Well it finally happened. The mother’s Day Caddis popped and produced three good to very good days of fishing dries to rising fish. Initially the fish were rather stupid and would eat any decently presented caddis floating in their sight window. By the third day, the fish were so stuffed full of bugs and persnickety, they only seemed interested in pupa caught in the surface tension. Think LaFontaine sparkle pupa which I unfortunately did not have in my possession. It took some serious bank sitting and observations to figure that one out, but what a lovely way to spend an afternoon or three.

And now, that’s done and the water is coming up fast. The Stillwater has gained a foot, Rock Creek has gained almost that much and the Clark’s Fork is up three feet. Can you say mud? Sure, I knew you could. Thus we are entering into the waiting game portion of the season. Not anything we can do to influence the run off, it happens every year, so sit back and enjoy, it cleans out the rivers and carves the hiddy holes we’ll be fishing for the remainder of the year.

Given what I see for snow sitting in the high country, I believe that the last of June or the first of July, as usual, will be the timeframe for reacquainting ourselves with the area streams and rivers and their inhabitants. Time to tend that garden, tie those flies, get your “got to do’s” done.

One of the dumb ones, fish I mean
Another dumb one, the fish I mean, I’m talking about the fish

Stay tuned to this station, as thing progress or opportunities arise, I’ll spill the beans.

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Spring Reflections, 2021

Hard to know how to describe the spring and associated fishing thus far in 2021. Generally, the month of April has been a bust. Most of the month has been well below normal temperatures with the occasional spike of very much above normal temperatures. Consistency of water temperatures has not existed and therefore the typically good dry fly fishing has not materialize. I’ve spoken with a few other professionals in the neighborhood and they all admit the same. Little to no real hatches of any magnitude. On a personal note, I can tell you that I’ve seen more baetis and March Browns on my house windows, than I’ve seen on any river. Such is the way of mother nature.

As we roll in to the month of May, the Mother’s Day Caddis should be the thing. In fact, we usually see them during the last week in April, but again with the water temperatures being low, the caddis have not yet popped. Unfortunately, they may do so during the pulse of high and off colored water we are currently facing. However, the cooler temperatures which we are suppose to see during the remainder of the week should help to drop and clear the Stillwater and Rock Creek systems. The Jelly is likely toast until July, but who really knows, all of this is a guess, hopefully an educated one. From now until mid-May, there should be the occasional window of fishing opportunity, but they will become fewer as time goes on. Get it when you can!

There have been a few of these

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Goodbye and Hello

It’s October and I’m not sure how that happened. Time seems to be flying by, likely due to the outstanding weather we have experienced through September and now into nearly the middle of October. So many things to do and the days never seem sufficiently long. Ever since our Labor Day snow, it’s been sunny and warm and way dry. Thirty days and counting since our last precipitation.

These factors have produced the best fall colors we’ve had in many a year. It’s pretty amazing out there right now. I highly recommend capitalizing on the next week or so, because the inevitability of leaf drop is right around the corner. It’s a time of transition. Although we might try to stop or slow time’s progression, the labor is fruitless. And that’s the way it’s suppose to be. Appreciation what we have serves a broader application and so I’ve been doing my best to soak it up with a few clients and friends.

The goodbye portion of this ramble pertains to our friend Mr. Grasshopper. It’s been one hell of a hopper season, but unfortunately that is pretty much done. Over the last three weeks the hopper happenings have slowly faded and the baetis have begun to make their appearance. The Stillwater has had afternoon hatches of baetis most everyday. The unfortunate thing is that the bigger fish are not really looking at them. There are many rising fish, but the vast majority are dinks. With a lack of overcast or cloudy days, the bigger fish have not really made the commitment to the itty bitty flies. And the flies are itty bitty, size #18 and sparse ….. very technical. But …. the deep and dirty double nymph rigs have been been lethal and that is what the larger fish have been keyed in on. Oh, and one last thought on the Stillwater. It’s low and skinny and not at all easy to float. So heads up.

On the other side of the ledger, the hello portion of this discussion is related to the upcoming streamer action. Starting this weekend, the weather is supposed to markedly change to a much cooler pattern with clouds, rain, and snow. Sounds like streamer stripping weather to me. And yes, the browns and the brookies are lit up in their finest spawning colors with attitudes that reflect hormonal changes.

So there you have it folks. It’s fall. It’s beautiful. The fish are there and ready to rumble. We’ve only have a few more weeks of the really good stuff and then, it’s hunting season.

Last of the 2020 Hopper Eaters

Fall Colors in a Special Spot
Yes that is bear spray on my pack

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