This may be your Fly Fishing Day

This may be your Fly Fishing Day

Snowing today, but just a bit. Yesterday high and bright with some southern wind to greet us in the morning.

I fished a couple fellers from Bozeman who had purchased the Henry’s Fork Foundation auction item offered up by Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig MT. We donate a ton to those who need it. Conservation, women and children. That is who we focus on. Those truly in need. Ad we love to give back. It is part of the fabric of Headhunters…

Back to the story. So out guiding with these two fine fellers. One of the guests wants to swing only. He had a Burkheimer 4-5-6 with a RIO Skagit 425. The other would like to dry fly fish. A common setting for the day of fishing. Two completely different objectives. A good guide can either OK that partnership or dismiss it totally. I chose to make it work.

My suggestion though was for the dry fly feller to short leash up a few on the way to island sets where we would get out and attack. The dry fly fan blinding down one side and the Trout Spey man to swig up a few not he other side of the island. Looks good on paper. No?

Well the nymphing did not pan out. The fish did not want to bite at all. The first couple runs showed me an answer that we were not looking for. The answer was a resounding NO.

No takes, no sniffs, no action.

Strange. Becasue the nymph bite has been as good as it gets. But sometimes in the am it has been not as fast and furious as the afternoons. Quite common I guess thinking about it.

We did bump into a trout on the San Juan Worm about 1pm. Our first evidence of trout in the historically fishy waters of the Missouri River. Hooray! Not skunked. But no action on either the blind dry or the several offers of streamer patterns offered up by the swinger. Blank on both accounts.

Then we fished the Craig Flat. Not a take. But we did toss a dry at those finicky soft water risers below the bridge. And, not one look. That did not surprise me. Those fish don’t find interest in many flies/presentations. But nothing on the swing either. That is quality water that has not been beat up today, or yesterday…

Nothing on Hemingway Flats. No fish on he swing or blind dry.

Settled on the island set below Jackson Rock. Some of my favorite water, and yours too. Great water! None on the blind dry in the first run. Did get a resectable 17″ Rainbow on the swing! Hooray. We had switched to the Sage ONE 3110 with a Skagit Head on it with a black leech pattern. It worked.


But things were looking up. 2 fish, one for each guest…at 330pm. Whoa. Scratch and claw.

Saddled over to a tiny skinny run and blind fished up a couple big rainbows, one of them was the largest of the year for my boat. Well, some success here.

The light fading quickly. Head around to the laser island runs and get out for the last 14 minutes of sun above the horizon. Gotta make it happen here too. Less than 35 minutes of light left in the day. Swung up  3 nice ‘bows on the leech. One being the 2nd largest bow of my season. Blind fished up 3 on the sz 12 Purple Haze.

Wow. What a finish.

Just goes to prove that the Missouri River will give up her bounty if you continue to fight. If you continue to do the right thing all day long. Cast well. Drift well. Stay positive. Enjoy the entire day, experience. And fight, fight, fight.

The rewards of fishing are always great. Some days we do not catch as many. We are so fortunate to fish here on the Mo where by fishing well you can have success. We are so lucky. Staying positive and continuing to try, to change the methods, depth, flies, approach pays off.

This may be your fishing day. I for one quite like it. Working hard for a few results. Happy feel good kind of days.

You do get out what you put in. I think my folks told me that once…or the high school counselor when trying to straighten out wandering kids.

Works for fishing too.



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  • Great post! Truth!

    You do get what you put in in fishing and in life… or you’ll end up living in a van down by the river… (and not the nice land down by the river on the Mo). 🙂

  • Carroll Jenkins
    November 17, 2016 3:15 pm

    You guys do pretty good work for Veterans too !

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