Category Archives: Blog

Gallatin River and Area Lakes Fishing Report 07/20/2015

Hello all,

Will here with Grizzly Outfitters river shop, the Gallatin remains an excellent option for fishing in southwestern Montana right now. The dry fly bite has been a little slower the past few days with the cooler temps but people are still bringing fish up all day with the best action being late in the evening. Caddis and PMD’s are the main fare right now but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other bugs around. Don’t be afraid to fish a larger parachute if you see bigger mayflies, even if they aren’t widespread the fish will key in on them. You may also notice a few larger stoneflies around, don’t be afraid to fish some big dries! You may not get as many but searching with a size 10 black and purple chubby can bring some big fish to the surface. Nymph fishing has  been very productive lately, rubber legs, pheasant tails, and lightning bugs will all find fish. We’ve been having good luck on tungsten bead king prince nymphs, pearl lightning bugs and anything purple! The purple UV prince nymph has been awesome and the purple craze parachute has fished great on top. Something about the color purple that just gets those Gallatin fish all riled up…. If you’re hunting for larger fish try an olive Near Nuff sculpin, fish it near the bottom and get out early!

The lake fishing around Big Sky is a great way to escape the crowds and can lead to some beautiful fish in some beautiful locations. A lot of people come into the shop asking about high lake fishing and it can often seem like a daunting task. If you’re interested in fishing dries be ready for some selective trout. In the clear calm water of a mountain lake the fish have a lot of time to inspect your fly, long fine leaders are the ticket for this kind of fishing. More often then not your best bet will be to go deep and fish nymphs. A black or olive wooly bugger stripped SUPER slow is a tried and true method for catching lake fish, try trailing a small scud or midge off the back. Creek mouths, points, drop offs and weed beds are all good areas to target when lake fishing. If the fish are really tricky you might want to try fishing with an indicator, go eight feet to the first fly and twelve inches from that one to the dropper. Experiment with different twitches and retrieves, I like to use a slow retrieve and count my flies down after each strip, patience is key! Damsel Fly nymphs, little green machines, red zebra midges and rainbow Czech scuds are a few of my favorites and will get it done on most of the lakes around Big Sky.

Hebgen and Quake lake are just down the road from Big Sky and offer the opportunity to chase some truly massive fish. When the winds are down, the clouds are out and the stars align you can have some truly amazing dry fly fishing. Long leaders and fine tippets are the recipe on this still water even more than others in the area, the bugs range in size from twelve down to eighteen depending on the time of year so have a range of your favorite mayfly imitations. Klink Adams, AP Galloups Mayfly, T’s Carnage Drake and a the trusty old royal wulff are a few that work for us but everyone has there favorite so don’t be afraid to experiment. The nymphing tactics we use on the high lakes will work well on Hebgen also, one other fly to throw into the mix is the clouser crayfish. A boat is a great way to explore the lake but there are plenty of options for shore fishing. Swing by the shop and we’ll point you in the right direction.

On some days the river can seem quite crowded, the canyon North of Big Sky draws the most anglers but the fishing south of here can be excellent. Explore some new water and have a chat with someone you’ve never met before, who knows you may find your new favorite spot or learn your new favorite fly. Whatever you chose to do be polite and try to give your fellow anglers a little elbow room.

Happy fishing and tight lines,                                                                                                    -Will

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Gallatin River 7/7/2015

Hello fisher folk,

Will here with Grizzly Outfitters on the river, a plug of mud moved through the Gallatin below Taylor’s Fork yesterday and last night but it’s clearing up quick. There is still a greenish tint to the river near big sky but plenty of visibility for some nymph fishing. Try a black stone fly with a goomie worm dropped of the back and you’ll find fish. The river should be clear enough for dries by the afternoon and there are certainly a lot of bugs to chose from. Caddis, mayflies and a few yellow sallies will be the main ticket items to look for but you may be surprised with a larger drake or even some late hatching stone flies! Don’t be afraid to fish a larger parachute, think size 12, or even a smaller stone fly like a size 12 purple chubby. Keep your eyes peeled for the spruce moth!! You can never be sure when this terrestrial will make it’s first major appearance but when it does you’ll want to be ready!

