WFS 398 – Big Hole Lodge with Wade Fellin – Fly Fishing Montana, Hopper Box, Yellow Sally
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/398
Presented By: Chota Outdoor Gear, Togens Fly Shop, Drifthook, Country Financial
Wade Fellin of Big Hole Lodge is here to take us into one of Montana’s most well-known trout streams. We find out which hatch is Wade’s favorite throughout the year. It coincides with Mother’s Day. And we also find out which big celebrities are doing shows nearby as we speak, not too far away from Wade’s operation there.
We also find out some of the struggles with pressure as everything grows. Wade has definitely seen some things there. We get a couple of tips on that as well. For me, the Montana stream is another bucket list.
Big Hole Lodge Show Notes with Wade Fellin
3:23 – Wade and I talk about Montana and the celebrities who are shooting a show in Montana like Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford.
5:40 – He describes Bozeman, Montana where he grew up. He also talks about the work he does with a water quality advocacy group.
8:42 – We talk about the Madison and Smith Rivers and the permit and licensing regulations for these waters.
11:57 – He shares the amazing story of how his parents built and grew the Big Hole Lodge.
14:45 – He talks about their first clients who were the writer Thomas McGuane III and his son and how Thomas helped them get the word out for the lodge.
15:48 – He tells the months when it gets pretty packed in the river and some issues with water resource management.
19:01 – He shares when the season starts for their lodge.
20:34 – He talks about brown trout issues causing the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) to consider closing these rivers on Oct 1st this year. He also shares their schedule and operation hours in their lodge.
25:07 – He shares when his dad and grandfather joined the army and special forces.
27:05 – He mentions the healing facility in the Big Hole River called the Freedom Ranch where his dad volunteers to teach fly casting. He also shares how fly fishing helped the veterans in the healing facility.
29:40 – We talk about the rivers in Montana and the laziness in fly fishing.
33:14 – He walks us through the other rivers in Montana that people can fish in.
39:26 – He tells a story of catching the most gorgeous 29-inch brown trout he ever saw after 30 years of fishing the river.
45:10 – He talks about his dad’s career at his age.
47:01 – We dig into the Big Hole River. He also recommends an itinerary of the rivers in Montana.
50:06 – He talks about their plans for the lodge.
52:00 – We touch a little bit on the laws in Montana on stream access and the upcoming legislative session that could put fly fishing lodges like theirs, which rely on public access to public waterways, out of business.
54:41 – He tells the hatches that really get him excited when he thinks of the Big Hole.
56:23 – We go into detail about their hatch chart and his favorite hatch, the Yellow Sallies.
1:01:33 – He describes his fly and hopper box and the day box they give their clients in the lodge when guiding.
1:03:23 – He recommends some other fly shops other than their lodge. Among these are Great Divide Outfitters, Healing Waters Lodge, and Hook & Horn.
1:04:50 – He shares how they got the 2017 Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year award and why he loves the Big Hole Lodge and the people in it.
1:07:02 – I ask him about his favorite Harrison Ford movies.
1:08:05 – We talk about one of the trips they offer in the lodge which is the horseback assisted mountain lake fishing.
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/398