Montana’s fly fishers are about ready to call it a season. Norman McLean’s preferred fishing setting, the “arctic half-light of the canyon,” belongs to July and August. The heartiest of the hearty might still be wading into streams, but it will inevitably soon be time to pack the fly rod away.
Thankfully, the cold, long days of late fall and winter afford a great opportunity for hobbyists to focus instead on fly tying.
With little more than ten or twelve small items–hooks, materials, tools–an angler can craft a plethora of great flies for all stream conditions: pike flies, dry flies, wet flies, poppers, nymphs.
You of course see where we’re going with this. Beer. Fly tying and beer. We assume the fun, relaxing, money-saving hobby doesn’t have to be solitary. Why not do it in the Kalispell Brewing Company tasting room? With our big, wooden brauhaus tables, we have ideal space. It’s also a terrific opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. You can trade tricks, learn new things, and exchange fishing stories.
Like so many things, we believe fly tying is better with craft beer.
Tyler, our assistant brewer and avid fisherman, says, “the more beer, the more creative the flies.”
Shannon, tasting room server and fly fishing enthusiast, who has been heavily involved in our past fly tying nights, says, “It’s all about sharing fishing stories and chatting with new friends. Meeting a new fly tier can mean a new fishing buddy. It can also be a great introduction to fly fishing in general. You can learn fish types, how to read water, different flies for different seasons, et cetera.”
That’s why we’re hosting Hops and Hackle the second Thursday of November, December, and January.
Some of you may have attended our fly tying nights in the past. This year, we’re adding something more. We’re bringing in professional fly tiers, Kim and Dan Short.
Kim Short is the founder of the local group, Flathead Women on the Fly: “a group of women who like to fly fish and those that would like to learn how to fly fish. Its about fun, support, community, and learning.”
The official fly for the first meeting will be a very simple one: the Zebra Midge. If you are a beginner, Kim and Dan will offer guidance.
November’s Hops and Hackle will meet Thursday, November 10th, at 6:00 p.m. Kim and Dan will bring five extra vises and tool supplies, which can be used on a first-come first-serve basis. We’re asking for a $5.00 donation.
All abilities are welcome. We encourage anyone with a passion for tying, or anyone curious, to stop by.