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Old 02-08-2002, 04:04 PM
OC OC is offline
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Glad to here more folks are fishing emergers on lakes. Are the fish feeding fish or are you blind casting? How delicate a big trout can be taking emergers just under the surface. Sometimes it's pure beauty just to watch, dimple, pectoral fin then tip of tail and nothing else. Sorry to here about the nitrate problems, I work in water Quality issues and that's a big one out here in the NW. Education and lot's of tv advertising the evils of over fertilizing your lawn is helping loads here.

Over my waders,
Yeh the Yellowstone is a big river with some hugh fish and all the fish are very opportunistic. Don't matter what you throw at them chances are they will take it and you can fish those big western rivers blind all day long and get fish. But the rivers I'm talking about out west are not like that. Rivers like the Henerys Fork, Silver Creek and the spring creeks near Livingston MT are as selective as can be Much like the rivers Adrian mentioned and some of the rivers back east used to be before stocking programs took place. On the Henerys Fork one can not cast blind even if you know a fish is there. He will not take it, he won't even take a worm dead drifted if that were leagle. These fish are totally selective and if you match the hatch in every way but the difference in one size you will not be sucsessful. You can have a blanket hatch of thousands of PMD's commining down river and these fish are only taking cripples then that's all you have a chance of getting them on. That's why it such a great fishery because the challenge is in the total observation what taking place. If one does not understand exactly how the fish is rising and whether it means he is taking emergers, dunns spinners or cripples by his movement to the fly then one does not catch. And that's where the fun is with this type of fishing. You got to understand the whole workings around you. Takes time but it is in my belief the top of the order in fly fishing. My girl friend does not think so she likes the Yellowstone and enjoying being on the river casting and casting and catching fish one after another. Both are fun but that's where they seperate as far as fly fishing is concerned.
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Old 02-08-2002, 05:01 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Gee, I'm a dinosaur. Started fly fishing when I lived in New Jersey. Fished the Flatbrook and the Raritan. In New York and Vermont I fished the Beaverkill, the Battenkill, and I recall the White (?) River. All dry fly.

Up to this point I've been a dry fly only fisherman, but that is going to change, soon. My wife got me a spey rod, etc., this past spring and it looks like I will be compromised in my pursuits. But hey, I live in Western Washington, now, and for river fishing spey carries the day.

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Old 02-08-2002, 05:43 PM
Brad Brad is offline
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OC, it sounds like you really enjoy the western streams. I moved out here not quite 2 years ago and love it. I had a dream trip last year fishing around yellowstone for about 10 days and heading back again this June. Perhaps the toughest part of fishing Henry's Fork is that soo many insects hatch at the same time. We took fish on Green Drake nymphs, micro caddis soft hackles, PMD cripples, Flavalina emergers, drys, and spinners and got absolutly skunked by a late evening hatch of size 10 Brown Drakes, all on the same day. The challenge is not only finding the right emerging crippled off yellow PMD dry Fly but to realize quickly that the fish have switched to the Flavs.

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Old 02-08-2002, 06:15 PM
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FrenchCreek FrenchCreek is offline
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For Trout to feed..

Dries are around a fair amount of time but nymphs and other subsurface critters make up a large proportion (something like 80% I think) of the trout's diet.
I still prefer to go after the 20% and use dries most of the time.
If I'm not going to catch a trout, I'd rather do it with a dry!
Pete AKA Frenchcreek from Calgary
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Old 02-08-2002, 06:34 PM
kcsmes kcsmes is offline
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All of the western dry fly fishing sounds great and I hope I have the opportunity some time. As I said before, it may be due to the limited opportunities and times that I get to fish or the rivers that I can fish in those opportunities. I have spent many a fishing trip walking a river to find rising trout and agree that there is nothing like finding the opportunity and the right fly and presentation and landing the fish. I have found that those opportunities just don't present themselves that often where and when I fish and I have found that there are fishing challanges and satisfaction to fishing other methods. I know its not the cathing its the fishing but I would rather have a wet tight line than dry flys and dry lines.
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Old 02-08-2002, 06:38 PM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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Okay, my spirit is renewed, it is good to see there are some dry fly fisherman out there.

But the response has not been large compared to the number of flyfishers on this forumn. I guess we need to give it more time for response.

I myself have been dredging mid west steelhead primarily for the last 20 years, since I was transferred here from back east. It is hard to go back to trout fishing when we can fish steelhead about 9-10 months out of the year in the rivers here in the great lakes. Thanks to the summer run steelhead now being stocked heavily in Lake Michigan. Lots of great trout fishing here though in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Steelhead dry fly fishing here has a very low probability of success in the mid west.

