By Jake Schilling - March 24, 2020
In the midst of self-quarantine, it is important to get a little fresh air. We got some floating in last week under unusually warm March temps. As I write this it's 25 degrees and snowing out, what a nice change 55 degrees and sunshine were for a few days last week. There were a few more boats on Saturday than any other day last week, but that's normal plus considering most folks had been locked up inside all week. Depending on how the next 2 weeks warm-up, we could be seeing some good hatches down by Ennis, a little variety besides midges will really get our spring season going. This report is more focused on the Varney-Ennis end of the river, but can still apply this report to the Upper section if you keep in mind the water is a few degrees colder up high.
At age 21 Jake moved to West Yellowstone from Missoula in May 2012. That first summer he spent two months living in a tent, before moving into a 1971 Lark camper until October. After three years of part-time guiding, Jake moved into a full-time guide job with MRO. During the winter he spends his time spey casting, midge fishing, steelhead fishing, and cross-country skiing while off work. Jake’s laid-back attitude and patience are unmatched, he loves taking the day slow; walking the boat and always having one more fly to try before moving on.
Thanks David. Well, without casting the rod, one recommendation would be trying a double-tapered fly line. These lines are a lot of fun on shorter rods and deliver delicate presentations for quiet waters like the South Fork.
I’ve been following your reports for a few months now and I’m enjoying the hell outta them. At 56 years old, I am still a rookie at casting a fly line, but have managed quite well. I started out five years ago when one of my instructors at K-State University (College classes at 51 is a whole other story) offered up one of his poles a few hours of lessons in the park.
A week after that I spent five days in Colorado and caught fish every day. I also came home with tennis elbow. Didn’t realize there were tendons involved that I had not used in a while. Anyway, three years ago a came across an “Executive Travel Pack” at a second hand store.
It looked more like a case for a long barreled hand gun, but when you open it up it has a fly reel, a spinning reel, small box for lures and a rod broken down into six sections. The base of the pole is flipped one way for use with the spinner and the opposite way for the fly reel. It had never been used and required line on both reels, but I had to have it… and bought two.
Finally onto my question, when the rod is fully assembled it is only about six feet long. Trying to cast with a six foot pole is much harder than a nine footer, especially with five or more feet of leader and tippet. I made it work in September of 2018, just south of W. Yellowstone on the S. Fork of the Maddison near the Railroad Summer Home area and caught a 10-inch Grayling… but it was only about 15-feet from me. Trying to cast out past 20-feet is a pain in the ass, so… do ya have any advice for an old rookie who wants to keep using his six-foot rod?
Sincerely & respectfully,
David A. McGillis
Comments will be approved before showing up.