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......

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