I found a pleasant surprise on the upper reaches of the Flathead River this weekend. Dry Fly Fishing! The “Fishing Gods” must of read my blog post from last week (Dry Fly Dreaming: https://wildmontanaanglers.com/2018/04/06/dry-fly-dreaming/) and decided to show me a little mercy. Midges were everywhere along the river banks. Small black and grey midges to be exact, in a size 18 and maybe a few even smaller than that. Dead midges filled all of the little nooks and crannies along the cobbled river bank. I have not seen a hatch that thick since last summer on the Forks of the Flathead.
Not every fish in the run were keying in on midges but there were enough to make this fisherman laugh out loud at the snouts breaching the rivers surface and slurping down midge clusters in slower seam lines. I sat down, lengthened my leader to around 11-12 feet of 5X monofilament and tied on a single flashy midge dry and had a ball.
Trout were not moving out of their feeding lanes to eat dries. They had enough food coming down the river system that once they established a good feeding lane they stayed there and lazily ate at their convenience. I picked out one fish at a time, led that fish by several feet with my cast and found success multiple times with that method of targeting. The dry fly fishing didn’t last too long and after an hour or so I had picked on most of the fish that were rising to the midge clusters. I switched back over to my nymph rig and managed to pull a few out with the standard nymphs I have been fishing for the past week like rubber legged stone flies, a squirmy worm, and a jig headed Frenchie. All in all, it was a great break from staring at a bobber like I have been doing for the past several weeks. It just goes to show you, you never walk into the same river twice. Mark