Thursday, 19 June 2008

A Montana Chalkstream

After blanking yesterday (see blog and Pete McLeods helpful comments!!!) we decided to stump up the $100 required to fish the DePuy Spring Creek, just a few miles down the road from the Yellowstone Valley Branch. Typically Henry Gilbey was up once more by the wee small hours and I have to admit I was not far behind. After yesterdays tough learning curve I was full of anticipation and dying to see the crystal clear water that the creek is famous for. A great asset to the area and a valuable resource to fall back on in times of high water.

Heading down to the venue with Paul Robertson the ranch manager (a great guy with an even greater moustache!) we discussed what I was about to see. In essence it sounded just like one of our English chalkstreams and so it turned out to be the case. Fishing 12 rods on just 3 miles of water the inhabitants consisting of Brown, Rainbow and Cutt Throat Trout are super spooky. It is case of find your spot, wade in a little and then let everything rest a while. Meanwhile tie on a long leader tapered leader and watch carefully for signs of feeding fish. Blind casting is a definite no, no!

People are very helpful over here, especially in the flyshops. Right on the site of the DePuy (which takes it name from the family that own the river) there is a chance to dive into Buzz Basinis cute little shed like offering that provides everything a spring creek angler needs should they have forgotten it. I have bought current "must have" patterns in virtually every shop I have visited so I also asked Buzz to pick me out a dozen! Then Henry and I headed down the river to look for somewhere to fish.

It did not take long to find them. A beautiful weed lined channel was crawling with fish of all sizes and the odd one was feeding. It took a good hour maybe more for them to really get going but as soon as a fish began rising consistently I was on it. Fishing 2 1/2lb test line and a Pale Morning Dun I was ecstatic when a glorious sipping rise finally transpired ... only to be dismayed as the leader popped and my fish was lost, plus the fly! I never like to lose flies in fish but today has been very strange; at least 5 fish all broke the leader. Hugely frustrating as I wouldn't usually expect to break off in 5 all year!.

However on to the good stuff. Working hard we did manage a small Rainbow, perfect in every way imaginable and it certainly pulled on my favourite Hardy Demon 9'0" #5. Henry finally had a fish to photograph and I had broken my American duck! It took an emerging PMD very confidently and I thought I had cracked it, but no, despite chucking at several more rises the fish did not want to know this pattern. As the day went on the sun got up and the temperatures followed, soon enough the river looked dead. Time to head back to the ranch and an early dinner.

Fed and watered (the food and service is awesome here), Henry and I jumped in the Nissan once more and headed out to a lake that dissects the DePuy Creek known as Dicks pond. Ideal for float tubing we fished the bank a while waiting for Paul to arrive with a boat who then kindly rowed me all over the lake. What an evening. Great light, very moody and fish after fish. I chose to forget all the advice about PMDs, gossamer leaders etc., and instead looked in my Fishpond Pack for a Buzzer. First cast and I lost a fish (only pulled out this time, not a break!) but soon enough Brown after Brown succumbed to the pattern. I don't think they had ever seen Buzzers European style before! Casting a reasonable length to keep the flies well away from the boat in the crystal clear conditions it was a case of dead drifting the patterns along with the natural flow of the lake created by the outflow from the river. If I spotted the merest shimmer on the line a swift lift usually wound up as a fish.

So an all together much better day and really it is obvious to see why, the venue we were targetting was fishable; unlike those we attempted yesterday! Tomorrow we are hopefully heading out by drift boat to the lower Madison to go after the big fish with streamers. I love this kind of fishing for a change and truly hope that finally Henrys lens will be dancing to the the tune of a 20" Montana specimen. Also very exciting is the prospect of heading to Wyoming for a crack at one of the rivers there which is apparently fishing well. All in all I think the next few days could be very interesting and I can just feel that we are building up to something special. When all said and done every day spent in this amazing landscape is an occasion to relish and although I am knackered from travel and fishing hard I have to say that I am willing the nights past so that we can get out there and capture more of this piscatorial paradise on camera! Beer and Bed are calling so for now why not check out the amazing vistas that make Montana one of the most amazing places in the world to fish here on Henry Gilbeys Blog.

(P.S.) I hope that Henry provides a full blow by blow account of the highly technical tactics he uses to outwit Montana Rainbow Trout! In short it involves casting in, turning around, winding in a bit and then shouting an expletive! Novel but effective!

No comments:

Post a Comment