Sunday, April 20, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Little Flies/Larger Trout

Last few days with all the storm fronts blowing through have ramped up the midge and BWO hatches. While at times the wind has been a bit too much in between gusts you can manage to get your bug on the water, in the feeding lane, the trout are eating almost any reasonable match. Regardless whether midges or olives, my best fly has been a simple Deer Hair Emerger size 18 or 20. As you can see the wings on the above are synthetic (Enrico Puglosi, Trigger Fibers) rather than deer hair--seems to work almost as well as the natural hair and I find it easier to tie on size 20 hooks. Body is simply dubbed hare's mask, the rougher the better.  For what its worth I fish the teeny-weenies on a 12 foot leader tapered to about 4 feet, 6X. Tippet to fly is a double surgeon loop which seems to add a little to its appeal over my usual clinch knot...OK could very well be more the mysterious workings within an old man's noggin...what can I say.

And yes, this Poindexter brown is skinny, too skinny; to my way of thinking another good reason to get on with the improvements ASAP.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Big Hole Dropping...

...faster than your basic "anvil tossed in a swamp" as Ol' Lefty might say.Friday evening, a few hours after I shot this (4000 cfs) the river spiked just under 6000 cfs--which is not quite double the highest peak all last year (3500 cfs). This morning it is running about 3000 cfs...Judging the forecast for the next few days is on the cool side the river should continue to drop and the fishing pick up daily. I'd be surprised if it didn't fish well even today tossing streamers or the always reliable turdnworm duo off the banks; look for skwalas, especially later on in the day.

What the future holds, who knows. With snowpack as high as 170% of normal anything like a heat wave might send the high snow runoff runnin' right off the charts--higher even than the record setting 14,000+ of a couple years ago. If stays cool, why hell, Friday evening's 6000 cfs might just be it...stay tuned.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Help Save Poindexter Slough

Thanks to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Beaverhead Watershed Committee Poindexter Slough near Dillon is on track to get a major overhaul. A badly needed one given Poindexter has been in steady decline for at least the last dozen years. Decreased groundwater discharges (on going drought combined with a huge increase in development, both residential and agricultural) the Slough now relies heavily on increasing amounts of diverted Beaverhead River water through an antiquated head gate. The river water deposits large amounts of fine sediment resulting in diminished fish counts, bugs and angler use—all of which are at all time lows.

The project involves the replacement of existing irrigation infrastructure (head gate), modification of the channel's dimensions and other work, designed to flush out the sediment, restore fish and bug habitat and improve the fishery to historical levels. Which, by the way, were pretty damn good—great hatches, good fish in a challenging arena—can’t beat it.

As we all know such work does not come cheap. In this case the estimate is about  $445,000. Thanks to a variety grants, in-kind-services and private donations about $358,000 has been secured.  So yes, the goal is well within reach but  if you would like to help raise the final $85,000 please send your donation to:

Beaverhead Conservation District, 420 Barrett St., Dillon, MT 59725.

For more information visit: