The 2nd of Truckee's infamous BIG BUGS OF JUNEmade an appearance yesterday, June 7 in the "middle" section of the Truckee River (BT). At 3:40 PM, amidst grey skies and light snow-flurries, I viewed the first of only two Drakes appear during a multiple mayfly emergence; PMD's, BWO's and a larger, unidentified up-wing (...lateMarch Brown?).
The water temps were 54 degrees. A couple of upticks in the temps and it is "Game On!" for dry fly angling on the the BT; regardless of what section you fish. Do not forget an essential tool when fishing the big river; your THERMOMETER.
There was a pod of sporadic risers at the tail-out of a long pool.
'Cus Jeff' bent
The one beautifully-colored, 14 inch RainBow hooked/netted ate a #8 down-wing pattern; in the absence of an up-wing pattern... in a fly-box left in the SUV!` My preferred pattern for the Drakes is a #8 Green Drake Quigley Cripple. As always be aware of classic "making hatches" during this period of increasing aquatic bug emergences.
Looking forward for you committed dry-fly purists; do not forget about the anticipated adults of the 3rd "Big Bug"...the Golden Stone Fly.
With this warming weather the Winged Black Ants have made an appearance in Truckee...in substantial numbers. How long they'll be here is anyone's guess; they're unpredictable. They can make an intense 2-3 day appearance and quickly fade. Or, not as intense, but spread-out over about 10 days...then gone.
These huge ants (#10-12's) are the first of the Truckee's "Big Bugs of June" to make an appearance locally. Now we're looking for the other two Big Bugs; Western Green Drakes and Golden Stoneflies. Both adults can be "phantoms"; most especially the Drakes.
June is an angler's first chance of "searching" the water and hooking a large trout at the surface.
All the stream occupants are aware of and on the look-out for the Big Bugs, and the opportunity to ambush such high-caloric meals. The Truckee's out-sized trout in the 18"-25" range, are known to leave the bottom and eat aggressively on top...most of the time. A client once had the rare exception of a subtle take; on the flat-water of the LT's Bluff Slick. A perfectly dead-drifted #8 Green Drake Quigley-Cripplesimply disappeared, sucked-down and absolutely no water displacement.
Historically, the Ants always proceed the Drakes and the Goldens. The Green Drakes and Golden Stonefly adults are seldom observed in great numbers; but the trout are aware of their presence in the top-water-column where they haphazardly land on the water's surface. Toss your big dries along cut-banks, under overhanging stream-side vegetation, in riffles and boulder fields. You are prospecting for an opportunistic feeder.
And since I've mentioned a "water-column", rest assured, dislodged large nymphs of both of the Golden and the Drake are ALWAYS eaten. Remember the Goldens have a 2-3 life cycle; making them readily available during their progressive instar-growth up to a size 4. Fishing the Drake nymphs (#'s 6-10) are most productive prior to their emergence since most of them migrate towards the shallows and quiet water in lieu of clinging to the bottom in heavy water. As for the huge Black ant (winged or wingless); fish it dry or sunk (HINT).
Attractor/impressionistic patterns of all three Big Bugs are sufficient to dupe the trout.
Less we forget, many have made the "ultimate sacrifice" with their lives; preserving the freedoms we have in the US.
I may have unintentionally ruffled some feathers today when I innocently made a comment on FaceBook to clarify who is honored on Memorial Day. Today is the day for those who literally lost their lives while in foreign combat zones. This is a very special day for them and their families. It is not a "Happy Memorial Day!" salutation that our tone-deaf chief of state intoned today. All of us military veterans, some who lost friends and served "right or wrong" are honored on Veterans Day in November... not Memorial Day in late May.
Governor Newsom announced that county officials can decide
the pace of moving into Stage 2 of reopening. The Truckee/Sierraville Ranger
Districts will be relying on updates from State/County Officials to determine
when guiding and recreation event permits can re-enter use status.
