Whiting Farms Grizzly Variant Capes

Some of my favorite dry fly capes are the variants, especially the Whiting Farms Grizzly Variant dry fly hackle capes. The biggest issue for me is finding a good selection to choose from and being able to see the capes before making a purchase. Jim Slattery from Campfire Lodge Resort / JimsFlyCo has an excellent selection of the Whiting grizzly variant capes posted online and has taken individual large photos of each cape. This really helps take the guess work out of buying a cape sight unseen. Along with each photo is a short description which includes the feather sizes and the price. Below I have a couple of variant cape examples from his website. One is a Hebert Miner Silver cape and the other is a Whiting Farms Bronze variant cape.

Whiting-Farms-Grizzly-Variant-Cape2I personally prefer buying capes because it allows me to tie a wider range of fly patterns in many different sizes. You get a lot more for your money than buying a Whiting 100 pack and a wider ranger of hackle sizes than you get in a saddle.

Whiting Farms Grizzly Variant Cape

Whiting Farms Grizzly Variant Rooster Cape

Click here to see all the in-stock Whiting Farms Grizzly Variant Capes for sale at Campfire Lodge Resort / JimsFlyCo. If you are wondering, I own four, beautiful grizzly variant capes. One cape is almost Cree like and very buggy looking. :-)

It is amazing to see all the Whiting Farms capes and saddle hackle in stock at Campfire Lodge Resort.

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Fly Fishing West Yellowstone in September

Finally made a trip to West Yellowstone in mid-September. That’s something I always wanted to do. I picked up JeremyG, a fellow fly fisherman, in the Twin Cities and jumped on Hwy 94 for the long boring drive West. Since I drove over from SE Wisconsin Jeremy did all the rest of the driving that day while I filled his head with stories of screaming Hardy reels and feisty, hot trout.

After laying over in Billings the first night I told Jeremy I would drive so he could see the amazing scenery. You could see the evidence of the snow they had in the mountains 3 days before we arrived and the air temps were still very cool.

The 4 hour drive from Billings, MT to Bozeman to West Yellowstone goes fast with gorgeous mountains, pine forests and rivers. I always love the drive down from Bozeman along side the Gallatin River.

We rolled in West Yellowstone midday and had time to blow so we stopped in to Jacklin’s Fly Shop and got our YNP fishing licenses and I introduced Jeremy to Bob Jacklin. Bear spray on sale for $30. :)

Even though our stuff was still packed I decided we should go into the YNP and check out the Madison, Firehole and Gibbon. Not much was happening in the warm air and bright sunlight in the afternoon. We quickly went from sweatshirts to t-shirts and lots of liquids for the dry air. You could tell the number of tourists in the park was much lower than during the summer months.

The Firehole is a magical river full of jumping rainbows and browns.

Firehole River

Firehole River

The Gibbon River at the Junction..

Gibbon River

Gibbon River

Madison River in the Yellowstone National Park..

Madison River

We then headed to Campfire Lodge Resort in West Yellowstone to check in, say hello to my friends Jim & Wendy Slattery and to crash in our cabin.

Campfire Lodge Resort is nestled between Hebgen Lake and Quake Lake right on the Madison River in the Gallatin National Forest…

Campfire Lodge Resort in West Yellowstone

The interior of the cabins are clean and rustic with all the things you need… heat, stove, sink, bathroom, kitchen, shower, living room and bedrooms.

Our cabin (Cabin #3) at Campfire Lodge Resort was right on the Madison River. You could literally sit outside the cabin and cast to the river.

Campfire Lodge Cabin Rental

Every morning we got up and had an awesome breakfast at the cafe at Campfire Lodge. This is the best place for breakfast in all of West Yellowstone and everyone around knows it too!

We went in real early for breakfast to avoid the crowds. Great food and great service!!

The fly shop which is connected to the cafe and has an amazing selection of Whiting capes and saddles, well over 1,000 capes and saddles to choose from! Plus, a huge assortment of flies for all the local rivers.

