Carol Northcut | Wednesday, 3 May 2023

On Thursday I talked with the young assistant manager at our local fly shop, telling him about our adventures getting skunked. I asked, “Is it something we’re doing or where we’re going?” He very tactfully, said “Probably a little of both.” Turns out we were fishing too far upstream in both instances. He also suggested using different flies. While I really don’t think that the selection of flies typically matters that much, I bought a couple that he suggested. He and I planned to go fish this week, but instead the unseasonably warm temperatures brought run-off in full force. In fact, Missoula has flood warnings posted due to the high temperatures (today it’s 87 F) with expected rain later in the week. It should cool down to the 60’s, which will slow run-off a bit.

Steve and I often fished during run off on our home waters in Colorado and were quite successful, but we knew the waterswell. We haven’t bothered here yet. Instead, we’ve been working hard on firewood and cleaning up the trees and branches that came down during the November 2 storm that we couldn’t access until the snow was gone. There also are a lot of trees and branches that have been on the forest floor for years that we’re slowly trying to clean up to reduce fire hazard. We don’t want it to look like a park, but it also needs not to be a jungle.

On Saturday, we took a break from chores and scoped out a trail for mountain biking and then the conditions in a nearby lake and the creeks flowing in and out of it (one each). The creek flowing in is in full run-off, while the creek flowing out is quite fishable, but we didn’t have our gear. The lake itself is the deepest natural lake in Montana at 445 feet, with very steep drop-offs all the way around except the north end where campers and boaters hang out. Although is not known for good fishing, it does contain small cutthroat, rainbows, brookies and whitefish. It supposedly also has some pike, lake trout and perch. Because of the drop-offs, fishing is best done from a boat and a full-sink line.

The CI candidate I’m working with told me today that he duct-taped his wrist to his rod to see just how much he was over-using his wrist, getting the common windshield wiper effect on the back cast. Wow. That’s extreme, especially since I’d given him a pool-noodle wedge to use, which is more instructional because one has to neither crush it nor drop it. It is an external cue. Taping the wrist to the rod does nothing to train the muscles. So, I reminded him that the wrist IS used in casting, and that we’re just trying to tame it so that it’s under his controlbefore incorporating it into the cast. I’ll talk with him about that in person this week.