Friday, June 27, 2014

Dry Fly Heaven

Dry fly fishing it where its at. While we all are big fans of the subsurface streamer game there is no denying that an explosive take on a dry fly is about as good as it gets. Mend, Drift, Set all day long.

We have been having plenty of action lately in the Bitterroot thanks to piles of Salmonflies crawling their way through bushes and gravel bars, inevitably falling into the water for waiting trout. This week our old client Jack Krimmer and friends have been hitting the river with us searching for the elusive hatch. These fish all came up for the big bugs over the past week, come rain or shine they have been putting a smile on clients faces and making for awesome days. Add a few streamer eats in along the way and you have the recipe for success.

Special thanks to Jack, Bert, and John for the awesome fish!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bitterroot Bully

    When thinking of big bull trout rivers in Montana, the Bitterroot usually doesn't receive a whole lot of consideration. Although there is a healthy population of these carnivorous guys they mostly stay on the smaller side within the system. This is mostly due to the habitat in the headwaters of the system not offering enough cold clear water to allow them to spawn and grow.
    Over the last ten years I haven't seen or heard of many bulls from the root that could stand with this fish my client, Alan Krimmer, landed last week. Stretching to just over 30 inches this big predatory trout didn't eat a large streamer or small cutty we were fighting in. Nope, he ate a #10 stonefly nymph on 3x tippet. Not at all how I envisioned catching a fish like this, but frankly I am just happy to have had an encounter with this old battle scared bull. Right drift, right time, right bug, and it couldn't have happened to a better guy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Salmonflies on the Bitterroot!

Dry fly fishing is finally happening. After a long spring and high-water season throwing the big heavies  we can once again break out the dry fly boxes. Do i even remember how to set hooks on tippet lighter than 1x? It is a steep re-learning curve for sure. Steady on the trigger, gosh darnit.

Stumbled into the first pile of these big bugs flying around on Friday. Getting some long drifts down seams was all it took to get these beautiful Cutties to come up. More to come tomorrow? We think so. Once we get a taste, well, decisions become much easier and the gardening suffers. Just the way it is. . .

Oh yea summer time, bring it on!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Early Season Prime-Time: Blown Out is Only a State of Mind

Bitterroot still bank high with run-off.
Fishing accesses closed due to flooding. 
"Blown Out" fishing reports. . . . .

You wouldn't know any of that from the fishing.

Getting the new boat out for some scouting floats was a major priority this week, but scouting has quickly been replaced by hunting for big Browns and Cutties. Alex and I playing fishing baseball down the river this week kicked out these solid fish just gorging under the surface. Heavy stoneflies are the obvious favorites for these fish with Salmonfly and Goldenstone hatches fast approaching. This is the season where you know you have a bite when the indicator goes flying up stream with a heavy Cutt. Streamer hits are equally vicious, if they catch you napping that rod might go flying.

The Bitterroot is dropping FAST and coming into prime early season shape from Conner all the way to Hamilton. Dry flies are starting to become a major mid-day option, but it is hard to put away the nymph rigs when the fishing is this good. Guide trips starting next week with long-time clients has us all stoked for an excellent kick-off to the season. Odds are it will involve some big heavy flies and some equally heavy fish to go with.