Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bitterroot

Went to fish the Bitterroot after my classes today. For the past 2 weeks I've completely neglected to even think about going to the Bitterroot. I've been so wrapped up in the Blackfoot lately that I've missed some really great fishing. I started at an access spot that I've been to before. Unlike the past 2 weeks, I brought the dry flies out again today. It was a beautiful day out and I knew there was going to be some hatches. When I got to the river I immediately saw fish rising in the flats upstream. I could see some yellow sallies hatching so I tied one on. I had one fish boil under my fly but didn't take it. I wanted to move downstream because there was some great water but a guy was fishing it. I got the streamer rod out and started working a log that created a nice pocket. No strikes so I moved downstream. I was working the bank and had a fish hit my fly. I missed the fish but after twitching the fly a few more times the fish smacked it a second time. It was a nice brown trout of 14 inches.


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After waiting for another half hour for the guy downstream to move I decided to head up-river. I drove about 10 miles up and parked at a very popular launch site for drifters. I waded out to mid river to fish a run. About a third of the way through the run I had strike. It felt like a good fish but I missed it. I worked down the rest of the run and then walked upstream. I found a really nice braid of the river which was basically still water. I spotted tons of fish in it and some of them were feeding.

I got on a gravel bar which allowed me to make some great casts to the rising fish. The first fish that took my yellow sally broke me right off. Looks like I was a little trigger happy and a little rusty from the few weeks I've taken off from dry fly fishing. I tied on a size 16 parachute adams and started working the bank again. In the next 15 minutes I managed to land 2 bows and a nice fat cutthroat on the adams.



I saw a lot of really nice fish in the braid and a couple were better than 20 inches. I may try to go back and nymph it with very small nymphs. The fish were stacked in there. After most of the fish stopped rising I headed back down towards the access. It was getting dark but I decided to give that mid river run one more shot. It was a great decision on my part. About 10 casts in I felt a fish bump my fly. I kept stripping and the fish hit again. This time I connected and the fight was on. The fish put in some good head shakes and then jumped.....It was a brown and I was surprised that it left the water. I got one more jump out of the fish and then brought it to the bank. It was a beautiful fish of 17 inches.



It was a good way to end the evening. Now for the next couple of weeks I've got to hit both the Blackfoot and  the Bitterroot. This is just about prime time for streamer fishing and it will probably only stay this good until November.

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