Category Archives: Grizzly Outfitters

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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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

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.

Tenkara and Meteors

The stars shine brightly here in Big Sky, Montana. Late Saturday night, I was lucky enough to enjoy a brilliant natural display, the Perseid meteor shower.  Relaxing in the hot tub, I zoned out and watched dozens of meteors streak across the sky. Some were just simple lines of light, others thick and sparkly.

The Perseid meteor shower is named for the constellation (Perseus) from which the falling meteors seem to originate. The shower happens when earth’s orbit moves through a cloud of debris left by the Swift-Tuttle comet. Check out this composite of 23 images taken by David Kingham in the Snowy Range of Utah.

It’s been a hot and gorgeous summer in Montana! But hot + dry = wildfires. Luckily we have avoided the burn around Big Sky, and hope to keep it that way. On the up side, drifting smoke from far-off wild fires dyes the sunsets and sunrises. Monday morning’s sunrise was glaring neon pink. Over the weekend, we enjoyed (that’s right, enjoyed) some rain and cooler temperatures. Today, our blue bird Montana sky is back.
 
Grizzly Outfitters is excited to have a tenkara fly-fishing gear from Tenkara USA. Tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing that is ideal for mountain streams. The angler uses only a rod, line, and a few flies – no reel. Tenkara is about fly-fishing simplicity and mountain-stream effectiveness, though the rods can be used anywhere.  Watch this video featuring Tenkara USA founder Daniel Galhardo playing a 20” brown on the nearby Madison River.

The boxes of fall and winter gear are rolling in. Stop in to check out the newest gear and clothing from all of your favorite brands – what do you want to try on?

Select clothing/gear is also on SALE now!!!

 
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Hot Summer Nights in Big Sky, Montana

Wow, it’s been an amazing summer so far in Big Sky, Montana. Summers are always insanely beautiful and packed with events…..that’s my excuse for taking way to long to blog!

July 18 was an especially fun night for Grizzly Outfitters, Lone Peak Cinema, and a lot of friends (old and new). We held a party to celebrate summer, and the grand opening of our new fly shop and guide service. Daytime events included free bike demos, a bear bag throwing challenge, and knot tying instruction. Fly rod demos and casting instruction spilled into the night.

We were lucky to be joined by some of our favorite folks- reps from Dr. Slick, Costa del Mar eyewear, Sage, Rio, Redington, Patagonia, Umpqua, Smith, and many more. We held a huge giveaway, casting contest, and champagne toast in the evening. Ken Lancey and Andrew Schreiner (owners of Grizzly Outfitters) shared a keg of Pilsner from our local Lone Peak Brewery. Our giveaway table was packed with thousands of dollars in merchandise from Montana Fly Company, Redington, Rio, Adventure Medical Kits, Quikclot, Sage, Beartooth Publishing, Hatch, Buffs, Black Diamond, Camelbak, GSI, Osprey, and Big Sky’s Wild Bear Designs.

Casting ninja, Mike Atwell brought killer rods and held a casting contest and instruction. He and his wife Diane operate Atwell & Associates, and rep several of our most popular brands. Costa del Mar joined us and offered great deals and giveaways. The crew from Dr. Slick brought their tricked out drift boat to the party as well. They’re known for their precision fly tying tools and fishing accessories, and operate out of Belgrade, Montana. Thanks to all for coming!

As part of the grand opening event, we teamed up with Lone Peak Cinema to show an amazing film, Where the Yellowstone Goes. We were lucky enough to be joined by the director, Hunter Weeks, and producer/wife Sarah Hall. The film chronicles Robert Hunter, Shannon Ongaro, and friends as they float a 600-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River. Located a short drive from Big Sky, the Yellowstone is incredibly scenic, and the longest undammed river in the lower 48. Calling it a fly fishing movie would be selling it short. Where the Yellowstone goes chronicles a beautiful river and moreover a memorable group of people.

Mike Sprague of Trout Headwaters, Inc. also made it to the party.  Thanks so much for your work, and it was great to meet you!

After the giveaway at Grizzly, Lone Peak Cinema arranged for a local ripping (Indie-folk-rock-alt-country-bluegrass) band, Holler ‘n Pine to play under the marquee. It was another gorgeous night in Big Sky, and the talented musicians added a wonderful vibe.

The Lone Peak Cinema was packed. It has to be one of the coolest new theatres in existence, and every seat seems to be the best one. Before the movie, we held another giveaway! Grizzly Outfitters raffled more amazing items including: a Sage rod, Montana Fly Company reel, guided trip with our own Brian Kimmel Fly Fishing, copies of Where the Yellowstone Goes, and threw lots more swag into the crowd. Geez, that NEVER gets old. A million thanks to everyone who made this possible!

After the movie, Hunter and Sarah held a Q&A, then Holler n’ Pine geared up for a full set. It was the perfect night, and I met a lot of people I hope to know for years!

I also met someone who reads this very blog – this one goes out to you, Seth! Let’s all get together soon!

