Spare Flies

The odometer read 40 mph as I crawled up highway 200 during a snow flurry. I was on my way up the Blackfoot to fish one of my favorite spots on the river. We were supposedly in the middle of fall, but Montana had other ideas. As i turned off onto Johnsrud Park Road, I glanced at the temperature, and thanked the Lord I had packed warm as it read 24 degrees Fahrenheit. While parking the truck, the snow was blowing in my face, but bad weather brings good fishing, or so I hoped. I put on my layers and waders and proceeded to tie a white streamer to my line. When I reached the water the wind started to pick up and I shivered as I made my first cast. I was rewarded immediately as a cuttie slammed my streamer; I made quick work and reeled him in. All I could do was smile, as sometimes the fly gods do reward you, however; I then spent the next two hour cursing those fictitious gods as nothing took my line. It started snowing harder and harder, and soon I felt as if I might as well be wet wading. I then hiked up the hill back to my truck, turned on the heat, and made a decision to drive back down the river.

While driving, it stopped snowing, proving if you do not like the weather here in Montana wait 15 minutes and it will change. I then pulled over to a group of rapids I knew contained plenty of fish. The first thing I did was scout out the rapids, which I soon learned had shifted since I last fished them. The water was running gin clear, so clear I could see the fish swimming at the bottom of the river. I then switched my leader to a 4x, and tied a Prince nymph on. It turned into a perfect day, as the wind died down and the fall colors became more visible. The quiet and peacefulness that set over the land blew me away and reminded me once again that I am a lucky man to live in Montana; my trance was then interrupted by the sound of a jumping fish.

I cursed quietly, and made a mad dash back up to my truck. The whole way cursing my stupidity and laziness, in my rush to leave that morning I had left my dry fly box back at the house. Knowing that I had placed a few random dry flies in the lining of my roof, I opened the door and dug the flies out. A few spare flies were all I had, and none that specifically matched the hatch. As I tied on my first fly I picked out a jumping cuttie, and soon was drifting a fly his way. Making my first cast I knew it was a long shot, but I was lucky. A cuttie swam out of the depth to swallow my mismatched fly and I successfully landed him. By this time the river was alive and I was catching fish every other cast! But as soon as the frenzy had started it was over, knowing I had scratched my itch I packed up my gear and headed home. As I drove home I was glad I had driven up into the snow flurry, and to have found a few spare flies floating around in my truck.

By: Wyatt Lindbloom

[time] minutes ago, from [location]
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