Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Fish Blues

Long story short, I didn't have a good day yesterday at DePuy. It was always fun to be there and made lots of personal notes. But I hooked a huge brown for the first 10th cast in the morning and lost him in 30 seconds.......
Today I went back to the same spot. Not revenge or anything, it's just a good place to get started. BOOM!! Got him (back??)!!

I don't have to explain the fly again, do I?

Happy & Big & Good looking (me or trout?) but.........

It measured ONLY 21-inch.........from now on when I can break my record or even get close??

Saturday, October 29, 2011

RPM = Rise Per Minute

It was like an impulse, nothing different from "I wanna eat Mac!! ", I wanted to go to DePuy's in the afternoon. When I got there at 1:30pm, trout were rising & rising. They were feeding on Baetis. Then the new fly-fishing jargon (today's title) was born in my head. I'd say it was 15 to 20RPM at my spot.
Did I catch every single rise? Duh~~~~~~~??
Well, at least I made one achievement. The pattern I've been working on since this spring has been proving itself and now approved even by these selective trout at DePuy's recently. Let me proudly introduce you "Pheasant Tail Mayfly Cripple" in baetis color (I have a PMD version too).

It will be on my sales catalogue soon this winter and I will explain more but one background story to be mentioned is that I have too many pheasant tails left, as I tie too many COYOTE myself, I had to do something with them. I came up with this fly and fortunately it turned right!!

Hatch ended exactly at 3pm. Some people went home and others were still stripping streamers for their "fish of the year". Has anybody caught up with mine??
My objective of Winter Pass is again "learning & observation". And with my recent catch, I don't have to chase huge trout badly. So I did some experiment with nymphs at less popular sections. Sparkle Scud is one of the best underwater pattern at spring creeks.

Folks, I hooked two in a row!! One should try more methods and spots!! They were average sizes.

But I somehow focused on its adipose fin!!! Super cool to me.

Other fins got some makeup too.
I have booked next two days also. Maybe see you there!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

At Armstrong's

I forgot to cereblate the last post as the 250th post and also with next post, my Japanese Edition will make the 100th!!
I was glad that my guests decided to try Armstrong's for the first time. I wanted them to see the spring where DePuy's starts and somewhat different character from DePuy's. I personally believe brown trout in Armstrong's have more vivid red spots compared to those in DePuy's and Nelson's. Then again, I always enjoy to visit the real working ranch in Montana, filled with cows and horses.

Armstrong's is the insect factory as well. We saw huge October Caddis flying in the air.

Then midges. They were mating on my fly!!!!

As we expected, we did see baetis, tons of them.

What a surprise!! We encountered hatch of Western Drakes and trout were feeding on them!!

Gents really didn't need my help as they solved the situation with PMD patterns and kept catching trout!!

Hatch wasn't the strongest but I was glad that my guests enjoyed Armstrong's. Other than catching trout, I want everyone to see and enjoy cows, horses, and any other wildlife along the creek!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yellowstone with Japanese Anglers

I understand that Japanese anglers would like to visit Montana for its wilderness and some elbow-room along with fine dry-fly fishing with match-the-hatch. These two VIPs are no exceptions. But I also wanted to introduce them the diversity of Montana fly-fishing. The biggest example is our Mighty Yellowstone. So I took them out with my boat. At this time of the year, we look for huge BROWN in fall color. They say Sculpzilla is not in Japan!!??

Wind was a bit too strong on that day. I planned to float from Carbella to 26 and I knew I could handle my boat with safe operations. But gents looked somewhat uncomfortable so I re-arranged the shuttle with my cell-phone and we took out at Point of Rocks. I said to them "just bear with me maybe an hour and we will get out the river". Then right after I said that, PRESIDENT hooked something huge........

"President" gave a try though he was not used to heavy rigs but, well, it can happen like that at 'Stone. It was a fine buck brown, 21-inch long, in fall color!!!! I explained them that even local anglers/guides don't see this size of fish so often!!!!!
I wish we could have floated longer. And I wanted them to see pods of risers for baetis and midges as we see at spring creeks.
Yes, sir & mam, Yellowstone River shows us every challenge and aspect of fly-fishing!!

DePuy's 1, 2, & 3

What a great week it was!! Fall gently settles in and may be leaving soon with mixed weather. I was fortunate to fish with two elder angles from Japan. I came to meet them through my outfitter Dean. Right after their arrival, we head to DePuy's for three days and those days turned out to be the first, second, and third day with my winter pass (hence the title). These gents do know how to fish spring creeks. We caught lots of nice trout but that embarrassed other anglers and forced them to leave in the middle of hatch.......

