Blog Posts For September 2015
Last winter Peter and I went a little crazy with the color blue. We tied lots and lots of streamers with it, nymphs with it, I even tied a couple dry flies with it. We had all kinds of blue materials in the shop on the tying wall. Some people thought we were crazy. We sure didn't.
Blue is one of those colors you don't see too much of outside of the steelhead market. Will it work for trout flies? Sure, why not. Everyone thought that purple was just a fad and a crazy color that couldn't possibly catch fish. But people tied flies in it and sure enough it stuck around. Today everyone knows about the Purple Haze. There aren't any bugs that come to mind off the top of my head that are purple. What makes it work so well?
My personal theory is that fishing colors that trout don't see all the time really makes a difference. Purple worked so well when it first came out partly because no one was fishing purple flies. If you look in fly bins at a Western trout focused shop, you likely won't see much blue. That's one of the reasons I tied a lot of flies in it.
While it may not be officially fall yet, it sure feels like it in town. The light has that fall-ish quality to it and even the air feels more crisp and fresh. The past few days we've seen our first real "fall" storm move through the area too. Temps dropped down into the 30s and 40s and it rained for a couple days. This muddied up the Yellowstone and the Gallatin, but it also put some of the first snow of the year in the mountains...
Fall gets a lot of people around here thinking about bugling elk, flushing grouse, but most importantly big, healthy, angry brown trout. As the browns start their spawning season they become incredibly aggresive and will chase down a streamer pattern with abandon. Streamer fishing gets the blood pumping and fall is the best time of year for it. Break out the 8-wt, sink tips, and big flies.
Fall also offers some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. The Blue Wing Olives are thick in most places and can be just great. For years, this has been my personal favorite hatch. My dad and I would always go to the Firehole River in YNP and fish the Baetis for a few days. The fish weren't huge, but it was always a lot of fun. In a lot of places you can bring an 8-wt for streamers and a 4 or 5-wt for dries and keep yourself busy all day long.
Guide Season recap
Getting into the late Summer season we start to see less crowds on the river, big fish, and my favorite small mayfly's tricos, psuedos, and baetis. It has been an absolutely incredible season on Montana's waters with great fishing, great people, and great times. It's easy to let it all fly by in a blur but towards the end of the season when i get a day off it's nice to reflect on what i've seen/learned this year.