Thursday, February 20, 2014

BRTU Pint Night February 27, 2014 at Higherground Brewing

  • What: Bitterroot Trout Unlimited Pint Night
  • When: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 4:00 PM
  • Where: Higherground Brewery
  • 518 N 1st St, Hamilton, MT 59840
    Cross Streets: Between Foxfield St and Saranac Ave
    (406) 375-5204
    Directions | Menu
  • Music: Cootehill
  • Offering fishing gear raffle & silent auction
This program is open to the public, no charge for admission.
For more information, contact BRTU Chapter President Ross Rademacher ( or Greg Chester (

2014 BRTU Pint Night Premiums (more coming)

Item # -  Description -  Donor  - Retail Value
1)  “Bitterroot River” by Ron Jenkins (painting) Wild Rivers Art $350
2)  Handcrafted Bear Paw Coat/Hat Rack - Geoff FitzGerald $125
3)  “Montana” Hardwood Cutting Board - Brian Grand $95
4)  Bitter Root TU Wine Opener - Gwynn Inlay $119
5)  Certificate for Comprehensive Eye Exam and $100 towards new glasses - Big Sky Eye Center
6)  Hamilton Golf Course Extravaganza; includes: lunch for 2, two hats, round of golf for 2, range balls - Hamilton Golf Course $160
7)  One-pound Beef Jerky - Hamilton Packing $12
8)  $50 Gift Certificate - The Wild Mare $50
9)  Grey’s Debarring scissor/pliers and Simms Wading Belt - Grizzly Hackle $60
10)  “Buy Local” t-shirt (L) and “Simms Fishing Products” t-shirt (L) - Simms Fishing Products $50
11)  Wooden Trout Magazine Rack - Peggy & Bob Ratcheson $50
12) Assortment of 6 5x7 frameable Greeting Cards from A Montana View - Merle Ann Loman $24

Fishing Christmas Island is a holiday any time of the year, but Christmas in February?

Check out this weeks meeting!!! Should be AWESOME!

Fishing Christmas Island is a holiday any time of the year, but Christmas in February? BRTU board member and expert angler Greg Chester will show us why Christmas Island is considered one of the top angling spots in the world!

The island is a primitive and pristine atoll in Micronesia, and even I know that like Zanzibar, you can't get there in a car. The island surrounds a beautiful lagoon with stunning beaches and the Micronesians are friendly with a very interesting culture. And the fishing! Just outside the lagoon are bonefish and a variety of trevally species, including the tackle-busting Giant Trevally.

Obviously, most of us won't wet a fly or bust a rod on Christmas Island, but Greg has fished there several times and his slide show is the next best thing to going there.

The program will begin at 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 20 at the Hamilton Elks Club at 203 State Street. The meeting is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

And don't forget we will be having dinner with Greg at 5:00 pm at the Spice of Life. Long-time BRTU support Karen Suennen will donate 10% of the proceeds to our club.

For more information, contact BRTU Chapter President Ross Rademacher ( or Greg Chester (

Volunteers needed for the Feb 25th Bitterroot Buggers fly tying class

Tuesday, Feb 25, 6:30 - 8:00 PM in the Westview School gymnasium located at 9th and Main in Hamilton. Enter through the east doors facing 9th St.

Pattern: Gray Hackle Peacock

Don't forget to pick up a raffle ticket each night you help - there'll be a drawing for volunteers
in April for an unmounted Monte Dolack print valued at $175. The more you attend, the better your

This will be the second of the 5 fly tying classes and we are shooting to have a lot of volunteers!
We have a terrific bunch of kids this year, so please come and help with our flagship program now
in its 17th year!  You do not need to be a good tier to be a good helper!

We'll be judging flies each night for those students choosing to enter. Be sure to pick up judging
criteria sheet and instructor guidelines when you arrive.

Questions? Call Jeff at Western Flies and Guides (363-9099) or Ria of the Keystone Program
(363-5996) or Greg Chester of BRTU (363-0033)
Thanks in advance for your valued assistance -

For more information about Bitterroot TU, contact Ross Rademacher, BRTU President; email:

Visit the BRTU blog at:

See BRTU photos:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bitterroot Buggers Feb and Mar 2014 classes in session

Registration for 2014 is closed, but this post is for your information. The Buggers Program is offered annually and NEEDS local volunteers.

For more information about Bitterroot TU, contact Ross Rademacher, BRTU President; email:

FREE fly tying and fly fishing classes in Hamilton, Montana! Here is the scoop for 2014.
Children learn how to tie dry flies Fly tying class for Bitterroot Buggers
Do you know kids who would like to learn how to fly fish? How about fly tying? How about learning about bugs and fish identification? Classes are sponsored by Bitterroot Trout Unlimited and the Keystone Discovery Enrichment Program. Join them for the 17th annual Bitterroot Buggers learning sessions which are open to any child in the Bitterroot Valley ages 8 through 14.
The program will provide small group instruction and all the materials. In addition to the beginner class, an advanced class is offered for students who would like to learn more advanced fly patterns.
For more information call the Westview Center at (406) 375-9999 or Greg Chester at (406) 363-0033.
Click here for a class flyer.pdf (PDFformat) or class flyer.jpg (picture of the flyer).
Here are the important dates:
  • January 24 – Deadline for registration
  • February 11 – Classes begin with orientation at Westview Center in Hamilton Classes continue on the following Tuesdays: February 18, 25 and March 4, 11, and 18
    All class times are 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
  • March 25– Final Class - casting instruction
  • April TBA– actual Fishing Day and picnic
Registration forms are available at:
  • Westview Center 103 S. 9th, Hamilton, Montana
    (406) 375-9999
The group can be as many as 50 children so help is welcome. If you are interested in volunteering to help teach fly tying, or supervise and interact with the students, distribute materials, etc., please call the Westview Center or Greg Chester.
What is expected of students?
The success of the program depends on the continued support of volunteer instructors. Because of this, participants are expected to arrive each week ready to learn and enjoy themselves with attitudes that are respectful of everyone involved. Every child is expected to help with cleanup and treat the materials and equipment with respect. If a student’s behavior is disruptive to the program or dangerous to themselves, volunteers or other students, parents will be notified immediately, asked to pick their child up and the student will be dismissed from the program. The program attendance is large and to be fair to all Participants, general rules must be followed.
What is expected of families?
Because the staffed is volunteer, it is essential that children be at the class promptly but not before 6:30 pm. They must be picked up by 8:00 pm. No supervision is provided beyond the program time. For the safety of the children, the staff must be notified in advance if a child will be walking home or someone other than those listed on the registration will be picking them up. Parents are welcome to be in class and participate but are expected to assist the child in following the directions given by the instructors. Everyone has different methods and techniques used in tying but the curriculum has been carefully developed to allow for a continuity of techniques. Be sure and take a moment to thank the volunteer instructors. They generously give up their evenings to prepare for and work with this program.
Download a copy of the "Buggers Expectations" in a PDF file here.