Wonder how many steelhead and Atlantic salmon dry fly only fisherman there are? Thats another very low probability success factor but something I have always wanted to do.
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Old 02-08-2002, 07:29 PM
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Hawkeye Hawkeye is offline
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I bet a riffle hitch and some skating action will bring those steelies to the top. I've heard of other places where the locals say the steelhead in their rivers wont come to the top but have then spoke to people who have regularly done it. I've never been successful at it but I know there are some experts out there who will sing the praises of steel on the top all day long.
Tight Lines,

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Old 02-08-2002, 09:09 PM
OC OC is offline
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Your like many of us in the NW, former trout fishermen turned steelhead manics. But I was glad you brought up "where did all the old dry fly go?" It's true most have passed on and we 50 something learned from them. They were good and usually well of enough to dedicate much of their life to taking their fishing to a very high level. Now I'm not saying it's the only way to fly fish, almost every method is just wonderful. Some folks love just being on a river others love catching and releasing the fish they hook while others love to take one home for dinner once in awhile. All of it's good, healthy for the soul but I'm always trying to figure out what it was with those old dry fly guys, what it was they were after in there obsession. I would never tell them this but it was like they were seeking some type of fly fishing zen. they quietly pushed their knowledge of their hobby to the max. While living in Montana I fished with many both guiding and just hanging out on the RR Ranch. They never taught, directed or conversed in a teaching maner. They just did what they did best and being able to be around them you started to see what they were seeing and on your own you started to develope new and keen skills. It's funny but before long you yourself are obsessed with pushing your self and giving the fish as many advantages as possible. When I look back on it now I realize that my first years in Montana were fun fishing and catching many fish on the Yellowstone, I was lucky enough to live on that river for a time. But for me to go back to that fishing is tough I try and I enjoy it but I think I enjoy the company of the my girl friend or my kids more than the fishing. Trout fishing is many things to many different folks and that's what makes it so great a pastime. I just think for those who want to challenge themselves in their fishing go out West and leave your nymphs at home, you may not like the fishing but to do it once would be such a learning experience and not time wasted.
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Old 02-09-2002, 05:45 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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I love fishing with dry flies. Not like it. I really miss it , especially when fishing the salt. However, nymph fishing has saved the day for me many at time. One of the greatest rivers is the Missouri in Montana. Nothing beats it when its on. I started nymphing the river and my catch rate went way up. I love the challenge of fishing the BWO hatch fishing size 24 dries.
However, here in the East the Striped Bass has changed many a trout fisherman into a saltwater fanatic.
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Old 02-09-2002, 09:30 AM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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Fish Hawk,

Yes I can see many more people are now into striped bass back east. Grew up in Northern NJ, was getting into saltwater FF in 1978 and then the big corporate transfer to the mid west occurred. Then converted from trout fishing to midwest steelhead and salmon primarily.

As i remember the striper population in the seventies was down and FF for them was really not seen in NJ. I walked off IBSP several times and got some weird stares from the surf rod guys.

Will give it another shot on may next trip back to NJ. My family is all back there, parents are in Toms River just 20 minutes from IBSP.

Love that place, have all my life. Still the same when I was there two years ago.
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Old 02-10-2002, 10:12 AM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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I love the rising form too much to go without for long. I am so enanmoured with trout rising that I make it a practice to stop by numerous places to just watch them feeding during the off season. The NW is an interesting enviroment even though a lot of people think it rains and floods all winter there are some event hatches that take place fairly regular over the years give or take a week or two even in the winter.
Case in point Lake Crescent on the west end there is a beach where for years I have been watching trout (even big Beardslees) feeding on little mayflys. Middle of February seems to be the best the water so clear you can watch them cruise around right from the guard rail and watch the little mays tenting there wings and get nailed, just about everyone. Gee maybe they should cut the mayflys some slack and let me sore mouth some of the fish so a few more of the hacthes will survive!!!!!! Most of the action takes place between 1130 and 1400 obviously bright sunshine and no wind (admitedly rare) helps out a great deal. Once in awhile you have to stop and smell the roses.
Now having said all that I would estimate that apart from steeheading in the winter I fish dry or at least damp 90% of the time probably higher but I'll be conservative in my estimate. This is a very fun thread good idea!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2002, 01:42 PM
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capt_gordon capt_gordon is offline
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Thumbs up Dries...well not only but preferred!

I will fish a dry fly on a trout stream all the time if I can. If the water is over 60 degrees and nothing is showing I will fish a dry fly as a searcher. Trout will come up more than you think.
In saltwater, where I do most of my fishing now, I loooooovvve to fish poppers. Imagine the sound when a striper over 10 pounds sucks it in! Pretty impressive.
Capt Gordon
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Old 03-24-2004, 10:23 AM
seattlesetters seattlesetters is offline
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I, too, am one who fishes dry flies exclusively. My favorite place to fish is the Harriman State Park on the Henry's Fork. My current favorite rods are a Winston 9' 4wt DL4 wearing a Ross Evolution #2 loaded with SA Mastery Trout Taper WF-4-F, a Winston 8' 3wt WT that wears a Tibor Spring Creek CL loaded with SA Mastery Trout Taper WF-3-F and a Winston 8'6" 4wt WT that wears a Lamson Litespeed 1 loaded with Rio Selective Trout WF-4-F.
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:29 PM
OC OC is offline
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This is a thread from a long time ago. Glad you brought it back up because I'm thinking more about dry fly fishing as winter steelhead fishing is getting harder and harder to do. It's funny we have not heard from PM Flyfisher in a long time, hope he is doing well wherever he is.