The expectation is that when the permits re-enter use
status, there will be operating restrictions such as social distancing measures
and the use of PPE. In the meantime you can start to develop a modified
operating plan that will describe how you will employ these operating
I've been reviewing the flow charts as they pertain to the Truckee watershed. The peak snow-melt and corresponding run-off is subsiding. There is a downward trend-line in the peaks of the "peaks & troughs" on the water flow charts. As I mentioned in my last post "...fish the drop" in the smaller streams and progressively the larger rivers...AND do not dismiss the stream inflows into the local still-waters. IMO, we're still about 3 weeks plus/minus from the start of the optimum conditions at moving waters in the region.
Unquestionably until that time, the most productive method will be sub-surface fishing. So now is the time to continue probing the depths with big/little searching rigs. As of yesterday there are few consistent bug emergences and their corresponding top-water, feeding
Wet flies displayed at last season's Devin Olsen's Euro-Nymphing clinic
Thus far there has not been a profusion of wildflowers; even those ubiquitous ones imaged below have not yet made a noticeable appearance. I've been reminded of a small hard-bound book in my fly fishing library which is about "a method of meeting and matching the super hatches of the West" This 1995 book is entitled THE PHENOLOGICAL FLY
Our state flower...sparse here but dense on the Sierra west-slope hills & valleys
The Mule Ear, at this elevation it is as prolific as the California Poppy found on the lower
Snow is melting quickly in Truckee at the mid-6000' elevations. It is now melt-and-rising-rivers-time. I'm still "sheltering-in-place" with an occasional venture into town for mail and needed supplies...wearing my Buff and gloves. I'm waiting for a gradual lightening of Pandemics behavior from the responsible agencies.
I haven't done much angling recently; but have been reviewing/purging my image files of such. I've had nice recollections of past early seasons' fly angling within range of town.
Now is the time to explore many of the local Small Waters.
If there is water...there are trout
"...melt and rising waters"
Small Waters are most productive on the "drop"
...look for low-gradient flows
Some isolated Small Waters remain productive into early summer
Stream inlets produce well during run-off conditions; regardless of water clarity. Find the biggest entry channel and then locate both "...feeding & sheltering troughs".
You 'old-timers'...Remember Martis Lake during '80's?
One thing about sheltering in place is that you start reminiscing about past, early-spring, pre-melt, fly fishing sessions in the Truckee region. My climatic preference is sun, sparse cloud-cover and minimal wind; mid-days. Access points are still few.
When this Pandemic subsides I'm in an anxious MOOD to breathe fresh air while tramping through snow to a favored holding water, with my dry fly rod in hand (...see NOTE); looking for snouts at the surface... sipping first-brood BWOemergers and fully-developed duns. Well, OK, if I'm really anxious for the tug; I'd carry a second rod, set-up for a more consistent method that will produce "da throb of the rod".
IMAGES from the past follow editorializing...
NOTE: Selected excerpt from MOODS article in Sierra Fisherman, July 2014
"Moods take many forms...
Head-Hunting: There are times when I've walked a river for three hours, without casting once. I did not see a single trout rise. We are entitled to being a "purist" whenever we wish.
We all experience fishing moods; whether seasonally, day-to-day or spur of the moment. Each mood fits a current mind-set. Yes, moods can be fickle, prolonged, short-lived and will draw us to different types of water...these moods can overshadow what may be a more pragmatic approach that will produce more hook-ups, but there is no way we will be moved away from that mood...
We fly anglers are of myriad personality types. Some of us are loners, at all-costs-crowd-avoiders; essentially anti-social (editor: appropriate for these times!). Some of us not; savoring interaction, "fish gossiping" and seeking out communal group angling (...a GroupFish!); camaraderie is what it is all about. Regardless of where you are "button-holed" within the two extremes; each mood fits our psyche's current 'state of mind'.
Moods allow us to fly fish in many ways. All provide a certain pleasure."
