Name: Bitterroot Trout Unlimited

Posts by Bitterroot Trout Unlimited:

    Fousts to be feted at Oct. 13 BRTU banquet

    October 1st, 2017

    Our 38th annual banquet is set for Friday, October 13 at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton. The banquet doors open at 5:00 pm. Ticket sales are moving briskly and we have a terrific assortment of premiums guaranteed to interest just about every taste!

    That said, there is one feature of this year’s banquet that is really  drawing a lot of attention. John and Elna Foust are the indisputable First Family of Fly Fishing in the Bitterroot. At this year’s banquet, BRTU will be presenting John and Elna  with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to fly fishing, fly tying and conservation. And to top it off, John has donated one of his custom folding fly boxes with more than 4 dozen flies from his personal collection for our Live Auction! So if you would like to help us pay tribute to this special couple, plan on attending the banquet. The great picture of John is from a Ravalli Republic story that was written a few years ago. 

    But that’s not the only fun part of the banquet. There will be Live and Silent Auctions, bucket raffles, door prizes and a special

    CARDO drawing for a custom bamboo flyrod crafted by Robert A. Ratcheson. Here are the Live Auction premiums for you to check out.

    And these are just a small fraction of the outstanding premiums, like a complete travel outfit with an Echo rod, Lamson reel, line, leader and travel case, and a Sage rod/Abel reel combo, a pizza dinner for 6, a fabulous lunch, outrageous wines, a Yeti cooler, gorgeous photographs, gift baskets and more.

    Tickets are available at Freestone Fly Shop and several other shops in the valley. They are $50 a piece and they are going fast. There might be a few tickets left to purchase at the door, but last year’s was a stone-cold sellout, so don’t dilly dally.

    For more information or to volunteer to help, please contact Greg Chester at gchester55@aol.com at or Ria Overholt at riaoverholt@gmail.com.

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    Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Banquet, Friday Oct 13, 2017

    August 16th, 2017

    38th annual banquet is set for Friday, October 13 at the Bitterroot River Inn in

    Hamilton. Tickets are on sale already and incredible donations are starting to come in!

    We are going to have some very unique premiums this year.

    One item that is already drawing a lot of interest is a gorgeous split-bamboo rod made by long time BRTU member Bob Ratcheson. Bob has crafted a 7 foot 2 inch 4 weight rod with 2 tips specifically for our banquet. He says this rod has a delicate action and is not intended for fish over 24 inches.

    The rod is available as a CARDO drawing so that everyone has an equal chance. Cards from a special deck of cards will be $50 and we will draw the winning card when the deck is sold out. If you want to purchase a card now, please contact Ria Overholt. Right now it is still possible to request your lucky card from the deck.

    I mentioned in the last issue that we will be honoring Elna and John Foust with a Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing everything that they have done for the promotion of flyfishing in the valley.  I can now report that the 2017 Golden Trout Award will be presented to the Keystone Enrichment Program of the Hamilton School District. Keystone is our long-running partner in the Bitterroot Buggers program.

    If you have any questions, or would like to make a donation or help at the banquet, please contact Ria OverholtPeggy Ratcheson or Marshall Bloom. You can also complete and email one of these folks a donor/sponsor form.

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    May Fly Fishing Clinic 2017

    February 24th, 2017

    Announcing… A Fly Fishing Clinic
    sponsored by The Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot (FFB) and the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited (BRTU)

    4 Wednesdays in May , 2017 (5/3, 10, 17 & 24)
    Corvallis Middle School, 6 – 8:30 PM

    • Designed for beginning adult anglers
    • Comprehensive curriculum covering all aspects of fly fishing.
    • Great value at $50 per person
    • Enrollment includes a 1 year membership in BRTU & FFB
    • Already a member? …then your tuition is only $35
    Special Feature!
    Casting instruction provided by Chuck Stranahan and his expert staff.
    Chuck and Steve Davis are Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructors
    Sign up deadline – April 15!!
    Limited enrollment so sign up early!

