From Tony...

Photographer Billings MT

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Quality Studio portraits are an art form, requiring the professional photographer to commit countless, exhaustive hours of practice and study to achieve a perfect photo. Maybe that’s why Tony loves fly fishing. From the plentiful and varied hatches of a trout stream to the unpredictable weather of a bonefish flat, fly fishing can never be truly mastered.

Photographer Billings MT

Our home trout streams of Montana are currently in the peak time of runoff and are very unpredictable. The Warmer spring temps have melted the mountain snowpack and our rivers are rising. For the Montana freestone trout fisherman, this is a good time to get caught up on work. However, tailwater rivers, like the Bighorn, are far more predictable. The Bighorn is dam controlled and usually runs clear enough throughout the spring runoff season.

At this time of year, the Bighorn is both a dry fly and nymph fisherman’s paradise. As the river levels rise, the side channels – some of which are so notorious for quality fishing that the channels have been named by the fisherman who anchor their boats in them – fill for the first time since the fall, and the fish throughout the river move into these channels for both spawning and spatial reasons – The Bighorn has close to ten thousand fish per mile on the upper sections. Because the Rainbow trout use these channels to spawn in the spring, wading on the spawning beds in these channels is very much frowned upon, and anglers walking them should take notice and leave these fish alone. The top and bottom of these channels can produce amazing dry fly fishing or nymphing, especially in the seams where the side channels reconnect with the main river.

Photographer Billings MT

The upcoming month of June is one of the Bighorn dry fly fisherman’s favorite months. Midges, Beatis and small yellow PMD’s hatch, and the insects can hatch in such a number, some days it seems as if every one of those ten thousand fish is at the surface eating either the emerging or adult mayflies. These moments are rare, although these are the perfect moments on the trout stream; the moment where everything beyond the fisherman’s control came together. These moments are retold over and over, possibly becoming grander and grander with each retelling, and all created by an unpredictable trout stream and luck.


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