...Trek cautiously...avoid "post-holing"
...a bit too fast
Hook'em in the soft riffle and net them below in the pool
Does the hackneyed "back-in-the-day" refer to pre-2000 or post 2000?
Today I read a blog post by fellow angling friend/guide; Jon Baiocchi. It was a thoroughly informative post on new-age and old-day fly rods relative to their dynamics, preferred selection and methods used.
In the intro Jon recollects his early days of fly fishing with his dad and the gear they used. It reminded me of an article I'd written for the Spring 2012 issue of the now-defunctSierra Fisherman magazine. Some of you "old-timers" will relate. Here is the article; sprinkled with attempts at humor...sans images:
A Time Perspective on Fly Fishing
For those of us who have been fly fishing for a few decades,
there is a point in time when we realize we are of the “older generation”. Our
fly angling psyche has changed; influenced by the introduction of modern
methods, concepts and gear. With the mid-90’s advent of the Internet, the
learning curve for those of us very experienced or novice is now quicker and
steeper. We grizzled fly anglers accept this …maybe reluctantly…and recognize that
our passion has been and will continue to be a dynamic sport; although some
things may remain constant in our minds.
During the ‘70’s there were few concerted attempts to tweak
or enhance what was learned when we initially entered the sport; the exception
being some classic, fly fishing books. The ‘80’s provided an up-tempo in the print
media, and the increased use of the Internet during the late-90’s and into the
first decade of the 21st century provided us with limitless, easily
accessed information and purchase opportunities. As a consequence, there has
been a decline in fly fishing specialty-shops. There are now only a few small,
“brick and mortar” fly shops, those survivors able to compete with the on-line
and huge mega-sports stores.
Below, hoping to provide a brief historical perspective on
the evolving changes that have occurred during the last few decades, are some general
comments of our mutually-shared sport.“New school” participants….and this is a relative moniker…may
appreciate what we “old-schoolers” or “booth-strappers” have witnessed over the
My first waders had attached boots and were both bulky and clumsy. “Stocking-foot” waders made
an appearance during the mid-‘70’s. They were either seamless, solid rubber or
seamed, water-proofed nylon; weighing mere ounces. With the former we
experienced sweaty walks and wades, most especially during the heat of the
summer…they did not breathe! I had a rubber pair with many repairs; I looked like a walking, worn-out and heavily patched
inner-tube. The seams separated on the
nylon ones after only 4-5 outings. There were few wading shoes available. They had felt-soles and were made of
leather which became very rigid when dry; making it difficult to put-on for
your next outing. Now we can select boots made by numerous manufacturers; they
are synthetic, light-weight and durable to withstand boulder-scrabbling in
freestone rivers. Modern-day brogues have various types of tightening features
utilizing wheels, wires, zippers and speed-lacing gadgets.
Common use of bamboo fly
rods was a bit ahead of my time. I’ve experienced the progression of
fiberglass and the present-day graphite or graphite/boron composites. My first
fly rod was a 6-weight, “glass” 8-footer. Then I was gifted the first
production graphite rod, which hardly bent being as stiff as a broomstick. You
will notice I’ve intentionally avoided discussing two-handed rods.
Fortunately the rod designers became more sophisticated. We
then could select a “taper” that fit our casting style and preferred type of
fishing. Simply, the “action” indicated where the rod bent, as in fast (…at the
tip), medium (…at the middle, the term used was “parabolic”) , and slow ( …at
the butt). Currently, I see no need to decipher all the marketing and
engineering jargon such as “torsional stability”, “damping” with “nano-sized
silica”, all encased in an “advanced modulus positioning system” Geez, I merely want to fish and not launch a
fly to the moon. Our prime concern, simply, is how the rod flexes, loads or
bends to accurately and efficiently cast the line and fly.
