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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Tarpon Video is Done

Happy New Year!!! So 2011 has come and gone. It sure was a great year here at SFF. Our Florida fishing season was one of the best in recent years. The Tarpon showed early and the weather was great. Montana suffered from a extremely high water year, but once the rivers dropped the fishing was fantastic!!

So what have we been dooing since our last post? Well I have been sitting here in fromt of my iMac editing all of the fantastic video footage from last year. After months of sorting through everything we have finally finished some videos.

Our feature film this year is titled Soar " A Time With Tarpon" It showcases many of t the top moments and best anglers from 2011. Spectacular bites and leaping Tarpon. Check it out at

Also stay tuned for some new production projects we have in the works for 2012. We will be taking our digital media to a whole new level, as we upgrade a lot of our aging vidoegraphy equipment.

Also new for 2012 we will be accepting all major credit cards through Pay Pal via the website

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mid Winter Montana Fishing Report

We have been blessed with some very mild weather the last couple of weeks here in Montana. With that we have been taking advatage of some of the great winter fishing we have here in SW Montana. It's a nice break from the typically frigid Jan temps.

During this time of year when the daytime highs hover around 40 degrees or more we head to the river. Focusing on the tailwater fisheries this time of the year will give you the most productive fishing. Due the nature of a tailwater the water temps stay fairly consistant. Our best tailwaters are the Upper and Lower Madison. The Big Horn and The Missouri rivers.

Last Weekend we spent sometime fishing the Madison below Ennis Lake the fishing was excellent landing atleast 40 fish in 3 hours. We caught most of our fish on Scud Bugs and Midge Patters and took a few on the egg. Not many big fish but still fun and close to home.

This past weekend I spent two days fishing the MO. The fishing was incredible. Warm days and big fishing crewing hard. Same basic fly patterns were working. Scud Bugs and Midge Larva. This time of the year its all about finding the fish, and when you do look out!
To rig up for this type of fishing I like to use a 9 1/2 6 weight rod with a 9 foot 4x leader. Then drop 4x and 5x from ther to your two nymps. Your total leader length will be 13 or 14 feet. You need these long leaders to get the fly down and to get the correct drift. I tend to fish a small amount of deep soft lead and use either a Yarn indiactor or a thingamabobber.
Make long cast and big mends try not wade on top of the fish. When caught handle them with care!.... snap a few pics and get them back in the water quickly.Always remember to pinch your barbs! Protect the resource so our kids can enjoy it too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Deal with Bad Weather on your next fishing trip

If you go on enough fishing trips you will be dealt the weather card eventually. I have been on lots of fishing trips around the World, and some are banner trips and others the weather gets in the way. So what do you do? Well for me I have spent a lot of money and time to get to my destination, air fare, lodge fees etc. Most fishing lodges throught out the world do not refund your money if the weather is bad. So rather than sit in the room I go fishing.

Often times you go on a trip in search of a specific species of fish and typically they are quite hard to catch even in ideal conditons. So for me its very important to have an open mind and a plan B. I never go on a fly fishing trip without some spinning tackle. If conditions arent right to fly fish I would still rather have a fun day on the water pursuing what ever is available with spinning tackle. You pay top dollar for a good guide so let them take you fishing, for what ever they feal is the best option on that given day. So what if you have to spend the day hidding against the mangroves catching snapper and grouper. It still is a lot of fun! And a whole lot better than spending the day in your hotel room watching the weather channel.

A prime example of this is a few years back I had a client come to fish with me for 3 days to try to catch his first Permit on fly. We picked the best tides for the best month and set the dates. When my angler showed up we were greeted by less than favorable conditions for permit fishing. It was glass calm and unseasonably hot for early March. Although there were lots of permit around getting close enough to make a cast with fly tackle was all but impossible. We spent the first day trying our best to get a shot at the extremely spooky permit, with out making a single cast. All through the day I was seeing huge schools of early season tarpon everywhere. They were enjoying the early summer like weather. My angler how ever had no interest in trying to pursue the the silver king. I tried everything I could to get him to change gears and fish for the species I felt like we had a really good chance of catching. He was paying for the trip and permit was what he wanted, so we kept permit fishing for two more days as I watched the tarpon swimming and rolling around the boat. At the end of three day trip we had made less than a half dozen casts to permit with out a single hook up and my angler left feeling fustrated and probaly ripped off. But the choice was his.

So on your next fishing trip where ever that may be, keep an open mind and let your guide do his job and enjoy the day no matter what the wheather throws at you. It may be extremely windy, or a cold front has moved trough or possibly a tropical strom, but I bet you will have a great trip with fond memories. With some great catches that you probaly didnt expect.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Florida Keys Spring Fishing

Well anyone who has come down to fish the Keys the last few months has probaly been feeling the cooler than normal weather. Things do seem to be improving now as we head head into April and it starts to warm up. In between the fronts we have had some excellent fishing. Although many of the permit are a bit reluctant to eat a fly in the cooler water a live crab or shrimp is the way to go for these cold water fish. When the water temps reach a consistant 75 degrees it's time to grab the fly. The Tarpon fishing was very hit and miss in March. The ones we caught were all very large fish though.

