|Phil Monahan over at Orvis.com has 9 tips for you to get you nymphs down fast.
|If you are a fiberglass rod enthusiast then take a look at Cameron Mortenson's post on the State of fiberglass rods for 2013 in Predictions, Rumors, And Pipe Dreams over at The Fiber Glass Manifesto.
|Take a late October trip down the Big Horn.|
A warm and Happy New Year to eveyone reading The Drift. Thank you for following us this past year and we are looking forward to having you around for 2013.
To start off with, FlyMasters big Cabin Fever Festival is this Saturday. If you are in town, from out of town, for the Indiana on The Fly show make certain to stop by FlyMasters. We have tiers, guides, product reps, local fisherman and lots of great food to complete your day. If Saturday is too packed with activities then make certain to stop by on Sunday as the fun continues at FlyMasters all weekend long.
For those of you who live in town, mark your calendar for Saturday and head down to the fair grounds for the Indiana on The Fly show and the Cabin Fever Festival at FlyMasters. They are only a few miles apart and well worth the time.
Something else to help you through the winter blues (accentuated by the recent snowfall), Montana Fly Fishing Magazine just came out with their Winter 2012 issue. Which is more like a winter 2013 issue since it will carry through 2013's winter, but they call it the Winter 2012 issue.
Anyhow, it is packed with all kinds of information on fly fishing in Montana. Face it, when the snow is falling here in Indiana and the weather is crap, you can do a lot worse than reading and dreaming about fly fishing in Montana.
See you at Cabin Fever Fest this weekend.
Big sky, big country, big fish and lots of them! That pretty much summarizes my recent trip to Bighorn Country. Located in the southeast corner of the state of Montana some 90 miles southeast of Billings lies the “rustic” town of Fort Smith. This is high plains desert country, not the coniferous forest covered mountain peaks we all envision as being characteristic of Montana. Rolling plains, steppes, sage brush cattle country is the venue. Ft. Smith itself is located in the midst of the Crow Indian Reservation. A somewhat “dusty” town with a handful of fly shops, a restaurant (closed when we were there), a few trailers, a gas station, some rental rooms,…. you get the picture…. not exactly the kind of place you take your wife or girl friend for luxurious accommodations and glitzy nightlife.
What Ft. Smith does have going for it is an incredibly fertile river running through it! Flowing north out of Wyoming and eventually merging with the Yellowstone at Bighorn, MT, the cold waters of the Bighorn support astounding populations of rainbow and brown trout. The Bighorn in fact boasts the densest populations per mile of salmonoids of any river in Montana and for that matter of the lower 48. The fecundity of the Bighorn is attributable to its cold stable river temperatures, flows, and abundant insect and baitfish forage.
The Bighorn is best fished via a drift boat due to access restrictions due to the Reservation. There are ample opportunities however to get out of the boat to wade and cast dry flies to the voracious trout. When we were there (Oct 30 &31) Tricos and BWO’s provided fantastic dry fly fishing and when the flies thinned out or bright sunlight drove the fish to deeper water, the nymph fishing and streamer fishing was superb. Hundred fish days are not unusual, in fact both days fishing, each of our two drift boats landed over a hundred fish each day. And what fish they were, hard fighting, jumping, running out line, piscatorial footballs! These fish average 16” to 20” with frequent larger fish.
The river in Ft. Smith begins as a tailwater at Yellowtail dam, ﬂowing north over gravel bottom with prolific water grasses providing cover for fish and forage. Although this is a big river it is nicely broken up into riffles, runs, deep holes by a variety of small islands creating ample opportunity for the wade fisherman to stalk upstream rising fish or to float nymphs on a strike indicator through the head of a pool. The streamer fisherman will have his hands full tossing his double streamer rig through the deeper runs and dredging the deep holes harboring these leviathans.
This is definitely a “Bucket List” river to go and fish if you have not been there! And, oh, by the way, take along a tube of “Ben-Gay” your sore muscles are going to need it after casting and fighting fish all day.
Yes in deed… there are more EMags in this month of October. Two new issues have come out in the past week. Southern Culture on The Fly and Montana Ffly Fishing Magazine both have something to share this month.
Southern Culture On The Fly (a.k.a. S.C.O.T.F.) is all about the waters and byways of the southern portion of the US of A. Having spent a number of years living in Knoxville TN I particularly liked the article in this issue on Knoxville Bass fishing. But who can not love a magazine that explains Strip Setting so well with Capt. Greg Arnold. I will forever have a mental picture in my head when anyone mentions strip setting. Which may not be exactly a good thing.
Montana Fly Fishing Magazine is just what it sounds like; fly fishing in Montana. If you are a fan of Big Sky you will like this magazine because it is also big. There are over 165 pages of photos, articles and videos on fly fishing in Montana. Although this issue is all about trouty stuff hopefully in future issues they will share some of their excellent warmwater opportunities as well.