Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Great Day

The weather report called for sunny skies and  four mph winds. Needless to say, Chris, Cody and I were stoked to get on the water Saturday morning. We woke early in the Helena Days Inn after spending the night there, got a quick free breakfast and hit the road! A half hour later the mighty Missouri came into view. We made a quick stop at Headhunters for some coffee. When we actually passed over the river, the whitecaps on the water told us that the report for four mph winds was bull. It took us a while to pump up our floats but we managed to get on the water by 11am.

I got out of my boat and started fishing a deep slot off the bank. I saw a fish rise so I threw a midge for a little while, then I switched to streamers. A few casts later, I had a huge brown follow my streamer in. The fish was BIG and its shoulders made it look more like a shark. I couldn't entice the fish to eat. I floated on downstream. It was cold, and very windy(easily 20mph gusts). I was starting to lose hope that the winds would die down. Eventually I caught up with Cody and Chris. Cody anchored up in the same spot where he did well last time and I headed down to the bank below him. I began slowly twitching streamers from the deeper water towards the bank. After a few casts I switched things up and began crinkling my line. This method causes the streamer to have an odd twitch. I threw in some pauses between the crinkling and I immediately hooked up with a nice bow. In the next half hour, I had four more fish with all of them being pretty decent.

The winds were still blowing but I really didn't care. I was catching fish and it was starting to warm up. Cody came downstream and fished near me for a little bit. As I was walking down the bank to get back on my pontoon, I spotted a big bow laying right in the shallows. The fish wouldn't touch my streamer so I had Cody come and try and nymph him up. He casted at the fish for a while and kept asking me if it was actually a fish. I slowly walked out to it and as I was standing over it, the fish ate Cody's nymph! I couldn't believe it. Cody set the hook and the fish popped off. However, it was then clear to us that it was indeed a fish. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen happen.

We floated on and the action was consistent with smaller black streamers producing the most strikes.

As the sun got higher in the sky, the winds slowly started to die down and it became warm. It was beautiful out and I couldn't think of one thing I'd rather be doing than fishing.

I caught up with Chris and Cody and we had some PB&J sandwiches at the Wolf Creek launch. Both of them had landed a few fish. We continued on our way to Craig. The action stayed consistent and I landed some nice bows.

Including this one with a deformed head...

Chris landed a nice brown and a Cutthroat, which is not very common in the Missouri.

Photos by Chris

The last fish that I landed on the day was a beautiful rainbow of decent size. I casted off the bank into some pretty deep water. I took a few steps down the bank and then went to re-cast. The fish had eaten the fly while it was on the free fall. I really didn't even do anything. It was a great way to end the day.

I had a total of 11 fish on the day and I believe the majority of them were over 15 inches. It was probably the best day I've had on the Mo (she previously hasn't treated me very well), and I couldn't believe how nice it was after the winds subsided. The fish were active, the sun was out and there was not a cloud to be seen. I can honestly say that it was one of those days that you wish you could have every time you are out on the water.

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