Despite the cold water Joe Dilchnieder of Monatan Trout Stalkers spent a few days chucking the fly around with me in mid March. He was able to hook up with three nice permit and a 150 lb tarpon.

Joe Boland of Atlanta GA also achieved a carrer goal by catching his largets Permit on fly. This fish was a giant and measured 42 inches.and 36 pounds...Congrats Joe

Alan Smith of Miami FL alo had a fantastic day of early serason tarpon fishing feeding the giant tarpon on fly including a 150 plus pound mosnter boatside.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Making sense of knots

Tying saltwater knots can be an itimidating event for even the most experienced angler. After all there is a lot riding on the quality of your knots. A 100lb tarpon will blow up rig on the bite if everything is'nt seated properly and tied correctly.

Below I will show you you the only three knots you will ever need to know for saltwater fishing. You can conform them to meet any type or size leader requirments even IGFA (also stands for "It Got Fucking Away").

The first knot is a Double Over Hand Loop Knot. You will use this knot to create a loop to loop connection between your fly line and leader butt section. Every new fly line out there has a welded loop on the end of it. I have never seen one fail yet. So I always use the loop to loop connection here.
The next knot is a Two Turn Blood Knot. You will use this connection for your class tippet to Butt section and your class tippet to bight tippet in your tarpon leaders. It can also be used to taper down your leaders for anything you dont need a large bite tippet for. Such as Bonefish,Permit, Redfish Strippers, etc.

The final knot in your system is a No Name Loop Knot. It's fast easy to tie and very strong. I use this knot to tie on all my flies

The Double Over Hand Loop Knot

Double over the leader material making sure you give yourself plenty of tag end to sinch down the knot. Next make an overhand knot in the doubled line. Pass the loop end of the doubled line through the over hand knot twice , lubricate and sinch tight. Trim the tag end Thats it. With a little practice you can get the loop what ever size you like.

The Two Turn Blood Knot

Double over the thinner line once again making sure you give yourself plenty of extra to sinch down the knot when completed.

Now make 5 or 6 turns of the doubled line over the thicker line passing it back through the x or y you have created with the turns. ( just like a standard blood knot)

Hold the line at the y and now make 2 1/2 turns with the heavier line over the doubled thinner line once again passing it back through the hole youve created. A little tip I like to make sure I pass them through opposite each other. Lubricate and sinch tight making sure to have a good grip on the doubled line so it sinches down evenly. Inspect the wraps if any of them overlap each other the knot will fail. If it looks good carefully trim all the tag ends and you will end up with a very strong and beautiful knot.

The No Name Loop Knot

Tie an over hand Knot in the leader give yourself at least 6 inches of tag to work with.

Pass the tag end of the knot through the hook eye and then back through the over hand knot. Make 2 to 4 wraps depending on line diameter and then pass it pack through the over hand knot. Lubricate and sinch. If done correctly you should not have to sinch it further with the tag end. Trim the tag end and your done....Hint on larger diameter lines 2 wraps is all that is needed.

These are really the only knots I use in slatwater fishing. Keep it simple and you will have less breakoffs. I'll go into leader recipes another time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Permit Flies

As I sit here in Montana waiting for the next powder day on the mountain. I dream of warm tropical spring days filled with visions of tailing permit. It brings me back to one of my all time favorite permit flies. We started fishing this fly over twelve years ago and I still fish it today. It has caught more permit for me and my customers than I cant count. This is a great late winter early spring pattern when the fish are looking for something substanial to eat. This time of the year you want to feed them not fool them. I have seen a similar this version of fly in shops from time to time but I have never seen it tied correctly.
I typically tie this fly on a size # 2 34007 stainless Mustad. You will need to hand sharpen this hook but I like them because they never rust. I also like the fact that it has a big barb so when it sinks into the rubby flesh of a permits face it almost never comes out.
You also want to make sure that you tie the EP fibers on the hook side of the shank so that the flie will not tumble when diving or being stripped. This often why a permit will spook off a fly while inspecting the offering. You can tie this fly in just about any color or size you choose. I like it in a brown, light tan or an olive.
I also like to add a shinny belly of thin skin to give the fly a more realistic look as well as a little flash if you cast is slightly off target. It will help to get the fishes attention as the fly is sinking towards the bottom.

Happy Tying and Good fishing.

Capt. Kris' "Jelly Belly Permit Fly"

Material List
Hook: Mustad 34007 size #2
Eyes: Lead Dumbell Eyes Medium
Body: EP Fibers Light Tan
Legs: Sili Legs Brown or tan with Pumkin flake
Tail: Bar dyed rabbit strip White and Brown
Belly: Sili Skin or thin skin white or pearl
Weed Gaurd: 16lb hard Mason doubled over hook shank

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Pigs

Just got back from another great day on the MO. The Weather was a bit cool in the low 20's but the big pigs were bitting. Who sayd you cant fly fish Monatan in the Winter.

We caught these fish, fishing long nymph rigs with sow bugs and egg patterns on 9 1/2 foot 6 weight rods.
Looking forward to more great winter and early spring days on some of Montana's finest tailwater fisheries.
I guess at some point I'm going to have to head back to the keys to chase those big Silver fish, but until then We will be slinging the bugs up here in the frozen north country.