Rock Bottom Boys Ride Again!

by Keith Radabaugh on April 30, 2014

first jam 2014

Sam, Keith, and Josh (aka The Rock Bottom Boys) busted out their instruments for the first client jam of the season. For not having played together for about 6 months, it went just fine-if fact, it was awesome! There was a lot of foot taping and that’s always a good thing. This jam usually gets going around the campfire, but it was too cold for that and neither the guests nor the “Boys” could wait. Thanks for the photo Steve!

Spring Report

by Keith Radabaugh on April 29, 2014

We just finished a very busy spring season. We always have some good pre-runoff fishing in late March and early to mid April and the word is out. We were quite full this year and the spring report is all good! We had to deal with high water because of a lot of lower elevation snow melt, but guides got it done and everyone had some good fly fishing. We catch a lot or really big trout in the spring and this year was no exception.
The best news of all is the summer outlook. Snowpack is over 160% of normal and it is still snowing and holding in the high country. Everyone feels very good about good stream flows and water temperatures all summer. Our overall bookings reflect this. We still have some dates left for small groups and couples. Also, due to two recent cancellations, the whole lodge is available for 4 nights in late July and 3 nights in August. That’s it for being able to accommodate a group of 8 to 10 exclusively. The phone is still ringing and we are filling up fast. Now is the time to call if you are interested in a trip to the fabled Blue Damsel this summer.
As always, we are essentially shut down for an anticipated huge spring runoff. Keith is back in Texas, taking care of business, and Josh and Sam are happily busy with one of the things they love-building stuff! They are working on some custom coffee tables, a new baker’s table, and some new display cases for the Pro Shop; And a few other little surprises. The lodge and staff will be ready for our first summer guests in early June and we hope to see you this season. Everything is shaping up to be our best one yet.

2014 Season Expectations-It’s All Good

by Keith Radabaugh on March 17, 2014

We are ready to kick off our 2014 season and have only good stuff to report!

First, we are proud to announce that we have been named as a finalist for Orvis Endorsed Lodge of the Year, again! We will find out if we won that coveted Lodge of the Year Award at this year’s Orvis Guide Rendezvous on April  6th. We want to thank all you wonderful folks who came out and stayed and fished with us last year. Your survey responses and trip reports on the Orvis website are the primary criteria for selecting the finalists out of the elite group that make up the Orvis endorsed lodges. This feedback was all very kind and complimentary-and the rebookings are just off the chart. So we had a great 2013 season and want to thank all our guests over the past decade who have had the Blue Damsel experience. You have put us on the map!

Second, our fishing report looks wonderful for 2014 and although we are heavily booked already, we still have some availability for each month of our summer/fall season.  Snowpack is well over 100% and it continues to snow! It certainly looks like we will have good stream flows and water temps all season, and that’s about all this fishery needs for phenomenal fishing all summer.  Although we are booked solid for our spring season, we can accommodate small groups here and there from June through early October. Many of you know that our optimum occupancy is 10 and we will offer the lodge exclusively for a group of at least 8. There are only two slots remaining where we can offer exclusivity. The rest of the season, we have someone in the lodge every night.

So, from every perspective, we are expecting the best season ever. If you are thinking about a trip to western Montana this summer, why don’t you get in touch with us right away? You will be glad you did!

The Season is Underway!

by Keith Radabaugh on May 31, 2013


Rainbow Trout

Jamie’s trout

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve posted a lodge report on our website. We got sidetracked with Facebook postings.  Here is our first report for the 2013 season and it’s all good!

First, let me say, if you can travel in the near future, call us or email right away! This appears to be one of those years that early-mid June is going to be fantastic and we have plenty of availability. We never know when a heavy, or late, spring runoff is going to have us blown out in early June, so we hold off on booking those dates. If we have an early runoff, like this year, not only do we have good water in early-mid June, but we usually have a great Salmon Fly hatch. The Salmon Flies should start coming off any day-and water flows and temps are perfect. Because of this recent development, we have started booking those early to mid June dates vigorously and wanted to give everyone a shot at it while it lasts. With the exception of a one room cancellation July 3-5, we have been booked solid from June 22th through July 19th for a long time. This early runoff has made for a fantastic fishing opportunity, right now.

On other news, we had a very good April, with a good Skwala hatch, PMDs and Gray Drakes. The weather, for the most part, was pleasant. We did deal with some early runoff, but it didn’t keep our guests from putting big trout in the net. Most everyone who was out this April is coming back next year. And, at the Orvis Guide Rendezvous in April, we were recognized as a finalist in the Orvis Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year competition. This is because of the support from all of you who have been our guests in the past. Thank you.

We are ready for our summer season and looking forward to a fantastic year. We hope you will be joining us.

