Nymphs

Montana Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Video

Montana is not that far from me. To put it simply, it’s a six hour drive with only one state in between. Turns out the state between me and Montana holds some remarkable trout water, and thus I’ve spent most of my time exploring the waters of Idaho. I don’t regret my many Idaho adventures, and I still plan to spend most of my “out of state” days fishing there, but after a three day trip to Montana this Spring I’m wondering why it’s taken me so long to fish in the Big Sky Country.

Our trip (Kohler and I once again) evolved from an opportunity to do a Euro Nymphing presentation for a fantastic Pat Barnes Trout Unlimited group in Helena. My good friend Brad Hansen who has lived in that area now for a couple years set the whole thing up. He was also awesome enough to take time off from work to show us around his local fly fishing play ground, (which just happens to includes the Missouri and Madison Rivers, along with MANY other awesome stretches of water). His kind wife Janelle and their old pup Bruce were also willing to let us crowd their house for a few days. Truly the royal treatment, and we still owe them many thanks!
Maddison River Rainbow

Brad spoiled us and took us down the Missouri in his drift boat. We threw streamers most of our first day up there, and we lucked into some amazing fish. The next two days were spent Euro Nymhing. As it often does, Egan’s Tungsten Surveyor along with the Rowley Stone, caught a good majority of our fish on both the Missouri and the Madison. We caught some of the most beautiful Rainbow’s I’ve ever seen, and a handful of beefy browns. The surprise of the trip came the evening of the first day when Brad landed a beautiful thick cutthroat in the Missouri. That was his first Missouri River cutthroat and it looks to be a very rare catch (see video above for a quick clip of the fish).

Tungsten Surveyor

Rowley Stone - Wet

Part of the reason both Kohler and I fell in love with Montana was the quality of the fish. Pound for pound, even the smaller fish in the 15″ range fought as hard as any trout I’ve ever hooked, and the pigs we got into put a major bendo in the rod as well.
Missouri River Rainbow

On our last morning there Brad and his friend Will took us to a place where the “locals” fish. All I’m going to say is it didn’t disappoint 😉

Montana Fly Fishing - Rainbow Trout

I hope it’s not long until I can return to Montana for another three days of fly fishing. Only next time, I’ll have a better idea what to expect and three days will not be enough. I can see why Paul Maclean once said, “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, brother.” (A River Runs Through It), and now I partially understand why.

Green Rock Worm – Caddis Larva – Fly Tying Video

This has got to be one of the top 5 easiest fly patterns of all time. It is super quick, durable, and catches it’s fair share of fish. A true “Guide Fly”.

 

Caddis larva are available to trout year round. The Green Rock Worm caddis imitation has very few steps, and is a very easy fly pattern to tie. It can be used as a searching nymph, or to match the available food types in a given stream. It is bright and catches the attention of fish, so it can be used effectively as a lead fly in a tandem nymph rig to attract the fish that often will then take the small trailing realistic pattern. However, don’t let that fool you. This pattern represents free-living caddis and takes picky trout on very tough rivers. Here in Utah, Provo River fly fishing guides often tie up and fish this pattern because it is so easy and so effective.

Caddis Larvae

The Lower Provo can be a very tough fishery. As the summer rolls along the fish become more and more educated and the pickier they seem to become. Often times guides switch to drab natural nymphs, and that regularly gets the job done. However, despite being bright and flashy, quite often I have found this green rock worm fly pattern to be the fly of choice. As trout catch onto fishermen and their fly patterns, I have found that my success rate goes up when fishing the smaller sizes 18-20. Go figure!

Provo River Caddis Larva

Caddis Larva Fly Pattern

Take a few minutes and check out this fly tying video. This is a go-to caddis larva fly pattern that belongs in your box. Let us know of your success and FISH ON!

Recipe:
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 (Scud Hook) 14-20
Bead: Gold to match hook size: 14: 7/64″, 16: 3/32″, 18 and 20 5/64″
Thread: Uni 8/0 Olive
Rib: 4X monofilament
Body: Caddis Green Ice Dubbing
Collar: Black Hare’s Ear Dubbing

Czech Nymph Fly Pattern – #1 Caddis Larva Imitation – Fly Tying Video

In almost every river or stream that I have ever sampled for aquatic inverts I have found multiple species of caddis larva. However much we all love to fish the beautifully tied mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddis larva make up a huge portion of a trout’s diet. There are many imitations out there, but the Czech Nymph is my go-to caddis larva. Not to mention that it can double for a cranefly larva, or any other grub style invertebrate that finds itself floating down a trout stream.

You can tie this pattern in a multitude of color variations, either as natural, or as flashy as you desire. The tan-pink-brown variation is usually the first Czech Nymph I tie on. I prefer to fish if in sizes 8-14 with sizes 8 and 10 being the most common. Tungsten and lead are a necessity if you are euro nymphing/czech nymphing. It’s not a bad idea to have a few tied with brass beads, or no bead at all for those shallow small streams that have willing to eat big flies. Also, you can add Net Back Foil to this fly if you really want the segments to “pop”.

Czech Nymph - Caddis Larva Imitation

Net Back Foil - Czech Nymph

The Provo River has some fantastic fish that love to gorge themselves on caddis larva. One unforgettable summer day on the middle Provo, Kohler and I found ourselves scoring into some fine fish while fishing both woven nymphs, and Czech Nymphs. If you watch closely in this video you will see this color variation hanging out of the mouth of a very fine brown trout.

Recipe:

Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-14
Bead: Tungsten or Bronze Size 1/8″-7/64″ (Depending on hook size)
Underbody: 0.020 Lead Wire
Thread: 6/0 Uni Color – Camel
Backing Material: Clear Scud Back
Rib: 3X Monofilament
Body: Tan Hare’s Ear
Hot Spot: Pink Shrimp Sow-Scud
Collar: Natural Brown Squirrel

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