Stalking trout with dry flies. Floating, wading, and camping along the rivers. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Winter trips to Mexico.

Oct 12, 2016

More Beaverhead Oct 11, 12

After taking most of the day off on the 10th due to wind, the 11th brought cold temperatures, clouds, some rain showers, and a few flakes of snow.  Unfortunately a north wind came too, but it was fishable, and the fish were up and eating pretty good in the cloudy weather.  I did cast to my friendly rainbow from the 8th and 9th, and he ate a para Adams, but the hook didn't go in, and I'm ok with that.  That fish deserved a break, and a victory.  But I couldn't resist the cast, just to see.
The 12th was bright and sunny, this time with the south wind that warmed things up nicely.  My day started (noon!) with 4 straight hookups at the bridge.  Then as I proceeded up the bank, I got 6 or so more eats, and never touched a fish.  So it goes.  Didn't see you-know-who rising either.  The afternoon grew progressively slower, and ended without anything to talk about.  Tough day with more wind than yesterday.  Time to move on and do some exploring for a day or two while the wind really roars ahead of the next storm for the weekend.  Livingston?  Hmmm.
It was too cold to get the hands wet, so a few net shots
A pod of risers here just went to town for a couple hours.
He was there, and ate, and we said our goodbyes.
# 20 hot fly of the river, and the dark dun winged one too.
The "spring"
The bank with daily risers on its edges
The last fish I saw, over 20", and not on my line!

Oct 11, 2016

The Beav. (41cfs) 10-8,9

Its tradition now.  Flows down to a trickle like a spring creek.  Big rainbows rising less than an inch from the bank or weed line. That's where the fly has to go, dead drifted perfect.  Oh what fun.  There's been a few in the upper and lower "glory holes," but more in the slick water near the bank or between grass mats.  Its been windy, and pretty sunny, and in the 60's.  But still, there have been fish to be had.  BWO's are very sparse.  Just enough to bring a few fish up from time to time.  Doesn't seem quite as mossy as previous years, but that could also be because its got another 10 cfs of water running over the thick mats.  Clarity is ok at this low flow.  Its working. 

There's a storm passing by the north and east, and we may finally get some cloudy weather.  Now, if the wind will only stop. Its rocking the trailer tonight.  Will it be really good?  50/50 I'd say. 
And there's a fish story . . . On day one, from a classic cut bank, I caught a nice rainbow that was feeding in a precise, near-impossible-drift spot less than an inch from the weeds on the bank.  Weird current, away from the main bank current, literally 1/2 inch from the bank.  I finally got the right cast and drift, and landed the fish on "my" side of the river a bit downstream from where it was feeding.
On day two, I walk up the same bank, and there's a fish feeding in the exact same place.  A bunch of casts later and a lucky drift, my Harrop Cripple gets eaten again.  I land the fish, and it sure looks like the one I caught there yesterday.  Upon further review, it is!  No doubt about it, you'll see.
I kinda felt bad for the poor thing, but I was also pleased to know I didn't seem to change its ways or do any harm catching it yesterday and snapping some quick photos.  I'm sure its been caught a bunch over the years in this stretch of water, and its mouth had some scars on the side I didn't photograph.  Catch and release really works if we're all careful!
"The" cut bank and run.
Eating right there, on the bank
Day one catch and release
Same bank on day two
He's eating right there
Haven't we met before?
Absolutely!  Check out the spots, especially on the gill plate.
And he ate this very same fly twice about 24 hours apart
How about a lower glory hole pig.
Secret non-hatch weapon.  (I apologize fish Gods)
Easier drift lane
An inch in front of the rock.  How do they get their nose up that close?
Upper glory hole
I just like the traditional flies, and this one works
Skinny brown.  Most are spawning I guess.  Not catching many.
Thanks old friend.  Hope we can meet again.  You're a joy to fish to.  Its fish like you than make it worth the chase.  I wish you a happy life, and hope you refuse lots of flies, break lots of tippets, and avoid the nets in the time you have.  Sorry if I scared you.

Oct 10, 2016

Missouri Madness Oct 1-7 (3400 cfs)

When its right, its right.  A week of near-perfect conditions.  Hardly saw the sun at all. Lots of clouds, off and on, showers a few days, BWO's every afternoon, and comfortably cool. One day we stayed back rather than fish in the horizontal rain.

Its the MO, so too many fish pictures and sometimes it was pretty easy, but we could choose the level of difficulty by choosing which water we fished, and how.  Some days we fished the main river flat waters and edges, where the "A" game was needed.  Others, we fished side channels and slight riffles where all you had to do was get it in there right.   Most areas had both, so we could go back and forth from fast textured water to smooth slow flats.

While I was surprised at the October weekday crowds, especially with the inclement weather, there was always a place to go.  We fished the top and bottom of Lone Tree, the entire ladder area, and the islands below "high bridge".  Didn't see any bugs up above Wolf Creek Bridge the couple of times we went and looked.

Dark-winged flies were most visible, and the "Sri-Lanka BWO Emerger" in a size 20 was just magic.  Such a busy, bulky little but, but they loved it.  It's an Ebay, 60-cent cheapo special, not a $3.50 House of Harrop masterpiece, but the fish didn't care.  They did eat the little Harrop Cripples too though.  And the black-wing Adams was a winner in the pods of fish.
Baetis Box One
Tricky Fish
Three Legged Cripple
"High Bridge" Islands
Foam wing cdc fooled a few
Many hours on this pod.
Ah, Montana wilderness fishing at its finest!
The Glory Hole
Bi Visible was visible!
Just relax and stay a while at the mega pod
Yep, there were bugs
Harrop Cripple always shines
This rocked in the pods
Fly of the Week!  "Sri Lanka Emerger."  Got the tough ones.