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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 06-01-2008, 11:36 PM
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Default Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

I'm headed for Montana in about three weeks. There's a dandy small creek just about 100 yds from the cabin I'm staying in. I've been told that it's full of mostly smaller rainbows. The creek runs very fast at that point, and is vey wadeable.
I've NEVER fished in a stream for trout before. All the fly fishing I've ever done (when I was a kid I fished a lot) was for Bass and Panfish. How in the world do I fish such a stream? Upstream? Downstream? I'm thinking wet flies of some sort because I don't believe I have the finesse to fish dry flies. Do I cast toward undercut banks? Fish the fast water or try to find eddies? I'm going to have a great time no matter what, but if anyone has any advice I'd be truly appreciative.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:38 AM
 
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

I will be in Montana the same time on vacation from England, staying on Rock Creek, near Phillipsburg then moving to Livingston and spending sometime in the park.
Where are you staying?
I would have to see the creek you are talking about, but it can still be possible to fish dry flies and or nymphs.
Ever heard of the New Zealand method? Use a dry fly and hang a nymph away from the bend of the dry.
If i am in your area pm me with your details and i will show you how.
Cheers
Richard
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

I'd get some size 16 copper johns (a fast sinking nymph) and some strike indicators. Tie the nymph on the end of a 9' 4x leader, position the indicator 1.5x times the water depth where you think the fish are. Cast in between the fast water and the eddys, and set the hook if you see that indicator jump, go under, or sideways. If you can, stand off to the side of the area you're fishing so that you can pick up the slack line just by lifting the rod tip as it drifts through the spot.

Fishing dries is actually easier, but I think you'll catch more fish following the above instructions.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

As BigCliff said, you'll likely get more with the nymphs.

If you spot a fish eating on the surface, though, why not give a shot? Even if you don't have a fly to match, tie on a commonly used dry fly instead (Adams, royal wulff, ant, etc.). Cast it upstream of the fish, let it drift to it without drag, and see what happens. It's really neat to have a fish you were specifically targeting hit your fly.

If you can mend a line and more or less place a cast to a spot that lets the fly drift to the fish, I'd say you've got enough finesse to catch a trout on a dry. I'm never going to get mistaken for a trout fishing expert, but have managed to nail fish on top. You should be able to do so, too.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

Fish upstream. The trout watch the water for food to come to them. They will sit just off the fast moving water in slower pools or behind structure. Look for rocky areas or undercut banks. If you're going wet, be sure you get the fly down to them. However, if there is a hatch and the fish are rising, you have to try a dry. There really isn't anything as exciting as a fish darting out of dark waters to snatch a fly off the surface. It's one of those "you'll never go back" experiences.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezypikns View Post
I'm headed for Montana in about three weeks. There's a dandy small creek just about 100 yds from the cabin I'm staying in. I've been told that it's full of mostly smaller rainbows. The creek runs very fast at that point, and is vey wadeable.
I've NEVER fished in a stream for trout before. All the fly fishing I've ever done (when I was a kid I fished a lot) was for Bass and Panfish. How in the world do I fish such a stream? Upstream? Downstream? I'm thinking wet flies of some sort because I don't believe I have the finesse to fish dry flies. Do I cast toward undercut banks? Fish the fast water or try to find eddies? I'm going to have a great time no matter what, but if anyone has any advice I'd be truly appreciative.
There is no reason not to do both. A small terrestrial or attractor with a nymph drop hooked off of it is a great way to nymph while still having the chance to see a beautiful trout rise.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

Find a local flyshop in the area before you go. Most will be happy to sell you some flies and give you a few tips. I too will be fishing out of town in a couple weeks. I have already called a shop and ask about some of the local water that I read about online. I told him that I would be stoping by for some flies. He told me about another river that was fishing great that I hadn't ask about and said he would be glad to give me some directions. In my opinion that's what sets the local shops apart from the big box stores. They can tell you what's working in diff places. They don't want you to come to thier area and strike out never to return.

Good call EL GENERAL, I love to fish a dry with a dropper.

Todd
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

I leaving for Montana in 2 weeks. Will be stopping at Ennis to try the Madison River for the first time. Maybe a little early but we are on our way to Michigan. First time to fish a river for trout. Plan to talk with the local fly shop about what to use.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

While I don't know exactly about what time of the season Montana is in, and whether there are bugs flying around or not, in general, dry flies are as effective, or more effective than nymphs in small streams...depending on the season of course. In the growing season, when bugs are actually flying around is what I mean by dry fly season. In fact, I've fished small streams before where the fish were keyed in to only eating on the surface, and wouldn't take buggers or nymphs. Of course, the opposite is frequently the case too.

It depends on the stream size and type as far as techniques go, but it sounds like you've got a good grasp of the basics. Undercut banks, if present, are excellent areas to cast to, and eddys, even the riffles themselves, are good water to cast to if you can't sight-cast to trout. Always cast from a downstream position. Trout in streams have to face upstream by necessity and are always looking upstream, waiting for food to come to them. So ideally, if you are behind them, it will be harder to spook them.

A lot of small western streams will be composed of a series of deep pools, separated by shallow runs. Focus on the pools if this is the case. If you can get your fly right on the edge of the riffle at the head of the pool and let it dead drift down into the pool, you'll usually get the attention of any fish that might be holding in the pool. In a fast run, look or natural obstructions, like boulders, and cast so your fly floats right past them. Try again several times if at first you don't get a bite.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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Default Re: Trout Idiot Needs a Little Advice

With a view to K.I.S.S.-level advice, a simpler method than fishing dry flies, that is favored by some fly anglers from beginners to experts, is simply to fish soft-hackle wet flies (ask in the fly shops) across-and-downstream, with a floating line and not much drag; especially good in riffles and choppy runs.
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