A Fly Fishing Institution - Hardy Now Available at Grizzly Outfitters

In the fly fishing world, Hardy is a true institution. The company has been in business since 1872, and is know worldwide as a historical innovator of fly fishing equipment. In the 1880s, Hardy became the first company to build hexagonal rods from bamboo. In 1891, they patented their first “Perfect” reel, a design that is basically still manufactured today. Pioneers in the fly fishing industry, their innovations have won countless awards and honors over the 140 years they’ve been in business.

Here at Grizzly Outfitters, we are thrilled to be carrying the Hardy line of fly rods and reels, including the SINTRIX series. SINTRIX fly rods are up to 60% stronger and 30% lighter than conventional carbon fiber rods. Read more about SINTRIX at Hardy’s website, and watch this poorly made video featuring Ennion Williams casting Hardy’s Zenith one-piece rod.

LOVE this?  HATE this?  Join the conversation! “LIKE” us on Facebook, or email me: Amy@GrizzlyOutfitters.com

Big Sky's Secrets, and My Drunk Driving

In Big Sky, summer is finally upon us.  The snow falling in early June has given way to deep azure skies and warmer weather.  We’re thought of as a winter destination, but summertime in Big Sky in unparallelled.  There are so many activities from hiking to zip-lining.  Mountain bike out your back door.  Fish the country’s most iconic rivers.  Enjoy a horseback ride or cowboy cookout with Cache Creek Outfitters.  This summer, Big Sky Resort will offer rides to the top of Lone Peak via the tram!  Disc golf, skateboard, shoot hoops, or play on the swings at one of the most scenic community parks in existence.  Dig for crystals and fossils.  White water raft or try rock climbing.  It’s all right here in Big Sky.  Day trips to Yellowstone National Park are a piece of cake, and you avoid the swarm of tourists.  Yes, Big Sky is a secret summertime jewel here in the Treasure State!

This time of year, I am usually still getting my legs under me for mountain biking.  Big Sky has great trails for everyone – from first timers to experts.  Lots have easy warm ups on roads and cruisy single track finishes.  This year I am making an effort to really learn how to fly fish.  I’ve dabbled in it for years – first back in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, and now here.  As a younger person, I thought of it as a little boring, but considering it involved water and friends (and sometimes beer), I went anyway.  I depended on friends to help and never really caught anything.

I caught my first trout on a fly rod in late May on the Gallatin.  It was snowing and the fish was little, but it was a complete thrill!  The rush of catching a beautiful (even little) fish is immense, and I was hooked (ha ha ha).  Anyway, this summer I am lucky enough to have award winning, world-class guides right here Grizzly Outfitters.  They’ve been helping me to become an independent fly fisher woman, so thanks guys!

Mountain biking is still my first love, but it always takes a few rides to regain my concentration and balance.  “Drunk Driving”  the the phenomenon when a biker wobbles their front tire around in an attempt to balance.  This is the stage I am at right now:)  My biking season started late, but it will all come together sooner or later!

Speaking of which, we are trying to organize the return of the Grizzly Ride.  For years, we had a group ride for bikers of all levels.  Stop into the expanded bike shop or drop us a line via Facebook and let us know you are interested.  Right now, we are considering a Tuesday morning ride.  What works for you?  We have some other exciting events planned for summer…..so stay tuned.  Hope your day has been beautiful!

Return of the Blog - 100% Blister-Free!

It’s offseason here in Big Sky. The G.O. crew has been hard at work setting up for a stellar summer season. We have all kinds of new and exciting merchandise for your outdoor pursuits.

We are psyched to be carrying award-winning footwear from Salewa. As a company, Salewa is best known for it’s             backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering equipment. It has created a line of approach and running shoes offering a 100% Blister free guarantee.

That’s right: SALEWA = 100% BLISTERFREE GURANTEE

How can a company be so bold? Salewa’s design focuses on what they call their 3 Functions System.   In their words, the system “…offers an unbeatable combination of ankle flexibility, lateral support, and perfection in fit.”

The highlight of the fit system is an anatomically positioned cable that achieves perfect heel retention, which Salewa explains is crucial in blister prevention. Shoes also come with a “Multi-Fit Footbed” which easily adjusts to suit higher or lower-volume feet. Salewa footwear boasts great flexibility while retaining stability. Drawing on climbing shoes as inspiration, laces extend down to the toes for the best fit.

Salewa also drew on its climbing/mountaineering past to develop unique designs that save weight and preserve durability. The line utilizes the industry’s best materials, including Vibram rubbers, Kevlar, and Gore-tex (depending on the model). The result is a line of footwear suitable for a professional mountaineer, a part-time trail runner, and every athlete in between.

Here at Grizzly Outfitters, we are carrying: the Alp Trainer Mid GTX, M’s Fire Vent, W’s Firetail, and M’s MTN Trainer. Other styles are available by special order.

Check out some pics from our Salewa rep’s recent visit to Grizzly Outfitters.  Thanks to Brandon, and to G.O.’s own Kelly and Lucy for showing off the Salewas!  Not a bad-looking bunch of folks.

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