Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Banquet Friday, Sept 27, 5 p.m.

The 34th annual BRTU banquet starts at 5:00 PM next Friday at the BitterrootRiver Inn. You can score  tickets at the door, but why wait?Reserve them now by going in to Western Flies and Guides or by calling 363-9099.

Bud Lilly told me more than 25 years ago, "There's more to fishing than just fishing!" Bud was right then and today his words ringeven truer.  And, that's the approach that BRTU has taken over the last year.

But to keep the fishing good and the streams clean, we need to invest time, money and energy without a rod and sometimes off the water.

To see the return on these investments, check out the photo of 2013 Bitterroot Bugger Ellie Lint holding a gorgeous trout she caught on afly she tied! Ellie will be tying flies at the banquet and you can tell her hi!

Or check out the photo of our 4th Forest Service fisheries intern, Don Foster, doing some in-stream work this summer. We are the only TU chapter in the state that underwrites interns. Why? We want to make sure that the fisheries professionals of tomorrow appreciate native trout.
Or check out the story about the new boat passage at the Corvallis Canal diversion. This project done in conjunction with MFWP and the ditch company took more than 5 years to get done, but it will make boat passage at Poop Lagoon easier and safer.        

Supporting these efforts is important. And that's why we are asking you to come down to the banquet and help us out. BRTU is an all-volunteer organization and our club members work hard. All the money we raise stays in Montana, most of it right here in the Bitterroot.

But we have a lot of fun at our banquets! We have a fine dinner with great beverages. We recognize people who have done a lot- like Monte Dolack and Mary Beth Percival who will be receiving an award for their Lifetime Achievements in conservation. Monte and Mary Beth will be at the banquet so you can meet and thank them for everything they have done.

You can check out the Live Auction premiums by clicking on that attachment, but there will also be silent auctions, bucket raffles and door prizes.

You can reserve your tickets today by going in or by calling Western Flies and Guides at 363-9099. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at the banquet. Anyone is welcome to attend and you do not need to be a TU member. Hope to see you there!

The doors open at 5:00 PM on Friday, September 27 at the Bitterroot River Inn and dinner will be served about 6:30. The program,auctions and drawing will follow.

For more information, please contact Doug Nation at or Marshall Bloom at 

For more information about Bitterroot TU, contact Doug Nation, BRTU President; email:
 Visit the BRTU blog at: generously hosted by Cybernet1 inHamilton, MT

2013 BRTU Banquet Live Auction Premiums

LA-01: “Tying for Tomorrow.”  For more than a decade, BRTU has sponsored the Bitterroot Buggers so that local kids can learn about flytying, flyfishing, ethics,and trout conservation. With the involvement and mentoring of Ria Overholt, Greg Chester, Jeff Gray,Rick Thomas and others from BRTU and the Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot, the Buggers program has moved to the next level. At tonight’s banquet, Bitterroot Buggers Ellie Lint, Aili Minns-Prezeau, and Lauren Kinzey have shown their chops to make this premium. The proceeds from the flies will help us support our flagship program. (Item # 095)
Winning Bid:_______ Bidder Number:___

LA-02: “A FloatTrip with Jeff Gray.” A guide like Jeff Gray, who owns a fly shop, is in an enviable position! Every day he hears reports from customers and other guides and knows just where to go and what to use. Jeff, owner of Western Flies & Guides, is reckoned to be among the best in the area and has a reputation to match. If youwin this one day float trip for two onthe Bitterroot, you will see how fine a day on the Bitterroot can be. (Item# 077)
Winning Bid:________   Bidder Number: _______