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6/30 Gallatin River

Hello fisher people!

The Gallatin is dropping fast this year and all of the hatches seem to be just a little bit ahead of schedule. You may have noticed that some fish were a little reluctant to eat dry flies after the salmon fly hatch, now that they’ve had a few days to digest they’ll be looking up for more big meals! A size 10 golden chubby is a great option for searching the fast canyon water for hungry fish. Don’t forget to fish the shallows! It’s not uncommon to see the back of a nice brown trout break the water as they move into the shallow water to feed. Mayflies and Caddis are also popping up all along the river and can make for some great action. Fast water and an abundance of bugs mean that matching the hatch is not usually necessary, try a purple haze parachute or a royal wulff cripple in a size close to the naturals and you’ll do great. CDC caddis Blooms Caddis and the classic elk hair will all take fish when the caddis flies are out. When fishing the Gallatin it’s much more important to have a good presentation then it is to match the exact hatch, focusing on that perfect drift is essential! Dry fly fishing is awesome but some days the fish just don’t want to come up to eat, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hungry. Rubberlegs, pearl lightning bugs, pheasant tails, trout crack and little green machines are just a few flies to try floating below an indicator during the heat of the day. Start with your point fly about 5 feet from the indicator and a smaller fly about 12 inches below that. Add splitshot about 8 inches above the first fly and adjust depth until you start catching fish, and remember just like with the dry it’s all about the drift! As these hot days continue many rivers will become to warm for good fishing, the Gallatin will stay cool and fish well throughout summer while other rivers shutdown to protect the fish. We are happy to call this river home and are always here at the river shop to point you in the right direction.

Tight Lines!

-Will

Fishing Report 6-28-2015

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Gallatin River-

The Gallatin river has provided a lot of great fishing recently, with one of the best Salmon fly bites that we have seen in a couple of years. Big bugs have made there way through Big Sky and are moving into the park section of the Gallatin.  While the fish are still coming up to look at your larger dry patterns the bite seems to be better on smaller Caddis and PMX patterns.  With our current temperatures we suggest fishing early morning and evenings. Fishing the deeper water during the peak sun will provide your best chance of hooking up.  The shade provided along a lot of the West and South fork can also create some great opportunities for fish.

Chubby Chernobyl Gold – 12-16

Angie’s Knobbler Sally – 14-16

Girdle Bug Olive/Black- 10-14

UV Sally Nymph – 14

 

Upper Madison-

Flows have come up a bit this week with the release of some water from the Dam.  Salmon flies have worked there way up through the walk wade only section.  If you are looking to keep the big bug fishing going this is where we suggest fishing.  Below Lyon’s Bridge we are seeing a lot more action on Caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, and Stoneflies. With the current flows fishing the middle water has lead to more hook ups.  The water temperatures rise quickly in the sun so the fish are looking for the deeper cooler water to hold up in.

X-Caddis – 12-16

Clownshoe Caddis – 14-18

Yellow Stimi Chew Toy – 12 -16

UV Sally Nymph – 14

Doc’s Mothers Caddis – 14-16

 

Lower Madison –

With this body of water being so wide and shallow we have found that the most action has been in the early mornings as or before the sun is coming up, as well as a couple hours after the sun has set.  During the peak sun light the fish are not very likely to be coming to the surface due to the warm water temperatures.  We are seeing a lot of evening PMD, and Caddis hatches down from Bear Trap.  We thoroughly suggest pinching your barbs if fishing in this section.  The faster you can return the fish to water the better chance that fish has to recover and pinching your barb can assist you in this.

Stimulators – 10-16

Copper Bob Softy – 14-18

Purple Lightning Bugs – 14-18

Showshoe Sally – 14-16

 

Yellowstone –

We are still seeing some Salmon and Stone flies by Carbella.  Mostly seeing shucks as apposed to actual bugs flying around, most have made there way into the park.  We are very excited to see that the fish have started to look up along the banks for hoppers.  The hopper bite has not been great for the last couple of years, but we have a feeling this summer that is going to change.  With the early rains this summer and warm weather recently it has created the perfect storm for hoppers.  We have already had good reports with guides running hopper dropper rigs and picking up a lot of fish on the surface fly.  So if you heading over to the stone don’t forget to dust off those hoppers or stop into the shop and check out our large terrestrial selection.

