My friends Bucko, Laura, and I went to the Missouri River this weekend. The forecast for Saturday was supposed to be in the low 50s, partly cloudy/party sunny/cloudy with a 20% chance of precipitation. Great fishing weather. With everybody and their mother fishing the Bitterroot's skwala stonefly hatch, we had high hopes for some superb surface action and big Mo trout on streamers.
When we checked in with SOL and Scumliner at Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, they told us that the nymphing had been slower than usual and most people seemed to be having success swinging streamers. The surface action was patchy, but present. They also told us that it seemed like all of the Mo's rainbows had left the river and began to spawn, as evidenced by the majority of people's quarry being brown trout. By the way, if you ever go to the Missouri, I highly recommend Headhunters Fly Shop.
The weather seemed to be cooperating and an epic day of fishing was about to be had. I started out the day with a 14 inch brown trout - a small Missouri trout to say the least. I bumped my way into a pod of feeding browns and was able to swing the Original to them and elicited several strikes. Finally, I was able to wrangle a 19" brown to my net. Noon arrived and while it was snowing and the temperature had stayed in the 30s, the day was off to a solid start. I was catching fish.
Somewhere between noon and 3:00 pm, the productive fishing fell apart. The temperature never rose into the 50s. It seemed to stay in the low to mid 40s. There was more wind than expected and clouds dominated the sky. We left our original stretch of water and headed upstream only to find a gentleman in a boat fishing to rising fish. However, this guy was no more than a rod's length from the boat launch at the Silver Bridge. A frustrating sight to say the least. As a wade fisherman, it is more than annoying to see someone fishing "wader's water" in a boat. You have the advantage of the boat, use it and let those of us on foot to cover the water closer to the put-ins. We left the Silver Bridge and went upstream to Holter Dam. Fished below the dam for 15 or 20 minutes, then returned to the Silver Bridge, only to find the same guy in the same boat about 20 yards downstream from the put-in. Did I mention this guy missed three or four fish on the surface then at least two while nymphing?
At the end of the day, I brought three fish to hand. Bucko managed a tiny rainbow and Laura was skunked. Not the epic day we had hoped for.
I am trying something a little bit different with this video. Since, the fishing was slower than we hoped, I decided to include some of the conversations that were had on the way up to the Mo. Unfortunately, the microphone in the Flip doesn't capture sound that well, so my voice is the clearest. Bucko's comes and goes and Laura's is nearly non-existent. Topics included: the vaunted South-Weastern Conference (spelling intended), the Birthday Donut from The Donut Hole of Helena, the Belt Rock Supergroup, mica-rich environments, bleeping out swear words, the Chappelle Show, streamers, sarcastic encouragement, and heckling of the boat ramp fishing man in a boat. Topics not caught on camera: my domination over my fellow anglers and options for travel within Helena (did you know that it doesn't matter which direction you turn in Helena, you will end up at your intended destination. Left or Right? It doesn't matter.)
If you like your YGF without three idiots talking, I have provided the no-talking cut (see V2). If you want to venture into the black hole that is our conversations, check out the V1 cut. Let me know which one you prefer. I don't think I will do another video like this, with talking throughout, but I want to include some in the future.
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