Friday, May 16, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Rites of Spring...

Each spring, along about the mid-May, we head for a favorite lake in the Beaverhead Mountains (upper Big Hole River valley). Some years we make it into the lake first try; other years snow drifts curtail our fishing until later in the month. A couple weeks ago we got as far as the forest boundary; then yesterday, following a string of warm days and not so chilly nights all but the biggest drifts disappeared and though we found the road flooded in spots the drive in was uneventful. Better still the lake was open and not a soul around.

After stretching our legs we gobbled down our usual road trip lunch fare--crackers, leftover meat, cheese, peanut butter and jelly and a shared cookie for desert. The best fishing is usually at the inlet, a short hike through the woods. Annie led the way, hoping no doubt for spruce grouse but had to settle for a few scattered bunches ducks and geese, a spooked muskrat and a few tweeties.

As I rigged a pair of soft hackles--size 12, Orange Fish Hawk and a size 16, Red Ass--Gale announced, "they're raising, same spot as always, right off the sand bar." Since I had the rod, took first dibs and...first cast hooked a spunky grayling and...For the next two hours we took turns hooking fish after fish. Most were grayling such as the one above; every now and then a fat brookie ate our offerings and we even landed a couple cuttbows and one rainbow. We cannot recall ever landing anything here but grayling and brookies though as I might have mentioned before in this rant and elsewhere...well, our recollections ain't so hot anymore...what can I say.

Anyway, just for the hell of it, we tried a couple dries and though we both had trouble hooking up the fish didn't seem to discriminate...All in all I fun afternoon. General fishing season opens tomorrow so stay tuned...  

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