Morrish Hopper Pink – 12 -16

BLT Flesh – 12-14

Morrish Hopper Tan – 12-16

Psycho Prince Dirty Pink – 14-16

UV Prince Purple – 12-16

 

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Fishing Report 6-17-2015

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Gallatin River 6-17-2015

Fishing season is upon us in Big Sky!  The Gallatin is running nice and clean with flows around 1,640 cfs.  What this means for us is great fishing, with water still up and those side channels flowing there are plenty of soft corners for fish to spread out.  In other exciting news Salmon Flies have been spotted on the  river in Big Sky and through out the canyon.  Fishing larger dries such as Chubby Chernobyls, Stimulators, and of course Salmon and Stone fly patterns should produce results.  We strongly suggest coming in and checking out the new selection of Salmon flies for this summer as the bite should be coming on strong over the next couple of days.  One of our new favorites is the Morrish Fluttering Stone in golden.  The last couple of evenings the dry fly bite has made for lights out fishing.

 

West and South Fork are fishing just like the main flow of the Gallatin with plenty of fun dry fly fishing.

 

Madison River

This week the Madison has seen a lot of action.  Boats are stacking up at all of launches and the walk wade section has been packed so get there early to lay claim to your favorite spots.  Salmon flies are the ticket here as well.  Chubby’s, Stimi Chew Toys, and Salmon fly patterns are working incredibly well.  Also try dropping a caddis pupae behind to pick up those fish that just don’t seem to want to come up to feed on the  surface.

 

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone’s flows have dropped a great deal and waters are running with a bit of an olive color still but fishing very well.  This is a river that will please all anglers from the dry fly purists to the streamer junky just looking to rip lip you will find areas to make everyone happy.

 

 

Fishing Report 6-11-15

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Who has the bigger smile?

 

Great news! The Gallatin is starting to clear here in Big Sky and the CFS is dropping daily, down to about 2,730 cfs.  Above the Taylor’s Fork is back to being clear and is fishing very well.  The waters get a bit muddy as you head toward Bozeman as it continues to wash down river.  While there is still some color to the river fishing streamers and larger rubber legs seems to be producing some good fish.  Don’t forget to put a nice flashy dropper on there.  We have had luck recently with lightning bugs 16-18, Trina’s bubble back emergers 14-18, and prince nymphs 14-16.  And don’t forget about worms! The Goomie Worm has been a recent favorite in the  shop with all of the rains.

The West and South Fork also make for some great fishing.  Easy walk from anywhere in town and very nice waters.  The water is still running a little high and fast in some spots so use caution when wading.  This is smaller water so having a smaller creek rod like a new Redington Butterstick or Echo Fiberglass rod can make for some really fun fishing on those smaller fish.  Same patterns as the main Gallatin.

The Madison has made for some great fishing so far this spring/summer.  Streamer fishing has been producing some big browns, although we have found through out the day you can have fun with dry flies as well as nymphing.  Rubber legs, Wooly Buggers, and Warbirds with a flashy dropper has been working well to pick up fish.

The Yellowstone is still holding around 10,000 cfs, running fast and dirty.  With flows being what they are we suggest finding another option.  With the Madison and Gallatin being so close we suggest trying your luck on them instead.  With a lighter snow year we do not anticipate a drawn out run off.  We will keep you informed as the flows start to come down and fishing picks up.

Fishing Report 10-10-2014

Gallatin River Report –

Fishing has been excellent recently.  The Gallatin is running clear, and with the weather we have predicted for this coming week there should be plenty of fish in hand.  As the temps have been getting down there at night there is no huge rush to get to the river first thing in the morning.  Afternoons have been fishing the best recently.

The majority of fish caught recently have been on smaller dries and nymphs.  Our recent recommendations have been dry/dropper rigs, such as Morrish Hopper Pink 10-14 with a Baetis Nymph 16-20 trailing about 12-18 inches behind.  We have also been having some fun subsurface action on Knotty Girls dark brown 6-8 with a purple lightning bug 14-18 about 16-18 inches below the top fly.

