Veteran's Day this year is reminder of what a our nation needs to be keep in mind following an incredibly controversial election. Trust in the three branches of government, show optimism, and focus on your life and job. That is what my grandfather fought three wars for and subsequently spent the rest of his life fighting off the health repercussions. Fishing across the board has been stellar regardless of the constant presence of the big fireball for the last three weeks. Word on the weather front has clouds, and dare we say precip, arriving at week's end. Locals are hoping for a dose of storms to rumble through, bringing clouds as seen in the image above. Three eagles perched in crispy pine skeletons above Hebgen Lake, with mysterious cloud ceilings hanging about. No coincidence we encountered big trout, including a 5+ lb male brown that charged the Smoke 'N Mirrors JJ with a JAWS-like wake from ten feet away. Upon a fantastic stripset by my gorgeous partner in crime, Naomi, he gave three catapulting leaps and a lengthy tail walk right towards the boat. He finished us off by executing a perfect hook-spit right in our face. Very exciting. Jumping tarpo-bronsons.
For anglers heading out this weekend, the sun doesn't rise nearly as high this time of the year and consequently fish will still rise and will absolutely hammer a streamer. Your doesn't fly doesn't necessarily need to be smaller, but your tackle needs to be adapted for softer delivery and less line spook. There have been plenty of disappointing days with ideal conditions, but most big fish I have caught have been when the sun is present. Spend the first and last hours light fishing shallow edges, and should you see a downward trend in activity, move to deeper edges, current seams, and the core part of bigger runs. Longer sinking lines are a requirement for proper delivery, something 24' or longer that can be easily casted a good distance and left to sink depending on depth/current are an absolute requirement. For ideal sink rate, make sure to keep the line strait with a hint of slack off of the rod tip during the sinking period. This allows the line to sink efficiently through the water column, and if a fish eats on the drop you have a decent chance at sticking that fish. Whereas a mend or any additional slack farther out will guarantee a miss and the angler probably won't even have known it happened. Anytime I see "nymph mends" going on from other anglers, it always scares me. Tight fly lines hook big fish better.
It is important to focus on our local fisheries, communities, and other natural resources during times of political turmoil. And to go fishing. This Montana steelhead took our minds of the banter by going off the charts, as if she was one of many angry liberals seen and heard on social media. She suuked down a 99cent Lingerie Worm on a fast edge before giving us a piece of her mind. Many Americans may feel like that rainbow trout after the last week. I do not think anyone feels like the angler. Let us continue as a country that has been around a few years, please.
Get out and enjoy what has been fought for by our people,
Dirty Water Dan