Sometimes, you just hit it right... when you do, you are blessed with deep blue skies, temps in the upper 80's, dead calm conditions with fish eager to open lines of communication. These are the days we dream about. Especially, when the snow is flying and the streams are hidden under a thick blanket of freezer frost.
Scott Sawtelle arrived on Friday night and for the next five days, we probed the streams that flow out of the Bighorns from north to south. We hit it just right. Run-off was a fresh memory so the streams were well-watered, cold and in perfect shape. We fished clear as a vodka tonic prairie streams lightly peppered with big browns and gorgeous ranches hidden in red sandstone canyons. We even fished a mountain stream loaded with cutthroats.
Our first stream was a bit off color due to a thunderstorm the night before. It fished best with slowly stripped, brightly colored streamers. Another stream evenly distributed takes on high floating hoppers then to be fair, on beadhead droppers. I even had a two hour period in which a dozen 16-18 inch browns ate #18 caddis emergers. These eats were splashy and dramatic epitomizing what any experienced anglers calls a "caddis take".
On the red rock stream, small hoppers fished next to the bank were lethal. Here, it was target practice and any bulls-eye was eagerly rewarded.
Here are some photos from our trip:
Day 1... streamers to big trout.
Day 2... Perfect day, beautiful day.
Day 3... Big browns on hoppers & droppers with a dozen beefy browns on caddis emerges thrown in.
Day 4... Red rock and dry flies. It was all about the take with 12-14 inch fish.
Last Day... off to the high mountains. Bows and cutts on small dries. Nothing better!