Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report — June 21, 2018

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report — June 21, 2018

It’s been an absolute soaker across Yellowstone Country this week. Thunderstorms, heavy rain, and wind have dominated our weather. Streamflows across the region have risen, but we’ve seen some great June fishing in these scuzzy conditions.

Snowpack readings at our Snotel sites for the Madison, Firehole, and Henry’s Fork watersheds have all dropped to, or are reading nearly zero. The high country in Yellowstone Park remains snowy, and we expect to see runoff conditions on rivers like the Yellowstone, Lamar, and Slough Creek for at least a couple more weeks.

Temps have been in the 50’s with heavy rain all week, but the upcoming forecast looks like Summer will make its second coming for the season early next week with sunny skies and daytime highs back up to the 70’s.

Read on to see our take on this week’s fishing, and check out the links below to stay current on area forecasts and flows.  Stay tuned as we report each week on hatches, flows, weather, and more. For the most up to date info stop by the shop, give us a call, or drop us a line.


Henry’s Fork

The Railroad Ranch opened last weekend, and as anticipated, the gray skies and cool temps brought out great emergences of mayflies. PMD’s, Baetis, and Green Drakes have been hatching in good numbers. Hatching activity has been late in the afternoon on these cold days, but with warmer weather on the way, we should expect to see a more typical routine of PMD’s and Green Drakes from late morning to early afternoon, and Caddis in the evening.

Flows out of Island Park have jumped up to nearly 1400 cfs as a result of all this moisture. Island Park Reservoir is currently just over capacity, and discharge could possibly remain high into the upcoming weekend if we see more rain.

The lower river fished well this week. Green Drakes, Flavs, PMD’s, and Baetis have been thick on these rainy afternoons. As conditions improve we’re excited to see strong spinner falls of Flavs and Grey Drakes on warmer, sunny mornings and evenings.

Yellowstone National Park

Scuzzy weather brought out thick emergences of PMD’s and Baetis mayflies on the Firehole, Madison, and Gibbon Rivers this week as well. The heavy rains bumped flows up to nearly 900 cfs on the Firehole, but fish continued to rise. Water levels are stabilizing now, and have almost fallen back to where they were before all this rain. The billion or so PMD’s that have hatched over the last few days are patiently waiting for an opportunity to form a mating flight. So, be on the lookout for dense spinner falls on the first calm, warm morning or evening in the coming days.

As things dry out and warm back up in the coming week look for two new rivers to start fishing well in the park, the Gallatin and the Gardner. Both of these fun rivers were beginning to look good before the wet weather, and both should provide some consistent nymph fishing, as well as isolated dry fly opportunities with Caddis and PMD’s.

Madison River

Big flows are back on the Fifty Mile Riffle. Due to this week’s heavy rains, and the fact that the reservoir is at full capacity,  Northwest Energy has raised the release from Hebgen, and plans to continue raising it to 2900cfs.

Interestingly, these big flows are relatively clear compared to what we are used to seeing with run off. The Carrot Basin Snotel site is currently reading zero, and most of the Madison tributaries like Cabin Creek, Beaver Creek, and the West Fork are clearing quickly.

Salmonfly nymphs are migrating to the banks in the lower valley near Ennis. As conditions warm up over the next week we could see the first of these big bugs on a big, relatively clear river…could be fun!

Missouri River

Flows are up here as well, though not drastically. After seeing almost 20k cfs a few short weeks ago, a 2,000 cfs bump to 14k doesn’t seem like much.

What is impressive however, is the biblical bump that the Dearborn had this week. On Saturday the river was at 300 cfs. On Tuesday it peaked just shy of 10,000 cfs! That’s an amazing amount of water thanks to what some are suggesting may have been as much as 8 inches of rain in the headwaters over a 72 hour period.

Things should start to dry out and get back to normal on the MO this week. Hopefully flows will continue their downward trend towards single digits and consistent dry fly fishing levels. In the meantime, nymphs are keeping rods bent and nets full.

Stay Tuned!

Hebgen Lake

The wild weather, storm, wind, and rapidly fluctuating barometer have been really toying with the emotions of our local stillwater focused anglers.  The stillwater hunt can be as much mental as it is physical at times.  Tiny windows of opportunity have been producing some action, but consistency has not been happening this past week.  Look for that to improve is weather and water level stabilizes.

