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Old 08-14-2011, 12:54 PM
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Default First float of the year

Wow, it seems like August 13 is pretty late for the first float-fish trip of the year. That's because it is. The river levels here are generally 3 weeks late, the Clark Fork is flowing at July 20 flows. Which is perfect. So I headed West of town with a couple friends, we left early to beat the afternoon heat and wind, both can be brutal on the lower Clark Fork.

We got to Forest Grove by 7:30am. It was actually chilly, about 51 degrees! No sun on the water yet.

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The PMD hatch was late, I picked up a nice little cuttbow on a small streamer. Then decided to switch to a PMD combo, parachute with a little soft hackle emerger I came up with the night before - because this is why we love the Clark Fork...big rainbows that love to rise to dry flies.

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I saw this rainbow rise as we were just on it, got my fly over it and he took the dropper. Nice fish (bad pic), pushing 17-18".

At the mouth of Trout Creek the fish were stacked up. My buddy picked up another nice bow and missed/lost a couple more.

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Beautiful day, we actually got some cloud cover.

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All in all it was great day out. We didn't see any pods of big risers that make the Clark Fork famous (around here). But we picked up fish at slow pace all day.

The last part of this section is a big, featureless lake-like stretch. This is where the sun and upstream wind can really beat you down at the end of a long day. The light breeze was pleasant and we could have a cold beer and drift to the take out.

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