Salmon Flies Hit Bozeman Area
By Scott Anderson

Posted: June 8, 2012


I was out on the Madison River, this week, fly fishing with bamboo rods and wooden drift boats. The day started with bright sun and no wind. We were on the river for about an hour and that changed, as the wind picked up and the rain started blowing sideways. The fishing was great and Salmon Flies were out, if you can believe it. We didn’t take any fish on the salmon flies. The fish were not keyed in to them yet, but we landed several fish and a few around 20 inches. We floated from Warm Springs to Grey Cliff. It was great to have time to cast bamboo fly rods and see how they performed in the wind.

The next day we drove to Yellowstone National Park to check out the Fire Hole River.

We heard good reports of the salmon flies in the canyon. When we arrived we saw a bunch of big bugs flying around. It was nice to have master bamboo rod maker Bill Blackburn along with us. I have often wondered how the construction of bamboo fly rods make them perform the way they do. Bill explained a bunch of the design aspects to me as we fished. I could not believe how much the design of bamboo rod making was similar to aerospace engineering. I understood what Bill was talking about because I went to college for aerospace. Bill asked me if I thought that bamboo roll casted better than graphite. I replied, ‘yes, I do think that bamboo roll cast better than graphite.’ Bill told me that the bamboo flexed all the way to the handle. The fly fishing on the Fire Hole River was not good, due to the fact that the sun was so bright and the clouds were no where to be found. The caddis did start coming off in the afternoon. We just left before dark, because it was a very long day.

The next day I fished the Ruby River above Alder, MT. The fish were feeding on just about anything you would throw to them. They were hanging in the riffles just in the drop off to the deep water. You cold see them moving in the water feeding on nymphs and rising to dry flies. The Ruby was off the hook and we caught many fish. Most of the fish we caught was on a caddis pupa size 16.

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