|Nobody but me. If only it could look like this in coming weeks. Not!|
So I’ve been debating whether to take the high road or the low road in preserving this trip. The high road is always best. The low road is more realistic. But I’ll start with the high road. Everything is green! And wet. Summer is coming. So are the bugs.
|#14 Dun Variant. Sparse. Realistic. Love the old school. So do the trout.|
The Fork was running a nice clean 600 cfs. No weeds, no people, and very few bugs or rising fish. But there were a few. March Browns! Caddis. Nice to throw a #14 again, and have it be eaten every time. Just not many targets, and not many quality ones. It felt right though, to be home again, and imagine 3 weeks down the (high) road.
|Not much company here either|
Depuys was ok. No weeds! A different river with no weeds. I managed to find a fish or two up in the slow pool until the wind came up late-morning. So, a few hours of casting to some sporadic risers to midges. A few ate, and it was a nice $80 morning. The re-entry run was like a lake, I assume due to the high water on the Yellowstone? Got some Harrop flies at Anderson’s, and had a good Blizzard at DQ! I like Livingston. There were a couple guys nymphing the riffles, and . . . killin’ it!
|Flooded due to high water on Yellowstone?|
The Wyoming spring creek I pass coming and going was windy as hell both ways, and I didn’t see a single rise in two full passes up and down it. Didn’t even see a fish.
|3 hours--No bugs|
The Beaverhead was as clear as I’ve seen it in years. No weeds. The bobber guys were killin’ it, but I never saw a fish rise in two days. So goes the Beav. in May I guess. But it sure did look nice, and the nymph guys were . . . well . . . Ya.
And there we have it. I didn’t make many casts. $2.86 gas. Rain every day. A fair share of wind. Furnace running in the trailer nightly. Got my Montana and Idaho licenses for the season. Had a nice chat with Rene at the overlook. Grabbed some nice salmonflies for July from Kelly’s before they sell out. Passed on a new partridge and some other soft-hackle skins at Blue Ribbon, for now. Montana is still there, though still quite snowcapped. Most everything at flood stage. I stayed on the high road, but I sensed my wheels might be going slightly out of alignment. I mean, I gotta fish, and it’s nice to catch a few on occasion.
After lots of driving and meandering around with hours to give it careful, deep thought, I’ve decided that if I ever exit the high road, I won’t sugar-coat it with some kind of dry-dropper, denial kind of shit. Nope, I’ll put on a bright bobber like the other clowns, and some bottom-dredging contraption under it, and rip the shit out of ‘em. I have some distant memories of the 80’s, one fish after another, and can probably still do it. Doesn’t look too hard. Sling, mend, jerk, repeat. Every hacker on the Beaverhead had a bent rod. Nice fish too!
But those beads, God I hate the idea of using a hook with a damn bead on it. That’s the ditch on the side of the low road. And the idea of crimping or otherwise attaching weight to my leader makes me want to puke. I won’t go eggs and worms. So how do I fish a sparse little nymph with a fucking bobber but no weight? If I tie some with weight on a hook, then they’re too fat, like all the nymphs I disposed of decades ago. I guess I could just fish the bigger freestones with big weighted stonies or the venerable Pat’s Rubber Leg. But those rivers are all flooding, so that wouldn’t have done me any good. Maybe a sparse, weightless nymph with just enough yarn to suspend it in a long dead drift? That low road is complicated stuff.
Well, the good news is that my next departure date is June 13. The Ranch. Drakes, PMD’s, Salmonflies, caddis, the usual June menu of big bugs. I’ve got 4 days in early July on the creeks. Lock! Silver Creek will be open. The high road awaits. I hope the other rivers drop into shape sooner than expected. I hope we are in for a few years of drought. (I love drought years—not one river I’ve ever fished has dried up in the worst drought cycles of my life!) Maybe I’ll rant in another post about that. But mainly I hope to keep steering straight down the high road.