Salmon Fly Hopper

Montana Hopper Fishing

The dry fly fishing in Montana has been hot and getting hotter.  I was fortunate this week to guide a skilled angler, John, into some exciting dry fly opportunities.  On Wednesday, we enticed lots of eats on size 6 rogue salmon flies on the upper reaches of the Yellowstone just below the park.  We wrangled a variety of rainbows, cutthroat, and even a brook trout from both the boat and while wading distinct rifles and eddies (some eddies produced a dozen fish before slowing down).  On Thursday we enticed big browns and rainbows to the surface of the Boulder using PMX's and Hopper Patterns.  It was the first hopper action of the season and the fish were not timid!  John quickly learned how to open up his peripheral senses to prepare casts ahead of time for slow water pockets following fast rifles (while the boat was still traveling at a brisk pace).   Immediate gratification characterizes the take from an accurate dry fly delivery cast from a fast moving boat! It is certainly a treat to catch fish on salmon flies one day and hoppers the next!  We suffered through a cold wet spring but will reap the benefits of great water volume and lush grassy banks for hopper season.  Grasshopper fishing usually picks up when fly fishing the Yellowstone River after the insects molt and gain their wings, typically in the last weeks of July and throughout the remainder of the summer.  We are expecting a fabulous hopper season equal to or better than the last two years  (last August we recorded 30 to 40 fish days on the foam hopper)!  Big fish love to strike the dry fly with a vengeance, making for unrivaled excitement! Miles

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