It seems like fishing vests
are no longer de-rigueur. At times I feel like a Neanderthal when I put on my
“guiding” vest…it easily weighs 20+ pounds! The trend is obviously towards
being a minimalist. We now can use devices such as slings, chest-packs, waist-pouches
and lanyards. They are ergonomically
designed and may include water devices, D-rings, clips, Velcro fasteners,
loops, straps, and in-built nooks and crannies.
Long-time fly anglers remember mostfly reels
being from three producers. For trout angling we either had a proletariat’s
Pheluger 1494 Medalist or Scientific Angler System One. Having the money we
could splurge for an English-made Hardy Princess or Perfect.
Currently there must be close to 100 reel makers at all
price-points. Some salt-water reels cost as much as my first VW “Bug”.
Flies, hooks andfly tying have evolved. In the past there were few
synthetics; mostly natural feathers, hairs, furs and wool yarns. The current
plethora of non-natural ingredients used at our vises and in patterns
commercially produced are endless. There was one major hook producer, providing
a limited style of hooks. We now have the privilege of selecting from several
firms with an endless array of hook designs; weights, bends, points, thickness
and gaps…for both freshwater, saltwater flats, estuaries and deep sea.
Depending on a fly tier’s temperament, fly designs can be simple and quick to
tricky and time-consuming.
I recall two basic fly
line shapes: a double-taper or a
weight-forward. They were full-length at 90’ or 30’ shooting-heads. The line
floated or sunk, the latter having 3-4 sink rates. Now there is a bewildering amount of
different fly lines that are available in a
kaleidoscope of colors…some of them blinding. They are designed for very
specific angling situations, whether used in fresh or salt environments.
Advertising, packaging and catalogue descriptions can be so esoteric that one
almost needs computer analytics before making a choice.
A last category of fly angling needs is an all inclusive
group that is marketed as accessories.
It sort of sounds like high-end jewelry, but; I call them extraneous
paraphernalia or “danglies”. My first “nippers” were essentially finger-nail
clippers, which hung on my vest by a string (…flashing brightly in announcing
my presence to every trout in the immediate area) or placed-in an
often-forgotten-pocket. Attachment devices have evolved into an array of
retractable “zingers”; some of which are inconspicuously built into our outer-wear
and gear packs. Some of us carried heavy needle-nose pliers or surgical
hemostats for de-barbing hooks. We now have many choices which incorporate
multi-function features: hook-eye
clearing , cramping-on weight, and scissors for cutting hackle, hair or leader
The list of gadgets
continues and entails paste and powdered floatants, indicators, weights,
hook-hones, thermometers, knot-tying aids, nets, tippet dispensers and fly
boxes. The common denominator is that now there are many options; most of which
were unavailable decades back.
My intent here is to not create “revisionist” history. This
very loose chronology of fly angling developments are my recollections only, I’m
sure I’ve missed some. If so, please drop me a note to refresh my memory.………..Frank R. Pisciotta
* E-note excerpt from the Truckee Ranger District on 3/26/2020:
"On the Truckee Ranger District we expect that all outfitting and guiding and rec event operations are suspended until the State shelter in place order is lifted"
Yes indeed we'll take it!...sort of a minorMiracle March.
The recent snow-storms have been most welcomed. Prior to, we were at 50% of historical average snow-pack to date; as of today it's been bumped-up to 63% of normal and at 67% water-content (was 43% on March 13th!). Still low but an improvement. The storm-door seems to be open until the end of the month... Maybe we'll break the 70% mark.
front door...end of storm
During the first "good dump" two weeks ago I got 4' of new snow at my place at 6500'. I'm guessing there had to be a minimum of 6'-7' of new "white gold" at the higher peaks. Wonderful for the forest and fisheries...not to mention skiing. Unfortunately for the latter, whether skiing or gliding, the north Tahoe resorts are all closed...da VIRUS thing; of which I 'm not going to dwell upon here, remaining up-beat, because I'm sure we're all pretty much inundated with info with this troubling pandemic. Personally, I've been "self-isolating" and this has been my 15th straight day doing so; except for a couple of quick grocery and mail runs in town.
the calm AFTER the first good storm
So, I haven't been fishing recently. Prior to the snows, local intel had Skwalas present on the BT; Trout Creek to CA/NV state-line. There, be prepared for increased activity of March Browns; sub-surface only. Because of the recent snows, access to the LT below the dam is improbable. If so, the angler will see some first-brood BWO emergences during mid-day; not to mention Midges in all life-cycles. Nevertheless, I'm not predicting you'll see a lot of surface-snouts.
