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Yellow Dog Expands, Salmonflies Decline, Maryland Trail, and More

Fly Fisherman News Briefs for Oct. 18, 2022.

Yellow Dog Expands, Salmonflies Decline, Maryland Trail, and More

Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures has announced it will purchase Fins & Feathers fly shop.

Yellow Dog to Acquire Bozeman’s Fins & Feathers

In a move similar to Simms Fishing Products’s recent purchase of the River’s Edge fly shop, Bozeman-based Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures has announced it will purchase Fins & Feathers fly shop, located just west of Bozeman in an area known as Four Corners.

According to a press release, not much will change with the fly shop other than its name and branding, which will become Yellow Dog Outfitters. It reportedly will not offer its own outfitting services, but will continue to work with the many local outfitting operations Yellow Dog has previously partnered with. Fins & Feathers current owner and founder Toby Swank will continue to offer outfitting services as a separate outfitting entity.

“The one gap in our service offerings has been the ability to ensure customers have the proper flies, equipment, and apparel for every destination we offer–be it close to home–or halfway around the world,” Jim Klug, Yellow Dog founder and CEO said in the press release. “By acquiring Fins & Feathers, we can now pair specific gear and equipment with the most relevant information for our entire line-up of locations.” Klug hopes the diversification will help protect Yellow Dog against future travel disruptions from things like pandemics or military hostilities.

The acquisition will be finalized in early November.

Fins & Feathers has operated in the Bozeman area since 2000, and currently offers gear from Simms, Sage, Scott, Skwala, Hardy, Orvis, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers, Umpqua, Hatch, Ross, G. Loomis, Waterworks-Lamson, Fishpond, Abel, and Thomas & Thomas, and others.

Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, also founded in 2000 in Bozeman, is a specialty fly-fishing travel agency that offers trips to nearly 250 destinations in 36 countries.

Salmonfly Numbers Declining

Recent studies suggest that some Western salmonfly populations have declined or gone entirely missing from certain Rocky Mountain watersheds.

Among other findings, a study by researchers at the University of Montana determined that survival of salmonfly nymphs (Pteronarcys californica, Pteronarcys dorsata, and Pteronarcella badia) nymphs was temperature dependent, but not dissolved-oxygen dependent–the stoneflies actually adapt to have larger gills when a stream's oxygen content is lower. And while these insects prefer water temperatures in the 55- to 58-degree range, the chemical makeup of the water influences those tolerances.

closeup image of a salmonfly scuttling across a log
Salmonfly numbers are not what they used to be, according to recent studies. (Joshua Bergan photo)

In other words, with our warming rivers, salmonfly habitat is shrinking.

Other studies have revealed that salmonflies have vanished entirely from Utah's Provo River, which historically had a thriving population. Populations have reportedly also been severely reduced in the Madison River's Beartrap Canyon, as well as nearby rivers like the Smith, Yellowstone, Big Hole, and Clark Fork.

In response to the declining bug numbers, a couple of then-University of Montana graduate students created "The Salmonfly Project" to continue studying and hopefully preserve salmonfly communities.

Read more about their work here.


Maryland Introduces U.S.’s First State Fly Fishing Trail

Hunt & Fish Maryland recently announced the opening of Maryland’s Fly Fishing Trail, a nationwide first that offers nearly 50 fly-fishing sites throughout the state. The trail offers a wide variety of fly-fishing opportunities, from small-stream fishing for native brook trout to pond fishing for largemouth bass, to striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as locations for northern snakehead, catfish, and more.

logo of Maryland's Fly FIshing Trail; silhouette of a fly angler casting, maroon and tan
Maryland's Fly Fishing Trail features nearly 50 fly-fishing locations.

The Trail’s website includes addresses, directions, parking information, and specific fishing tips for each location, along with stocking info, regulations, and fish consumption advisories.

Hunt & Fish Maryland is a partnership between the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Department of Commerce that promotes Maryland’s fishing and hunting opportunities.

Click here to learn more.

2022 Traver Award Winners

The American Museum of Fly Fishing, in conjunction with the John D. Voelker Foundation, recently announced its 2022 Robert Traver Fly-fishing Award winners. Frank Sargeant took home top honors for his story, “A Dog Named Fish,” which is “a warm, humorous, but heart-rending story about a man and his dog who both love tarpon fishing.”

“I am truly honored, and astounded, to be this year’s winner,” Sargeant said. “The Robert Traver Award is a great incentive for talented writers to produce their best work. It provides a venue for creative writing that’s very hard to find in the modern publishing world, and the element of competition adds a special spice to each year’s contest.” Sargeant, a former fishing guide, is a regular contributor to many outdoors publications and has authored 10 books.

Sargeant’s piece will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Fly Fisher, the Museum’s journal, and he will receive $2,500 in prize money.

Click here to see honorable mentions and finalists.

Campaign Launched to Demand Flow Requirements for Montana Spawning Trib

An important brown and rainbow trout spawning tributary just outside of Bozeman, Montana is at risk of being drawn down to dangerous levels, according to a new PR campaign being waged by local residents Lance and Siri Gilliland. The couple owns property on Lyman Creek and contend that Bozeman City Commission will need to authorize more and more water from the creek as the city’s population grows.

Lyman Creek, a tributary to Bridger Creek which ultimately feeds the Gallatin and Missouri rivers, currently supplies about 20 percent of Bozeman’s drinking water. For its part, the city says it has no plans to dry up the creek.

Pat Byorth, Montana Trout Unlimited’s Montana Water Project Director, signed an amicus brief supporting the couple in a past lawsuit, saying that increased water consumption from Lyman “would interrupt a huge amount of recruitment into the system so there would be fewer trout.”

A petition to urge city commissioners to maintain minimum flow requirements can be found here.

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