There are some early season Callibaetis showing here and there, along with chironomids.  Damsel’s aren’t popping in big numbers yet either.  Attractor flies fished subsurface in likely areas will probably be your best bet.  With the lake at full pool and the weeds not fully developed yet, consider topographic features to be as or more important than weed edges right now, and don’t be afraid to move around and cover water until you find what you are looking for.


 

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report — June 14, 2018

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report — June 14, 2018

It’s an exciting time of the season to be a fly angler here in Yellowstone Country. With river conditions shaping up, the weather forecast looking great for fishing, and the Railroad Ranch opening this weekend, it’s sure to be an excellent week.

Snowpack levels across the area have fallen again this week with almost negligible amounts remaining at local Snotel sites. Black Bear, which is an indicator for both the Fire Hole and Henry’s Fork headwaters, is the only exception, and still shows roughly 20 inches of snow on the ground. This high elevation snow will continue to melt off slowly over the next few weeks, and should have no immediate impact on water clarity.

We’ve seen some below average temps this past week across Yellowstone Country, and more of the same is in the forecast. Cool, wet conditions with daytime highs in the 50’s – 60’s, and rain are predicted through the weekend and into next week.

If you find this news of scuzzy weather disappointing, then you most likely have never stood in the middle of the Ranch on the Henry’s Fork, or below Biscuit Basin on the Firehole during a gray, cool June afternoon amidst millions of emerging mayflies, and gobs of rising trout. Fear not, fair weather fishing friends! This is the combination of variables that we dream about for June fishing. Pack your Gore-Tex, and a puffy layer. Fill the Stanley with coffee. And, make sure your dry fly arsenal is well stocked. It’s going to be a fun week.

Read on to see our take on this week’s fishing, and check out the links below to stay current on area forecasts, flows, and snow pack.  Stay tuned as we report each week on hatches, flows, weather, and more. For the most up to date info stop by the shop, give us a call, or drop us a line.

Carrot Basin Snotel (Madison River drainage)
Black Bear Snotel (this is the closest station to the headwaters of the Firehole and a good general indication of snow pack in that area. This is also one of the four indicators of snow pack and water supply for the upper Henry’s Fork)

Henry’s Fork

Friday June 15 is the opening day of fishing for the Railroad Ranch, and it’s like Christmas Day on the Henry’s Fork. The rest of the river has been open and fishing well for weeks. All the while, those big, beautiful rainbows in the Ranch have been quietly feeding in solitude, bulking up in preparation for another season of testing anglers skills at the highest level.

Water and weather conditions could not be more ideal this weekend for the Ranch. Flows out of Island Park are around 700 cfs, and will remain steady through the weekend. Weather in Last Chance will be cool and wet with showers and highs in the 60’s.

Expect to see good emergences of PMD and Baetis mayflies with these conditions from late morning through the afternoon in the Ranch. Will the Green Drakes show? You’ll have to go to know.

The lower river below Ashton continues to fish well. Flows below Ashton bumped slightly this week, but have fallen again, and are currently around 1700cfs. The Fall River has fallen quite a bit in the last few days, and is now around 1400cfs. It’s a smorgasbord down here these days with Salmonflies, Golden Stones, Caddis, PMD’s, Green Drakes, Gray Drakes, and Flavs all playing a part in the fishing at different times in different locals. Cool, wet weather will benefit mayfly activity and the fishing here as well.

The Ranch opener also coincides with Henry’s Fork Days, the annual celebration and fundraiser for all things Henry’s Fork put on by the Henry’s Fork Foundation. Here’s a link to the foundation website. https://henrysfork.org You’ll find more info about the event, as well as a schedule, and of course, ways to show your support. We can’t stress enough how important the Henry’s Fork Foundation is to the health of this fishery, and how vital their role is in managing it successfully. So, if you haven’t already, join the foundation, and help them protect this world-class fishery.

Yellowstone National Park

The best fishing and water conditions continue to be in the Firehole, Madison, and Gibbon Rivers in the Park. Runoff is still a factor for much of the Park waters, but the warmer, geyser-influenced fisheries near West Yellowstone are in prime condition. Flows on the Firehole are currently perfect at around 400 cfs, and clarity is ideal with a slight tea-stained tannic brown that is typical here.

You can expect to see good emergences of PMD’s and Baetis mayflies throughout this system on cool, wet days. The cooler the weather, the later the hatch. Often times, you can fish a stellar emergence of PMD’s on the Firehole, and as it’s wrapping up, move downstream to the Madison to find the same hatch occurring later in the day.

