Last week it was time for another quick road trip. Wanting to check out the brown drake hatch, I tried to get to Silver Creek earlier. They came and went. I didn't.
So, another good looking weather window opened. An opportunity to chase clear water, do a little camping. My tent erecting skills needed the practice.
The best thing about Silver Creek is getting there at sunrise and listening to the birds. I love watching the hills and valley light up with the first morning rays. Besides, what else is a guy supposed to do when he gets up at 4:30 and drinks all of the coffee?
First morning. Blue-winged olives. A smattering of PMD's. There was a flight of what looked to be white miller caddis like those seen on the Firehole in Yellowstone.
Fish? Loads of little ones. Most chased the white miller. A few on the olive. Best fish of the morning was a brown that mouthed a small rainbow. One credible brown ate the olive but it came loose when it rolled and I couldn't …
Up and down. So go the river levels. It's absolutely confounding. Between the rain, runoff from snowmelt and dam releases, fishing conditions change, every day.
It was eighty-eight degrees early one evening last week. I usually dread the heat. But, since a guy doesn't know how many trips around the sun he has left, I went anyway. The river had dropped to around 2400 c.f.s. Wading is possible at that level, one can nibble around the edges. If lucky, I thought that I might find a few rising fish. Maybe a few caddis too. They like warm weather.
Shuffling my way through the grass, I stirred up some caddis. Like hoppers, they were up and right back down into the safety of the grass. Like me, they were waiting for the wind to die down.
I found a bit of soft water and settled in to watch. At 7:30 the caddis dance began.
And, soon after, a few fish began to show their noses. I tied on a nine foot leader, which, after fishing a fourteen or sixteen footer was quite a c…
In between rain drops, a spur of the moment road trip to scratch the fishing itch. Our local rivers are flooding. Angling options are few. With dam discharges on the Bighorn temporarily curtailed to a fishable 6000 c.f.s. this presented a brief window of fishing opportunity.
The reward for making the drive?
Midges, blue-winged olives and brown trout. Enough to keep this dry fly fisher happy.
Took a drive out to the river the other day. It's high water time, so I hadn't planned on fishing.
Still, it's good to get out of the house for a few hours. Walk around, shoot a few photos, breathe the sweet spring air.
Everything is green. Finally. There's no annoying bugs yet either. Don't worry, they're coming. Do you know where your bug dope is?
Best of all, I came home with a prize. A massive haul of three morels. Not quite enough for a meal. Luckily I'd accumulated a stash of dried ones over the years. They've been stored in glass jars waiting for a date with the frying pan. The fresh ones are more flavorful, less rubbery. But, the dried ones do in a pinch.
So, tortellini with morels and asparagus. Today was the day.
It's a simple dish. Along with the tortellini, asparagus and mushrooms, butter and bacon round out the flavors.
And, there's a little garlic for vampire abatement. A little parmesan. A splash of milk. Done.
Some days are tough, the fish tougher.
On spring creeks, it's the season of in between hatches.
The day starts with great promise.
Blue sky. Warm. Calm.
It doesn't last.
The bugs fail to make their appointment. It doesn't matter. If they show they'd get blown off the water anyway.
Still, one doesn't quit for fear of missing something. Maybe there will be a window. An opportunity.
So you persist.
Squalls come through. As if conditions aren't tough enough already.
But you hang in there. You've made it this far.
Four o'clock. Lunch time.
Can't call it a day yet.
Maybe the wind will lie down at dusk.
Maybe, anything. A crumb.
Just one shot.
The sun pops out, now low on the horizon.
What's that? A dimple. Up against the bank.
The fish eats on the first cast.
All day for one shot.
It was worth it.
Every angler visits a piece of water for the first time. These are my impressions as a first timer to the Bighorn. I imply no level expertise.
It's a bit of a haul for a day trip, but doable for the young and the tough. I left Bozeman around 4:30 a.m. and met up with Satoshi in Livingston. He was the young and tough part of the venture. For Satoshi, it was a guides day off. Of course he ended up rowing the boat.
As I'd lamented in recent posts, spring has been slow to appear in Montana. It was equally slow in appearing as we headed east. Patches of snow still lay in gullies as we drove through the Crow Reservation. Frozen fields were covered with sheets of water from the slowly melting snow. It was raining when we arrived at Ft. Smith. In no hurry to launch, we took our time, visited a couple of the fly shops, decided on a float strategy, and arranged for a shuttle.
No secret, the Bighorn is a known quantity among the western fly fishing crowd. Folks either fish wh…
Someone needs to have a talk with that blasted oversized weather forecasting rodent. You've heard of Phil from Punxsutawney? Six more weeks of winter he said.
It's looking more like six months.
Green grass. In Montana. In July. Maybe.
No matter. I ventured to the creek earlier this week. Sans rod, I walked a section to check for spawning fish. Happily, I can report that some of the graveled areas were finally occupied by rainbows going about their business. A bit further on, a few fish were rising reliably. That was good enough for me! I hightailed it back to the car to retrieve fishing tackle. They were still sipping midges when I returned. And, they were cooperative too!