Monday, December 7, 2009

December 2009 news from Bitterroot Trout Unlimited

BRTU wishes everyone a Happy Holiday season.

It is probably a bit chilly today for even the most dedicated anglers to be out plying the waters. Plus the blanket of ice and slush complicate that perfect drift with the large stonefly nymph, assuming you have one of the new Polar winter rods with heated guides.

There is no TU meeting this month, but here are a couple of items that might be of interest.

Casting Healthy graphic

Notice of spring Fly-Casting Institute at Marcus Daly Hospital. The October presentation by Dr Tim McCue “Casting Healthy” drew one of the largest crowds we have ever had. A number of members expressed interest in learning when the next clinic would be.

See the flyer (on the left) for information about a session scheduled for next April. Certainly, as our shoulders, elbows, wrists and vision show the signs of wear and tear, many of us can use all the help we can get! The cost is a little steep – about 3 float trip equivalents - but reports suggest that the class is very valuable.

For more information about the casting clinic visit and

Mitchell Slough redux. In case you thought the controversy over Mitchell Slough ended when the Montana Supreme Court rendered its decision, think again! The latest wrinkle relates to some of the landowners establishing feeding stations for migratory waterfowl on their property in an effort to snark duck hunters from hunting the waterway. It is illegal to hunt birds in an area where they are being fed. Ducks are not dumb, so they will quickly recognize that this area not only provides provender but also a refuge from the pesky shotgunners. However, the issue is complicated since a number of houses are right on the banks and also because it would be trespassing to retrieve a bird that landed on the ground instead of in the water.

Stream access only permits recreationists to stay within the highwater marks of the channel. The landowners have petitioned Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to close the stream to duck hunting on part of the slough. MFWP is exploring solutions to this issue and has scheduled a public hearing at the Bitterroot River Inn at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 9. Public comments will be accepted until Friday, December 11.

Here is a link to a Ravalli Republic story that gives more detail.,

This post was submitted by Marshall Bloom.