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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Floated from Irene to Big Horn yesterday, about 10:30 to 8:45. Flow was very nice, day was beautiful, sunny, virtually no wind, hot but not too.

Hatches were slow for the most part, basically just some very sparse and sporadic PMDs all day, and not much caddis, despite the sunshine. I have the feeling we would have seen more bugs in the canyon.

But we still enjoyed pretty decent fishing. I landed 12-15 fish, not counting the total dinks, 5-6 of them pretty decent, including a nice westslope. I lost a couple of really good fish, and landed a 20" whitefish. Nymphing, I think I snagged a chinook, or maybe a sturgeon; it surged powerfully and steadily into the teeth of a pretty heavy current until the hook puled free.

I got a couple fish on a little brassy soft hackle, but the rest came to dries, almost all to a little PMD emerger. At one point it pulled 5 pretty nice little fish out of one hole, the lack of any sustained rise notwithstanding. The fish seemed to like the little fly, coming at it with confident, agressive takes, apparently quite shocked to feel the sting of the hook.

Below Ringer, in the early evening, we saw a lot more bugs around, various caddis, big yellow mays, some more PMDs, and clouds of midges. Nothing was really coming off, but we did start finding rising fish, including a few pods that we worked over pretty hard and mangaged to drag a few out of. The fish were a little bit tough, and sometimes in tough spots to reach, but I think we aquitted ourselves. I'm not sure we ever actually figured out what they were taking (maybe the midges), but small emerger/cripples seemed to work passably well when we could cover a fish. The rockgarden on the far bank above Big Horn provided some very pretty and challenging fishing, and a few nice rainbows, to end the day on.

We saw nobody all day, save 3 or 4 bank anglers. Two college kids were fishing the island eddy above Big Horn, one of them wet-wading in just his swimming trunks, up to his navel in the big eddy at the bottom of the island. He was doing pretty good, until at one point a fish hung him up on the bottom. Since he was practically naked, I assumed it was his only fly. I must have been right. He proceeded to wade out to his shoulders, feeling down his taut leader, until holding his rod above his head he plunged under the water, completely submerged save for his fist holding the bowed rod, a gesture of defiance and determination.

He emerged beaming and laughing, water running off his face, the tiny fly pinched firmly between his thumb and finger. He blew on the fly, rubbed the water out of his hair, and went back to fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RAY'S FABULICIOUS PMD:

Hook: TMC 2487 #14
Thread: bright yellow 6/0 Unithtread
Shuck: Brown Zelon
Abdomen: Light brown goose biot
Wing/post: Light elk hair
Thorax: tying thread
Hackle: barred ginger rooster cape (parachute style)
Head: Tying thread

(When fishing, grease only the wing and hackle; wet and mud the abdomen and shuck.)
 
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