LA-03:  “Placid Lake.” At this year’s banquet, we are recognizing internationally acclaimed Montana artists, Monte Dolack and Mary Beth Percival for Lifetime Achievements in Conservation. Although Monte has done breathtaking scenes from China to the Chinese Wall, his special gift is the he can capture and personalize Montana landscapes. This new print of a solitary canoeist on Placid Lake is a captivating depiction of how landscapes can be at once majestic and still intimate. The print and framing are donated by Monte Dolack Gallery. (Item # 024)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-04:  “Missouri River Dream Trip.” This premium has to qualify as a dream trip on the Missouri River! It starts with a one day float trip for 2 on the Missouri with legendary veteran guide Ron Sorenson who owns Prime Time Outfitters. Ron has been fishing the Missouri for 21 years and is one of the most highly sought after guides in the business. Your fishing trip is combined with a one night stay for 2 at the luxurious Missouri River Ranch, located just south of Craig on the banks of the river. This includes gourmet dinner and breakfast and beverages. ( (Items # 021, 035)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA- 05:  “Bitterroot River Winter.” Barbara Michelman is an internationally recognized photographer with a gallery near Bell Crossing. She has worked in New York, California, Hollywood and Europe. Her stunning black and white landscape photographs have the texture and drama associated with photography giants. We are very fortunate that Barbara has offered to contribute a limited edition photo of the Bitterroot in winter for this year’s banquet. Framing by The Frame Shop   (Item # 016)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA- 06:  “A 5-String Dinner.” Fine dining and banjo music are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. But for this year’s TU banquet, bluegrass virtuoso “Banjo Jack” Mauer is teaming up with claw hammer tyro “Dr Trout” Marshall Bloom for an eclectic farrago of outstanding food and 5-string banjo music.  The menu will include hors d’ouevres, a gourmet dinner, dessert,and a post-prandial single malt.  Wines and earplugs are included. Your chefs will be Tonia Bloom and Merle Loman. (Item # 010)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-07:  “The Lower, Lower Clark Fork.” The Upper Clark Fork, the Clark Fork, and the Lower Clark Fork are familiar waters. But known only to the angling cognoscenti, the Lower Clark Fork probably offers the best river fishing for really large trout in Western Montana. Scott Nicolarsen, owner of Montana Topwater, has made this part of the river one of his favorite haunts. The water is big and Scott has devoted years to perfecting the tactics and fly-patterns. Win this premium and you can reap the benefits of his research.Of course, Scott is also a master guide on the Bitterroot and Blackfoot. ( (Item # 009)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-08: “Hardwood window table.” Dale Roos of Antique Rooster is a cabinet maker - craftsman who makes some of the finest hardwood furniture in Montana. Dale’s furniture and cabinetry are in great demand by homeowners at the Stock Farm and The Ranch at Rock Creek.  His workmanship and detail are readily apparent and yet all of his work retains a sturdy utility. For the 2013 BRTU banquet Dale has donated an exquisite window table made with lacewood and black curly maple.
(Item # 040)
Winning Bid: ______   Bidder Number: ______

LA- 09:  “Dancing Waters.” Michele Kapor is an internationally known artist who lives in Hamilton. Miki is a dean of the local art scene and is known as an artist’s artist. Her outstanding technique,composition and attention to detail finely complement the mood, color and light of her work. For our 2013 banquet, Miki has donated a fine giclee print of “Dancing Waters,” her notable picture of Bear Creek. This is the first time Miki has donated to BRTU and we are pleased to feature this exceptional artist. (Item # 141)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-10:  “Mission Valley Anglers.” BRTU Chapter President Doug Nation commissioned this magnificent piece of metal work by a local craftsman. The cut metal layers depict 2 anglers on a stream in the Mission Valley. One angler is wielding a fly rod while the other angler and her 2 cubs look on expectantly. The peaks of the Mission Mountains provide for a unique backdrop. Certainly a one of a kind piece. (Item # 90)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-11:  “Bitterroot Trout Menu.” Montana has many fine flytiers, but few can match Ron Swensson from Great Falls when it comes to detailed and artistic patterns. Ron was named Fly tier of the Year by the Federation of Fly Fishers several years ago. Ron is a retired art teacher who also was a fly tying instructor for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and is active in the Missouri River Fly Fishers. He is also an artist of some renown and his presentation shadow boxes of trout flies and matching miniature watercolors are highly sought after. For our banquet, Ron is contributing a Bitterroot Trout Menu shadowbox with 6 flies - all found on the dinner menu of large Bitterroot brown trout. A very unique auction item! (Item# 140)
Winning Bid: ______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-12:  “The All-Around Bitterroot Outfit.” Once high water is over, in those rare years we still have high water, a 9 foot 4 weight rod is the ideal all-around outfit for the Bitterroot, as well as the Clark Fork and the Blackfoot. Based on experience gleaned at his Missoula Grizzly Hackle shop, Dan Sheperd has come up with a winning combo. For our 2013 banquet, Dan has donated a complete setup that will answer for any trip you might contemplate.The outfit consists of a 9' 4 weight Heron fly rod, an Orvis Access II reel, and a matched Orvis Hydros fly line. Win this premium and you will be set for anything! (Item# 080, 081, 082)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-13 “Bitterroot Landscape.” Robert Neaves,former owner of Art Focus, has moved to Oregon, but his heart and muse are still in the Bitterroot. Bob is continuing his 34 year tradition of donating a fine oil for our banquet.  That’s right! Bob is the only artist to have donated every year. Bob’s memories of the valley he loves so much are a key element of this and every Bitterroot picture he paints. (Item # 052)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-14:  “Trico/Piko.”Former BRTU President “Banjo Jack”Mauer, owner of Wapiti Waters, has guided extensively on the Bitterroot River and Clark Fork for many years. In recent years, he has studied the habits and habitat of the northern pike that have invaded our western trout streams.If you win this premium, you’ll start out lobbing a 5 inch weighted streamer with a 9 weight rod for pike. These voracious feeders don’t fool around, so you’ll have a decent chance at a legitimate 20 pounder! Then you’ll exchange the heavy artillery for 6X tippet and tricos. Who knows? You might score a double – a 20 pounder and a 20 incher. (Item # 066)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number:______