Salmonflies can still be found in isolated sections of highly-oxygenated, fast moving water throughout this system. If the sun peaks out, and temps warm, look for the last big stoneflies of the season in these waters to make an appearance.

Madison River

Flows have dropped significantly on the Madison this week, and clarity has improved. Overall, water conditions are great for mid-June. Flows are around 1000cfs below Hebgen, and 1400cfs at Kirby. There are less than 10 inches of snow left on the ground in Carrot Basin. The remaining snowpack in the Madison watershed will have a nominal impact on streamflows and clarity from here on.

Nymphing remains the main game here, and it’s been a good one. Both the walk-wade, and float sections are fishing well. The dry fly game is slowly starting with some Caddis and PMD’s in isolated areas, but consistent action is still a week or so out. As is usually the case with the Madison, when the real bug activity starts here, it pops and fish feed hard on the surface. Stay tuned for good things to come from the Madison in the next few weeks.

Missouri River

You guessed it, flows are down here as well. Below Holter, we’re seeing around 12,000cfs. That’s still a lot of water, but it’s getting closer to 10,000cfs, and that’s getting closer to consistent dry fly fishing flows. Some PMD’s and Caddis are around. Fish are rising in a few places, but you need to have the encyclopedic knowledge of someone who has devoted most of their adult life to learning this river to find them consistently. Someone like Greg Falls for instance, BSA’s own “Mr. Miyagi of the Missouri”, might find some rising fish right now. Otherwise, consistent nymph fishing is bringing fish to the net on a daily basis. The next few weeks will get exciting here as well. Stay tuned as this turns into one of the best dry fly fisheries in the world by the end of the month.

Hebgen Lake

The majority of the fish we were finding up and on the bite before the cold snap responded to the rapid weather change by dropping down deep and going off the bite for a bit.  With stabilizing weather conditions, look for happiness to return to both the fish, and the anglers that pursue them.  Match chironomid emergences if you see rising fish, and remember, if you see emerging chironomids or concentrations of shucks on the water, there are probably big numbers of greedy trout feeding subsurface as well.  During non-hatch times don’t be shy about stripping a Seal Bugger, Stillwater Nymph, X-mas Tree Bugger, or your own favorite stillwater attractor pattern on a sinking line selected to match the depth of the water and the speed of your retrieve.


 

Hatch Profile – Green Drakes

Hatch Profile – Green Drakes

The Western Green Drake, Drunella grandis, is a rock star in the world of aquatic entomology. It’s on the cover of all the magazines, and people travel from across the globe to see the show they put on. In many ways, Green Drakes and the fishing situations that they create in Yellowstone Country represent the pinnacle of our sport. Most fly anglers spend the long winter months dreaming of warm summer days, green meadows filled with wild flowers, and large trout feeding recklessly on a blanket hatch. Green Drakes are the bugs that make those dreams come true for fishermen in our area from mid-June through the end of July.

There are actually three other species of mayfly found throughout Yellowstone Country that anglers commonly refer to as Green Drakes. These other species wish they could be as cool as grandis, but like cover bands posing as the original, they look and act like the real thing, and can certainly provide a good time, but just don’t pack quite the same punch.

Drunella coloradensis, Drunella doddsi, and Timpanoga hecuba are the Green Drake cover bands, and they all play important roles in Yellowstone Country fisheries. Drunella coloradensis and Drunella doddsi are the smaller cousins to Drunella grandis, and are sometimes confused with their other more widely known cousin Drunella flavilinea. These smaller size 14 drakes are found in rivers and streams throughout the region including the Gallatin, Soda Butte, Lamar, Big Hole, and Madison. Timpanoga hecuba is the heralded fall drake found in the waters of the Northeast corner in Yellowstone Park. Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, the Lamar River, and the Yellowstone River all have a good population of this large size 12 mayfly in September and October.

Drunella grandis is a formidable animal in our rivers and streams. It is generally the largest mayfly species in the waters that it occupies (size 8-10 nymphs and size 10-12 duns), and it is not always a good neighbor. These stout, three-tailed nymphs cling to rocks and other substrate with strong appendages, and will often prey on smaller nymphs and larvae.

