11/24/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Great Brown Autumn Sedge
3.   Little Yellow Quills
4.   Needle Stoneflies
5.   Crane Flies
6.   Hellgrammite
7.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
8.   Midges

Stream and Lake Destinations - Ruby River, Montana
The Ruby River is probably the most overlooked river in the area of Montana
anywhere near Yellowstone Country. There are plenty of other blueribbon streams
in the same area, such as the Madison, Gallatin, Snake and others. The Ruby is
just over the hill from the Madison, so to speak.

The section below the dam is fished quite often but mostly by locals. The reason is
that it is an excellent place to catch a nice size brown trout. The problem with the
tailwater section is access. There are a few access points but you're mostly
confined to wading within the stream. You can do that as long as you don't get out
of the water. There's plenty of access just below the dam and there are plenty of
big trout there, I might add.

The part that is completely overlooked is the headwaters. There's plenty of water to
fish in the headwaters in an area where it would be rare for you to see another
angler. The National Forest headwaters provides plenty of access. The fish are
average a smaller size as they are in most any other headwater stream in the West.
The stream averages about the same size as the average size stream in the
Smokies. There are plenty of fish in the headwaters. You should be able to catch
about as many as you desire to catch. The stream also has some grayling.

The problem with the headwaters is getting there. It's a long way from anywhere
and all of it requires traveling on dirt roads. The roads are usually rough but if you
drive rather fast you can smooth out the washboard type surface. Don't be
surprised if you meet a rancher going over 70 MPH on the small, dirt road. You can
see a long way, so there isn't any problem with the visibility in the valley You will see
a few ranches along the way, some of which cater to horse back riders. I think much
of the valley is (or was, I'm not sure now) owned by one man, but I want get into
that. It was for sale the last time we were there. If you have a few mill, you can buy a
big hunk of the Ruby Valley.

There are campground in the forest, if you care to stay. Otherwise, count on about
two hours of traveling over a rough road. We have only fished the headwaters a few
times, but we have caught trout about as fast as we could cast each time. It is worth
the drive and you can look forward to being alone, except for the campground and
it may even be vacant.

Basics of Fly Fishing:
Drag Free Drift - Part 2

Well, I hope you can see that it is essential to get a drag free drift and again, this
means both on the surface and below the water, not just on the surface when you
are fishing dry flies. Some anglers forget that when you nymph fishing, you fly
should drift at the same speed of the current it is in. The big question for the
beginner is, "how do you get a drag free drift".

There are two basic ways to do that and either one, or a combination of both, can
be used. One is to mend your line. That is the only one used by many anglers. That
is the only one used by many novice anglers, I should say.
I look at it like this, in
most cases, mending your line is fixing a cast you screwed up.

The other way to get a drag free drift is to make a cast with enough slack in it to
prevent the fly from dragging.
A slack line cast is the bread and butter of fly
fishing for trout.
If you make a good slack line cast you want have to mend (fix)
your presentation. By the way, for all you long distance casters,
when you make a
long cast, you straighten your line out.
I have never seen anyone make a 100
foot slack line cast.
So if distance is your thing, stick with the casting
tournaments. It has no place in fly fishing for trout
. In fact, if you can cast 25
or 30 feet, you can catch as many trout in the streams of the Smokies as anyone
that fishes the Smokies, even if they can cast 100 feet. Most of your cast should be
less than 25 feet.
An average cast should be more like 15 or 20 feet.

More about this tomorrow ............

Copyright 2009 James Marsh