Whiting Capes and Saddle Hackle

Trying not to bore everyone.. we first ran around fishing different places just for the fun it… including the Gallatin River which was extremely low and the fish were tucked tight against the banks and very shy. You need to fish upstream and be very quiet or you will spook these fish.

Gallatin River

We went back in the park to fish the Madison in the evening for the White Miller caddis hatch. Every where we went there we guys fly fishing. I settled on a spot that is a fair hike up the last meadow and fished there that evening with lots of small trout rising.

The next morning I wanted to show Jeremy the 3 Dollar Bridge and see Raynolds Pass on the Madison River. The drive down from Campfire Lodge is spectacular…

Madison River

We both hooked a few good fish but neither of us landed them. Most guys were fishing small beadhead nymphs or Shopvacs with a bobber for indicators, which I did not want to do. Overall the really warm sunny days were making fishing on the Madison pretty slow. Lots of FF’ers by all the bridges too.

3 Dollar Bridge on the Madison River

After this I told Jeremy I can not handle this type fishing anymore and I took him to one of my special dry fly fishing spots, never to be revealed. :-)

It was awesome… big rainbows, screaming reels and small dry flies. We were in pig heaven with Baetis, Callibaetis, fly ants, caddis and other crap floating down the river! We ended up fishing it everyday with amazing results.

When the wind wasn’t blowing we had a blast! My Hardy reel was constantly screaming with hot rainbows leaping and shooting across the river.

and some nice brown trout too…

Thursday was thunderstorms and raining and we headed back into the Yellowstone National Park to fish the Firehole River. I was hoping for a good Baetis hatch but instead we had clouds of White Miller caddis dancing along the river and small trout jumping every where. The water temp. on the Firehole was 72 degrees. In comparison, the Madison River below Hebgen Lake was 58 degrees.

Firehole River

I think there were more fly fishermen than tourists in the park!

Firehole River

We saw lot of bison, some elk, antelope, and had a cow moose and her calf come out morning and block our way back for over an hour..

Bighorn sheep

The only bears we saw…

Fall colors were magnificent. This is Campfire Lodge Resort looking at cabin #12 along the Madison River.

Camfire Lodge Resort

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Whiting Farms – future hackle!!

This is a lot of future Whiting hackle…very cool!

Whiting Farms chicks

See Whiting Farms short Facebook video clip here… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=334120490085555

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Fly Fishing in September in Yellowstone National Park

It’s been a long time since I fly fished in YNP in September. So I have bought 3 used Fly Fishing Guides to Yellowstone National Park paperback books through Amazon. Plus, emailing several friends for their insights and Googled to find relevant articles online. Then I created separate digital maps of each river with mile markers, trout species, best spots to fish, and hatches/terrestrials to tie. Lastly, I printed each map out on 8″ x 11″ full size paper and I am going to get all my YNP river maps laminated at Office Max. Nothing like being prepared.

I will be staying with my friends, Jim & Wendy Slattery at http://www.campfirelodgewestyellowstone.com in a cabin on the Madison River nestled in the Gallatin National Forest.

YNP-overview-mapStay tuned for the adventure and how we do.

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New Improved Beadheads

At the July 2014 International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) show in Orlando Florida, Flymen Fishing Company introduced the new Nymph-Head® Evolution™. The Nymph-Head Evolution beadhead is a family of tungsten fly-tying beads molded in the natural shape, size and colors of the heads of the three most common aquatic insects that trout feed upon — mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies. Moving beyond the traditional round bead…the Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadheads allows fly tiers to tie nymphs that not only sink quickly, but have a more anatomically correct profile and head-size relative to the insect’s body and in more of the correct coloration of the insect.

Flymen Nymph-Head Evolution beadheads

I ordered one each of the Bead Style:Mayfly Swimmer & Burrower and the Bead Style:Mayfly Clinger & Crawler in size Medium in the Brown color to try out.

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