DATE: Monday, March 5, 2012
TIME: 2:15 PM TO 4:30 PM
WEATHER: Low to mid-50s, mostly sunny, strong breeze
WATER CONDITIONS: 0 units
LOCATIONS FISHED: Norfork River, upstream of Ol’ Charlie’s
FLIES USED: #18 olive Norfork River scud, #14 gray Norfork River scud, #20 red/silver zebra midge, #20 olive cockleburr
ROD USED: Winston 8’ 6” 5-weight WT Joan Wulff Favorite
HATCHES: Midges, caddis
OTHER: I fished solo. This was my first time on the water since January 4; Kay and I spent the winter in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, enjoying the warm weather, and just returned yesterday. Waiting for wadable water, I monitored the US Army Corps of Engineers telephone message center to know when to “suit up”, and the recording kept indicating that the Norfork River had two generators on. We opted to go into town for lunch, groceries, and deer and bird feed. As we drove by the access, we noted that the river was low, so once again, the Corps voice message center was wrong again as generation ceased at 10 AM. There is no excuse for this, but we’ve found an alternate method of checking water levels, knowing we can no longer depend on the reliability of the Corps!
Upon our return home from town, I finally made it into the water at 2 PM, and began getting hits immediately. I missed the first couple of fish, then hooked up and landed a couple. And then, I missed several more, including a couple of nice fish. Fish were rising to midge hatch despite the wind, so I switched to a cockleburr and caught a few fish. About 3 PM, a good caddis hatch began, and fish were keying on the caddis. I had taken the caddis box out of the vest for winter, and had not replaced it, so the cockleburr remained the fly of choice. I did see one trout chase a skating caddis several feet before nailing it—a joy to see. I ended the day with about a dozen fish, including this nicely colored 14-inch cutthroat. I should have caught more, but missed at least a dozen and a half more.