Friday, January 14, 2011

Prospecting for Trout, Tactics( Part 2 )

I'll never forget the long drive north from Eureka California to Missoula Montana. It was very warm, the first week of September, 1976. I had decided to drive my Toyota land cruiser through Lewiston  Idaho, and drive North along the Lochsa River and the largest wilderness area  in the lower 48 states. It was a blue bird day, not a cloud in the sky, high pressure and hot, around 90* in the shade. I had the top down due to the extreme heat, and I did not want to be visually impaired driving along one of the most scenic highways in the entire country. That day is etched in my mind forever, the smells of the Cedars, and Tamarack trees, the intense heat , coming naturally, and, from the floor boards of the old powder blue land cruiser . I stopped along the side of the turbulent Lochsa , stripped down and dove into a pool that held some good sized Cutthroat trout. The water was frigid, but on this day refreshing beyond description.  
(Lochsa River, Idaho)
I was in trout country, and I was also in familiar surroundings , steelhead water, it was beginning to feel like home.
 While attending the U Of M in Missoula , it was a well rounded education , including learning the intricacies of Fly fishing for trout. Missoula is blessed with many great rivers and creeks, and the best part was the fact that the Clark Fork river flows right through the heart of the campus, you could catch very nice sized trout right on the university grounds. As a matter of fact, myself and some other Science majors use to bring our Fly rods to "labs" in the Spring because right after class there was a great hatch's of Mayflies, and before "runoff" the river was low and clear, enabling the trout to feed on the surface.
One afternoon in May I fished just upstream from campus and , I caught a Rainbow on a emerging PMD that was over 20'inch's. I had an old Fat tired bike with a basket on the front, the trout did not fit , the tail spilled over a good four inch's, it was a glorious ride home with the largest trout I'd taken up till that day.
I did practice catch and release even back then, but , this was a trophy for me , I did not carry a camera, and I knew my fishing buddies would never believe me!
(Clark Fork River near Missoula MT)
This is where I learned to prospect for trout , on the great rivers in and around Missoula Montana, The Clark Fork,  Bitterroot, Blackfoot,  Fish Creek, and the wonderful Rock creek.These were the waters where I learned about  fly selection, not just for matching the hatch, but for matching the correct fly for the correct water, or, the right flys for prospecting, when trout are not visual. ( I'll continue tomorrow, tune in @ ( Daly Blog)

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