Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Time and A Place

I received a late call Friday afternoon to guide for MRO on Saturday. I was down in Bozeman for a couple days before the marathon of trips start but you got to make hay right? So I packed up my stuff and headed back to the Mo Friday night to meet clients Saturday at 8:00.
We got an early start, which may have helped. My guys were brand new to the sport and although they tried hard, there are just some habits one develops from gear fishing all their lives that are fly fishing killers and those old habits die hard. The guys did pretty well though and wound up putting a bunch of fish in the boat. In fact, we started out at Craig and they both landed fish within about the first ten minutes of fishing.

I talked to a couple guys after the day and although I didn't think we crushed them, we definitely did better than most as from what I heard, dudes were getting their asses kicked on that stretch. Getting out ahead of the crowds helped but I think there were other factors that contributed to our success.

We weren't using different flies. It's no secret that fish are eating PMD's and they always eat the purple weight fly this time of year. We were using the same nymphs as everyone else. The difference, I think, was depth. Everyone is going short because they are seeing PMD's on top and the occasional rise and the short-leash is kind of the cool thing now but we were going deep...really deep.

It is true that big fish are moving into the riffles to eat the PMD nymphs and emergers. However, when they are in such shallow water they get SPOOKY! You see these fish bust out of those areas and you think you can get them but it definitely takes a good cast with some distance. We didn't have that in my boat so we didn't try it. The smaller fish don't like the riffles in the high sun because they are more vulnerable. They stay just off the ledges and down from the riffles to eat the nymphs that fall off into the runs. Remember, there are only two things fish care about right now; eating and not being eaten. It takes a lot of bugs to bring the numbers into the riffles and although there were PMD’s, there weren’t enough of them.

The fish aren't on the seams or the banks either. We tried that once and when we didn't touch a fish we changed back to the deep slots off the ledges. We didn't catch any big fish but the rookies were incredible impressed with the shoulders those 15 and 16 inch fish had and were fine with the numbers.

So there you have it. You know all my secrets so go out there and get it done…or try it and see how every day is different and how the Mo can be very humbling and then hire a guide…

Keep ‘em where they live…

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