Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Me and Joe" Story

Although veteran Missoula outfitter Joe Cummings tossed me from his boat Sunday (ok, the spill was completely my clumsy fault), we had a great time dry-fly fishing the Bitterroot River's October hatches - baetis, tricos and mahoganies - as I researched the river. Action was steady all day, although the fish became real "assholes" as the day got older.

We floated the middle Bitterroot, which is apparently where anglers have the best shot at a trophy, but also where fishing can be tough. No mammoths were landed, but a couple big fish were moved during our limited streamer fishing. The top-water action was strong enough that we didn't venture much into the sloughs.

Cummings, a hulk of an oarsman and a guide through and through, is a retired NFL linebacker and former Belize outfitter. He's got years of recollections that accompany sports down river. His photography and writing skills are helmet and shoulder pads above most fishers and his blog rarely disappoints.
To be guided for trout was new for me. I'd been guided on a saltwater trip, but to see exactly how hard Joe worked and how many fly changes he used was enlightening. Made me feel lazy - normally, if the trout don't like what I'm using, I try to find some that do. I don't stick with fishy water if it ain't working, and I learned that maybe I should - they're in there and they're probably eating something. I should probably also increase my fly selection to be prepared...
Thanks to Joe for the help - if you need a guide around Missoula, check with him.

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