12 Days of Christmas – Day Two – The Orvis Retro BSA Trucker Hat
Years ago back in Illinois, when I was just a wee lad, I was given a duck brown camo hat by my father Tom. In those days, duck brown camo was the only camo for waterfowl hunting. Wetlands camo wasn’t even thought of yet and each member of Tom’s duck hunting crew at Toe Head Slough wore duck brown head to toe. Each Christmas, I would flip through the Cabela’s catalog and order a new piece, sometimes it was overalls or a button down hunting shirt. As time when by this pattern pretty much disappeared as new innovations came upon the scene and other companies started making various waterfowl patterns. Several years ago Drake Waterfowl Systems brought the duck brown camo pattern back to life and then Orvis jumped in and helped revived it as well. Much to Molly’s despair, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not rocking the Orvis Retro Trucker hat. She has however, convinced me to pick a new one off the shelves at the fly shop more than just once a year. Check it out in the online fly shop.
The stats are true: there are lots of fish in the Missouri River. I don’t pay huge attention to MT FWP’s numbers, because honestly, we are gonna fish anyway. A high percentage of these trout are spawning in the river, and it seems to me that over the past few years, there are more and more redds in the river. Why? Hmmmm……probably because there are so damn many rainbows. Fish have always spawned in the river, but from my memory and from conversations had back in the 90’s, a majority of the rainbows spawned in the Prickly Pear and the Dearborn. While trout still use the tribs, they are definitely using the Missouri. This also just might have something to do with all that high water a few years in a row, which cleaned up the river’s gravel and flushed the silt.
The Missouri is busier, earlier in the season, each year. It seems as if everyone has cabin fever and they are on the Mo’. Or, they all read fishing blogs and the word is getting out. A dozen years ago, we were fishing skwalas in the canyon and those who knew, never talked about it. I’m guilty of writing about the Missouri, so are others. Is this a bad thing? I don’t believe so, as long as folks are respectful to each other and the fish, things will move along with ease. July might be another story. My guess, is that the Missouri will become the most fished river in the state as the season is stretching out to almost year around. Will this pressure change the fishery in the long run? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
While nymphing was king, we did manage to find a few trout willing to rise and eat a dry fly. The wind was prevalent for most of the week and at one point it was down right Western out there. BWOs and March Browns were hatching, the latter in smaller numbers. Without too much difficulty, one could catch fish on dries. We witnessed a blanket BWO hatch from bridge to bridge and hardly a fish rose. Their brains, while small, are still thinking about procreation. Would you rise up to eat a BWO dun or eat protein rich eggs that are drifting by your nose?
This is gonna be another banner year on the big river below Holter Dam. We will be guiding the Missouri all season long and if you’d like a change of pace from the Madison, Henry’s Fork or YNP waters, give us a shout.