Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sweetheart, the noodly streamer rod

I literally pulled it out of the garbage of my old residence. It was in tough shape, but usable. I rewrapped a few guides and it was ready to fish. My old new fiberglass 7 weight streamer rod is a Wright and McGill Sweetheart, and it's a trip.

It's so noodly, you have to be careful, on the hike to the river, that the wobble doesn't gain too much momentum and quake the rod from your grip, off into the distance (if this happens, let go - the wobble is strong with this one). Long may you wobble, Sweetheart.
What better place to put the 'glass streamer rod to use than the Jefferson? The only fish to bend the noodle were small but it was fun.

The Jefferson is surprisingly scenic - I always thought of it as a nondescript, scrubby, warm-ish river, but it was gorgeous.
Here's to bigger bends in the noodle.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It must be September cuz I'm seeing October caddis

I think I saw my first October caddis of the year the other day. This is good news.
Fishing October caddis dries is kinda like fishing hoppers in that you have big fish eating big flies. More subtlety is required, but it offers similar-sized fish on dries.
Not every river gets a great hatch, but an outstanding emergence isn't required. If you see a couple big orange caddis, tie on an orange Stimulator with stout tippet.
I've mostly fished the hatch on the lower Gallatin, but was told by 20-something fly-shop guy that the Gallatin doesn't actually get October caddis (dicosmoecus). Ok, fella. He said that the Gally (as I'm sure he called it) actually got a bug that looked a lot like an October caddis, but wasn't a real October caddis. It does get that bug (see below), but it also gets the real thing.
And the fact is that for all intents and purposes, they're the same bug. One has lighter wings and is a tad smaller (size 8 to 10), and the real thing has dark wings with a distinct vein pattern (see below), and is size 6 to 8. Note the zig-zag vein going vertically about 2/3 down its side - that's a good way to tell if you've got an actual dicosmoecus.
They hatch in September (I've probably seen more in September than October), just like March browns that hatch in April.
 (cased dicosmoecus larva)
You can fish the pupae as well - just a big orange soft hackle should suffice.
If you see the big orange caddis, tie on a Stimmie and hold on tight.

Dickie to Jerry Creek

Floated the Big Hole from Dickie Bridge to Jerry Creek on Friday - it wasn't what we'd hoped for. We got a few on hoppers and a few on streamers, but nothing huge. Most of the fish were in the 14- to 18-inch range, which is pretty standard on that river. I heard that the stuff down around Maiden Rock wasn't much better that day, so we felt a bit better about that.
It was super skinny in that section (which we anticipated), but I'd go somewhere else next time. I want to get back to that stretch, but I think there are better sections right now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Foxee Red

Clay took care of business with the Foxee Red Clouser again on Friday below the Ennis dam. The more I learn about that fly, the more intrigued I am. Bucky, the shop manager at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, loves it, I've seen it referred to as the No. 1 smallmouth fly of all time and one of the best streamers ever, it consistently puts the hurt on trout, and yet some people look at you like you're crazy when you mention it. It works in slow, meadow creeks, fast pocket water, stillwater, brown water, and probably in the salt. Highly recommended.

Camped at Hebgen last night. Didn't fish - just caught up with some old friends who were driving through. Did awaken to a beautiful Hebgen morning.