearsall's Silk Floss

Wing: White EP Fibers

Hackle: Brown Whiting

Tying Instructions

Step 1: Begin wrapping thread behind the eye, and wrap back to the bend. Tie in a strand of zelon for the shuck, and trim just shorter than the length of the shank.

Step 2: Tie in one or two peacock herls, and wrap a short segment of peacock forward to about the hook point. Tie off, but do not trim.

Step 3: Tie in a strand of floss and wrap forward over the tied off peacock butts, forming the second short body segment. Tie off and trim the floss.

Step 4: Wrap a few more turns of the peacock in front of the floss segment, and tie off and trim.

Step 5: Tie in a clump of EP Fibers for the wing, leaving the wing long out over the front of the hook. Trim the butts of the wing short.

Step 6: Tie in a hackle feathers over top of the wing tie in point, and wrap thread forward to the eye. Make two to three turns of hackle over the wing base, then stand the wing up and wrap one to two more turns of hackle in front of the wing.

Step 7: Tie off hackle feather and trim excess, then whip finish. 

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March Snowpack Report

It's trip planning time for the upcoming summer, and lots of folks have been asking for a general forecast for runoff this year, so here's where we stand currently. Keep in mind that these projections are based on a "normal" spring here in Montana, which means cool temperatures and plenty of wet weather. A spell of hot weather can certainly accelerate runoff, while an unusually cold, snowy stretch of weather can also delay the snowmelt. We'll post a few more updates throughout the spring to catch you up on recent weather trends and an updated forecast.

The Madison drainage currently sits at 110% snowpack, meaning we should have plenty of water this summer. While slightly above normal, we expect a fairly normal runoff season, meaning high, off-color water through late May and early June, with prime dry fly conditions beginning somewhere in the last 10 days or so of June.

The Gallatin drainage is slightly below normal at 93%, but still on track for a relatively normal season, with prime conditions arriving most likely in the last few days of June.

The Upper Yellowstone river drainage is where the heaviest snowfall has occurred this year, with the drainage as a whole sitting at 126% of normal. Local snowtel sites show some even higher amounts, though, particularly in the upper Lamar drainage, which currently sits at over 170% of normal. This will most likely translate into a later season in the park, meaning the northeast corner will probably not begin to fish until around the middle of July.

As always, feel free to give us a call to talk more about planning your summer trip.

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Rod Review: Redington Classic Trout

Peter recently wrote a detailed rod review on the Redington Classic Trout rod for Hatch Magazine. Here's an excerpt:

"Fly rods store energy when they bend under the weight and momentum of the fly line. They release that energy as the rod straightens, propelling the fly line forward. A trampoline functions the same way: stretching to store energy under the weight of a person, then expending that energy as it launches the person up in the air. For many anglers, the smooth, energy-releasing sensation the hand feels as the rod unloads makes fly casting fun—it also makes casting easy on the arm. If a trampoline is too stiff to bend under our weight, we’ll have to work hard with our legs to make it bend. The same is true for our arms when a rod doesn’t bend."

To read the full review, head over to Hatch Magazine HERE.

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In a World Still Wild

Photo by Peter Scorzetti

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