I plan to fly fish the Lower Mountain Fork this coming weekend. It will be my first trout fishing trip and my first trip to the LMF so I need some pointers.
I'll be in a tent and I was wondering if there is a "best" campground (and how do I get to it)? Also, I was thinking about Spillway Creek as a beginning fishing spot and any fishing tips for that area would be greatly appreciated (best spots to fish on the creek, etc).
Also, do you typically walk from the campgrounds to the fishing areas or do you drive and park? If you drive, where is a good place to park near Spillway Creek?
I guess I'm really trying to get some play-by-play advice on fishing this area and any tips would really be appreciated.
I do plan to go by Beavers Bend Fly Shop for advice, but I hope to be on the water before they open. For that reason, any advance "hot fly" tips would also be appreciated as well.
I like to camp below the bridge of the Evening Hole there are some good camp sites. I may be there myself camping unless I can hookup with some of my buddies that are staying in a cabin this weekend. Getting soft in my old age.
I hope to be the Friday Morning sometime to fish the One Fly Event on Saturday. Stop by 3 Rivers Fly Shop to get details. You will want to park your truck at the Evening Hole Bridge and fish this area. Pinch your Barbs and no bait. You can park at the Cold Hole and fish Lost Creek. Also, park at the lower foot bridge to fish Spillway Creek.
Flies: Midges, soft hackles, various nymph patterns.
PM me if you need more info. Both fly shops have some great info and fly selections.
There's basically 4 places to park to access spillway creek, and only one has camping areas near it- the parking spaces near where it goes under the park road before connecting with lost creek. Going up the hill from there, there's the main parking area 1/2mi up around the bend on the left. If you keep going further up, there's a small lot 90% of the way to the dam. Finally, you can park in the area by the spillway itself and start fishing near the dam. I would always start at either the 2nd or 3rd place I mentioned.
3 Rivers fly shop up on 259 also will be able to help you out with what you need, and has more hours of operation.
I would generally fish spillway creek with a copper john on bottom and a partridge and peacock about 18" above that. The second bridge up near the dam will generally fishes well, but its tough to get a fly down to them.
Well, I made it through my first trout fishing trip at the LMF river. I started out Saturday morning on Spillway Creek where I met several guys who were fishing the "One Fly" event. I was asked if I wanted to enter, but I had to decline...however, I did make a donation to the Foundation that the event supports. I just don't know enough about the sport to have entered.
Spillway Creek was crowded with fishermen and I only managed to hook one fish (on a Copper John). It broke off on a very high jump. By 10 o'clock, I was ready for a break and on the way out, I spent some time with Rob Woodruff, a fishing guide who was running the tournament. He told me to try the evening hole and to go by Three Rivers Fly shop for the right flies.
I took Rob's advice on both points, stopping by Three Rivers Fly Shop first. The owner sold me several flies that he said were catching fish--March Brown dries and nymphs.
Armed with the March Browns, I went to evening hole which was totally different than Spillway Creek. The water ran much slower, the river was wider, and fish could be seen scurrying about the bottom.
It didn't take long to hook a fish on a March Brown nymph and more followed. Later in the day, fish started rising and I switch to March Brown Dries and caught a couple with this fly as well. I must admit that I missed more fish, particularly on the dries, than I hooked. And on a few occasions, I had fish break off of the 5X tippet--I don't think they were pulling too hard, I was.
At the end of the day Saturday, a couple of guys told me that they had done well with San Juan worms.
Sunday morning was mostly a repeat of Saturday except that I also used the S.J. worms. As promised, they caught fish as well or better than anything.
I met several guys during the trip who all showed a willingness to give advice. I must say that if I hadn't meet some great people, I probably wouldn't have caught nearly as many fish. Their advice on flies to use was invaluable.
In the end, I probably hooked 10-15 fish and managed to land about 10. I didn't exactly kill them, but I thought I did O.K. for a first timer completely on his own.
On a side note, man did it get cold and windy--in the 20's Saturday night and into Sunday morning with gust of probably 20 mph. When I went to slip on my wading boots Sunday morning, I couldn't get my feet in. I took me a while to figure out what the problem was, my boots were frozen solid. Then, on the water, my casting went sour--turns out my line guides where covered with ice (dipping the rod in the water occasionally to melt off the ice fixed this problem).
All in all, I'd say that I had a great trip that was well worth the 7 hour drive.
Sounds like you had a great time. You did very well for a first timer on his own. Like you, I have been amazed at the willingness to help by most of those who enjoy this sport. If it weren't for the help of of a lot of friendly folks I wouldn't catch anywhere as many as I have been able to catch.
Sounds like you had a great time. I bought a couple of March Browns, as I have never used them before. I gave one to my son. I had planned to go back by now, I don't live nearly as far as you do...but I have been busy, and something always comes up, and not good of course. I have been trying to get my boat sanded and painted...and that job is way more than I thought it would be initially. Wow. Anyways, congrats on a great trip to Broken Bow!!!
To all of you on the forum, I also owe you thanks. This journey to Broken Bow began six months ago before I owned a single piece of equipment...as a matter of fact, I didn't even know what equipment I needed.
By reading a lot of posts on this forum and starting a few threads on my own, I was able to learn a lot about what I needed to get started in this sport.
There were threads on good rods for beginners, decent reels that won't break the bank, line, flies, waders, and casting. While I was not totally new to fly fishing, my experience was very limited---and non-existent regarding trout fishing.
Taking advice from the forum let me to buy decent beginner equipment...a Sage Launch 590-4, an Orvis mid arbor reel, etc. Without the forum, there is no telling what kind of junk I would have wasted my money on.
I've been to other forums on other subject matter where the beginner is not treated nearly so kindly. I really appreciate the fact that all the experienced readers of this forum seem excited about helping a new guy take his first baby steps.