April, 2014: Kristene and I traveled out to Montana for a long weekend to squeeze in a couple more days on the slopes before the season ended. The snow pack in Montana has been phenomenal over the last couple of months. The ski condition reports at Big Sky, Discovery Ski Basin and Lost Trail Powder Mountain were epic… so we headed west!


Every trip to Montana involves spending time with some fishing friends too! On arrival, we had a great lunch with a few staff members at Simms, followed by a thorough tour of their new offices in Bozeman. We spent the evening with our good friend and Big Hole Lodge owner, Craig Fellin.

We discussed the snow pack at length over a glass of red wine. Based on current levels and moisture content, we anticipate a great fishing season. The relationship between snowpack and the health of Montana’s river systems is critically important. While we cannot predict early warm spring seasons or hot drought-like conditions during the summer, winter snows can insure quality flows throughout the season. The condition of the trout, abundance of insect life and fishing success is in direct proportion to the level of health of Montana river ecosystems. Right now according to Montana’s SNOWTEL, most of Southwestern Montana’s “Blue-Ribbon” trout resources are over 140% of normal snowpack and the Big Hole region is at 148%.

photo2If you are considering a trip to the American West this upcoming season, book it now. Early indications tell us it could be a great year! Craig’s availability at Big Hole Lodge is becoming limited with only a few prime weeks still available. Do not hesitate to consider mid-September into October, one of our favorite times to be on the water in Montana. Fishing then is like skiing in late March/early April…  Great conditions, very few other outdoor enthusiasts around and the Moose Drool tastes great!

By: Mike & Kristene Fitzgerald


As son of the Frontiers founders, Mike Fitzgerald, Jr. was brought up in the outdoor travel business. He has handled a number of sporting programs for Frontiers through the years. Today as President, Mike works closely with the Senior Management Team and the department heads and is quite involved with the Southern Hemisphere freshwater programs. Mike loves to travel with his fly rods, shotguns and cameras. He is passionate about trout, salmon and conservation. He sits on the boards of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.