Is Your Blue Damsel Trip Booked Yet?

by Keith Radabaugh on February 6, 2012

It is definately time to make your 2102 spring, summer and fall plans for a fly fishing trip to Western Montana’s Blue Damsel Lodge. The super bowl is over and spring is on the way. Snow pack looks good, but not crazy like last year.
All systems are go and we are anticipating a very good fishing season. There is still a good bit of availability, but, the phone is ringing with guests selecting dates. If you’ve been here before, you know what a great trip to expect and we’d sure love to see you again. If you haven’t been yet, now is the time to get in touch and find out about available dates, fishing expectations and how simple it is to book maybe the best fly fishing trip of your life. You deserve a fly fishing adventure this summer and we suggest you take a few minutes to contact us about just that!

Happy New Year-in with the new, fond memories of the past

by Keith Radabaugh on January 15, 2012

As we roll into a great looking 2012, we are just reflecting on the past season. There are some great memories and photos of really good times, great food, good music, new friends, and wonderful fishing. We made some new friends and caught some great fish; We also lost some memorable fish and good friends and choose to fondly remember the missed fish, past days, and departed friends.
We would like to share two links with you that remind us of the essence of 2011. The first was produced and directed by Craig Chiesa, who did a summer practicum with us as part of his program with the University of Montana. His friend, Thomas Caywood Vincent shot the video and put most of it together. Also, a special thanks to Bela Fleck and the Flecktones for the original sound track. The link will take you to the video on the vimeo site. This is only about a 2 minute video, but it is hi-def, on a hi-def site so it may take a while to download. To keep it from pausing, etc, just start it, hit pause and let it download before you watch it. It’s a really good little video that captures a lot of what the lodge and fishing is about.
The second link is to a You tube video of “US”, the staff house band last season, aka, Maren Wing and the Rock Bottom Boys doing an impromptu cover of a Felice Brother’s tune that was one of our favorite of the season. It is also just about 2 minutes and downloads really fast.
Enjoy and stay in touch. Still lots of good dates, but we are filling up fast for 2012. Hope to see you at the Blue Damsel this year.

Link to Blue Damsel Video:

Link to youtube music video:

Nice Finish to a Nice Season

by Keith Radabaugh on October 7, 2011

Here is a picture of Enrique, and guide Adam, with a very nice Blackfoot River brown trout. Enrique and Paul were our last guests of the 2011 season and they just left after spending a week fishing with us. Enrique caught this monster (really near to 2 foot of fish) on his second day. His fishing partner, Paul took the photo and shared it with us. Thanks to both of you for helping us put a good end to a good season. You are both world class sportsmen!

We wanted to get this picture posted now, before we get busy with the end of season party and closing up for winter. Today brings our 2011 season to a close and we want to thank all our guests, staff, guides, friends, and trout for making this the best season yet! Soon we will post links to the awesome video Craig made and some you-tube video of the Blue Damsel Staff, aka “Maren Wing and the Rock Bottom Boys” doing our favorite tune of the season. But for now, we are done… Signing out for a while from the Blue Damsel Lodge. Keith’s going fishing!

The Rock Bottom Boys

by Keith Radabaugh on September 28, 2011

Thanks to Fred Crawford, we have a photo of the Blue Damsel house band- The Rock Bottom Boys. Technically, this season it has been Maren Wing and The Rock Bottom Boys. From left to right, we have Troy Lorenz on the stand up bass fiddle, (world famous?)guest guitarist Jim Cox sitting in on accoustic guitar, Josh Wing on fiddle and vocals, Maren Wing (Troy’s wife and Josh’s sister) on accordian and vocals, and Keith on lead guitar. This was a little session we did mid September on a wonderful evening after a great day of fishing.
We only have two weeks left this season to try and get a video/audio put together, but we are working on that right now. If it happens, we’ll post the link here.

Farewell to a Friend

by Keith Radabaugh on September 3, 2011

We just met David this year, but he came out twice so we got to know him pretty well. We just found out David took his last fishing trip-one he won’t come back from. We are so sorry to hear that and so very glad to have known you and honored to have fished with you. Goodbye buddy-from all the staff and guides.

The Trout Is Saved!

by Keith Radabaugh on August 12, 2011

This is not the typical conservation story, but this fish was saved by Kirk Kanady, one of Keith’s lodge partners. Thanks Kirk! Any of you who have been to the lodge in the past several years know the trout sculpture displayed on the main level. This sculpture, by Missoua artist Jonathan Qualben, has been on display here for 4 years. Jothathan found a buyer for this, the last of his 8 foot trout sculptures, and told us he would make another one if we wanted to keep our old friend. And Kirk “threw down” and bought the trout!

Those of you who have been here this summer knew that we were concerned about being able to keep the fish and may be relieved to know that the big old trout stayes right where it is. Thanks again Kirk!