Spruce moth patterns

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Richard Olmstead, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Member

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    How far up the road is considered the upper river to which you were mentioning good camping right by the river ? I am leaving next friday, and would love to find a spot like what you were describing. Thanks for the info, ill plan on taking it nice and slow on that part of the drive.
     
  2. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Member

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    How far down on the road were you ? Also, any hoppers out ? I am heading over next friday for the weekend. Hoping the fishing is pretty good, but sounds like it will be tough with the warmer weather and shallower water. YOu run into any decent browns at all ? Was hoping to chuck some large hoppers, anything else hitting beside mayflies ? you throw any stimmys out there ?
     
  3. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Michael -

    There are about 5 formal US Forest Service campgrounds and another 15-20 authorized/numbered 'primitive' campsites spread out along Rock Creek in the stretch between I-90 and where the paved road comes in from Philipsburg. If you want to have a picnic table and a campfire, stay in one of the USFS campgrounds (fires are permitted only in the steel fire rings in the formal campgrounds right now). They have shut down the water pumps in all of the campgrounds, except the one lowest on the river, so bring water or plan to boil stream water. Campgrounds are busiest on weekends, but we we arrived on a Saturday and got a prime spot in one of the campgrounds; you won't have a problem getting a spot.

    The river is now primarily a brown trout fishery, due to the impact of whirling disease on the rainbow population. The state would like to reduce brown trout and help restore rainbow/cutthroat populations, so the regulations now permit killing up to 3 browns a day, but C&R only on bows and cutts. You won't have any trouble finding browns, although the farther up river you go, the fewer browns you will encounter.

    Use big flies in smaller, faster runs and in headwater tribs; smaller flies in the smoother runs and at dusk (especially for the larger fish - hint, hint). Be sure to eat dinner early so you can be back out on the water for the last hour of light. All of my best fish came as light was fading.

    Dick
     
  4. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Member

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    Thanks for all the info Richard much appreciated. Super excited for the trip next week, can't come soon enough.
     
  5. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Funny thing about washboards and potholes - the faster you go, the smoother the road seems. I drove down Rock Creek last Wednesday and except for when I got behind a slow poke trying to pick his way through the potholes and washboards, it was no problem (darn male drivers, lol!). It was a weekday though so I am not sure I'd go that fast on a weekend.
     
  6. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Side note: I was camped next to Richard and friends when he was up there. I pulled a small trailer up the road and ended up blowing out the bearings and spindle. To be fair, I think I neglected to grease the bearings, but that road (which closely resembled the moonscape photos you see on NASA websites) didn't help the situation. It was a pain removing the axle and then driving it into Missoula for repairs which ended up being a replacement axle, spindles, bearings, etc.

    I too was surprised by the absence of spruce moths. A few years ago it was a huge hatch. This year, no big deal.

    I caught fish on a variety of patterns, but the most successful one was just a #16 Deer Hair Caddis pattern. But, I didn't fish 'til dark like my neighbors. I opted for lingering in the evening air with a nice micro brewed beer.

    Trapper
     
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  7. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Trapper, it was a pleasure meeting you and Jim up there. I hope we run into each other again sometime.

    You were exactly a week too early with respect to your trailer problems, although as you pointed out, they were probably not the fault of the road. When we arrived, the same day you did, the road was in the worst shape I'd ever seen it. When we were leaving, a day or two after you, we were held up by the road grader working the section between the Dalles and Harrys Flat.

    As for the evenings, I caught my best fish each day in the last 30 minutes of light each evening, and still had time for a microbrew around the campfire!

    Dick
     
  8. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Member

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    Thanks for all the info, looking forward to the trip, just wish i had more time. Plans changed and now i only get about a day and half of fishing...so more driving then fishing it appears, but a much needed break from the office.
     
  9. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Dick -

    It was good meeting you and your friends. I think Jim wanted to take your dog home with him.

    We saw the grader as we drove out also, but he was just getting going. I always wondered how long that road stayed smooth after it was graded. I guess it depends on how much rain and traffic it gets. It's been dry and hot since then here at my place.

    Trapper
     
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  10. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Member

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    Had a great stay at Harry's Flat. Didn't get a water front campsite but that was fine as we found the water up above to be a little better, but we also drove down to the area by Dalles that had the large rocks and nice pools. Overall caught tons of fish and had a great time but I didn't land 1 Brown Trout and I snapped my Sage ONE rod...thank you Warranty.

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Nice Sized and Colored Rainbow I pulled on a Yellow Stimmy with Legs

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    Brooke on a Hopper by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Brooke on a Hopper

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Cutt I got an Yellow Humpy

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Made Friends with a Mule

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Some of our other friends we made on the trip..Big Horns

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Beautiful Rock Creek River

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Another nice Cutt I found

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    Same Brooke from earlier

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    Untitled by MooSE855, on Flickr

    And a quick way to put a wrinkle in a great trip...luckily I have a spare and a warranty...
     
  11. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    There are bull trout on The Creek and some of the smaller ones will take a dry fly. There are brookies, but they are not the dominate species. So when someone says they caught a brookie on The Creek, most assume it was an immature bull.

    The two key characteristics I look for are black marks on the dorsal and wavy worm marks on the top of the back means it's a brookie. Bull trout have a slightly forked tail.

    In the photo you can't see the dorsal or the tail, but the wavy worm marks are apparent.

    Trapper