Monthly Archives: December 2012

Nymphing Time

Got a call tonight from a Red Lodge phone I did not recognize.

“This is Craig”. Pause.

“This is Kevin Edmond. Do you remember Bev and me? We fished last summer.”

Immediately I recognized Kevin’s voice and remembered the day we fished. “On the Stillwater, right?”


The thing is, I remember the fishing now that I think about it. What made me remember the people was the drive over and the drive back. The three of us were laughing and talking like old friends before we ever wet a line. No pretense, no feeling-out period. Just camaraderie. Something clicked for that small while.

Tomorrow, Kev and Bev are driving up to the ski hill to chat with me for a moment or two. When I realized who they were and they were only in town for a day or so, I immediately thought “Well, no fishing”. (Getting the hill open takes precedence over everything!) It never occurred to me that they might want only to say “hi” and connect again for however short a time. I can’t wait.

These folks bought a condo here last summer. A lot of folks have and will move here, ski here, fish here, etc. Hopefully, some of them will be a part of the community. Hopefully, this is an opportunity to find people who we connect with, for however short a time. Fortunately, we won’t have a choice.

And now, some fishing stuff.

Wade quietly and carry a big stick.

That’s my motto for fall and early winter fly fishing. By “big stick” I don’t mean a strong military, I’m talking about a fly rod. A big fly rod. For nymphing deep with double bugs and enough split shot to sink the Titanic, I like a nine foot six weight, at least. And it has to be a stiff 6 weight. No willowy Sage or Winston rods for this program. My rods of choice for casting weight are the G Loomis GL3 and the S4 from Scott Rods. Both of these are cannons. Even in a stiff wind, typical of fall and winter around here, these rods will get ‘er done. We’re transitioning from the brown trout spawn to really cold water, so a deep double nymph rig makes good sense. Hit ‘em in the face with a big stone nymph or two. They’ll eat it out of self defense!

Another great rod for fishing deep in cold water is the Scott S4 9’6” seven weight. Talk about a cannon! This rod is the only artillery you’ll need for chucking sinking line and big streamers clear across the Clark’s Fork. Tie on a couple of wooly buggers, yuk bugs, etc. and sling ‘em straight into a gale force wind. Fear not! Stop high and pause. If you have a knot on the back of your head later, don’t blame me!

December Fly Box

Yuk bugs

Wooly Buggers

Anything with bunny fur on it.

Girdle bugs and stone fly nymphs of any kind

If you see fish rising, try a size 20 single midge, 20 Griffith’s Gnat, 22 Kaufman’s Emerger. All are midge patterns. A brassie, blood worm or zebra nymph will imitate the immature bug.

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