    You may enroll at Freestone Fly Shop in Hamilton or
    Chuck Stranahan’s Flies and Guides in Hamilton.

    You may also mail in your enrollment form plus a check payable to BRTU
    BRTU
    PO Box 262
    Hamilton MT 59840
    Questions? Call Greg Chester at 406-363-0033 or Chuck Stranahan at 406-363-4197
    Cut here

    Fly Fishing Clinic
    Tuition: $50 ($35 if a member of BRTU or FFB) Make checks payable to BRTU. If mailing send to BRTU,
    PO Box 262 , Hamilton MT 59840

    You can also print out this image and mail in the information

    May Fly Fishing Clinic 2017 Bitterroot Trout Unlimited

    May Fly Fishing Clinic 2017
    Bitterroot Trout UnlimitedMay

     

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    eDNA Trout Tracking Featured at November 17 BRTU Meeting

    November 10th, 2016

     

    eDNA Trout Tracking Featured at November 17 BRTU Meeting

     

    Kellie Carim, PhD,  a scientist at National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation  will present the program at our next BRTU meeting, titled “eDNA: tracking trout with DNA and modern molecular biology.” The meeting is Thursday, November 17, and starts at 7:00 PM at the Hamilton Elks Lodge at 203 State Street in Hamilton.

     

     What is eDNA and why is it of interest to TU members and conservationists? eDNA stands for environmental DNA and reflects the latest modern methodology to be employed in fisheries biology. As you can see from the photos that Mike Schwartz took of Kellie at work, the scientists go out to a stream and using carefully designed protocols run samples of water through a special filter. Back in the lab, scientists like Kellie extract the DNA from the minuscule amounts of mucous, scales, cells and biological debris that have been trapped on the filter. Then using the very latest and unbelievably powerful DNA technology and associated computer analysis, they can determine the types of fish in a particular section of river or creek. If looking for native cutthroat trout in a river system is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, eDNA technology has the effect of making the needle enormous and the haystack very small. This site has a nice description of eDNA and Kellie’s work.

    With the results of the eDNA studies on a stream, MFWP biologists can now confirm the presence of native or non-native fish and focus their management and survey work. The method can also be used to look for invasive non-native aquatic species, like weeds and zebra mussels. Chris Clancy tells me that the method is even being used here in the Bitterroot.

    So does this mean we will soon have a pocket test to see if there are trout in that run where we can’t get a strike? Come to the meeting and find out!

    The public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission

    And, remember! We will be having dinner with Kellie at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

    For more information, please contact Greg Chester, or Marshall Bloom 

     

     

    Streamflows and Weather Prediction. Cross Your Fingers!

     

    The amount of rain that we had last month in the Bitterroot and other parts of Western Montana was truly astounding. Many locations in the Flathead had record high amounts of precipitation and streamflows were running well above average.

    This story from the Missoulian gives a good summary of rainflow as of November 1.

    The Bitterroot River hydrograph at Darby shows how good the flows there have been, but you can also see how quickly the river drops once the rain stops.  The flows in the Clark Fork near Missoula are really something. You can go to this USGS site to check out data for all the streams in the state. It will become apparent that not all streams have been as fortunate as the Kootenai Clark Fork drainages. All in all, most would agree that we are going into winter with well hydrated systems!

    This link is to the DNRC’s Basin by Basin Water Supply Report compiled by Ada C. Montague, who is State Water Planner for the Clark Fork & Kootenai Basins. The report may need some revision after the deluge of October, but it is informative.

    Of course, the situation next year depends on snowfall this winter, what spring is like and if we get rain next summer. The National Weather Service in Missoula recently issued its forecast for the coming winter. You can see their predictions for the Northern Rockies at this YouTube site.

     

     

    Short Casts…….

     

    Picture of the Week 

     

    This week’s photo was submitted by Tonia Bloom. The picture was snapped by during a gorgeous fall float on the Lower Clark Fork in late October.

