Stalking Trophies

June 13, 2016

Stalking Trophies

    In the trout world there are very few greater feelings than head hunting, and landing a trophy brown trout on a dry fly. Rivers such as the Henrys Fork, Missouri river below craig, and the various spring creeks that flow around the west provide the quintessential environment for this method of fishing. That being said, for the angler willing to take a step back, observe their surroundings, and ignore the frequent rises of smaller fish, those next level fish can be targeted right here in Bozeman. The Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone all provide ample opprotunities to stick big browns on dry flies. 

    On a recent trip to a river around bozeman I watched the river as my car windsheild got peppered by the surplus of caddis and sedges that surrounded the bushes near the banks and bounced gently off the edges of the river. As I drove over a small tributary stream, I noticed the peppering stopped and all of a sudden I was surrounded by a swarm of small mayflies dancing up and down in the sky. As I rigged my rod, I couldn't help but notice a small pod of risers splashing around after the elusive caddis skating around near the bank.  As the sun set behind the mountains, the evening stayed warm and the wind died down. Immediately I looked to the sky. About 100 feet up there was the unmistakeable rise and fall of thousands of tiny spinners. I went straight to my car and grabbed my box of spinners. I rushed back to the river and began watching. I kept an eye on the water and noticed the spent spinners starting to fall. In about ten minutes the bugs grew in numbers on the water from a bug every 20 feet to a bug every 6 inches in the current lanes. I watched as small fish gorged themselves on the helpless lifeless bugs. As I walked I covered 2 miles of river, scoping out the likely big brown holding water. Finally, I heard the faint snap of a large trout's mouth closing on a bug. I stoped and scanned the river and eventually noticed the kyped up snout of a large brown sipping bugs and barely causing a surface disturbance in a small microseam a few feet of the bank. I watched the fish, and estimated his timing to be a feed about every 45 seconds. I snuck up and layed the small spinner pattern in his lane and his big nose came up and inhaled the small bug. After a few minutes, the brown trout lay in the net. I removed the fly and watched the fish slink back into the shadows to rise another day. Two miles, one cast, and one fish made for a great evening. There is no greater feeling than putting in the patience in pursuit of trout and having it pay off!

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