Trip Report Trip Report - River Section #8

I estimate that I have at least a dozen river sections within two hours of Bozeman where there is an extremely high probability that I can fish (and catch) for most if not all of the morning without seeing another angler. I do occasionally encounter other anglers late in the morning, but by that time I’ve done my damage.

Today was no exception. I left the house at 5AM and headed for River Section #8 (a random designation with no relevance to anything except its just one of those places I regularly visit). Indeed there was no one at the parking spot and it didn’t appear that the river had seen much activity at all. Still recovering from runoff, river section #8 was still a bit tinged but I would estimate at least 2’ of visibility. I was expecting hatches to start by 10AM but was surprised to find rising fish even at dawn. The culprits were large midges. The rises made for good targets for the big streamer. As I worked by way up river in the early dawn, fish were eager to take the big streamer. This is a predominately rainbow section with bows outnumbering brown about 10:1. But there are big browns in river section #8 usually well tucked away in deep undercut banks.
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As I worked my way upriver, the eagles and owls that frequent the river made their presence known. The resident Barred Owls usually scare the crap out of you as they take wing from the bank side willows right in front of you. Lots of deer here as well, both whites and mules are chowing down along the bank side willows and grass. There was even a cheering section of goats along one stretch of the stream.
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By 8:30AM PMDs started coming off and by 9AM there were enough of them to start bringing fish to the surface. The other clue was the sudden appearance of hordes of swallows feasting on the mayflies. I am not a dry fly kinda guy but did manage to land a few on the 4 weight with some newly tied EHC (so much for exact imitation). The big streamers are effective at nailing fish in deep riffle buckets and bank side undercuts, but a small #10 olive bugger is most effective swinging through pods of rising trout. Its the difference between chips and dip and a shrimp cocktail.
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As the day wore on, I wore out a lot of fish. I had waded about three miles upstream through 100s of fish. But no matter what river sections I am fishing (even river section #8) I eventually run out of steam. At 11:30 I headed back to the vehicle satiated with having landed a bounty of trout.
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If you ever want to fish River Section #8, remember to take along a small woolly bugger as it will make up for whatever faults you have in fly selection or presentation.
 
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MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Great report Mike. Feels like I could be right there with you. You're a morning man after my own heart!
 

Mike.Cline

Bozeman, Montana
You're a morning man after my own heart!
Indeed I am:
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Indeed I am:
Cut from the same cloth. Except I'm the guy who falls asleep by 8PM and wakes up at 2AM ready to go, no wakeup call needed. I'd be out today touching up a few before the weekend crowds but it is my wife's last day of the school year so I made her a nice breakfast. Got to keep in her good graces, she puts up with me.
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Supporter
I too am an early riser - be up by 1 to 2 AM tomorrow to be out the door by 4 (gotta give myself some time for cups of and dailies). I'm up by 4:30 AM every day, no alarm needed, to start my workday or 5:00 (luckily, work from home).

Love this time of year when it's light by 5 AM, even better up north, you would not (did not) hear me complain with 3 AM sunshine - I did spend a couple of summers above the arctic circle, no darkness can be a little disorienting - the Inuit kids would be out playing at 2 in the morning.

cheers
 

Mike.Cline

Bozeman, Montana
Love this time of year when it's light by 5 AM, even better up north, you would not (did not) hear me complain with 3 AM sunshine - I did spend a couple of summers above the arctic circle, no darkness can be a little disorienting - the Inuit kids would be out playing at 2 in the morning.
I too got to experience the midnight sun. I was stationed in Anchorage for several years back in the 1970s. I had a temporary duty trip to Eielson AFB in Fairbanks for a couple of weeks in June one year. I drug my 16’ Grumman Sport Canoe and 10hp Merc with me. I’d work a normal 8 hour day, jump in the truck with the canoe and head for either the Chena or Salcha rivers and fish for Grayling until about 3AM. Got back to the billet about 4AM and managed a few hours sleep. Did that for two weeks. Needless to say I was exhausted on the trip back to Anchorage. Even in Anchorage, I’d fly out to local rivers, camp and fish for 24+hours without sleep in July. At times you found yourself collapsing in your sleeping bag/tent and sleeping for 12 hours straight, regardless of the actual time of day.
 
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