Stick with big dries…

Attack from the back! Outfitter Hank Bechard taking a break from the oars...

If there is one time of year to commit to fishing only dry flies in Montana, this is it.  It can be very tempting to fish streamers or nymphs, (especially when everyone else is fishing dries), but that same big fish who’s willing to swipe your streamer or attack a rubber leg could just as easily sip a big dry fly.  There’s plenty of time to fish streamers and nymphs the rest of the year, but aside from hopper season, there really isn’t a better time to be throwing dries.  Seeing a big brown come up and slowly inhale your salmonfly off the surface is perhaps the ultimate fly fishing experience, and is often what brings people back to fish the hatch year after year.  Many years are tougher than others, (particularly high water years), since the fish will “hide” in the willows and are more difficult to fish to.  This year we’ve had a perfect water year, with many of Montana’s drainage basins holding around 100% snow pack.  The fish have been holding just on the edge of the willows, making for some amazing takes.  Water clarity and speed allows for 0X-2X tippet, which not only helps land fish quickly, but also works well for getting your fly back from the bushes.  So even if you are not a purist, try going DFO (Dry Fly Only) this week – the pay off could be BIG!

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