Also for you streamer junkies out there it is a good time to start rippin’ lip, stripping smaller streamers such as sculpins, wooly buggers, and zonkers seems to be producing some good fish.  Stop by the shop and see what we have been having fun with recently.

 

Madison River Report –

FALL TEMPS ARE UPON US!  Uncharacteristic rains have brought water levels up a bit on the Madison and they have been releasing water at the Hebgen Damn.  We have not seen any affect on the clarity of the river and high water means happy healthy fish, which puts a smile on all of our faces.

Streamers are seeming to be the ticket right now as the cold temps have made for more aggressive fish.  Coffee’s Sparkle Minnow Peacock has been an attractive pattern to those big browns and bows recently, while your standard nymph set ups, such as girdle bugs and baetis patterns, have been producing a good amount of fish as well.

For those dry fly fanatics out there not yet ready to say good-bye to the dry fly season, we have seen some large blue wing olive hatches in the afternoons and early evenings.  While the river is not boiling with risers you will notice some coming up to feed on the surface, capitalize on it while you can!

Fishing Report for 8-10-2014

Fishing Report for 8-10-2014
Epic Spruce Moth!!

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That’s what is happening right now on the Gallatin; especially here near Big Sky. The trout are literally gorging themselves on the real thing, but also falling for well presented olive/tan elk hair caddis patterns and cut-wing patterns of the lighter phase moths; plus some specialty attractors. We have several dozen of the most effective patterns in stock, and the correct sizes, but they’re going fast!

If you’re in the canyon and have been fishing (and catching) all morning, by 1 to 2 PM the fish are likely fat and happy; so to find more hungry trout get back in the car and move upriver or down a half-mile or so, into harder to reach places. Target areas below low-overhanging trees (preferably spruce) and fish into the shadows; and you should find some more opportunistic trout willing to eat your imitations.
Don’t ignore the presence of small hoppers, beetles, and ants though in late afternoons, , as these terrestrials are very active on the shoreline this time of year and often fall in the drink. Fish that are hanging nearby structure or cut-banks won’t likely let one of those ‘well-presented patterns’ pass by either.
Instead of hopper-dropper, think hopper-ant, as a trailing dry (10-12” max.) This can be deadly in early August. Dress both accordingly, as well as the tippet between them, and this should produce a strike.

The Upper Madison had experienced warm water temps lately, as they pulled from the top of the dam at Hebgen Reservoir. This had slowed the bite considerably, but things are better now. There are still plenty of fish left to be caught; using nymphs like Bubble backs, Shop Vac’s, and Frenchie’s. Float-trips seem to be more productive than walk-and-wade sections and throwing hoppers, chubbys, and ant patterns, will get a few strikes as well. Streamers on cloudy days are also an option.

“The Yellowstone is the river to be floating right now!” Unfortunately word travels fast and everyone knows this; so weekdays are much less crowded than weekends which can be zoos. Mud plugs and an aggressive white fish bite are common August conditions to deal with on the Stone, but getting a few fat cutty’s and that occasional huge brown to take your hopper/chubby off the top; makes a trip worth remembering.
Soda Butte, Slough Creek, and the Lamar Valley are currently the better places to fish in YNP, using terrestrials; and are also not coincidentally…some of the most beautiful waters on earth too!

Fishing Report for 7-15-2014

The Gallatin is in excellent shape!

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While the salmonflies are done the caddis and golden stone dryfly fishing is just getting good. The water levels have finally dropped to more manageable wading levels opening up a huge portion of river that was left unfished for the past month.

This reduction in flows and increased clarity has also allowed trout to move into more areas to hold and feed as well.
All in all this makes for more space between anglers, guided trips, and rafters too; so a more enjoyable river experience for all.

The Upper Madison is also in great shape as far as flows and clarity and fishing great from the walk-and-wade sections all the way down to Ennis for those floating. For those wading it’s a dry fly game with caddis, golden stones, and Yellow Sallys; while those floating like nymphing in afternoons on Shop Vacs, Green Machines, and caddis pupa.
Switching to size 10 golden Chubby Chernobyls or pink Chubby Chucks in the mornings or evenings is a solid bet.
While the shoreline has plenty of fish some of the bigger ones have moved out into the buckets so don’t ignore center-river fishing this time of season.

