Knocking the Dust Off

March 30, 2011

Knocking the Dust Off

I've been out quite a bit this year already and most of it has been to fine tune my bobber watching skills... Although there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that during the winter and early spring months that nymph fishing is the most productive way to catch fish, it can also be one of the most mind numbing activities after a couple of months of doing nothing else. From midges, to worms, to eggs, crayfish, stoneflies, caddis, mayflies, I don't care what it is, it all looks the same to me regardless of what it looks like to the fish. All I see is a big pink, orange or chartreuse indicator floating on the surface! 


Now I won't complain about catching fish, I love putting fish in the hand, even when it's freezing cold out - something in the soul lets you feel ok about freezing cold hands that smell of fish. But by about the end of March every year, I'm really ready to do something different, and this year is no different, after a couple of great months of nymphing it was time to do something different.

So the other week when we headed over to the Beaverhead to do a little fishing, I decided enough was enough and put the nymphing stick away after 80\" plus worth of fish to hand (funny how that makes it easier to try something more \"out of the box\") and picked up my streamer rod and began to work out the streamer fishing kinks that come from nymphing for too long.

So instead of drooling while staring down the pink dot all day, I was treated to a few big fish chowing down on a big black leech slowly stripped through all of my favorite little streamer spots... That alone would have made it all worth the trip, but I decided after a half dozen fish to hand that I would try something even a little stranger, skate some mice...

Now skating/stripping mice is not a new concept by any stretch, and there's a lot of Alaska guys that would probably scoff at my meager success, but hey for a guy fishing mid March in Montana, I'll take a few fish looking at something that I'm swinging and stripping on the surface that isn't pink and circular and really reminds me of a bobber! Mice fishing was awesome, and after some inspiration from a few nuts who come through the shop (nuts is an affectionate term reserved for other people as crazy about meat fishing for brown trout as I am) I decided it was time to give it a go.

Be warned, what followed isn't going to go down in the annals of fishing lore as anything spectacular, after all the day ended with no mice planted firmly in any trout’s faces. But the day did end with me grinning from ear to ear like a freshly lobotomized crazed idiot who had just seen the future and it was good. After 1-2 hours of skating mice around on every likely spot, I got my first big whack in a deep long slow pool off right off of a solid wood lined bank.

That was all it took and I beat the water to a froth for the remaining hours of the day in search of more of these elusive mice eaters. I found 3 more, but none of them were able to swallow all 4 inches of hairy undulating meat. Bummer. But I'll put that one in the win column for sure. March, 4 mice chasers, one great big success of not staring at an indicator all day long...

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