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Old 12-15-2011, 04:54 PM
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o mykiss is a jewel in the rougho mykiss is a jewel in the rougho mykiss is a jewel in the rougho mykiss is a jewel in the rough
Default the midges were out!!

i stepped outside and it was kinda warm (felt like mid 30s). a five minute drive and i was at the banks of the bitterroot river. i grabbed my 4 weight and hurried to a nice slow spot where i hoped there'd be some action on the surface because i've learned through the years that:

wintertime + above freezing temps = midge hatch (most of the time)...

sure enough there were ripples all over, albeit small ones. but i didn't care. i knew exactly what they were feeding on. and i also knew that small ripples meant one thing: the big sky bonefish aka mountain whitefish.

connected 3 feet of 6x tippet to my 5x leader. tied on a size 18 griffith's gnat and started casting.....

they were hitting my fly like crazy but i just couldn't set the hook....

i kept switching out my flies and casting and i hooked two whitefish after a lot of casts....:

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Click the image to open in full size.


i heard a loud KERPLOOP! and turned just in time to see the huge ripples of a big riser. i reeled in my line and switched my wet fly for a dry one...then i waited.... KERPLOOP! same spot. i laid my fly three feet in front of it's feeding lane and watched closely....KERPLOOP! and the fight was on. it wasn't as big as i though it'd be... probably 14 inches. i let her go and casted a bunch more times and had a few more takes but i couldn't set the hook. if those whitefish's mouths were just a little bigger.... or if only i had a smaller griffith's gnat... size 24 would have been perfect!
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: the midges were out!!

Nice fish! Thanks for sharing; you've wetted my appetite for our winter season.

There's just something special about landing a 14" fish on a size 20+ midge. We get midge hatches here in Minnesota in the winter. Anytime the sun shines on our spring creeks, even if its 0 degrees out, the midges will come off at noon and the trout will be lazily swirling to get them.

My favorite pattern is a simple emerger (small brass bead head, bit of black dubbing for body) fished in the film. It is one of my favorite techniques. I can't wait for our winter opener, January 1st!
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