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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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.
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.

Click the image to open in full size.

Beautiful day, we actually got some cloud cover.

Click the image to open in full size.

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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Old 08-15-2011, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Looks like fun!
I have only done 2 floats this year on the N. Platte also due to high water levels. Hopefully can do one this week sometime. Last year i did 17 floats. I got some catching up to do.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Nice to see all around the state.

Looks likes the Yellowstone is ready now too.. have to head over there next week
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Dean

Congrats on getting out!! Every where is late this year it seems. Good report and thanks for the pics!!
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Dean: Congrats on getting out and having a great float! I also understand we haven't been out much either with all the high water we have had this year.

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Old 08-15-2011, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Tough year all around for us here in the west. Beautiful river, hope to fish it some day. Added to the bucket list.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Thanks for reading along, gentlemen.

I've another trip planned for the first week of September, I anticipate things will really get rocking here soon. The hopper "hatch" hasn't really gotten hot yet, and maybe it won't but maybe it will! It was 48 degrees this morning at 8 a.m. -- such a mild August I can't believe it.

---------- Post added at 09:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhayden View Post
Nice to see all around the state.

Looks likes the Yellowstone is ready now too.. have to head over there next week
That's good to hear, Dave. All I've heard is that has been pretty ugly. I'm going to be at Chico for a conference the last week of September...I certainly hope I can slip away for a couple hours one of those days.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Dean

The hoppers here are just now showing, should be pretty good in another week or two. Saturday, I did a float with Trout Creek Flies on the Green River below Flaming Gorge, we nymphed in the am and threw hoppers in the afternoon, got a few takes on the hopper but nothing like the nymphs in the am.

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Old 08-16-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Larry, the hoppers are around...my yard. I've been seeing some nice big ones so I am holding out hope. We fished Chernobyls in the afternoon on Saturday and we had fish looking up. No big charges, not yet.

If you guys head N to fish, the Clark Fork is great fall option - easy floats, streamers, hoppers and tricos - a little of something for everyone. O yeah, and nice big rocket rainbows.

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Old 08-16-2011, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: First float of the year

Very good report and picsThis river looks great! Thanks for sharing.
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