Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Tailwater Expedition #2: Missouri River

After awesome midge hatch at DePuy's Spring Creek (and updated the previous post), I went to bed and woke up very early in the morning of Monday, 30th. I caught up my guide friend Jared and we hit the road. It was our 2nd expedition, since the Bighorn, for this spring.

Over all it was a very nice day to be on the river. We reached Craig, MT and we were one a few early fishermen on the river. Midges were hatching in a great number from the beginning, though spotting rises had to be waited. Though rises were spotty and not constant, I was able to make the first solid hook-up with a midge dry-fly.
Just checking........
Jared got something big!

It was in a very good condition!!
Midge hatch continued like this all day!!
We were fishing with midge larva patterns through morning. I got a bit larger one.
Jared got even a larger one!!
Very nice!!
Through the float, we also bumped into other creatures. Perhaps this one would have been washed away through dam(s).
Are you hungrier than fish? Better be! Nobody leaves my trips hungry.
In the afternoon, at one particular section, we finally encountered pods of rising trout, some of which seemed VERY Large - A typical scene that the Missouri is most well-known for.
We were very sure they were on midges. Jared let me give a shot. I was very confident that my knowledge, techniques, and flies developed through Livingston's spring creeks will do the job. Observing their rise forms, first I rigged a larva/pupa type under a dry-fly. My dry-fly indicated the take underneath and I gently yet confidently set the hook. SNAP!!! without any movements (runs or head-shakes). I did feel it snapped off my 6X simply by biting it or only by its entire weight.
I kept observing. I saw dorsal-fin-to-tail rises. Also noses were pushing up the surface every now and then. I figured they were keying of pupa/emerger at the very top of water column. Perhaps I could say 0.5-inch below the surface. I went through my box and chose Foam Emerger Type 2 that I believed it would do the job.
At the very end of drift, I felt a strong WHACK!! I did NOT set the hook on purpose, rather I let it run first and let it nail my fly to its hook by swimming. From the initial defeat, I switched my tippet to 5X. Fight wasn't so long but very dramatic for my career.
A solid 20-inch MO Rainbow!!
See you next time.
In the next stretch, we spotted another pods after pods of rising trout!!!
My tactics and flies did work.
Jared finished the float with streak of streamer actions!
We planned a bit long float, considering the flow, then we spent hours for rising trout. That means we took my boat late and came home very late........
I decided to work on this post while I can as I get back to the Creek tomorrow......

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Expo Update & End of March Report

NEWS: East Idaho Fly Tying Expo (http://srcexpo.com) updated their website with the latest information and I'm in the list of demonstration tyers.
Short version: I'm pretty much tying all day on both April 17th & 18th.
Long version: On Friday 17th, I will be doing a morning session 8-11AM and another one in the afternoon 3-6PM. On Saturday 18th, from 10:45 to noon, I will tying at a Tying Theater, followed by an afternoon floor session Noon-4pm. I will be hanging around banquette and raffles afterwards.
I will be demonstrating my original spring creek patterns. Also I bring Atlantic Salmon Fly frames. Certainly it can a good weekend for fishing. But you need some good flies, don't you? Come and see what experts do. Hope to see you there.

OK, my regular entries.
This past week was a mix of weathers and results. Early in the week, DePuy's Spring Creek was booked full so I got a good reason to push myself and explore other waters. It's no secret but here I just mention "Spring Creek Channel". It's a very unique stretch. I fished with a different method from those I apply at real spring creeks. "Lazy" I may call but it's always fun to do something different every now and then. I honestly thought "ah.......snag..........."
 One of the biggest spring surprises in my notes!
 I kept on. "Ah.......this time it's gotta be a real snag............."

I caught only these two for a couple hours of fishing but they were worth 20 fish for me. I got hit by hales by the way as you could imagine from the sky.

Back at DePuy's, I had one of the greatest afternoons. At one particular stretch of the creek, midge actions were very good. I'd add "very unique" as it requires special rigging and techniques. I seem to getting a hang of it.

 See what their menu was.

I then checked my favorite stretch for Spring BWO (baetis) hatch. They were up!!
 With my own trials and along customers' testimonies, my flies are working very well!!
I nonchalantly went back to the "midge spot".   I still saw some activities........
Always learning & observing to inspire new fly patterns.
Before I put the stomach pump back into my vest pocket, I noticed something still on it. I was able to capture this moment!!

Here's the final shot!!
And today, Sunday, I hit the creek again. It was very nice to be outside. Protagonist was, again, midges. My new idea/design was immediately approved!
Once I figured out the "depth of water column" that they were feeding, I started to get lots of actions.
 Sage SLT at work!!
This is was a very strong brown which looked like already in a summer shape!!
Something else was also hatching.......
Then, I hooked into something that dashed and took all of my slack line!! I immediately worked with the reel.
Big!! But also, rather, THICK!! - one of the largest and the most memorable trout (brown & cutt combined) caught during the hatch fishing - small fly and 6X.
And then I had another big surprise..........
Rocky Mountain Bonefish, AKA, Yellowstone Grayling! The BIGGEST I ever caught during the hatch fishing!
Another thick one
Then another thick rod-bender!!!!
I believe this was a Cut-bow hybrid.
 Very strong!
 And then usual.

It seems like I will start the new week again on the River somewhere. Wait for the next update!