Wintertime angling on the aforementioned waters has been allowed only since the 2008. Hence, both jaded "regulars" and Newbie/younger Truckee fly anglers are still leaning the nuances of the previously "closed season"; mid-November to end of April. Suffice it to say, the savvy anglers appear astream mid-day when the water is warmest; assuming there is decent solar-heating...say 11AM-4PM.
The amount of existing snow determines accessibility; for parking and trekking to the water, respectively. Some of us still strap-on snow-shoes, wanting to avoid a hyper-extension of the knee via unforeseen "post-holing". I lieu of felt-bottomed wading shoes, use plastic or rubber-soled wading shoes; the latter eliminates the nuisance of "snow-clumping".
Thy Rod & Staff...Snow-Shoes & Old-School Vest
Early spring trout remain in the winter's low-flow holding lies...until the snow-melt commences. Prior to, fish the slow flow runs and the deep pools. There limited times for a chance of angling a surface fly.
For this transitional winter/spring period until the melt, the most productive ploy remains probing sub-surface; methodically, "low & slow". The trout will not move much to intercept your offering. Whichever "load & lob" method you use; be it high-sticking, indo-nymphing or "Euro" nymphing...get it down! Our quarry are resting in bottom water-column, again, where you must naturally, drift your flies. I practice searching rigs; employing suggestive fly patterns; adjusting weight whether incorporated in the fly or on your terminal leader. If specifically targeting apex-predator trout; streamers are advised...the proverbial "Size-versus-Numbers" conundrum. April, May and the start of June offer only "iffy" prime, fly fishing. Conditions are wholly dependent on what remains of the winter snow-pack, its percentage of water content, and resulting melt and runoff during this period. Be aware the melt is unpredictable; being erratic or gradual; we never know. The most productive angling methods continue to be those of the winter months; present flies at the river's bottom, where the trout are.
Although we're 4 weeks away from the serious snow-melt; initially anticipate roily, high water and cold water temps. The largest trout caught in the Truckee area are in early spring and fall.
Lots of fly anglers prefer not fishing during this '"flush" period because there is limited holding water. Flip it...to your advantage; the trout are isolated in fewer prime lies...target those areas! With high spring flows think...edges as in bank-side edges, slow, deep runs and quiet pools. The trout will concentrate there. These trout are less pressured there, hence concentrated, because there are very few strategically-thinking anglers astream.
Here's another afer-thought for springtime from an October 3, 2012 blog entry. "Fly anglers and trout love weather & clouds". Although the thought was written relative fall-time angling it most certainly applies to early spring-time fly angling. Another recurring theme for me when guiding/instructing (...one of my FRANKISMS) is"Fall and Spring are mirror images of each other relative to best time of day to fish". Over my many years plying the Truckee area water, I have fond recollections of fishing over rising trout ingesting BWO's or early PMD hatches...when it was drizzly and overcast.
My wish is a March Miracle (...not Miracle March!). It has been 3-4 weeks since we received any significant precipitation that deposited snow on the ground that didn't melt-off in a day or two.
Back-yard forest...Normal snow amount in late February...Ain't happening!
Right now, my prognosis is the fishing will start in earnest 4-5 weeks ahead of normal...assuming we don't experience my above wish. I'm thinking...hoping...we're currently experiencing a "false spring".
Truckee's watershed's eight (8) monitoring sites are cumulatively measuring 60% of average snow-water content. Total seasonal precipitation is also not spectacular at 56% of historical average to date.
