Memorial Day Fly Fishing Report-
Trey Scharp spotting the morning's first yellow belly in the 8th annual Carp Classic
It never ceases to amaze me how driven and creative an evolved fly angler can become. This is easily demonstrated by the spread of our sport across all geographical boundaries and our pursuit for any fish well beyond the normal. Even here in Wyoming, Montana & Idaho, arguably the pinnacle region for American trout fisheries, we get the itch for something new and fresh(only in the experiential sense). So what do a handful of early season fishing guides and outfitters do to raise a few bucks for a family in need?
Carp on the Fly!
The Carp Classic was first established in 2004 to help benefit a guide and his/her family in a time of need- we are all there at some point. Since then the group has become more organized and now hosts, especially when the weather cooperates, dozens of participants and friends. The tournament converges on the remote reservoir of Blackfoot that harbors literally tens of thousands of mirror carp. The two day event includes some fantastic camping, sharing of stories, food & beer and, of course your fly against the wily carp.
I have pursued carp with a fly rod before with some luck and found it to be similar to redfish of the salt marsh- no offense to my redfish friends at all! These fish will lay up in shallow grass & willows to feed and at times aggressively. However, this trip to Blackfoot the carp were cruising and sucking in midge pupae from the intense hatch that had been happening for several days, needless to say the catching was very tough... perfect for some thinking anglers. So next time you need to scratch a big fish itch, grab a fly rod and give the old carp a try- you may walk away humbled yet satisfied, we did.
Jeff Currier cracking the code with a chartreuse bonefish fly- check out his detailed blog here!
First flying carpenter ant of 2012
Our gorgeous spring is continuing here in Jackson Hole and with ample warmth comes early insect emergence. Most think of heavy caddis or plump western mayflies in May- true these are of significance but while our rivers remain high from snow melt the main attraction locally can turn to the numerous lakes along the range and here the first bug to get the trout looking up are terrestrial in origin. Flying ants are not a separate species of ants at all. They are simply ants at a particular stage of life — specifically, the mating stage. Here we see large carpenter ants in late spring taking flight after several days in the upper 70's. Often followed by gusty winds the ants are blown from nearby downed timber to the lakes surface. When the conditions are ripe the trout become voracious and feed in an intoxicated manner. Super fun to witness!
Finespotted cutthroat from Jenny Lake
Other reports from the region are all consistent with a great fishing season in the making. My top picks for the Memorial Day weekend are often narrow but this year we have several viable options:
#1- Firehole River in Yellowstone NP- cool condition this weekend may slow hatches but the flows are low and the trout are very aggressive at this time.
#2- Green River- The flows have been on the slow drop(1000cfs) and fishing is good with streamers and nymphs.
#3- South Fork & Henry's Fork, ID- These rivers have had a fabulous spring and are fishing well with only moderate early season flows. Salmonflies are moving on the HF and the SF(11,000cfs) is fishing quite well with streamers and nymphs.
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