A Tale of Two Fish

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

In January I spent a morning fishing a small river I’d visited several times in the prior two months, further honing my so-called “line of sight” skills and enjoying some success. I’d noticed in these outings that arriving at dawn mattered little because there was never any action until around 9 to 9:30 am…likely due to laziness on the part of the subaquatic insect life. Still I’d show up shortly after first light each time, full of coffee and hope.

This time of year this tailwater is no more than a small creek as little as thirty feet wide in some places. I always stepped in at the same hole, served by a well-beaten trail and a convenient clean log where gear (and one’s posterior) could be placed and boots could be tied. Why did I use the same on-ramp that every other joe used? Because using my own fly and my own techniques, I always still caught good fish from this little hole.

As luck would have it, this morning I’d met a fisheries biologist in the gravel parking lot while donning my waders — he was part of a team contracted by the state to perform fish counts and report on habitat. They too were getting into waders and readying non-lethal fish-stunning gear. We chatted briefly, he promised not to stick their cattle-prod-contraptions near where I was planning to fish, and he gave me his card.

I got down to the water and flogged away. At precisely 9:30am I caught a nice rainbow — one that had good size for this tiny place. About a half hour later I caught a second one on the same fly using the same methods, nearly as long but fatter. I photographed each before release. Both fish:

—   Were clearly of the Oncorhynchus genus (i.e. North American trout)

—   Were wild-hatched (adipose fins were intact)

—   Lived in the same hole

—   Subsisted on the same diet

—   Were almost identical in size and therefore probably age

—   Had never migrated to larger water despite this stream having a direct shot to the Pacific

—   Had struck the same fly at the same time of day

—   Had struck the fly exactly the same way (same “demeanor”)

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Wyoming’s Snowy Range on the Fly

Guest Blogger: Seth Cagle

Snowy Range

The glaciers that carved the mountains of southern Wyoming’s Snowy Range left behind beautiful and breathtaking views. Those glaciers also left behind an abundance of kettle lakes which are now full of hungry trout. Whether you’re a seasoned fly fisherman, or just getting out on the water, the Snowy Range offers ample opportunity and excitement for everyone. Here are some reasons you should visit Wyoming to wet a fly in the Snowy Range.

A Perfect Place to Start

First off, the Snowy Range is named appropriately. For a majority of the year, the area is covered in snow, leaving lakes completely iced over. This gives trout a very short season of open water in which to feed. As a result, I find the trout are aggressive and not very picky about fly choice. The lakes are perfect for beginners, or any fly fisherman who simply wants to land a fish. Because of the short growing season, most of the trout aren’t very large, so don’t plan on setting the hook in a 20-inch giant.

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Visiting Angler’s Bill of Rights

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Being a lifelong angler and living in SW Montana, it is predictable that one will inevitably be asked to host or fish with visiting anglers. There’s no doubt that the rivers and lakes of SW Montana are a mecca of all sorts for trout fishers across the U.S. It happens two or three times every summer. Someone, a relative, a friend or a client is coming to Montana and wants to fish. I am mostly to blame for these opportunities, invites, impositions, adventures or whatever they might turn into as I freely advertise through pictures, videos and stories the exceptional angling in SW Montana (including Yellowstone National Park). Some of these visits are a direct result of my inviting friends or clients, especially those who I know to be avid anglers. Others come out of the blue. An email-“We’re making a trip to Montana and would like to fish, what do you suggest!” Regardless of how the visits are initiated, every year there are two or three that come to fruition. So, for the visiting angler here’s a Bill of Rights (of sorts from my perspective).

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