Long, hot summer days mean tall grass and cut banks full of grasshoppers. We’re just starting to see the naturals in the grasses on the Blackfoot, and it won’t be long before the fish are responding. Targeting banks with a big leggy pattern or a smaller beetle or ant are sure to get some fish interested, but there are some tricks to this midsummer game that are worth noting. Cover and cut banks should be your first area of attack. Fish them tight. Tight to the banks means tight to the banks – not four feet out, not even one foot out. Six inches from the bank. Four is better. Don’t be afraid to lose some flies- tie good knots, size up the tippet for some extra protection and swing for the fences. If you’re faced with an overhanging bank with good cover, take a risk and tuck that fly in there. Big browns aren’t going to run out too far for a hopper when there are so many opportunities for terrestrials where the cover is good. When fishing the middle of the river, don’t skip the riffles and pocket water. Rather, aim for the deep swaths of water and rocks for foam line fun. Lately we’ve been finding bigger fish in the deep stuff willing to come up for the dry, so prospect dark water and hang on for those chubby chasers!
|This chunky rainbow trout ate a chubby chernobyl pattern with hot hopper legs in a deep pocket of water just below the confluence of the Blackfoot on the Clark Fork river.|