Continued from Part 1
Blake’s fly shop, Cross Currents
, is in Craig, Montana. This “city” consists of three fly shops, a restaurant, and a bar. That’s just about it. So after returning the boat to the shop, the four us stopped by Izaak’s
(as in Walton
) for some delicious grub and to discuss the next day’s plans. The ladies started speaking about what we would all do, like hit the flea market or go hiking. Blake and I immediately looked at each other. “Uh, Tom and I were planning on fishing tomorrow…”
So Friday was about the boat, Saturday would be about wading. Blake picked some good spots for us to hit throughout the day. We had one “secret” spot we were going to hit, but we got a later start with the food and drinks from the previous night, and there were already four trucks parked next to the slough. “Too busy”, Blake said and we went to plan B. We had stopped by the fly shop before heading out and picked up some low riding PMD emergers in the hopes of catching the hatch. We were a bit late, but so were the bugs. About three minutes after we found some water we liked, the hatch began, bugs came off the water, and fish started rising. Blake put on the shop fly, made a nice slightly downstream cast, and almost immediately hooked into a 22-inch brown
. This is fishing with Blake. Not all that different from Dave
. This fish was a beast, tall, fat, and long.
The rest of the day was spent catching regular sized fish, 15-18 inch trout. Big ones for me only used to the small streams of the Front Range, so I had a great time. The fish were cued in on the PMDs for the next couple hours. We moved around a bit and after lunch, ended up near his house, fishing the same spot I had caught my 18-incher the day before. I looked in front of that rock and there was another good-looking fish. This time I had some experience with distance and where to put the fly. First cast I got him. 17.5 inches. Good fish. Then home for chicken tacos, drinks, and back out at it again.
This time Blake went a bit further down to explore some new water, I worked some water with Blake’s roommate not far from my new favorite rock. Just as twilight occurred, another epic caddis hatch. Clouds so thick, I was covered in them, they were crawling in my nose and ears, but all I could do was focus on the water, boiling with trout snouts. Me and my new buddy (it’s amazing how sharing a killer fishing experience can make quick friends of strangers) each got into double-digit numbers of fat fish. During a lull, Blake came walking back down the tracks and ask how it was. “Pretty good,” we said. He had only caught a couple fish, he saw me catch one and came down the bank immediately. From there we fished till we couldn’t see our flies. This was a good night of fishing.
Continues tomorrow in Part 3