LA-15:  “Mill Creek- Late Summer.”  Local artist Dale Jorgenson has gained recognition with his watercolors which have been displayed in numerous local venues. Dale was schooled in classic watercolor technique back in the 1950’s and his previous career as an architect gives his renderings a fine sense of perspective for scenery and his unexcelled eye for color makes for striking images in this fragile medium. (Item # 139)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-16: “Land and Water.”   Land and water conservation are inextricably linked. That’s why Bitterroot Trout Unlimited partners with the Bitter Root Land Trust so often. The Land Trust’s latest project will protect the Lost Horse Bend of the Bitterroot River, the piece of ground captured in the beautiful Monte Dolack print that BRTU commissioned in2007. BRTU is again partnering with the Land Trust on this project. In addition to a framed copy of the BRTU print, the premium includes two nights for 4 people at a beautiful private Bed & Breakfast Retreat donated by the Land Trust. The home, on a bench overlooking the upper Big Hole Valley, is situated in the middle of a12,000 acre working ranch. BRLT Executive Director Gavin Ricklefs, will prepare 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners and even pack you picnic lunches. You’re not far from public access on the Big Hole River, so bring your waders, fly rod and your raft. All proceeds from this premium will go to the Bitter Root Land Trust. Framing by the Frame Shop (Items# 078, 127)
Winning Bid:_________   Bidder Number: ______

LA-17:  “Drifting a Dry Fly.” Celebrated Montana artist Shirley Cleary is recognized as among the top tier of sporting artists. For this year’s BRTU banquet Shirley has contributed an exquisite miniature gouache, titled“Drifting a Dry Fly.” In 1999 National Trout Unlimited awarded Shirley the “Communication in Conservation Award.” Both Shirley and her husband Frank Cooper, who is a former Chairman of Montana TU, have been staunch advocates for trout conservation for decades.      (Item # 025)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-18:  “Fish the Kootenai with the 2013 Orvis FlyFishing Guide of the Year.” Tim Linehan of Linehan Outfitting Company was named the 2013 Orvis Fly Fishing Guide of the Year!If you win this premium you can fish with Tim on the Kootenai or Yaak River. Fishing there is like fishing in Montana before there was an espresso stand, a boutique flyshop and an Audi at every pull-out? To find out for yourself, come and fish the Kootenai or Yaak River on a float trip for 2 with Tim and Joanne Linehan and spend a night in a lovely cabin for 4 in the wild, but captivating upper Yaak River Valley. This is a genuine Montana experience that will draw you back again. (Item # 004)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-19:  “A Bitterroot Dinner in the Heart of the Valley.” The venue for this elegant dinner is a restored historic Corvallis ranch house built in 1906 from soft stone quarried in the Willow Creek drainage.  The menu will include cocktails, hors d’ouevres, a fine beef dinner, dessert, matched wines and a selection of single malt whiskeys. Your chefs will be Jay Haglund and Donna Woodroof. Must be used by September 1, 2014. (Item # 068)
Winning Bid:______   Bidder Number: ______

LA-20:  “The Ultimate Gift for an Angler.” This item may well be the last piece of equipment that any angler will need! Ron Brothers of Brothers Mortuary has donated a custom engraved urn featuring a leaping trout that can enjoy a place of honor in your den or office until it is needed. Regardless of whether you will be fishing a cool spring creek on a fall day or among the hot springs, this is a truly unique premium of immortal value! ( Item #058)
Winning Bid: _______ BidderNumber:_____

BRTU apologizes for any errors or omissions. Auction items and order are subject to change without prior notice. All sales are final and the auctioneer’s word is law! Payment is expected at checkout.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 27th will be the 34th anniversary Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Banquet

September 27th will be the 34th anniversary Bitterroot Trout Unlimited (BRTU) banquet - a pretty amazing record, and this is your invitation to attend!I could list all our volunteer efforts for the past year, but this picture of 9-year old Ellie Lint says it all – kids, native trout and clean water!
BRTU Bugger Ellie Lint - photo by her Dad
Ellie was in the Bitterroot Buggers and tied the fly on which she caught this gorgeous cutthroat on a spring trip with her dad. In times like these, it is crucial to educate young people about conservation and to work hard so kids - like Ellie - will always have a place to fish. The work of BRTU, and your continued support has never been more important. You can help us out by attending the banquet.

