We’re pretty fortunate up here to get to go fishing as part of the outdoor activities we are allowed to do.   Because this is a fishing report, I’m going to share pics and write about fishing.  But…

Gates Lodge (restaurant, guide service, hotel rooms, and car shuttle) is closed, and will remain closed through April 13.  It’s sort of like resting a pool:  sit on the bank, let the spinners hit the water, let the trout find their rhythm, and only then begin casting.  I think if we don’t take it seriously, this virus is going to just stick around ruining health and trout fishing, and those are two of the very best things in the world.  As Rusty said, “be a bank beaver.”  Sit tight.

The virtual fly shop is up and running, and shipping everyday, and your support is valued.  We also have a pretty broad selection of tying stuff if you need.  The vast majority of our tying stuff isn’t online — just email me a list.  I’ve decided to continue the use of the promo code on the site to save you some money and keep our lights on while we ride out this storm.  We will be adding some 50%-off clothing items soon.  We’ve got all the new SA tippet and leaders in.  Stock up with some fresh stuff for this year.  Shipping is free on everything.  www.gatesflyshop.com

If, in pursuit of local activity, you find yourself near the river and in need something fly-fishy, give us a call and I’ll have your product outside in a pick-up area.  I’m  answering the phone, which is forwarded right to my cell, morning, noon, or night.  (989) 348 8462.  Please call if you need anything, or just wanna chat fishing.

As of now, we are planning to open back up the weekend of April 17th, in some limited form, which will, as of now, include takeout food, hotel rooms, and guide trips. These plans — and pretty much all plans — are tentative.  We aren’t canceling rooms and trips beyond April 17 because, well, things are changing quickly and I’m taking it a week (or two) at a time.


I haven’t been fishing much…mostly playing dad/hubby guide.  It has been so…much…fun.  I had to cut Katy off after this one:

And give Aaron a turn in a good nymph pool by the lodge, which this trout soon whipped into a froth:

I snuck in one for myself today, a sweet sight-nymph fish that was darting around in a riffle like it was summer:

And tomorrow Holden is going to fling some of the streamers he’s been tying.

The river is in beautiful shape.  Snow melting.  Bugs hatching.  The gravel near the lodge is pocked with rainbow redds. Things are coming alive, but they aren’t alive yet.  It’s going to be a great season at some point.   Stay healthy for it.

Nature doesn’t care, and that’s why I love nature.  If you go out into the woods, you’ll find that the squirrels are still chasing each other around trees, and the blackbirds are still singing in the alders, and the deer are enjoying the retreat of the snow.  This problem we got now, it’s uniquely human.  Avoid humans, and the problem will go away.  Find some time to read, tie some flies, walk out in nature, watch a terrible movie (I feel I’ve watched a dozen) go fishing if you can.  The river will still be here, and the unhurried trout will soon be on the rise.

Here are some flies I’ve been fishing this week.  They accounted for two of the three trout pictured:

And this one has been even better as the dropper:

We have all the materials in stock if you want all — or part — of the recipes.  Try them out, riff on them, have fun at the vise, and then enter our little contest:

The 2020 Shutdown Tying “Contest”

  1. Tie a great fly
  2. Take a great picture of your great fly
  3. Send the picture to [email protected]
  4. Win a brand new SA fly line of your choice

Winner announced at the end of the shutdown — be it three weeks, or longer.

Visit our new catalog here: Gates 2020 Gear Guide Final Opt