Brown Trout Release

Get your Gear Ready for Spring Fishing

Get Ready for Spring Fishing Now


The glory days of spring fishing in Montana are not that far off and now is the time to start to prep.  Before you know it, April will be here and all will be floating wild Montana Rivers in search of heafty browns and rainbows.  Your first outing is never the time to find some of your gear is not up to the task.  A non-floating fly line, leaky waders or just not the right fly will spoil your first outing.   Now is the time to take stock and get your gear in order.



A good pair of waders and boots might just be the biggest most important piece of gear for spring fishing.   Cold water will ruin and shorten your day very quickly.  If you have had those waders and boots for a few years, you should test them out.   Fill the bath tub up with water and wade around.  If you are getting leaks let’s, get them fixed or replaced.

Many times, you can find leaks on breathable waders by spraying the inside with rubbing alcohol.  Just put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray down the wader turned inside out.   The holes will be clearly visible.  This works for many of the pin holes that are not easily seen but still leak.

Now that you know where the holes are it is time to fix them.  We like the Loon UV Wader patch.  Just put a good coating over the hole.  Now is the fun part. If you have a UV light just shine the lite on the goo and it will harden instantly.  If you do not have a dedicated UV light just leave them in the sun shine and it will harden in less than an hour.  Several coats might be necessary in order to adequately patch the hole.

If your waders are several years old now might be the time to replace them.  There is nothing like starting the season in new waders.   Makes you feel good.   We like the Orvis Pro waders for the angler who is hard on gear and fishes a bunch.  We also like the Orvis Clearwater wader.  The clearwater waders are an awesome wader and a really good price.

For boots we like the Korkers Buckskin boot.  Interchangeable soles, no break in period and a great price make these our favorite.  Both the Clearwater wader and Korkers boots come in men and women and kids so you are sure a great fit.



Now is the time to get that reel and line cleaned up.  Open the reel and with a QTip clean any dirt or moisture from the drag system and spool.  Some drag systems require you to relube them.  Read the owner’s manual before putting oil in any reel.

Now is the time to clean and treat that line.  First unspool the line in a sink and wash it with mild dish soap and warm water.  Now treat it.  We like the Loon Line speed.   Put a generous dab of line speed on a soft cloth.  Pull the line through the cloth several times.  This will recoat the line and make casting easier.


If you are finding cracks or divots in the line now is the time to replace.  We carry tons of great fly lines and all are fantastic for specific rods.  Know what rod you will be throwing the line on when you buy a new one.  We like the Orvis Pro Line in a power taper.   It is super slick and casts well especially with faster action rods.  We also like the Scientific Anglers MPX in Infinity taper for the dry fly anglers.   Stop by the store or give us a call and we can help you fit your new line to the rod.  It is impressive when the line and rod are matched and work together.



Now is a good time to organize those fly boxes. If you’re like me your boxes are a mess from the end of last season.   Let’s get them organized so that you can see what you are missing.  Fly boxes are super personal.  Are you a wade fisherman and need mobility.  Do you fish out of a boat mostly and can take along the larger boxes?   Whatever the case let’s get some sort of organization before the start of the season.


Now is a great time to fill the holes in your fly selection from last season.  You know the standard patterns you will need this season.  Let’s get them now before the fly shop bins get picked over later in the season.  There is nothing better than having the right pattern in your box when the moment arises.



Let’s clean up that rod before the season.  Wipe your rod down with a mild detergent and water.  Pay special attention to the ferrules.  Look for little cracks or weak spots.  Any nick in the epoxy will cause a weak spot and possible break later when put under stress.

If you have a broken stick now is the time to get it sent back for repair.  Orvis is taking about 6 weeks for repair now so if you want it for the first fishing days let’s get it taken care of.


While spring may feel right around the corner it is still a little way out.  If you want to be ready for those first spring days on the Madison you should get your gear sorted now.   A few quick steps will ensure you are ready when the weather breaks.

Fishing Reports and Trips

  • Fishing Reports

  • Want to know the most up-to-date information to find where the fish are biting? The Tackle Shop Fishing Reports provide you with a comprehensive look at current water conditions, recent hatches and flow data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • View Reports
  • Float Trips

  • The Tackle Shop offers a range of full-day and half-day float trips in the Madison River Valley area. The trips are all-inclusive and cover files, rods, reels, waders and boots. Leave your worries behind and let us give you the fly fishing trip of a lifetime.

  • View Trips
  • Walk/Wade Trips

  • Enjoy one of our full-day or half-day walk and wade trips for a more immersive, slower-paced fly fishing experience. The Tackle Shop will cater to your individual needs so you are able to take in the sights and sounds of the best waters in Montana.

  • View Trips
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