Indicator fishing can be an incrdible way to maximize your catch with trout but it doesn't have to stop with the bobber. There are a few fun ways to effectively fish wet flies without a strike indicator
First the czech nymphing style is a very popular technique developed by the eastern european competition fly fishing teams which utilizes a long leader and one or two weighted flies. Tungsten beads are a great way to have a heavy fly that will sink fast and easy to cast on a light rod. We also like tungsten flies tied on a jig hook to help reduce snags and get a really solid hook set.
Indication of a Strike
Lot's of different strike indicators on the market right now and a great tool to effectively fish our area rivers when the fish aren't rising to dry flies. Here are a few benefits and different hacks that we like to use and consider to help make your nymphing game more dialed in.
Depth is a huge thing nymphing so being able to easily change your indicator to fly distance will determine where your flies sit in the water column. Typical rule of thumb for fly to bobber length is 1-1.5 times the depth of water your fishing. So say if your fishing a hole that is about 6 ft deep a fly to bobber distance of 6-9ft is good. Like everything in fly fishing there are exceptions to the rule so sometimes you can go more or less from there. In the winter the trout like to hug the bottom and dont move to far to eat so getting down deep will put your flies in an easy place for them to eat the fly, like off the tip of their nose. Summertime will sometimes have the fish sitting in shallow water or more aggressively grabbing flies so a short leashed distance of 5ft will help detect the strike quicker.
Tomorrow, Saturday May 16, is opening day for the waters that are closed in Montana. That means from Quake Lake to McAtee and from Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake opens up on the Upper Madison, as well as all the small streams in the area. Opening Weekend is always worth celebrating. It’s one of those milestones that anglers all over the world mark on their calendars and count down the days toward.
Here in the shop we have been seeing a lot more people from all over the country starting to trickle in and be ready to fish for this weekend. We say Welcome Back! We love to see people from all over coming here to fish. You never know who you might bump into or where they might be from. This weekend is kind of the start of tourist season out here and we are looking forward to it.
Father Daughter Fishing
The last two trips i've had have both been father daughter anglers. The other day i was out with Tim and Ellie who is on her way to becoming an amazing angler. She is 8 years old and we had a blast fishing the lower Madison on Friday. We had clouds and some fish up on BWOs but mostly they were all about the zonker. Ellie got into a few fish and one of them made it to the net and her dad stuck a real nice brown towards the end of the float. Then we ate sushi at the boat ramp and called it a day.
Have you ever stopped to look at the tail of a trout? It’s pretty beautiful. The translucence, the spots, the way the light shines through it.. There is nothing in nature quite like it.
So often we catch a fish and are in such a hurry to get the picture, get the fish back in the water and get the fly back out there. If there was one fish in the hole there might be more, right? Hurry hurry hurry, don’t want to miss anything.
Take just a moment and enjoy the beauty in your net. If you pull the fish out of the water to admire it, be sure you’re not keeping it out of the water long at all and get it back in the net. Keeping a trout just under the surface of the water can really make the colors pop too. Get your pictures and get them back in the water.
Fish are always beautiful. I know I say this a lot, but take the time to enjoy what nature offers.
Luck and Living In Bozeman
This post has a bit of a more personal note than most I’ve written on here, but it carries a message everyone that lives here and loves this place should take to heart. Montana is a hard place to leave. Really hard. I’ve done it a couple of times now and always I keep coming back. One of my best friends left last fall for a girl in Michigan and last week he came back.
He loves to fish but out in Michigan he had spent a grand total of four or five outings. What did we do the first day he was home? Three hours off the plane and we were sitting in our friend and fishing guide Ken Stock’s boat on the Lower Madison. On the drive over he kept saying how big the mountains looked, how green it all was, and how beautiful everything seemed.
Out on the river the first fish he caught was a little rainbow that I doubt was pushing the double digits. But the smile on his face said it all. That one fish meant a lot to him and the size really didn’t matter at all. He was happy to be home.
Happy Mother's Day
A big shout out to all the Mom's today and all the hard work they do. My ma Pam King has long been the heartbeat of the Bozeman Angler and definatley a huge part of what holds this place together. Thanks for being the mother to not just me and my sister but also all the other fishing bums, guides, and customers that make up the family of the fly shop.
First off what would be a benefit of crimping your barb or fishing barbless hooks? The most obvious to me is that in fly fishing it is a culture based around the beauty of a challenge between humans and fish. All the game really consists of is fooling an animal to believe what you offer is a sustainable prey and the victory of conquering that beast. I would say this is a primary focus over fishing to provide yourself food from your catch in fly fishing. Since catch and release is not intended to kill or harvest the game often the satisfaction comes from the victory over your adversary. A barbed hook is harder for a fish to be prematurely released (how embarrassing) and designed in the anglers favor especially if he intends to eat his catch. This is certainly contingent on a number of factors such as setting the hook so the it penetrates past the barb and other issues while playing the fish, jumps, head shakes, trees, corral, other anglers in the way for example.
Dry Fly Action
The last two weeks has been just beautiful for dry flies. Last couple weeks the Mother's day caddis were so thick i had to scrub the dead ones off the windshield after driving home from the river. Yesterday we had a real thick March Brown hatch with good BWO's in the afternoon after the rain came through. Just really cool to see heads coming up to the dry fly. A few Yellow Sallies here and there and we've seen a couple skwalas scattered about still. The Moose hatch was pretty good yesterday we saw a cow and a bull on the other side of the river just munching on willows doing their moosey thing.
First Salmonfly of the Season
Last weekend I took my girlfriend and her family fishing on the Upper Madison. The reports were good, and I really wanted to get them into some fish. Fishing was a little slower than I would have hoped (for everyone we talked to, not just us) but we still had a great day. Walking back to the car under a bridge I saw this guy fall into the water:
Yes, that is an adult Salmonfly. Yes, it is way early. WAY early. But still... To be seeing them this early means the hatch will be a bit early this year. I hadn't heard of any other sightings so far this year but talking to customers this week it sounds like at least one more has been found around the area.