Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good Eats

My guy, Clint and I decided to stop off for lunch yesterday in at the bottom of a run next to a pool. As we were eating, one of these guys landed on me. Yep, it's a yellow Sallie. It's not the first one we've seen as they've been out for a few days now. I love yellow Sallies.
We notice some cruisers out in the pool slurping the PMD emergers that were coming out of the riffle. After lunch, I tied a yellow Sallie on to Clint's dry fly rig with a nymph dropper thinking their might be a chance they actually eat the Sallie but most likely, we'd get them on the nymph. He threw the rig into the pool and let it sit and one of those cruisers slowly worked it's way towards the Sallie, up and gulp... 
Many people believe trout don't eat the adult Sallies. They do. It's a little bit of a challenge as the Sallies tend to be a moving target for fish but when given the chance, trout will eat them.
Keep 'em where they live...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dry Fly Fishing on the Mo at 12,000cfs? Why Not?

I told you the water would come up to about 12,000cfs a couple weeks ago and I was right. Given the snowpack and the amount of water in the reservoir, I figured it wouldn't go much higher than 10 or 11,000 and maybe 12. Some folks were told it would go up to 14,000 for a few days and then drop back down but of course, the powers at be changed their minds again and the word on the street is that the next couple days the flow will be back to 10,000cfs and then it will drop slowly until we see the normal 4,500cfs by probably the end of July. Here's where I failed.

On the Mo, we generally like to see somewhere below 6 or 7,000cfs for dry fly fishing. A couple weeks ago, I suggested that if you're a DFO, (dry fly only,) you might want to post-pone for a couple weeks. Well...the dry fly fishing has been pretty sick so come on out. Sorry.

Keep 'em where they live...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Fly Called Levity

In light of some of the recent discussions on swinging flies, I thought I'd come up with a new soft hackle fly. It's an October caddis and it absolutely wrecks fish. The really unique thing about this fly is it's tied with parrot feathers...

Keep 'em where they live..

The Montana Dream DIY

I've been trying to get this out for a while now but couldn't find the time. Well, due to the weather today, clients bagged their trip so I'm doing a little catch-up.

Jill and I closed on this house May 18, 2015. I got to work immediately and within a couple days, had the entire house torn apart. We called contractors in to do the floors, the electrical, and the pluming. Jill picked the paint and all the cosmetic stuff and worked with contractors on that. On the few days I had off throughout the guide season, I changed out lights, patched holes in walls and the floor, did the trim, and finished up changing some fixtures. In October, Jill's dad helped me install the cabinets in the kitchen and I finished the backsplash and crown molding by the end of January of 2016.

Most recently, we got rid of the maroon trim on the outside, changed some of the outdoor lights, and fixed the crappy job the original owners did on touching up the exterior paint. (They didn't match the original paint so random panels of siding were a shade of purple while the others were the grey you see.) We are finished for now but I'm sure this winter we'll be tackling the bathrooms.

The good thing is I've acquired a substantial inventory of power tools.

Keep 'em where they live...

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Business of Fly Fishing--Kuhnert's Defense

Apparently, the previous discussion on the "brain pin and the stinger" got a little attention and pissed a few people off. I figured it would and I'm ok with that. Mike Kuhnert was gracious enough to talk on The Montana Dream Cast to defend the guides that use that rig. You can click and listen.

The Business of Fly Fishing--Kuhnert's Defense

Let me set the record straight for something that I probably wasn't very clear about. I know there are a lot of ways to skin the cat, so-to-speak. There are different presentations that work. We don't all have to accomplish the goal of catching fish the same way. I certainly wasn't trying to lump everyone into one septic pot of unethical waste just because they don't have their clients mend upstream to get a drag-free drift. I know fish will eat certain nymphs and flies that are on the move and some guides out there have perfected the swing to present those flies. That's not what we're talking about here but I do apologize to those guides that are ethical that I offended.

Having said that, there are those that skirt the line and even jump right over the line of what is ethical whether that is trying to floss fish, baiting them with scents, the San Juan shuffle, using three flies, or whatever else to try to gain an advantage regardless of ethics or even the law. When that happens, it makes it tougher for those of us competing the "right way." There are written rules and there are unwritten rules that set parameters so that we take care of the fisheries, we present ourselves as pros, and we have a little bit of a more fair playing field.

This is a business and I hate when people say, "It just fishing." No. It's how I pay my mortgage. It's how I put food on the table. It's how I survive and I take that pretty damn seriously.

As for those guys that figured out a way to get a fish to "eat" a fly like a wire worm or a size 12 pheasant tail whipping across a riffle on the Missouri, I'd like to see it. I'd like to have someone show me and convince me they are actually eating those flies and there are no more fish fouled up than on a more conventional rig and I will admit I'm totally wrong.

Keep 'em where they live...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Recon of the Rocky Mountain Front

This is what I do on my days off. I look for places to fish when conditions are less than desirable for the Missouri River. This particular day didn't work out so much for the fishing, (tight water and a few small fish,) but the views were spectacular.

Predicting what's going to happen on the Mo this year has been tough. I told you in my last post that it will probably come up and the dry fly fishing would get tough and it did. They kicked up the flows to just over 10,000cfs but fish were still pretty happy with riding the wave and chowing bugs on top. I would have guessed we would get even higher flows since what's going into the reservoirs right now is over 15,700cfs but again, I'm wrong. Yesterday they dropped the flows back to 8,400cfs so play on! Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Keep 'em where they live...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Brain Pin and the Stinger

To be clear, I'm not the fish police but I do feel a responsibility to point things out that just don't seem right to me in an attempt to promote some ethics in our industry. I was fishing the other day with a wonderful woman who was crushing big browns through some fast water and as we drifted through a big riffle, she hooked a hen brown with this rig stuck in the side of its head. Scott and I discuss the ethics behind this rig on The Montana Dream Cast. Click the link below to listen in.

The Brain Pin and the Stinger

What's the problem? A couple things. This rig is usually tied to about a ten foot leader with a bunch of weight on it. Guides will tell clients to cast out in the fast water and then mend their line down-stream, accelerating the flies and whipping them across the riffle. Anything that gets in the way of these flies can't avoid getting hooked. Sometimes the flies get flossed between the fish's lips and would appear as though the fish ate the fly. More often than not, they get snagged in the side of the mouth or head or other places on the body like this rig did in that brown.

The nymph used here is bigger than anything a trout would be eating on the Missouri right now. The wire worm is, well; aggressive to say the least and it's not that I don't use them but when we do, we dead drift them. We don't swing them. We also pinch down the barbs on such massive hooks like these. This person did not and as a result, the only way that brown was going to lose these flies is for someone else to catch her and lend a helping hand.

Mortality and even wounding fish is going to happen but we can cut it down a little by just being ethical. I see fish all the time that are missing eyes, they're left with gaping holes in their sides, or just sickly looking and some of it comes from these types of rigs. I hope we can come to some kind of understanding of right and wrong here. I guess we all have to decide for ourselves. Just know, as a client hiring an outfitter, you won't see this from me or any of the guides I put on the water.

Keep 'em where they live...