For the first time, I was asked not to post their names or pictures as they are involved in Japanese fly-fishing industry and they were here for vacation. But I still have to do a fishing report. Well, Mr. T was catching fish like a "Fishing General".

Mr. X is indeed a "President" of fishing product company!!

We saw baetis spinner in the morning,

and duns in the afternoon as we expected.

Here's the stomach sample!! Look at all of these duns, cripples, emergers, and nymphs!!

We also saw some Tricos in the air. It was like baetis but looked more armored.

I caught Yellowstone Cutty for the first time at spring creeks. Actually this was not really a catch. While I was wading, this trout was hanging around my legs and sucking on debris caused by my steps and never got away like a pet. So I scooped with my net!! Really!!

Then typical brown,

and rainbow.

This is the smallest at the creek I've ever seen!!

Then I never let you forget my catch of the year!! (a different angle and pose!!)
More to post!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is This THE "FISH of the Year"?

I was going to post how my first 3 days outing to DePuy's with the winter pass after tomorrow but something happened today. So I'll post quick about only today and go to bed for tomorrow.
It was a rainy and cold day here in Livingston. We didn't see any rising trout or midges and baetis spinners on surface either. This is the typical situation I walk and look around the creek. I just can't sit still waiting for rises in this cold weather. I found a couple of deep runs. Just to kill my time, I pitched my always favorite go-to fly, Doug's Home Invader in spring creek sculpin color.

I cut my 5X tippet down to 3X and tied it on. I thought I snagged the bottom. Well, it was a trout and I noticed it would at least be 20-inch!! It didn't come to my net and I couldn't beach him either. It ran down the riffle and I followed it almost falling into the creek. Then I finally netted him!!

It was MY RECORD of Montana Trout EVER!!

It did measure 24-INCH and estimated FULL 6-lb (or more I felt)

I wasn't sure if he came up from the River to spawn or just hanging around there.  I was out my breath for next several minutes and I didn't care my wet sleeves (till it got really cold at the end of the day).
Is this the "FISH of the YEAR?"
No objection but we can still get out another month and this was only 2nd day out to DePuy's of 6-month pass!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Winter Pass

Winter Pass for what? Skiing? Ski-lift? Or hot-spring? No sir, no mam, It's a fishing pass!!
I bought one to fish for world famous DePuy's Spring Creek right here in Livingston. It's less than 10-minute driving from my house!! I can visit there during the winter rate = from tomorrow to April 14th = as much as I want!!

Have I become insane to fish in the middle of Montana winter? Folks, Paradise Valley spring creeks never get frozen and they are still fun during the winter months. Yet am I a fishing-junk who needs to catch trout every day of his life? No.........Remember what Master Angler told me? "Learning & Observation". Catching fish is important but that's not all the reason that I decided to get the pass. I want to learn and observe every inch of the creek and winter phase of the creek. Except for a few brave hearts in the area, the creek will be wide-&-open.

If I catch trout, I will examine stomach samples. And I have just created an original seine to collect any floating insects or something under-water (hopefully not!!) All I needed was: a screen from a 10-lb potato bag, wire coated with plastic, and duct-tape!!

I wish I could just sleep in, read good books, tie flies, and stay warm in my house during winter. But I want to be the expert guide for spring creeks. This is the investment. You might wonder there are also Armstrong's and Nelson's. I love to fish them too but DePuy's is the longest among three with many different faces and structures so spending at DePuy's will be a great exercise to fish any spring creeks in the world!!
Find and join me if you are eager to beat Montana winter!!
Only if you don't mind your rods, lines, and even our noses will be covered by icicles!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Downtown Surprise

Today was really a mixed bag of weather.  It was cold and windy in the morning, winds died down as storm came in, and when I got ready to go fishing, it was sunny!! I wanted it to be cloudy, shower, and not windy. I got out anyway. The other side from Mayors Landing is my favorite spot for both streamers and dry-fly fishing. Streamer got NO actions at all under the bright condition or there wouldn't be any trout. As I was about to give up, it started to rain and blow some winds. And I started to see some rising trout. They must have been on Baetis, but I still saw Epeorus.

I went back to my truck and rigged up a 5-wt with Baetis Sparkle Dun.

I played with some little ones with "set-to-the-rise" technique. But this time I was more like "set-to-the feel"!! I had actually missed one big tug before this so this time I set the hook tight as I felt the tug. I noticed it would be bigger than I expected. All I wanted was 10 to 12-incher for stomach samples. It was a nice 17-inch rainbow!!

I guess I played a bit too hard........

