Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sometimes The Trout Fishing Gods Smile Upon You

For the past few weeks, here in Northwest Montana we have been dealing with a very strange phenomenon.  There are wild fires burning all around us and the smoke from these fires has been literally choking us every afternoon (and even some evenings).  For the past few weeks the air has looked similar to fog, with the difference being that the air smells of a burning camp fire.  It is quite annoying and quite unhealthy, but what are you going to do, right?  You just have to deal with it and wait for cooler weather and/or rain to help stamp out the fires, thus ending the problem.

Well, with a cold front on the way everyone has been quite excited, hoping that the front would bring with it some much needed rain.  While I certainly want nature to give us a hand with the fires, upon hearing this news all I could think was, "I had better get out there and try some trout fishing ahead of this anticipated cold front."  You see, the trout fishing is usually pretty good ahead of cold fronts, so even though I didn't have a ton of time, I headed out for a quick fishing trip.

For most of this fishing season I have been on a mini jig kick, using a 1/32 or 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a Powerbait product (trout worm, nymph, or mouse tail) as bait on almost all of my trout fishing excursions.   I still drift fish, just like I always have with the difference being the bait.  And while it hasn't been as productive as when I use live worms as my trout bait, it has been plenty successful in it's own right.

So as I worked my way into position at the head of a big hole on the Swan River, I tied on a 1/32 ounce jig, tipped it with a natural colored Powerbait trout worm and began to drift fish.  After a few casts I realized That I needed more weight, so I added a split shot sinker to my line twelve or so inches above my jig.  I continued drift fishing down the hole for the next forty five minuted or so, switching to a pink trout worm and then a white mouse tail without as much as a sniff from an inquisitive trout!

I was getting frustrated, because this RARELY happens to me here in Montana, and was starting to think that getting skunked was a distinct possibility.  "Oh well", I thought to myself as I slipped a Pumpkin/Chartreuse Power Nymph onto my now 1/8 ounce jig head, "let's give the nymph a shot."  Within 2 casts I felt the familiar "tap, tap" that usually means a hungry trout and I set the hook!  My reel immediately started to buzz as the trout ran like an angry bull out of a rodeo shoot.  "This might be a nice one", I thought to myself as I adjusted my drag slightly.

With a few minutes I was admiring and subsequently releasing a very nice 17 inch cutt/bow (which is a rainbow cutthroat hybrid for the uninitiated) and was quite pleased that "the skunk" didn't happen on this particular day.  I made a few more casts, but figured that it was best to 'end on a high note' on this day.  After all, the fishing Gods were kind enough to smile upon me (even though it took whet seemed to be a while), and I was good with that.

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