For the last few weeks I've been thinking of Spring in Wyoming on my daughters ranch. A certain river is near by and it has truely huge trout that sip. I keep thinking about walking the bank, stoping sitting for awhile watching the slowly moving weed beds in crystal clear water around the springs. Swallows flying overhead indicating that a hatch is just about to start, how do they know? Green grass along the banks and the milk weed and nettles not high enough yet to have to watch that one and only false cast you get. A good cigar to ponder on all that is begining to take place a pair of good shades to cut the mind glare.

This year I will take my 3 year old grandson for a walk along the river. All he talks about is fishing for sunfish in the ranch pond but I will show him something new. He will not need to fish the river for another 3 years or so but he should know about what's there and think about it often before he fall asleep at night. If he wants a cigar I will have to say no but how do you say no to your grandson, I'll give him a puff or two if he won't tell his mom.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:40 AM
thebob thebob is offline
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Dry only fly fishing is a dyeing religion. There are some of us youngsters, versed in its ways, but the faith is not as strong as it once was. My granfather was one of the great priests of this failing faith. I remember, as a child, not more than 5, fishing on Mission lake, in Montana. The air was brisk, and for me, the young acolite, barely congnicent of the teaching I was recieving, was more interested in chacing young ducks through the reeds, than fishing.

My grandfather, on the other hand, cared for nothing but the dance. He was a magician with the rod. He would take his magic wand in hand, and make it dance to each command. A fish would rise, and with barely any effort, as if by will alone, his fly would float, low across the water, and land near the center of the bullseye left by the expanding riffles. The fish would rise again, his rod would ark, and the ballet would begin.

After a while, chacing birds through the bursh didn't hold my attention any more. I was captivated by the scene before me. He began to teach me. I was not big enough at the time, to cast for myslef, but I could learn where to place the fly, and how to retrieve it. I cought the first fish I can remember, on that lake, dragging back a fly that had been cast for me. A 10# 11 3/4 oz rainbow. It took me nearly twenty minutes to land the fish, and once I did, I was as exhausted as he, but from then on, I was as hooked as that fish.

My learning, under his tutalage, began then. He tried to teach me what he knew, from tieing flies to catching fish. He tied nymphs for me, and he usually carried one or two; a hare's ear here, or bever caddis there, but I can't recall seeing him tie one on. It was if he needed the temptation to resist, to prove his commitment. I do remember once or twice, seeing him fish nymphs. He would greese them up with a foul smelling paste he carried, and fish them dry. (I've never seen a hairs ear produce, like it can top water.) I learned what I could, but never became a fly fisherman. I liked to tie flys, but didn't have the patience for fly fishing. We fished often, but I don't recall anyone ever catching more fish than he did on any of our trips. It was amazing what nearly a century of experience had tought the man.

At 10, my family left our home in Northern Montana, but he, at 93, was to old, and too stubborn to follow. He still practiced his religion. The Flathead, the Milk, the Blackfoot, and Marias were his church. Over the next fouryears, Now and then, we would visit, and he would teach me as best he could. It wasn't until then, that I was willing to learn, and I studied eagerly under his care. I hooked myself more often than I hooked a fish, but I tried, and he was patient with his student. I would hear from time to time, of how his trips to reiceve his sacriments went, and hear the family complain about his disappearing into the hills. They worried he would hurt himslef, but I knew it was the practice of this faith that sustained him.

At 96, his eyes, and his helth were failing. He didn't stop at a stop sign, and had a minor accident. It was this accident, I am convinced, that killed him, not the kidney falior that ultimately took him just short of the beginning 99th year. They took his license, and thus cut him from his communion. Excommunicated, by an act of law, his mind went quicly, but the body lingered.

I remember visiting him once, shortly before the end. They had put a large plastic pool on the grounds, and stocked it with fish from a hatchery. They tied flies to ice fishing polls, and let the geezers loose. For a while, he was himself again. He cought a fish or two on a deer hair hopper. He talked for a while, and then went back to his room. I know it wasn't the same, but I think it was what he needed. A last rights of sorts, for a man of his faith.

I don't keep the traditions, as he did. I often sin, and toss a nymph to a riffle behind a rock, when there is no hatch to match. I don't have the patience I should, and I still lack about 55 years of learning, to be the sage he was, but I make an effort. Perhpas some say, I will re-discover the old religion, and I can teach my own children or grandchildren the way, as I take my communion, on the Blackfoot, or the Flathead, or the Marias. I can always hope.
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