12 Days of FISHmas


For the holiday gift giving season we will be featuring one of our specials counting down the 12 days to Christmas!  We’re calling it the 12 Days of FISHmas!  We have LOTS of great deals throughout our shop all month long but these are some of our fun deals you don’t want to miss! (You can still take advantage of the deals from the earlier days if we still have those items in stock.)

You can still take advantage of these specials even if you don’t live in our area.  Like Santa, we can deliver your goodies right to your door.  You’re tight for time so it will have to be expedited shipping which will cost a little bit but your loved one or fishing buddy is worth it!

Day 1- Classes and Schools!


Day 2- 20% Off Tenkara Rod Outfits!


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Missouri River Fishing Report 11/12/15

Rainbow on the Missouri River

Everyone loves admiring big Rainbows in Autumn!

Late Autumn is here with an exclamation point!  The mornings are at or below freezing, it “warms” up to the 40’s and 50’s in the afternoon and the wind blows steady.  Sounds like steelhead weather to me!  (More on that in a future post!)  Why would you fish to the MO in mid-November?  It’s not because of the awesome weather -it’s because of the awesome fishing and solitude.  With the Missouri being a tailwater fishery (below a dam), the water temps are buffered from big swings -both daily and seasonally.  When other rivers in Montana succumb to frigid temperatures (30’s) and the trout in those waters slow down and go into their more mellow winter mode, the Missouri it still going strong with water temps in the upper 40’s and low 50’s.  As a result, the poikilothermic bugs and trout have a grand time in November.  We will have heavy hatches of Baetis and Midges everyday and the trout will move to eat them.  They will also chase streamers for that big bite of calories.  While trout on the Blackfoot are chillin, the MO trout are chuggin.  All the homeothermic angler needs to do is stay warm and they will be rewarded with a scrappy trout on the end of their leader!

Another advantage to getting out on the MO this month is the solitude that it can provide.  With every hunting season open and football in full swing, hockey, basketball, schools in session and couch potatoes are doing their thing – that leaves the rivers like the Missouri to us more dedicated anglers.  (Yes, some people call us stupid or crazy, but that’s okay.  A 20″ trout on BWO or a Bugger makes up for any dent in my self esteem by name callers!)

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Strainer gets Interviewed by Tom Rosenbauer for the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my long time friend, Tom Rosenbauer, for his awesome podcasts he hosts and produces, The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast.  Tom and I “sat down” to talk about fishing the MO and other waters in Montana in the busy and “dog days” of summer.  It was a lot of fun talking about the subjects I love -fly fishing, the MO, “other” waters and shop stuff.


Tom is a great interviewer and I think we touched on subjects that many people will find informative and helpful in their own adventures to the MO and beyond.  Check out this and the other podcasts that Tom produces.  I think you’ll find Tom as legit as they get as a fly angler.  It’s easy to subscribe to his podcast in iTunes -Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast.  You can also listen to single episodes on feedburner -Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast.

Check out my Podcast Interview on the Orvis News:

Podcast: Lessons from the Missouri River with Chris Strainer

Missouri River Fishing Report 01/29/15

swinging streamers on the missouri river

Flows Below Holter: 4800 cfs (normally 4900)…. Water Temperature: 34° F…. Flows Below Hauser: 4930 cfs (normally 3720)…. Water Temperature: low to mid 30’s…. Crazy warm and beautiful weather (for January) the past few days has made for some pretty sweet conditions to get out and wet a line.  The fishing on the MO has been pretty good for the most part but “they” have been monkeying around with the flows. (You know, the dam people.) Down last Friday, up on Sunday, down on Tuesday then down again yesterday.  Not huge swings but enough to phase the fishing.  (You can see the MO flows live here:  MO below Holter ; MO below Hauser)  There was a good bit of low snow run off  that happened that actually muddied up the Little Prickly Pear and muddied up the MO a bit.  That too, had an impact on the consistency of fishing -or catching.  (The fishing is always good, right?!) The forecast is for the Spring-like weather to continue for the next several days (with a little dip down near freezing on Saturday -of course).  Not great for our snow pack but it will allow you to get out and enjoy some fishing.  (You can see the current snowpack conditions here:  Streamflows & Snowpack) Continue reading

The Smith is Flowing Fine!

Father and son on Smith

Father & Son, John & Trevor, enjoying a dry fly caught Brown on the Smith River

Just got off the Smith River on Wednesday and I’ll launch again Saturday.  I’m not sure if my laundry is going to dry between trips.  Not a problem, I love the smell of sweat and campfire smoke from a Smith River trip!  I’ve been guiding for Mike Geary of Lewis & Clark Expeditions for the past several years and the trips just seem to get better and better.  What a great group of Guides and Gearboaters!  (Thank you to the inspirational Derek Hurt, the hardworking Ross Bolling, the great teacher and experienced guide John Howard, the “nothing gets me down” Matt Benson, and the fantastic pinch hitter Zack Unruh.) The river bumped up but all the staff and clients spirits were up as well -and the river fished pretty darn well for being over 800cfs.  The clarity was not great the first two days but got better for the last 3 days -about 2′ or so.

wading on the smith

Councilor Rick wading a beautiful bend on the Smith River.

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