The Henry’s Fork has one of the most celebrated Drunella grandis hatches. The flat, spring creek waters of the upper river around Last Chance, and the wide open riffles and weed bed flats of the lower river below Ashton provide ideal habitat for these large, clumsy mayflies. During emergences Nymphs swim slowly to the surface, emerge awkwardly, and typically ride the current for a long time before lumbering into flight. The resident trophy trout couldn’t dream of a more vulnerable target, and they take full advantage. Freshly emerged duns here display a vibrant chartreuse green body with slate dun colored wings, but that coloration soon darkens to an olive-brown.  Their wings are large in proportion to the length of their stout body, a feature that many creative fly tiers incorporate into their imitations.

The Madison River has one of the more overlooked hatches of Drunella grandis. In early July duns can be found emerging sporadically on sunny days, and in good concentrations on cloudy, rainy days between Hebgen Lake and Ennis.  Even a sparse emergence of these trout snacks is often enough to get the fish looking up, so it pays to be aware and on the lookout for these bugs.  However, unlike other area fisheries, many days it’s the spinners that can provide the best dry fly fishing on the Madison. These size 12, rusty or chocolate brown colored spinners can be found in good numbers during the morning hours over select riffles.

Drunella grandis is also found on many of the smaller tributary waters to our larger, more renowned rivers. It’s always a good idea to have either specific drake imitations, or size 12 attractor patterns like a Humpy or Royal Wulff in your fly arsenal if you’re exploring these smaller waters during late June and July.

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report – June 7, 2018

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report – June 7, 2018

Every year there is a week, or sometimes a day in Yellowstone Country when it feels like summer has finally arrived. Spring labors on like an old Ford truck rolling down the road in low gear. Rainy and snowy, its stammers and chugs until one day the rpm’s get high enough to shift into the next gear and start cruising. This was the week that we shifted into high gear, and we are now rolling along right into summer.

After last week’s heavy rains, high-elevation snow, and thunderstorms, we have seen several days of warm, dry weather. The forecast is calling for more of the same with highs in the 70’s through the upcoming weekend. There is a slight cool down early next week, but it looks warm and dry again after that.

Snow pack levels fell rapidly this week with two to three feet of snow remaining in only the highest elevations in the area. Warm temps in the upcoming days and weeks will continue to eat away at the remaining snow.

Read on to see our take on this week’s fishing, and check out the links below to stay current on area forecasts, flows, and snow pack.  Stay tuned as we report each week on hatches, flows, weather, and more. For the most up to date info stop by the shop, give us a call, or drop us a line.

Carrot Basin Snotel (Madison River drainage)
Black Bear Snotel (this is the closest station to the headwaters of the Firehole and a good general indication of snow pack in that area. This is also one of the four indicators of snow pack and water supply for the upper Henry’s Fork)

Henry’s Fork

June is a special time on the Henry’s Fork. Like floats in the Rose Bowl Parade, there is a progression of hatches that work their way through the system, each one more exciting than the last. The parade kicked off with salmonflies, and they can still be found in isolated spots throughout the entire system. Caddis, PMD’s, and Golden Stones are beginning in earnest on the lower river, and by the time you are reading next week’s report, we will likely be talking about the Grand Marshall of the parade, Green Drakes in sections of the lower river.

With the Railroad Ranch opener almost a week away (June 15), you can expect to see exciting fishing on the Henry’s Fork for several weeks to come.

Flows out of Island Park were reduced this week, and the river is currently running between 750 and 800 cfs. Island Park Reservoir is at full pool, and excess water is running over the spillway.  Flows below Ashton have been steady right around 2000 cfs. The Fall River dropped slightly this week, and is running around 2700 cfs.

Yellowstone National Park

Considerable snow remains in much of the park’s high country, and run off is still a factor for most of the fisheries. The warmer, lower-elevation waters of the Firehole, Gibbon, and Madison Rivers however have dropped this week, and are fishing well.

PMD’s, Caddis, and Salmonflies are all active in their usual spots throughout this system. Warm, sunny weather is not ideal for mayfly emergences here, but the bugs will still hatch. You may find PMD emergences concentrated in some places, and sporadic in others, but spinner activity will be widespread. Mornings are your best bet for mayfly activity. Windy afternoons are great for salmonflies. And, evenings will have prolific Caddis action.

Remember, NO FELT IN YNP!

Madison River

The “Flush” is over, and as tempting as it is, we will spare you the obvious low brow bathroom analogies.