    Old Esox viciously struck an 8 inch heavily-weighted tandem streamer fly lobbed into its lair on a 9 wt rod with a steel tippet. This was a very healthy specimen estimated to be over 20 pounds and close to 40 inches – the largest fish that Jack or I had ever seen caught on a fly. Doubtful this fish got so big eating tricos or PMDs.

    A couple of days later as I was showing the photo to Jim at Freestone Flies and Guides, he showed me a photo of 4 20+ inch pike caught by an angler wading downstream from Stevensville.

    It is hard to know if the marked increase in pike being caught indicates expansion in range and numbers, or people looking for some variety in angling experiences. Time will tell. In the meantime, if you hear of a pike being caught upstream of Stevensville, please email me.

    **********************

    Thanks, John Hickman.

    Perennial attendees at our BRTU banquets may have noticed that a regular figure wasn’t there. Retired Marine Corps Captain John Hickman died on October 13. John had been in failing health for the last couple of years. Prior to his death, his family and friends had donated some of John’s well-cared for tackle to BRTU and they were used at the banquet.

    John could be seen at the banquet prowling the items and filling out raffle tickets with his pipe bobbing in his teeth. Unfailingly friendly and polite, he was usually in the company of another retired Marine family, Jim and Marilee Shockley.

    We would like to acknowledge John, his family and his friends for their support and friendship over the years. 

     

     

    Monte Dolack prints 

    now available at Joe’s Studio

    Copies of the limited edition “Bitterroot River-Lost Horse Bend” by Monte Dolack are now available at Joe’s Studio. BRTU commissioned Monte Dolack to create this iconic print of the Bitterroot River.

    All prints are numbered and signed by Monte. Unframed prints are $175 and all proceeds support BRTU efforts to protect trout and streams. 

    Joe’s Studio, a regular sponsor of our banquets, is located in Hamilton at 220 Marcus Street (961-4586, joesstudio@aol.com)

     For additional information, please contact Marshall Bloom (drtrout@mtbloom.net, 363-3485)

    The “U” in BRTU

    Unlike many groups, BTRU has no paid staff. We are an entirely volunteer organization. We are always looking for new members to get involved in projects or to join our board and assist with maintaining our focus on native fish, clean healthy streams and education. If you would like to help out, please contact BRTU Chapter President Greg Chester at gchester55@aol.com. We could sure use your help!

    In other words, how about putting a little “U” in BRTU?

    If  “U” are not already a member, “U” can join TU today by going to the Montana TU website http://montanatu.org/ Our chapter number is #080.

    For your information, here is a tabulation of our current hard-working BRTU officers and board members.


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    October 14 BRTU banquet: better get your tickets!

    October 2nd, 2016

    The 37th annual BRTU banquet is less than 2 weeks away and tickets are really moving!! 2016banquetThis year the banquet will be on Friday, October 14 at the Bitterroot River Inn, and will start at 5:00 pm.

    Tickets are on sale now  in Hamilton at Freestone Fly Shop, Chuck Stranahan’s Fly Shop and Angler’s Roost, and in Darby at Bitterroot Fly Company and Freestone Fly Shop. The price of tickets remains at $50.00. There are still tickets left and they will be available at the door, but we are looking at another sellout. So, you had better get your tickets and make your plans to attend now.

    This year we have some amazing Live Auction premiums including float trips donated by Jack Mauer, Scott Nicolarsen, Rick Thomas,  and Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. On top of that, Dave and Chris Decker at The Complete Fly Fisher, Craig Fellin at the Big Hole Lodge, and the exclusive Ranch at Rock Creek have donated premiums that include accommodations and fishing. There will be artwork, photography and pottery donated by local artisans, rods by Orvis, Sage, R.L. Winston and Loomis as well as Orvis reels, Atlantic salmon flies, and Simms gear. Several gourmet dinners are on tap, one with soft piano jazz. It is not possible to list everything, but here is a list of Live Auction premiums.