The Yellowstone River is finally ready to float and fishing great. Granted we’ve experienced a couple mud plugs due to thunderstorms in the park, but when she’s clear it’s on!!

Book Now!

Why DPS Carbon Skis Stand Out

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_5980That’s What She Said

 You know how your grandma says you’ll know immediately when you’ve found “The One”? She was right. It took only a few turns and I fell deeply in love with my DPS Yvette 112RP carbon skis.

 DPS – Heard of them?

Yes, smart guy, I’ve heard what you think DPS stands for. Thanks for telling me anyway and grossing me out on the chairlift. I don’t know you and it’s creepy.

 In 2005 pro skier/ski designer Stephan Drake joined forces with ski engineer Peter Turner and DPS was born. It stands for Drake PowderworkS, and the company seeks to “create the perfect skis worthy of those who live and breathe the sport”.   DPS is known worldwide for its trailblazing technology, shaping, and durability.  They are the world’s only company to create a “Pure prepreg carbon fiber sandwich ski”. Their Pure3 skis are manufactured at their factory in Salt Lake City. Made in the USA!

 Big and Pink and Beautiful

 If you don’t recognize the name, I bet you’d recognize the skis. In contrast to the industry standard, DPS has chosen solid top sheets in optimistic colors with minimalist logos. They stand out in both looks and performance.

 The Pure carbon Yvettes are HOT pink, and just looking at them makes me happy. It’s not just their shimmery unicorn candy heart color, but for their shape and feel. I’ve always been more tomboy than princess – but these Pure carbon skis are beauty and beast. DPS doesn’t dumb down the technology and slap on a pretty top sheet for the ladies. The Yvettes are based on the geometry of the acclaimed DPS Wailers: 141/112/128. The tip rocker is 480mm, which enables the Yvettes to shine in the powder. They’re responsive and do well in a variety of snow conditions.

Confession, I should admit that I telemark. I’ll wait while you tell an out-of-date telemark joke. Haha, done? I think I rode the chairlift with you earlier.

 I mounted my Yvettes with TwentyTwo Design’s Axl bindings.   It’s my dream set up. The Yvette 178cm weigh 1700 grams, or 3.75 pounds each. My Axl bindings (small) weigh 1.9 pounds each. SO combined they weigh 5.65 pounds, which is less than a six-pack. They’re so light that in contrast it felt like there were no skis on my feet.

 Ski the Space Age

DPS pioneered the carbon ski technology utilized at its Salt Lake factory. Similar technology is used in jet fighters and spacecraft. The prepreg carbon used by DPS is spawns freakishly lightweight, torsionally stiff skis. My Yvettes float like a dream in the pow, bust the crud, and carve the corduroy. Ideally we would all have an assortment of skis for different conditions. But if you have to survive with one pair, this would be my pick.

Don’t believe me? Demo a pair 3/21 at Big Sky Resort from 9:30am to 3:00pm, or swing in to Grizzly to check them out.

The Unsung Ski Sock

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_2955The Unsung Ski Sock

If I had a dollar for every kid who has come into my shop to rent skis wearing a thick pair of cotton tube socks, I would be a rich man. Socks don’t matter. Or do they? Here are a few thoughts on what ski socks to buy for every ski occasion.

On a ski vacation and renting ski equipment? This is one of the few times I will recommend a thicker sock. Definitely not cotton though. Stick with wool, which is my preference for both comfort and their natural anti-microbial characteristics. If you are allergic or have a strong aversion to wool, go with a synthetic. Rental boots tend to fit on the large side, so a mid-weight will take up some slop, have some padding for your shins to reduce the dreaded shin bang, and provide some extra warmth. Remember that warm ski boots depend on good circulation and being DRY. This applies to having both dry ski boot liners and dry ski socks.

Buying new Boots? Go thin. Pick your fabric of choice. My preference is merino wool. Thin socks will give the most room in your new boots, which should fit tightly. Trying on new ski boots with thick socks will give you a false sense of the size. Odds are you will end up in a boot that is too big – a costly mistake!

