Archive for February, 2012

Mid Winter Fishin’

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

With temperatures hovering above freezing, Brady and I planned to take to the water.  Since he was in my neck of the woods in Deer Lodge, a two hour drive from his home in Livingston, I insisted that he chose where we fish.  Without any real dry fly options within close range, a nymphing decision was weighed several times the night before over a couple of beers.  Talking about fishing is one of my favorite things to do besides actually doing it.  There were a few promising options where we could hoist large dripping trout measured in pounds not inches, but Brady chose to fish a colder canyon stretch with smaller on average fish in the Big Hole river.  I was kind of surprised with his decision, but I know I shouldn’t have been.  After all, Brady is the only person that has convinced me that it was a good idea to fish twenty five degree temperatures with thirty mile an hour sustained winds more than once.  We chipped ice away from our guides and rods while watching each other dissect each fishy looking pool.  Conditions were good not great.  The fishing was good not great.  It was still really fun and we didn’t see another fisherman all day.  It was well worth our effort and I would do it all over again.

I know that I don’t have to remind you but it’s only half way through winter….technically.  Even though another year is already whizzing by we still have another two months of sub zero temperatures and blowing snow which make some days stall almost to a complete stop.  On that note, as for Montana winters, this has been a mild one.  It is actually raining, melting snow rapidly in the lower elevations as I’m posting this blog.  The state’s overall snowpack is well below normal and the temperatures have kept most of our surrounding rivers virtually ice free. That said, I haven’t heard anybody even whisper a complaint after last years pummeling.  Considering the overall water content and the carryover in all of our western reservoirs, I have a very optimistic outlook for the upcoming Firehole Ranch fishing season.  With a few good to great water years in a row the fish should be very “healthy”, otherwise known as fat and spunky.  The insect activity should finally be consistent with our historic hatch charts.  I look forward to the Firehole and Henry’s Fork fisahing predictably well the first week we are open, unlike last season.  The rest of the rivers should follow suit as we post it in our Firehole Ranch week-by-week fishing forecast.  I can’t wait!

Best Wishes,

Josh Duchateau

Head Guide

Catch and Release for Cancer Event, August 25 – 28, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

REPOSTED from the LIVESTRONG blog post – Are you a LIVESTRONG supporter who has a love for the great outdoors and angling? Looking to scratch a fishing experience like no other off your bucket list? You’re in luck! We have just what you are looking for!

Join the Firehole Ranch in West Yellowstone, MT on August 25 – 28, 2012 at Catch & Release for Cancer benefiting LIVESTRONG. Escape to Montana’s historic Firehole Ranch for a rare opportunity to fish the fabled, wild trout waters of the Rocky Mountain West. Guests will fish legendary rivers including the Madison, the Yellowstone, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake, the Gallatin, the Ruby, the Firehole and the Lamar, to name just a few. Enjoy absolutely unforgettable fishing in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

Catch and Release for Cancer will be limited to only 20 anglers and all participants must commit to fundraising a minimum of $5,000 to participate. Those who reach the $7,500 level in their fundraising will also receive an engraved Orvis Helios rod and $10,000 level fundraisers will be invited to the annual Ride for the Roses event in Austin, TX in late October 2012. This is a one of a kind experience and spots will go fast!

The weekend’s activities and fundraising will benefit LIVESTRONG, whose work provides support to cancer survivors globally. LIVESTRONG is a global leader in identifying the needs and concerns of those affected by cancer and taking action.

To learn more or register for this event visit –

Over the Hump

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Over the hump?

I found myself looking out the window at the snow capped peaks above Livingston this morning watching the treetops swaying in the breeze. Inevitably my thoughts turned quickly to the day’s weather, that daily ritual of checking local forecasts and even maybe a quick look just to see what some fellow fisherman is waking up to on the other side of a mountain pass or two. Maybe I’ll just check out temps on the coast:

Forks, WA. High 45, not bad. Friends chasing steelhead out there soon.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. 81, tropical.
Nelson, South island NZ. 75 and sunny, some lucky angler is stalking back country browns in shorts with big dries and applying liberal amounts of sunscreen.

Sunscreen? I don’t think I need to worry about that today. Small chance of sunburn through fleece long johns and 5 layers of Gore-tex. Windburn, now that is a distinct possibility. Neck gaiters and wool caps are tucked in my backpack and vest pockets. Somewhere in the bottom of a dusty boat bag there is a long abandoned tube of the stuff. Fear not friend, for the days are already getting longer by minutes a day. Soon you will be reclaimed from your wintry slumber and find yourself once again in a prime vest pocket easily at hand. After all we are over the hump. The Yellowstone National Park fishing season opens in a short four months and a few days, with plenty of fantastic spring angling leading up to that. Not to mention today, windburn and all. Hopefully a few generous winter trout will come to hand and I will rest easy tonight, thoughts of the upcoming season in my head. Dreaming of sunny summer days spent with friends and getting the chance to lace up the hiking boots and share a bit of the beauty and thrill that abound in our big backyard and it’s amazing waters.

I can hardly wait,
Brady Hughes
Firehole Ranch Guide