    This year we will be doing a paddle call to support our flagship Bitterroot Buggers program that is approaching the 20 year anniversary. We will debut a video about the Buggers produced and directed by one of our high school board members, Minica Casbara. The Buggers have made a real difference for a lot of young people and you wont want to miss this video.

    Remember that in addition to being one of the most fun events in the Bitterroot, the banquet is our only fund raiser of the year. So our success is completely dependent upon your generosity!

    SusanThis stunning pen and ink drawing and wash “Raptor in Flight” has been donated by artist Susan Connell and will be featured in the Live Auction. You can read more about it in the attached list of Live Auction premiums .

    Remember that in addition to being one of the most fun events in the Bitterroot, the banquet is our only fund raiser of the year. So our success is completely dependent upon your generosity!

    Afliesnother unique Live Auction item “Match the Hatch in 14 Karat.” This premium features 4 iconic Bitterroot dry flies tied by legend John Foust on 4 14 karat gold hooks made by local jewelry artist Cindy Mikesell. Each fly has a sapphire at the point, and they can be used as a pin or a tie-tack. The flies are displayed in a small flybox of exotic hardwoods donated by Jay Haglund and Donna Woodroof. It is doubtful anyone would fish with these treasure, but they are really beautiful!

    For more information on the banquet or to volunteer as a helper, please contact Greg ChesterMarshall Bloom or Peggy Ratcheson.

     

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    2016-2017 BRTU Chapter Meeting Program Schedule

    October 1st, 2016

    The list of programs for BRTU’s 2016-2017 has been finalized. The meetings are the 3rd Thursday of the month through April, 2017, excluding December 2016.

    All meetings start at 7:00 pm Hamilton Elks Club, 203 State St in Hamilton. The public is welcome to attend and there is no charge for admission.

    Here is the list (subject to change), but I am also attaching a pdf of the program schedule:

    September 15, 2016 – Colin Cooney, Trout Unlimited, Montana Field Coordinator, Helena, MT “The Smith River mine: a Montana treasure in peril.”

    October 20, 2016 – Kim Vietz, Executive Director, Teller Wildlife Refuge, Corvallis, MT, “Teller Wildlife Refuge: pioneering private land conservation in the Bitterroot Valley.”

    November 17, 2016 – Kellie Carim, PhD,  National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula, MT., “E-DNA: tracking trout with DNA and modern molecular biology.”

    January 19, 2017– Marissa Sowles, GEUM, Hamilton, MT, “Resuscitating the Clark Fork River to restore a wild trout fishery.”

    February 16, 2017 – Bruce Farling, Executive Director, and David Brooks, Director of Conservation, Montana Trout Unlimited, “Montana trout conservation: where are we and where are we going?”

    March 16, 2017 – Jeremy Anderson, DDS, Victor, Montana, “Scouting for giant tarpon in Gabon and off the west coast of Africa.”

    April 20, 2017– Brett Bowersox, Fishery Staff Biologist, Idaho Fish and Game, Lewiston, ID, “Wild steelhead monitoring and management in the state of Idaho: keeping Idaho chrome.”

    To join or for additional information about Trout Unlimited, go to www.montanatu.org, or contact Greg Chester at  (406) 363-0033 or gchester55@aol.com.

    And don’t forget we will be having dinner with the presenters, BRTU members and friends at 5:00 pm at the Spice of Life. Long-time BRTU support Karen Suennen will donate 10% of the proceeds to BRTU.

    Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
    (406) 363-3031  Click here for directions

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    New Fishing Access Site proposed for Stevensville

    September 30th, 2016

    According to a news article in this week’s Bitterroot Star, a proposed land swap near the Stevensville bridge would lead to an improved Fishing Access Site (FAS).

    State Senator Fred Thomas made the proposal to the Stevensville City Council on behalf of the landowner. The land trade would be between the City of Stevensville and the land owner, but a Memorandum of Understanding would commit MFWP to develop and maintain the project under its FAS program. The proposal envisions parking spots for both truck/trailer units and single vehicles, and would include a concrete latrine.