Flows out of Hebgen were reduced this week, and are currently right around 2,000 cfs. At Kirby, we’re seeing roughly 2800 cfs, and it’s just over 4,000 cfs at Varney. The river is still big at this flow, but clarity is improving quickly.  There’s nearly three feet of visibility, and the color is a perfect fishy-green.

Snow pack was reduced by 14 inches in the last week at Carrot Basin leaving just over 2 feet of snow on the ground here. With warm weather predicted over the next week we should see that number rapidly approaching zero, and the river clearing just as quickly.

Caddis are thick throughout the wade section right now, and we’ve seen the first dry fly fishing of the season here in the last few days. Nymphs, and streamers are still producing well, and all of the best action has been close to the bank.

Remember to wade with caution here. The flows may have been reduced, but it’s still a big, dangerous river to wade at 2800 cfs.

Hebgen Lake

Dry fly fishing has slowed somewhat here in the last few days, but midge activity is still bringing a few fish to the surface in the mornings and evenings in the Madison arm, and along the North shore.

As the lake slowly warms, and thermoclines become more established, fishermen are seeing better results in the deeper water in bays along the south side of the lake with chironomids and leeches.  Don’t be afraid to look to skinny water in the early part of the day though.

Missouri River

Just as everyone was figuring out the deep-nymph game and getting comfortable with almost 20,000 cfs, flows starting dropping on the Mighty MO as well. We’re down around 16,000 cfs below Holter now, and expect to see the river continue to drop as flows are reduced further upstream in the watershed.

Deep nymphing is still the game for the foreseeable future on the MO, and it’s a fun game to play. As flows drop here fish may move out of some buckets, and others will become more easily accessible. It’s a dynamic fishery, and requires constant experimentation, but the results are always worth the effort.

Good Luck out there. Be safe in the high water, and if you’re in our neck of the woods, stop in and say “Hi”. We’ll look forward to seeing you.

 

 

 

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report – May 31, 2018

Big Sky Anglers Weekly Fishing Report – May 31, 2018

Welcome to the Weekly Fishing Report from Big Sky Anglers!

Big water, big bugs, and green hillsides continue to be the headlines this week from Yellowstone Country. Warm temps and rain are doing their best to melt our stellar snow pack from last winter, and we are seeing big, muddy flows on many of our area fisheries.

A slight cooling trend is in the forecast for the end of this week and into the weekend with locally heavy thunderstorms predicted throughout the area. Temps look like they will back in the 70’s in West Yellowstone early next week. With 3 to 4 feet of snow remaining locally in the high country, we expect to see similar water conditions for the upcoming week. We have our fingers crossed for some cooler temps through June to help preserve some of the high country snow that we have left.

The moisture is welcome, though, and despite high flows in much of the area we continue to find some quality fishing on our early season favorites like the Henry’s Fork and Hebgen Lake.

Read on to see our take on this week’s fishing, and check out the links below to stay current on area forecasts, flows, and snow pack.

Stay tuned as we report each week on hatches, flows, weather, and more. For the most up to date info stop by the shop, give us a call, or drop us a line.

West Yellowstone Forecast

Montana Streamflows

Idaho Streamflows

Carrot Basin Snotel (Madison River drainage)

Black Bear Snotel (this is the closest station to the headwaters of the Firehole and a good general indication of snow pack in that area. This is also one of the four indicators of snow pack and water supply for the upper Henry’s Fork)

Island Park Snotel (Upper Henry’s Fork)

Crab Creek Snotel (Centennial Mountains – Upper Henry’s Fork)

White Elephant Snotel (Sawtelle Mountain – Upper Henry’s Fork)


Henry’s Fork

The Fork continues to produce good fishing with salmonflies currently being found throughout the entire system. Flows out of Island Park were higher than anticipated over Memorial Day weekend due to heavy rains and higher than average temps across the watershed.  However, levels have been dropped back down around 900cfs, and are expected to remain there for a few days as Island Park Reservoir approaches full pond again (currently 98%).  Look for flows to increase and match inflow to Island Park Reservoir as early as this weekend.

The Big Bugs are the big story on the Fork again this week. Salmonflies are crawling all over this fishery from the Box Canyon down to the lower river. Golden Stones have begun to show in the lower river as well. As the stoneflies run their course on the Henry’s Fork, we expect to see a lull in the hatch activity here for a week or two before the bulk of our prime time hatches begin in earnest.