This is why we Livingston guides and anglers love 'Stone. Nothing going on with streamers but small dry-flies bring large trout on surface and sometimes vise versa; no actions at all but one "CHUCK" of streamers brings trout of the year!! We hope we have one more month before frozen!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slough Creek HAIKU

No Trout
No Bugs or Any Pics
So No Post
That said all for today at Slough.
I woke up early and hit the road with mixed thoughts in my head. I had Creek all by myself, shivering and being patient. I didn't see any insect hatches or any fish rises. I hooked a few small ones but I couldn't get them in for stomach-pump either.
Maybe too cold for Baetis hatch? Read here. Air temp. was over 40F all day and water temp. shouldn't have been freezing point. Where are bugs and trout? Don't know when I want to visit Slough again.

One more haiku.

At Slough
Wait For Bugs
Butt Got Cold

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Slough Pronaunced (slou) = SLOW

Today turned out to be my favorite weather for fishing, not for bike-ride, of course. It was cloudy, mostly with shower but no winds. Perfect day for baetis hatch!! Drakes should be there too!!
I head to Slough Creek with some expectation and lots of excitement. How was the fishing? It stayed 40s all day. It was somewhat cold too. I got there much earlier than I planned. Drake patterns brought lots of trout to the surface for the last two month regardless of amount of hatch. But it was simply quiet. Green Drake may be thinning out, I thought. I didn't see any baetis in the air or on the water so I trailed this little soft-hackle.

WHAM on a short swing. A typical cut-bow from that hole. I always enjoy little flies get some attention from trout and land them right.

After this one, it was totally dead. I was patient and hoping for hatches. 1pm? 2pm? NOTHING!! Baetis never hatched under this "supposed" perfect weather. I saw a few green drakes but trout didn't pay any attention either.


By 3pm, 3 other anglers nearby decided to leave. I should have. Lamar might offer better hatch and catching trout. But I wasn't interested in catching trout. I stubbornly decided to stay to make some more learning and observation for Slough. Hatch would be later!!.......maybe. I worked some more. I tied on a Baetis Foam Nymph. It was impossible to track this tiny fly on the surface with 40-ft cast but I executed my special technique "SET TO THE RISE" (I'll describe this later). I hooked a potential nice one in front of one of leaving anglers. But gone.......

I kept working on all by myself. I did another "set-to-the-rise" and this time trout acted like either Brown or whitefish, both of which don't exist in Slough. It went deep and held. I know how to fight with big trout but this one was very heavy. I was afraid of foul-hooked somewhere on its body but it did seem to be on its mouth. I was with 5X tippet, totaling 16 or 17 feet leader. Very hard to net it in. I even tried to beach it gently, which I'm good at, but it never gave up. My rod-hand felt sored for the first time since when. Fight lasted probably for 2 or 3 minutes. As I was afraid to lose it, I lost it...........Gone. Not line broke or gap opened, fly just popped out. It was guessed almost 20-inch, not larger than that, but must have been quite heavy. It could have been a fish of the year........

I fished some more till dark but that was all. I'm not so disappointed or even desperate about losing two nice trout but I am disappointed with the hatch........ What was wrong with the creek or the bugs? And why am I keep enjoying this sadistic treatment from Slough??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Only Bugs.......

I was lazy for the last couple of days, even this morning. I got awaken by a call from my guide friend. "Meet me at 89 Bridge in 45 minutes!!" "10-4........"
Day seemed to be a perfect streamer day; mix of cloudy & shower with some sunny minutes. I wish fishing was easy....... For some reasons my head was not really in the game.......

While we were shuttling ourselves, I saw this bug in my car. I think this is Drake Spinner. It was totally rusty with 3 distinct tail. Cool!!
We also came across a pod of rising fish on baetis. Apparently I didn't bring any dry-flies or even float line....... Graham caught some including a large whitefish. I should have taken a picture of his whitefish so he can get the title of WHITEFISH KING........My mind was somewhere.

At least I found that streamer-bite is slow for now. Tomorrow I will be really ON.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

DePuy's with Master Angler

Today, I was super fortunate to go fishing with Montana's Master Angler himself Tom Travis. He's been guiding the area before I was born!! We went to DePuy's. DePuy's can be one of the toughest and the most diverse spring creeks in the area. Tom gave me some fine tune-ups for the creek along with some other guiding skills.
As for catching, we saw sparse yet good hatches and rises but I screwed up hook-sets!!

Learning & Observation, Tom emphasized those two words. I think I'm in a right direction. Though I'm a rookie guide, I'm surrounded by good waters and great people here in Livingston. If I forget these two words, that would be when I quit guiding or even fly-fishing and fly-tying as well.

Someday soon, I hope I will be good enough to call each duck and trout with their first names!!