Plan to join us Friday, Sept 27 at the Bitterroot River Inn as we celebrate our success and prepare for another year of conservation and education. Riversong Catering will serve a great gourmet dinner highlighting local foods, and the Banque Club will provide beverage service, featuring brews from the Bitterroot Brewing Company. Plus, you can say hi to Ellie and ask her about her trout! The doors will open at 5:00 pm, and dinner will be served at 6:30.

There will be Live and Silent Auctions, bucket raffles, door prizes and much more – tackle, trips on the Missouri, Kootenai and Bitterroot, fine art, gourmet dinners, unique wines, clothing and crafts. This year we are presenting an award for Lifetime Achievements in Conservation to Monte Dolack & Mary Beth Percival. They will be attending the banquet, so come help us congratulate them. And of course, there’s always ample time to swap stories and start planning for next year.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available now at Western Flies & Guides, Chuck Stranahan’s Flyshop, Angler’s Roost, River Otter, Bitterroot Fly Company. You can reserve tickets by calling Western Flies & Guides at 406-363-9099. You do not need to be a TU member to attend and join in the fun. Mastercard and Visa will be accepted the night of the banquet.
 Why should you come down and join in? As Bud Lilly told me more than 25 years ago, “There’s more to fishing than just fishing!” Bud was right then and today his words ring even truer.  That’s the approach that BRTU has taken over the last year. Of course we love to fish, reveling in the pleasure that fishing gives, and we put on some great fishing programs for the club and the public.

But our chapter knows that if we want to keep the fishing good and the streams clean, we need to invest time and energy without a rod in our hand and sometimes not even near the stream. Here are some examples., That’s why we run programs like the Bitterroot Buggers to teach kids about flytying, conservation, native fish and ethics – in order to vouchsafe the next generation of TU members and anglers.  That’s why we put on classes for adults, too, and sponsor kids to go to the Georgetown Lake “TU “Kid’s” Camp this and every year. That’s why we worked on riparian and stream protection projects and funded MSU student Don Foster to work as a native trout intern with our US Forest Service fish biologist, and supported a scholarship for a student at the Bitterroot College pursuing a degree in resource Conservation. That’s why we provide with you with timely information about natural resource issues and represent the trout in a variety of forums. We do these things and more because we know that “There’s more to fishing than fishing.

And every year we hold a banquet to raise the funds to underwrite these efforts on behalf of our fish and streams. And that’s why we are asking you to come down to the banquet and help us out. BRTU is an all-volunteer organization and our club members work hard. All the money we raise stays in Montana, most of it right here in the Bitterroot.
If you would like to make a donation, volunteer to help out, or learn about our banquet sponsor program, please contact me (363-3485, or Doug Nation (363-2137,

Painted Rocks Dam, Fall Repairs and Maintenance – Public Open House Meeting 9-19 Hamilton

Painted Rocks Dam Outlet Concrete Repairs – Public Open House Meeting Thursday, September 19th, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Bitterroot River Inn and Conference Center.

The DNRC has scheduled a maintenance and repair project at Painted Rocks Dam for early this fall. The maintenance and repair project will not affect delivery of any contract water. Releases of contract water from the reservoir will follow its normal course and the contract water should be fully delivered by the end of the water rights legal period of use on September 30th.

The maintenance and repair project is needed in order to complete the repairs initiated this past spring. The gate seals will be adjusted and concrete repairs will be made within the outlet tunnel.

The gate seals will be tested and adjusted (if needed) the week of September 30th. Adjustments will be made to the gate seals in order to allow the gate to tightly seal allowing better access and working conditions inside the outlet tunnel. Minor flow changes will occur during this period.

The concrete repair work is currently scheduled for October 7th through the 10th. Temporary interruptions of up to 4 hours the will occur on the 8th, 9th and possibly the 10th.

In preparation for the repairs the outflows from the reservoir will be decreased by a series of staged reductions. Based upon the current reservoir inflows, it is anticipated the fall inflows this dry year will be approximately 50 – 60 cfs. Therefore, reservoir outflows will be reduced to 60 cfs on October 1st, and further reduced on to 30 cfs on October 7th. These staged reductions are designed to allow fish to move to deeper pools, thereby reducing entrapment during the temporary flow interruptions.

After the repairs are completed the outflows from the reservoir will be adjusted to match the reservoir inflows.

Painted Rocks Dam Outlet Concrete Repairs – Public Open House Meeting Thursday, September 19th, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Bitterroot River Inn and Conference Center 139 Bitterroot Plaza Drive, Hamilton, MT 59840-Tammany Room. Bitterroot Inn telephone number (406) 375-2525.

A public open house meeting in planned to discuss this upcoming repair project. The repairs to the outlet concrete are scheduled to take place the second week in October, 2013. Please contact James P. Domino, MT DNRC State Water Projects Bureau at, and (406) 444-6622 for more information about the open house.