Coming from New York and entering the state of Montana, I knew I was in a little bit of trouble. There was a small problem coming from NY. I was not a dry fly fisherman. At least I didn't think I was. The fast flowing rivers and streams of my home state are just perfect for nymphing and I can honestly say most of the fly fishing I've done in NY has been sub surface. However, in these past couple of weeks I have seen and learned that dry flies is where its at for the west. Don't get me wrong nymphing is probably the most effective technique to catch trout but occasionally you'll get in those situations where you HAVE to throw dries.
I have already seen many situations where fish require the perfect presentation, perfect drift, perfect size and perfect pattern. I've learned a lot about dry fly fishing so far but the most valuable thing I can say I've learned so far (from my personal experiences) is to have complete confidence in what fly you're presenting. Its weird because I've found that if you don't trust your instinct when you're in one of those situations where you don't know whats hatching and don't know what the fish are feeding on, then you simply will not catch fish. Its all about having confidence in your selection.
This evening I went out to fish a run on the Clark Fork that I found while running last week. I walked upstream for about a mile looking carefully for rising fish. I took my time and then I started to see fish rising in a deep run. They were big too. My PMD parachute pattern that I invented that has been killer for me was what I immediately went to. I didn't think twice about changing my fly because I knew I was going to get the fish to eat it. Sure enough after a big fish rose about 30 feet in front of me I put the fly right in the feeding lane and the fish immediately came up and nailed my fly. The fight was on and it was a good fish. I managed to get a self taken picture of me and the fish which was a beautiful bow of about 16 inches.
A nice Clark Fork Bow
A few minutes later I managed to get another fish even bigger to come for my fly. All I saw was a huge boil and the fish was gone. I had one more fish on that was about 14 or 15 inches but he threw the hook. There was still a few hours of light left but the conditions got very windy very fast. I called it a night with the one fish. I was very happy and my parachute pattern which has been deadly had come through again. I've caught a lot of fish on the pattern and I've been using it every day now. Fish just seem to love it. Its tied with a pink post and its visible from what seems like a mile away. Because of the pattern being so deadly in the past couple weeks it will be the new fly of the week. Check the blog tomorrow for tying materials. The name was made up by my friend Cody who deemed it.....The Pink Panther. Great name for a fly. Will be out at some point tomorrow. Stay tuned for the report....