Yellowstone National Park

We’re one week into the 2018 fishing season in Yellowstone Park, and anglers are still dealing with high flows on their favorite Park fisheries.

Flows have dropped slightly this week on the Firehole and Madison. The Firehole is currently showing around 800cfs, and clarity is slowly moving from light latte to the tea-stained brown that we need to see some consistent dry fly fishing. Rain and warm temps in the next few days may slow this progression, but keep a close eye on the Firehole in the coming week. If flows can get down below 700 cfs, or ideally closer to 500 cfs, we can expect to see some dry fly fishing with PMD’s and Caddis.

Madison River

The “Flush” continued this week on the Madison. Flows have held steady around 2400 cfs out of Hebgen with 3500 at Kirby, and a whopping 5400 cfs at Varney! We love seeing the river this big, and we’re excited about the benefits these heavy flows will have on clearing accumulations of fine sediment, and increasing the overall health of this river.

Officials from Energy West tell us that the “Flush” will finish today (Thursday May 31), and flows will be reduced to “normal” run off conditions. Keep an eye on these USGS sites, or give us a call in the shop for up to the minute info on flows.

Some exciting fishing can still be found in these big flows for anglers looking to fish heavy stonefly imitations and streamers close to the bank. In some places fish are holding where we would generally be standing on the bank!

If you do venture out to the Madison, be sure to wade safely. In most places it’s not necessary to wade deep, or to even get in the river at all. The flow is dangerous and deserving of the utmost respect.

Hebgen Lake

Hebgen is always one of our favorite early season fisheries during run off, and this year it’s no exception. Giant (size 12) midges can still be found along the North shore of the lake, and some substantial fish. Have been found this week stripping chironomid and leech patterns. We have a great selection of new lake flies in the shop right now. Be sure to swing by and grab a few of our favorites if you’re in town.

Missouri River

Here’s a look at what’s happening up on the MO from our resident expert, BSA founder, Joe Moore.

The Mighty Mo is living up to its nickname this season and is humming along at 19,300 cfs! Will it go higher? My guess is yes as the rains keep coming here in Southwest Montana and there is still snow in the high country of the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin. Coming in at Toston is 26,500 cfs….thats big water folks. Do you know where your life jackets are?

I am back home now but Greg Falls and our crew on the Missouri are stilling rowing their collective butts off and finding plenty of fish. Long floats are the norm and running the Dam to Stickney is an easy day float at these flows. The Canyon Stretch is hard to fish at this level; from Mid Canon to just above Grassy Banks there are a handful of spots to find some fish eating flies, but be prepared to lose plenty of bugs if when fishing around the submerged islands! Down at Ulm, the river is 22,800 cfs.

When I left a few days ago, I noticed one particular technique that was not working when fishing from the boat. A few words of advice are below.
Even the best anglers can NOT roll cast an 11+ foot leader with two BB and one B split shot followed by two flies Sorry folks, this will just lead to a big mess of 2x and 3x and finding a safe spot to pull over on the bank is not always possible. Stop roll casting this rig and get that habit out of your head ASAP.

The best way to cast this rig from the boat is to strip up most of your fly line, keep your rod perpendicular to the boat, elevate the bobber out of the water which will also bring the split shot close to the surface, make a back cast, wait of the rod to load (it will tell you when it’s ready) and then make your forward cast. If said cast didn’t go exactly the way you’d like it to, my suggestion is to leave it alone and fish it. Most of the fish are sitting about 5 feet from the guides oar blade.

Setting the hook. When fishing an 11+ foot leader, it takes a long time to actually tighten up the line and get the hook set in the fish’s mouth. Plenty of times last week, anglers in my boat thought they were hung on the bottom, only to find a trout on the end of their line. A proper nymphing rig will touch the bottom from time to time, that’s how this works. One must set the hook on anything that bumps, pauses, twitches or take the bobber under. Period. Once that hook set is made, an angler MUST strip line and gather the slack to get tight. Once you’re tight, it might take a couple more strips of line to really get that rod bent. When setting that hook, one must fully commit! Set the hook and if nothing is attached to the end of the line, then go straight in to a back cast, wait for the line to straighten out behind you and then get your line back in the river. Too often I see anglers set the hook and not fully commit. Hook sets are free, commit to it and you will catch more fish.

Good luck out there and be safe in the high water.