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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rather than debate the value of drop shot nymphing and if it is legal or not, I thought I'd go fishing. I like stillwater fishing, I like fishing deep, I like fishing naked, I like indicator fishing and I really like stripping (okay, no pervs: naked is vertical presentation of the fly and stripping, well, cast and strip).

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On the way to the lake I spotted a doe and fawn, they were all ears.

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A little further down the road I saw two small bucks, both in velvet but I missed the chance to get a photograph. Instead I saw this nice buck who decided to head for the next county when I stopped.

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The launch is pretty steep. I used to try and carry my pram up and down the short (but steep) hill. I'm too old to carry it or maybe just too weak so I found a trailer. Easy, just back it down till the stern starts to float, jump out, undo the straps and launch the big pram. I'm a shoal man.

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A perfect chironomid chop at my "spot", I'm anchored up in 25 + feet of water right in the "bucket". I rigged up my type-7 full sink on one rod and knotted two leeches onto it (my version of a Rickards seal bugger and a purple simi seal leech, both size 8). Onto the other rod, my 11 foot switch rod, I slipped on an Iracator (big quick release indicator) to the 30 foot leader and knotted on a big halfback and a small lightning bug. Time for game on!

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I love this lake, love the rock formations. The starkness of the coulee, the heat, the sky, the clouds. Deer flies suck but a fly swatter in the boat helps keep them dead.

Fishing: It involved catching. Quite a lot of catching - and at one point I struggled with the "2-p0le" thing. Fighting one fish on the cast and stripped double leech rig only to see my indicator not only "twitch" but zing under water. That happened several times.

I couldn't beat @Irafly and his record of the smallest fish ever landed in this lake, I will leave that record for him. I did manage two fish just over 22 inches but most were in the 17-inch to 20 inch range. For those of you who don't think cutthroat trout in stillwaters are worth the effort, GREAT! Glad you feel that way and don't bother, more room for me. For those of you who don't like to fish "deep", good! No offense intended.

By far the best fly was the seal bugger fished to a count down of 40 and stripped in moderately fast. I broke off the halfback and lightning bug combo so I tied on a skinny size 17 rusty nail on the iracator rig and it got busy even though I didn't see a single chironomid anywhere.

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It seems like the wind always shifts about noon to blow against you on the row back to the launch. This day, no different and about noon the shift happened and it got pretty windy. With 22 fish to the net and another larger number of fish lost or missed, I decided to go home. My roof needs some attention. Maybe I should stay home once in awhile and work around the house?
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Gotta love bucks in velvet.

· Registered
7,507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's cool Buzzy. I always think of lakes being too warm for trout fishing by July, except the higher elevation alpine lakes. I guess I think wrong sometimes.
This lake gets quite deep, thermoclines (we believe) keep the fish healthy in cooler, well oxygenated water. Probably 25 years ago we pulled into the parking lot to begin wadering up. It was over 100 degrees without a heat index to refer to; it was the neoprene wader era (25 years ago, eh?). It was just too hot to put the waders on. I came up with the idea of tubing and kicking around in our shorts (we towed our tubes out into the lake behind an old Livingston). Off we go, lots of cold ones in the cooler, and anchor up the Livingston. Pretty soon we find this really cold water upwelling from what we thought was (and maybe "is") a spring. After a bit we also figured out the trout loved this spot and it is relatively deep. Side benefit to shorts and no waders: no shore breaks to pee. Anyway, this is a convoluted attempt to say I think it is perfectly safe to fish this time of year without harm to the Lahontans.

Have fun in Montana - enjoy fishing with your fly rods!
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