    MFWP supports the proposal, as do former BRTU Chapter President Eddie Olwell, and the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association. BRTU has not yet taken a position on the project, and no action was taken at the meeting by the Stevi City Council.

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    Volunteers still REALLY needed For April 19 Buggers last class!

    April 15th, 2016

    The next Buggers night is Tuesday, April 19.
    This last night of class is dedicated to casting instruction and our final class of the season TBA will include an outdoor picnic and fishing for the kids.

    Last week’s tying class went very well, but we were really short of helpers! A ratio of one helper for every 2 students is optimal and we want to keep that ratio in the coming weeks. I am including a few pictures that Peg Miskin took to encourage your participation.

    Come down and help on our flagship program. The kids this year are really great and very attentive, so they are a pleasure to work with. You do not need to be a skilled tier to be of major assistance. We are nearing the end of the classes, so the tying skills of the students have improved significantly. This makes it a lot more fun to assist.

    Class is from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Hamilton Middle School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St.  Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.

    Questions? Contact Joe Byrne of the Keystone Program at  369-0568 or Greg Chester at gchester55@aol.com

    Thanks in advance for your valued assistance –

    BRTU and Keystone Enrichment Program

    IMG_0790 IMG_0797 IMG_0802

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    April 21 BRTU meeting to feature St Joe, Kelly Creek and North Fork of the Clearwater!

    April 12th, 2016

    Holy Cutthroat! The number of inquiries I have had about the upcoming meeting about Kelly Creek, The St Joe and the North Fork of the Clearwater is nothing short of amazing. I am guessing this will be on the best attended meetings we have ever had. BRTU.02

    So, the April 21 BRTU meeting is one you won’t want to miss.  Joe DuPont from the Idaho Fish and Game will be coming over from Lewiston, ID to talk about the St Joe River, Kelly Creek and the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

    The meeting will start at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 21 at the Hamilton Elks Club at 203 State Street in Hamilton. The title of Joe’s talk is “The St. Joe, Kelly Creek,and the North Fork of the Clearwater: exceptional fishing right next door.” Joe sent some very savory pictures of the streams and the fish.BRTU-01

    It turns out that by driving a little further and buying an Idaho license, you can enjoy some of the best fishing in the northwest. The St. Joe, Kelly Creek, and the North Fork of the Clearwater offer relatively uncrowded and exceptional angling opportunities. A few Bitterroot hardies have made the short trip and all agree the fishing is more than worth the drive.

    The catch and release management offers the chance to catch some magnificent trout, the access is pretty easy, and the scenery is what fly fishing ought to be like.BRTU.ct-trout

    This will be our last general membership meeting until October. so you don’t want to miss this.

    As always, the public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission.

    For additional information, please contact Greg Chester or Marshall Bloom

    And, remember! We will be having dinner with Joe at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

    Information for Elks Lodge 203 State
    Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
    (406) 363-3031  Click here for directions
    https://jizzrain.com/cats/115/

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    Volunteers REALLY Needed For March 22 Buggers Flytying Class

    March 20th, 2016

    The next Buggers tying night is Tuesday, March 22. The first class went well and the students are a great bunch of kids, but additional helpers are desperately needed! A ratio of one helper for every 2 students is optimal and we were nowhere near that.

    So, this is a plea for you to come down and help on our flagship program. You do not need to be a skilled tier to be of major assistance.

    Classes are from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Hamilton Middle School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St. Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.

    The pattern for the coming class is the traditional wet fly Gray Hackle Peacock.

    Don’t forget that each night you help you earn a raffle ticket for a unmounted Monte Dolack print valued at $175. The more you attend, the better your chances! We’ll be judging flies each night for those students choosing to enter. Be sure to review judging criteria and instructor guidelines when you arrive.

    Questions? Call Joe Byrne of the Keystone Program at 369-0568 or Marshall Bloom of BRTU at 363-3485. Thanks in advance for your valued assistance – BRTU and Keystone Enrichment Program


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