The spwuce moffs and butterflies are out in full effect so I thought I'd write a little bit about my experiences. Spruce moths are not aquatic, but for some reason they hang out by the water. I've heard all sorts of theories, including that they need to drink or they are attracted by the reflection. Who knows. They are locally abundant. One stretch they will be all over the place, then nothing. They've been all over the treed stretches of the Blackfoot and, of course, Rock Creek.
In some places, the fish have gotten pretty picky about the imitations. A few days ago, on a quiet small stream pool, Entzrix and I watched big cutthroats occasionally refuse real moths that were floating by. Needless to say, it was tough to fool them with an imitation. I'll have a video up for a pattern I've been tying that works pretty well.
The spruce moth should not be confused with the larger pine butterfly, which is also all over the place, with a bumper hatch this summer. While the spruce moth is imitated with a #12-14, the butterfly is larger. Both can be important. A chubby chernoble is a pretty good butterfly imitation. Stay tuned for a video of BP's Foamy Spruce Moth later today.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Well, folks we still have great evening fishing going on, due to the delayed season. Pale evening duns were out and about last night on the Clarky. Caddis seem to be waning from their earlier blizzard levels. As usual, the hoppers and attractors are reining supreme during the daytime. PMDs are still important early on the Clark Fork and Bitterroot with lots of fish cruising the slow spots in the morning. Tricos are just starting. It should be a wonderful fall with these water levels.
Rock Creek was on fire last weekend and I don't see that changing this season. Millions of moths up there and a spruce moth pattern was effective. Also had good fishing with a purple haze and a pink hopper. It only took me about 2 hours to land 30 fish, with the largest a 16 inch brown. This time of year, I love concentrating on the riffled areas of the Creek. Anglers always crowd the holes, but those long riffled sections still hold fish and some good ones. I like to just wade up the middle and cast to both banks. The largest fish will often come up through heavy water to take a moth or hopper so don't neglect areas you wouldn't have thought about casting into during runoff.
Word on the street is the Blackfoot continues to produce occasional larger fish on big bugs. Just as with the Creek, when the banks are being pounded, don't hesitate to fish your big attractor right out in the middle of the river. It will bring up the big boys. The middle stretch is your best bet if you want to avoid the Missoula revelers. Good luck out there. I will have more updates forthcoming and Missoula specific fly fishing T-shirts are in the works!