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

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


Winter winds whip the river, but the fish are rising!

It warmed up just enough to keep blocks of ice clunking down the river. Sarah, Ariell and I drove upriver, gazing at mountains and the icy stream, seemingly impossible to fish. After thirty or so miles of ice-blocks, we figured we might as well hit the hot springs. But after fourty miles, the canyon closed in keeping the valley colder -- and consequently fishable. After passing miles of shadowy banks, we found a stretch that looked promising.


Before we were able to wet, or rather ice our lines, Sarah made some offerings to Boreas (Greek god of the Winter Winds), in hopes that fish would appear. And they did! As we walked on river crystals, we soon saw the entire river bank lined with noses poking up for dipteran goodness. Sarah tied on a couple midge emerger patterns and set to work casting a two piece, six weight Sweetgrass stick. It was a bit windy from the North, too.


A plucky little silver creature soon came to Sarah's hands. The first fish of the day on a red midge emerger and Sweetgrass cane.

I figured I should maybe get to fishing, and followed the ice trail fifty or so yards upstream. Noses were everywhere, feeding diligently -- especially adjacent to the ice bank, where many midges collected to mate. I tied on a rather realistic dry pattern on point, followed by a favorite hatch-matcher that doesn't really look like anything -- the Royal Wulff. It took some precise casting to time the fly drift with the tip of a rising nose, but finally I got it.


A brief tug-o-war on my 5 weight, 3 piece pent., and I held my first fish of the day -- on a dry! Many more came throughout the day. But after a while I wondered if there might be a trout lurking on the edge of the feeding Whitefish frenzy.


Yep, mid December and a #18 Royal Wulff can catch fish!

I switched my bait to heavier nymphs to imitate a Stonefly nymph and freshwater shrimp. A dead freshwater shrimp that really looks more like eggs, but still, a shrimp pattern. First cast, and I hooked up to something a little more athletic!


I was pretty sure it wasn't a Whitefish, but not sure what was putting up such a fight...


A Rainbow! There is something wonderful when I'm on frozen knees, and holding a fat, healthy trout.

We still had time to enjoy the moonrise while sitting in hot springs and wash the fish slime off our hands. A wonderful winter day, despite the northerly Boreatric ice and winds.


In Wild Waters,

Zac Sexton

The Meandering Booboy
Catching up on a lot of fishing
Ice-fly-fishin'
 

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