Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hopper Dropper

My morning on the Clark Fork started off a little slow. I fished the same stretch of river I fished last night and it proved to be the same result....whitefish. Now I can honestly say that out of all freshwater fish species, I hate whitefish the most. I landed 4 of them in a deep slow run and on every one of them I was hoping it would be a trout. I couldn't seem to find any trout at all and about 2 hours into fishing I decided that I needed to switch to a dry fly. I am not a dry fly fisherman at all. I mostly nymph but I will throw dries if that's what the fish are calling for. There was some good hatches of PMD's and tricos but I decided to tie on an attractor fly. I started with a stimulator and fished the same deep run for about 20 minutes. My hopes of landing my first trout on the Clark Fork were slowly fading. I walked back towards the trail and remembered seeing some fish in the braid that runs near campus. Its a long slow braid with a deep slot towards the near bank. I started on the far bank and immediately had a fish come up and smack my fly. I was very surprised and I missed the fish. I then put on a size 14 pheasant tail nymph as a dropper. On the next cast I hooked up with a tiny rainbow. It was my first trout on the Clark Fork. After that I switched to a hopper which floated way better than the stimulator. I had a few strikes from small fish but didn't hook up. Then as I was mending my line and the hopper was downstream of me, the mend actually caused the hopper to have a natural twitch. I saw a big swirl and then the fly was engulfed by a nice fish. The fight was on and I could tell it was a beautiful fish. I could see a nice red stripe and as I brought the fish into slower water I found out it was a nice cuttbow of about 15 inches. I took some nice pics and then released the fish.

                                                             First decent fish on the Clark fork

I was so happy and then I noticed I had literally caught the fish On campus. In about 20 minutes I had gone from not liking dry fly fishing to loving it! After catching a few more fish I called it a morning. I had landed 3 trout and 4 whitefish and it was a good morning considering I'm just starting to learn this complex river. Will probably be out on the river again tonight. Stay tuned....

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