The Yellowstone, the Park, the upper Madison... all have plenty of big bugs flying about at present. Whether it was the Salmon fly, currently the golden stones or the soon to be epic hoppers.."Chubby dropper" rigs get your rod bent!
Our local rivers are on fire presently! Fishing has been exceptional whether you are chasing small brookies, native cutthroat or big rainbows and browns. Chubby and water walkers have been my go to flies..I love seeing these big flies get eaten! Throwing your flies against the bank and every likely looking pocket has been great fun. The casting has almost been as fun as the catching but I've had some spectacular takes too!
However, I've noticed on occasion I've actually been a bit "undergunned" - with my choice of rod weight - particularly if out of a boat.
I usually fish with a 9ft 5wt as my everything rod. But, being able to quickly position a big fly (or Big fly and dropper rig!) has required a bit more rod to be effective. You don't want to be doing multiple false casts from a boat as you're missing good water, and if there is any wind you want the back bone and finesse to be able to launch your bugs into the right zones. Missing a lie, by even 6 inches, can leave you without the eats you've worked for. This is 6 weight territory, particularly out of the boat! To this end I'm now the proud owner of the Winston Air 9ft 6 weight. Incredibly light and responsive - with the backbone to throw big fly rigs and aerial mends - its my new favourite stick. Apart from being made here in Montana - everything about a Winston is quality, craftsmanship and fishy factor.
Often we get asked "what is an all round rod for Montana?". A rod- 9 foot for a 6 weight line, paired with a good reel and floating line will do whatever you need most of the time.
Of course when you start fishing small streams ... or want to fish one of our many lakes... or wish to throw big articulated streamers... or want to learn tightline nymphing, ask me again.... having a quiver of rods which best cast the flies you are using or give the greatest pleasure when you are doing what you love is only part of why we fish!
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