A couple of weeks ago, I was fly fishing in Montana and Wyoming with my family. We started our trip on the Snake River, where the fishing was good for cutthroat trout. We worked our way up to Montana, fishing a handful of other rivers where the trout were also cooperative. Our last river of the trip was the Bighorn.
We have fished the Bighorn in previously, usually renting a drift boat, and having good fishing. This time, we only had a day and a half to fish the river. The first day, things were tough, not many fish were rising, and the nymphs we had picked up from the fly shop were not taking many fish. Because of that, the day ended in some frustration. But we knew we would have another chance the next day.
The next morning we awoke around 5:30 a.m. and headed to the river. As we put the drift boat in the water, fog rolled off the river's surface. For the first hour, the action was much the same as the day before. At that point, i had had enough of what were the "hot flies,'' so to speak, according to the locals.
So I switched to a tandem nymph rig with a Prince nymph and a Pheasant Tail. These two are reliable flies that will catch fish just about anywhere. It turned out to be just what the fish wanted, as I quickly caught four browns in a swift riffle.
We moved downstream. There wasn't much for hopper activity going on, but as we neared a dry, steep bank, I just had to tie one on. That also turned out to be the right fly, as a nice rainbow came up to sip it in.
At the end of the day we felt good that we were able to turn things around, because we stuck with it and didn't give up.
From this day of fishing I learned a valuable lesson: Stay persistant, and experiment with all different flies and tactics.