Friday Fishing Recap and Outlook - Here comes the holidays...
The aforementioned precipitation materialized in the form of scattered rain and snow showers across the north Rockies over the last week. While the big time holidays are on approach, many folks in these regions see stormy weather patterns above normal holidays. It amounted to up to a foot of snow in certain alpine regions, and great fishing weather region wide. Tuesday and Wednesday found us on the the Missouri River between Wolf Creek and Cascade for a classic R & D session. Let me tell you, it was great. We fished three flies on three rods and did not change for those two days. Two tried and true, and one new colorway way that turned out to be an all-star. Tuesday proved to offer great fish, a hawg lost, and interesting new angle when dealing with free flowing weeds. The highlights were the wonderful Naomi catching her largest brown to date. The big hen ambushed the brown/pink, aka chocolate covered strawberry Smoke 'N Mirrors on the drop. This was a classic mid river eat that leaves everyone in shock at first, leading into a battle royale. After a number of powerful runs and plenty of bulldawging, up into the net came 20"+ of thick cut pork chop brown trout. They fight hard here, especially the big ones. See below.
Seeing as there was no official Technique Tuesday post, it is only right that a great technique was made more clear while fishing Tuesday. The river has a perfect amount of weeds flowing down. Often when there is light weed flow, the Missouri can really fish well with crawdads and sculpin patterns. Using a variety of ambush point in the river, trout in 3+lb category will rip your arm off if you can get it in front of them. Twice during our fishing, I had picked up a few weeds on my infinity sink tip knot or surgeons knot during the retrieve, and within a split second a large trout attacked my offering that was following the weeds clumped onto the knots. The second time I was ready, and was able to put the largest brown of the day in the net after a half dozen catapulting jumps across the river. That specimen can be seen below. When dealing with free flowing weeds, make a sure to have at least two hang up points above your fly and it will pay off.
Depending on your stream or lake of choice, it is likely you will encounter free flowing weeds at some point during the season. This means that the many inhabitants of the weed beds are now exposed to predators. Millions of crawfish, minnows, and other snacks have been robbed of their homes by cooling water temperatures causing the aquatic vegetation to began dormancy. Let the frenzy begin. Paired with a lower sunshine angle, this means game on for big fish. Leave your tag a little long on your tippet knot to give your fly a weed-free retrieve for just a bit longer than normal and the rewards will be yours.
Dirty Water Dan