Your ski boots have a few days on them? Experiment with progressively thicker socks until you find the pair that works the best. Ski socks come in a variety of thicknesses from ultra lightweight, to lightweight, to midweight. Feel the thickness of the socks at the foot, and you will notice the subtle differences in thickness. Some will have more padding on the shin, others none at all. If your boots still feel sloppy even with the thickest socks, it might be time for new boots.

Want to feel like superman? Try some compression ski socks. Like the socks used to aid in medical rehabilitation, compression socks vary how much they squeeze your ankles, mid calf, and calf. This helps pump blood out of the legs and back to the heart, slowing fatigue and aiding in recovery. It’s not a gimmick and is well worth the price of admission.

Keep those feet dry!

Ken Lancey, Owner

GNFAC Powder Blast - Why You Should Be There

2e1ax_default_entry_Powder-BlastThe Powder Blast

For years, the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) has offered data on winter backcountry conditions, as well as provided basic avalanche education. The GNFAC provides information for several mountain ranges surrounding their headquarters in Bozeman and beyond. Grizzly Outfitters actively supports the GNFAC, and works with them to educate skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers in the Big Sky area.

The GNFAC daily avalanche advisory is available at their website (www.mtavalanche.com), via email updates, Facebook and your Smartphone (of course!). On average, the advisory reached 4,491 people each day during the 2012-13 season.

The Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (FGNFAC) is a non-profit that works to support the GNFAC through fundraising and educational efforts (I blatantly stole that sentence from their Facebook page).

This fall marks the GNFAC’s 24th season in operation, and tomorrow the FGNFAC will hold the 15th annual Powder Blast benefit. It’s my favorite party of the year (after the ones that I throw for Grizzly, obviously). It’s always nice for this Big Sky bumpkin to throw on a dress (ok, more likely a Patagonia sweater of some type) and head into the big city for a night out. The event is held at the Emerson Cultural Center, and always includes phenomenal food, drink, music (bluegrass, due to the high infestation of telemarkers), and a stellar silent auction.

Many a ski bum might balk at the $30 donation cost for entry – but let’s think this through together. A Tasty meal (a buffet, nonetheless), beer/wine, awesome music (Holler n’ Pine), PLUS daily advice that will save your life and education for your friends (so that maybe they can save your life) – all for only $30?

It’s a no-brainer (meaning snowboarders should come too). I’m guessing that folks who don’t frequent fundraisers might be timid – but this is not the time. Do you enjoy the back country? Do you love someone who does? See you tonight.

LOVE this? HATE this? Email me! amy@grizzlyoutfitters.com

*I should admit that I am a telemark skier and I date a snowboarder. Any stereotypical references to either subculture were intended to be loving and lighthearted. Feel free to send me a mean email if you’d like – I love hearing from you either way.*

Off Season in Big Sky

Off-season is upon us here in Big Sky. After the chairs stop spinning at Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, tourist traffic slows, seasonal employees vanish, and locals travel. Big Sky becomes a mellow hideaway. Some associate off-season with desolation and chaotic weather, but it’s an incredible time of year.

At Grizzly Outfitters, we pack up our ski rental fleet and set up our bike and fly shops. We mark down our winter gear and set up for summer. Locals hit the backcountry, or voyage to warmed climes to hike, bike, climb, surf, etc. I took my boys for a week of camping in Southern Utah. We biked the Slickrock Trail, jumped off hidden waterfalls, and climbed on the Swiss cheese rocks at the San Rafael Swell. It could not have been a more perfect getaway.

Mother Nature has been treating us to wonderful weather since our return. We’ve gotten enough moisture to help the gardens grow, but enough sun to draw us outside. Right now, my purple hyacinths and daffodils are bursting. It’s time to rake the yard and check the sprinklers – but, I probably won’t (sorry neighbors).

As you may know, Grizzly has a full-service fly shop and guide service. I’ve made it out for a couple floats on the legendary Yellowstone River. I stripped my first streamer, and caught my first decent Montana native cutthroat trout. Our guides are busy already, and it’s going to be a great summer. Stay tuned for gear reviews, casting clinic and demo information, as well as our area fishing report.