My unscientific snow-melt calculation .60 x .56 equates to 34% of normal melt. Yikes!! Fortunately, we've had two of three "good water" years.
My preferred "early-season" flies...
via "old-school" High-Sticking"
There's been no dramatic change in the fly angling since my last post of 1/31/20. There are less LittleBlack Winter Stoneflies flitting about and a slight up-tick in sightings of its larger relative, the Skwala Stonefly. BWO's are a good choice to imitate; either on the surface; during the sparse hatch/rise activity you can encounter, or, trailing a large Stonefly nymph or Flesh Juan Worms when dead-drifting "Low & Slow"; probing the bottom on the stream...where the trout are. Sleep-in, simply fish the most pleasant time of day, 11AM-4PM when you'll find the progressively, warmest water of the day.
Don't forget streamers now, they are always a good choice in early season for out-sized river trout.
Personally I like to fish dry flies in winter...if conditions and access permit. Locally, in the Truckee area, currently there three aquatic bugs to consider if you're looking for surface feeders. I'm intentionally not mentioning midges because they are ALWAYS present, 365 days per year. I haven't observed intense bug hatches, but the below bugs are emerging...and trout are selectively eating them at the surface or in the surface-film.
Best time-frame to be at the stream has been noon to 3PM. I prefer a bit of cloud cover because there is less solar-heating to dry the adults' wings; their wings have to be structurally sound before they alight off the water. The longer they drift, the more susceptible they are to be eaten.
NOTE: Unless specified the images are mine taken in Truckee area
Little Black Winter Stoneflies:
When they are about, you'll see them "peppering" the snow-banks; either crawling about as winged adults or as nymphs preparing to split their thoracic wing-case to emerge. Today they were fluttering at the water's surface in slow-running runs; otherwise they are very difficult to observe in the drift. Trout, generally, ingest these diminutive insects with gentle "slurps". Thin, 6X tippets are suggested for these size 16-18 aquatics. Consider two patterns; one that sits flush on the water's surface or a high-profile pattern with splayed wings, mimicking the top-water, fluttering adult (egg-layer?)
The existingBWO hatch is this year's "first-brood" emergence. I believe there may be three broods; winter, spring and fall...heresy? These small bugs are more visible while floating because they are "up-wings" as opposed to being a "down-wing" relative to the two stoneflies mentioned in this post. I prefer "old-school" Quigley Cripples, sparsely-tied ParaDun or CDC ComParaDun patterns; attached to minimum 10'-12' leader and a wispy 6X tippet. My first 20" RainBow of the 2020 season was fooled by the latter-mentioned pattern; size 18. Using the thin tippet, the hope is there are no obstructions while playing the trout.
A bit early, but we brought one to hand today. We anticipate a more robust emergence starting about the 3rd week of February. While at rest on the water they can be difficult to see being a "down-wing". The telltale of their presence is an aggressive swirl or bulge at the surface; unlike the gentle slurp for the Little Black Winter Stones. When the trout become aware of this stonefly adult, I like doubling my chances of a hook-up by trailing off the bend of the #8-10 Skwala dry a pattern such as a #18 JuJu Baetis or Flash-Back WD-40. A 5X tippet will suffice; being sturdy enough to "turn-over" the big fly fraud.
I again returned the Missouri River in Montana for a few days of drift-fishing during late-summer/early fall of 2019. The guiding and bedding was provided by Wolf Creek Anglers; 2-3 miles from Holter Dam. I'll return in 2020; August 29 to September 6.
Below you'll find my journal entries...roughly UNEDITED. So please enjoy the gist of the fly angling we experienced and disregard the grammar, absence of sentence structure and my obsessive dots. Generally, I'm not a compulsive "fish-counter" but I include numbers in these entries to give a perspective of the tempo and "drift" of the fly angling.
