The tradition continues at Sweetgrass Rods;
crafting fine bamboo fly fishing rods

Thanks for the wonderful craftsmanship. You guys are amazing.
Frank D.

They were in the surface!

Some streams flow through magnetic valleys that seem to keep you stuck on their banks. You just can't leave, as if your wading boots were made of iron. Not long ago, I found just such a river, with Ariell and Sarah. Wish I was still there. Good thing I'm going back tomorrow!

After hours of map-explorations, fishing guide page-turning and regulation-reading, I loaded the rig with my favorite Sweetgrass rods to head for some of the only open inland trout water in the Northwest. If what I had read was true, there would be bugs hatching and Rainbow trout rising. I couldn't drive fast enough over a couple mountain ranges, to get there. If you happen to be a highway patrolman, please forgive the fact that my feet may just be made of iron.

Once reaching the river's source, I could smell Sagebrush surrounding everything for miles. A glance over the valley walls showed a clear, vibrating stream -- dotted with rising fish! I couldn't believe it, I probably saw six or seven rises in the first minute of river-gazing. Sarah and I quickly rigged rods as Ariell chased venomous rabbits away. Maybe they were Jackalopes.

Sarah had been practicing casting a fly rod in the park, and one float on a Montana river, but had yet to get a fish to hand. Midges were clustering all around, and knowing fish in spring creeks, like this one like to feed precisely, I tied on a size 14 Royal Wulff. It looked nothing like the naturals. But Sarah could see it. And on her third cast, she hooked up to a beautiful Rainbow!

Sarah's first fish on a fly rod and on a dry fly!

OK. Had her fish in hand. Time for me to get to work. I headed upstream a ways and was soon casting to a pod of rising trout. I kept getting refused. They somehow preferred Sarah's Wulff over my #18 midge thing. Figured. Something floated by on the water's surface, with decidedly upright wings. Oh, a Mayfly! But, the rise-forms in front of me made me think they were on emergers, not the adults. I tied on a different rig, with emerger patterns that floated just below the surface.

The high-banks and tall grasses lining the stream banks got me to choose the 8'3", 4 wt. Sweetgrass rod. I wanted the extra length to get away from the brush. And after I untangled myself three or four times from the grass and brush behind me, I got a cast on the water. That cast was hammered by a fatty Rainbow! It doggedly pulled in to the weeds, but I heaved it out, and soon had it in hand. Yes.

A beauty Rainbow trout that took a Mayfly emerger, just below the surface.

See you later little buddy.

Hey, before you go, check to your right. There's a fat, little Caddis larvae!

The day continued with bugs emerging, and fish feeding mostly on crippled emergers. Sarah and I had a wonderful time, and even ignored the wind -- for the most part.

In Wild Waters,

Zac Sexton

The Meandering Boo Boy
Bamboo rod critique from Glenn
craftsmanship on a big ol' river


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Sweetgrass Rods ~~ P.O. Box 486 ~~ 121 West Galena ~~ Butte, Montana 59703
406.782.5552 ~~
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