Between some hot, dry elk hunting I went fishing on McCoy Creek. The fishing was pretty poor as all the holes where fish should have been were vacant for activity. I did catch two small cutthroats on small grasshoppers flies. McCoy Creek was probably a good 12+ inches low for this time of year which I am sure contributed to the poor quality of fishing.
Here are a couple of pictures of the McCoy Creek headwaters near Clear Creek:
For the Blackfoot River, a gray body and thorax is the best – sizes 6 & 8. For smaller Idaho streams (Tincup, Stump Creek, Upper Warm River, Moose Creek, etc.) carry some size 14 hoppers during the summer months and you’ll likley catch 40-50 fish (6-12″) in a few hours. The larger hoppers rarely hook any of these smaller fish even though they will try like crazy to take the fly.
I am still working on a better thorax/body that will allow the fly to remain on the surface when fished with a dropper. This pattern after a few casts tends to sink when fished with a dropper even when floatant is used. Anybody have any ideas or success stories on keeping the hopper on the surface? Let me know if you do.
Enjoy the last few weeks of fishing – if you enjoy wading through 6 inches of snow and battling sub-freezing conditions!
Like just about every September, I have been diverted from fly fishing during a great fly fishing month to pursue the rocky mountain elk across the headwaters of the Blackfoot River. Since the rut had not started, the hunting was subpar, although I did see 10 cows/calves the two days I spent hunting. I did take a little diversion to test one of the small streams for fish – I snagged a hopper and threw it into a fish worthy hole – alas I did not see any activity and lost sight of the hopper quicker than I hoped. It was a beautiful weekend and I look forward to more September days in the woods and streams. Good luck with the fishing.
Hook: 3x long, sizes 10, 12, 14, 16
Parachute post: white poly yarn (alternate = white calf tail)
Body: Tan antron/hare’s ear blend (grey also works well)
Wing: Turkey Tail fibers
Legs: Pheasant Tail fibers, knotted
Parachute Hackle: Grizzly
This pattern is a cutthroat magnet in the summer months. Body color variations include tan, brown, gray (my favorite), and yellow. Afternoon fishing is outstanding with this pattern. Use a bead headed prince nymph/hares ear for extra action. You may even hook two at a time!