9/11---Our nation's "NEVER FORGET" day
Holter Dam to Craig:We indo-fished in the rain from 9AM-1PM; not really comfy, but we were prepared with the right clothing and stayed warm. It cleared to over-cast/drizzle in the afternoon. The productive fly pattern was a #18 or 20 Black Zebra Midge (silver bead), with a 6' drop to one BB shot. We netted good-sized RainBows in the 16"-18" range; strong, deep-bodied...some with 3-4 high aerials, others with long, first runs. There was one 12" Brown and a 15"-16" Whitey. No numbers but enough to keep us interested...guessing me at 8/5 and Bob at 12/8; approximately 20 hook-ups and more than a dozen netted.
9/12---“Sunny today with a high near 71. Light and variable wind
becoming west southwest 5-9 mph in the morning”
Wolf Creek Bridge to Stickley Creek:Our "slowest" day. As in past years, we meet-up with the day's guide in front of the WCA fly shop at 8AM, and on the water 9AM-5PM...me guessing 8/7 (hook-ups/netted); all RB's in the 16"-18" range and one brown at 13"...all were jumpers with the exception on one thick, 18" RB that made head-long, pull-downs attempting to bury itself in the rooted, waving, bottom weeds.. Bob hooked about ten and boated 6-7..so the boat cumulatively hooked a dozen-and-a half and a dozen were brought to hand.
The Wide Missouri
We saw Tricos in the AM until 11; no trout were
slurping them at all. Throughoutthe day we saw sporadic “one & done”
bulging trout chasing emerging Brachycentrus caddis ("Grannoms") at/near the
surface; Productive patterns were #16 Green Machine,
#20 Black Zebra Midge and a #6 Crawdad pattern; a short drop of 4 feet to the
upper fly, no lead under old school, stick-on Pulsa indicators…ideal for
shallow-water, indo-fishing on the LT! The weather cleared today. It was balmy, low-70's with mostly clear skies, and occasional puffy cloud and mild breezes with...very comfortable. 9/13---"A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly between 3PM-5PM. Increasing clouds, with a high near 75. South, southwest wind 7-12 mph increasing to 16-21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph."
A non-fishing day; a grand tour of watersheds of Little Prickly Pear Creek and the Blackfoot river east of the town of Lincoln Montana. We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the orientation for future alternate fishing when not drifting the Big Mo.
The Blackfoot River...of the "River Runs Through It" fame
53 Grizzly present in this one valley!...we turned around
9/14---"Cloudy, with a high near 77. Southwest wind 6 to 15 mph."
Dearborn to Prewitt:Best numbers day; Cumulatively, guessing 40+/24+. Sub-surface in AM & dries
in afternoon (minimum 3/4 of count) …sunny skies & gusty winds…RB’s
10”-“18”, Browns to 17”…one small Whitey…9 mile drift...Indo in the AM with a #16 Frenchie, at "outstretched hand to outside nipple" drop to one BB...dries in the afternoon, #14 green-bellied Elk Hair Caddis and #16 Parachute Black Ant. most ate the latter by a wide margin.
Mid-Canyon to Pelican Point...30/20, missing many takes...The smallest brown and biggest Brown of the trip, a dink at 5 inches, along with two decent Browns at 17" and 20"...both ate a #12 Black Fat Albert (my favorite southern Chilean Patagonia dry fly). Otherwise most of the surface-eater trout ingested a #12 Parachute Ant. The morning's best patterns via indo-fishing was a #14 Red Copper John and #16 Green machine...on a short drop, 4' indo to one BB shot. Several fish hooked played the "grass-release" routine mentioned in the 9/12 report. Once hooked the trout dives for the bottom, attempting to bury themselves in huge matts of both floating and rooted aquatic vegetation. eventually, the weeds slide down to the trout's mouth and unhooks the trout!
..a dry fly eater
The Untouchables Bridge of the "Untouchables" movie fame
Bob with one of numerous hook-ups on the "lower" water