Gallatin River Lodge

If you ever happen to find yourself in the Bozeman, Montana, area and in need of a place to stay, I would highly recommend the Gallatin River Lodge. A wonderful western-style lodge, the Gallatin River Lodge is everything I could ever want in a lodge or hotel. Nestled in the Gallatin Valley, snow-topped mountains cap stunning scenery surrounding this small lodge in Big Sky country. Continue reading

Talking steelhead with John Simms

On my recent trip to Montana to attend the Simms Ice Out Guide Event, I had the great pleasures of speaking a couple of times with John Simms, the founder of Simms Fishing Products. The first was over a relaxed drink in the sun with John and his wife at the Gallatin River Lodge. Although John is no longer the owner (he sold the company to KC Walsh), it was a real treat to talk with him about his life, hear some of his many stories, and share with him my own thoughts and stories. Continue reading

Dress for success

I had a customer a few years back that came up to fish with me during a real cold spell early in the smallmouth season. It was early May, and the water temps were perfect for big pre-spawn females. Sadly, a nasty cold front dropped in just prior to this particular customer’s visit. In early May, this isn’t uncommon, and I really tried to stress how important it was to dress in layers. “Bring some fleece to layer up with,” I kept repeating. Continue reading

Blade Baitin’ Bass

For my early spring smallmouth fishing, there are a large variety of lures that can be effective. One such lure is the blade bait. Sure, jerkbaits are another staple, but often they require a pause in the retrieve of 6 or 7 seconds or more. And in ultra cold water, a jerkbait may not be the most effective way to target fish.

For my money, when the water is 50 degrees or less, I’m throwing a blade bait. They cast a proverbial country mile, even in strong spring winds; they sink quickly, allowing me to cover a lot of water; and best of all—they flat out catch fish! And not just smallmouth will chew on this piece of metal. I’ve caught just about everything that swims up here in northern Michigan with a blade bait. And even though I may be targeting smallmouth bass, the reality of knowing that I might very well catch something else only leads to the excitement.