Back in the shop, we’re geared up for summer. We’ve received most of our 2013 summer clothing and gear. Our buyers have picked out some gorgeous clothing, so keep an eye on our Facebook page to check them out.

I got my bike tuned and have been hitting local trails to whip myself back into shape. The snow has melted from the lower elevation trails in Big Sky. To celebrate Mothers Day, I met up with a bunch of friends for a great early season ride up the Buck Ridge Road, and down the Doe Creek trail. It was a great ride and great company. On the ascent, we came upon grizzly bear tracks up the center of the trail. Remember, bear spray season is here, so don’t forget yours as you explore around Big Sky.

Considering we had a group of 12, we forged on until we hit snow. The cruisy downhill was a blast, and the beers at The Corral were cold as usual. Our bike shop is up and running. We’re planning to bring back Grizzly’s weekly mountain bike ride, and some basic bike repair clinics. Have you ever used a chain tool on the trail?

As you know (hopefully), Grizzly Outfitters has an expert boot fitting staff. We can also help you find the perfect fit for your summer footwear. Our state-of-the-art custom Amfit footbeds can also be used in slippers, sneakers, hiking boots, or almost any shoes you want to feel great. I put my extra pair in my roller skates. They’re performing incredibly.

This morning, I went for a run and let the dogs splash in the river. When I was just about to head to the shop, Marc Lange (our magical bootfitter and bike repair geek) told me that our long-time rep from Kona Bikes was in town. I figured the only polite thing to do was join them on a bike ride.

Trying to keep up with Kevin and Marc was a challenge, but the only way to get stronger is to ride, right? We laughed, we cried (not really), we talked bikes. I stumbled into an incredible day during off-season.

Worst Blog Ever - Lie Revealed

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_2955I was letting the Montana sun saturate me when I realized that spring was upon us. I thought about all the wonderful moments I’ve enjoyed this winter: days of incredible powder, cruising scenic trails at Lone Mountain Ranch, fresh lines in the back country, snowshoeing with my dog, wobbly afternoons at the ice rink, winter smores at the fire pit, New Year’s Eve fireworks, watching my boys race with the BSSEF, attempting to skate ski, and many other unparalleled moments. On Sunday alone, I skied Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, then fly fished the Gallatin River until sunset. Suddenly, it hit me – I’m the worst blogger ever. I’ve enjoyed so much, and neglected to share it.

I started working for Grizzly Outfitters in 2001, when I stumbled upon the shop and found myself applying for a job. As I filled out the application (like a 3rd grader), I wondered why I was doing it. I’d secured (what I thought would be) an incredible waitressing job. Fate funneled me to Grizzly Outfitters, and it was one of the luckiest flukes of my life.

After 12 years on and off, Ken and Andrew are still kind enough to employee me. Sometimes I wonder why exactly. I’ve realized that despite all my flaws, I share their vision and passion for the outdoors. Grizzly Outfitters was founded on a love of these mountains and rivers, and a drive to help others experience them. That is what fuels them; why they continually invest in their business, employees, and community. They want those who happen upon Grizzly Outfitters to leave happy, stay content, and return as friends.

Over a year ago, I began planning events and giveaways. It is my favorite part of the job. In winter 2012-13 alone, Grizzly Outfitters gave away around $15,000 in prizes. We donate to countless organizations and events in the community and beyond. We partner with organizations like the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and the Lone Peak Booster Club to fund raise and educate our customers. It is awesome.

Our buyers are constantly searching for innovative brands and equipment. We’ve instituted an online reservation system to make rentals more convenient. We constantly seek education about products that promote the overall health and comfort of our customers. Why? For the love of the outdoors, and a drive to share it. It’s incredible to work at a place where you can honestly say that. Honestly.

Oh yes, now to reveal the lie. I’ve run into a handful of people who read my blog. Some have asked with surprise, “You’re Mountain Girl?” I realize that my face may not be that of a girl; my mind may not be either (thank heavens). However, no one can deny that my heart is still that of a girl. Life has passed by in a blur, but I’m still just a girl who loves to be outside.

How did you end up in Big Sky? How did you find Grizzly Outfitters?

Please stay tuned for blog posts about what’s new in Big Sky, notable clothing and gear, and upcoming events!

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