After significant concerns over water flow this year, late spring rain storms have kept the Blackfoot River flowing at a normal rate which means outstanding fishing for native cutthroats. This last Tuesday I fished the Blackfoot River and caught 15+ fish, three were over 20″. I also caught the largest cutthroat trout I have ever caught…a 24″ bruiser that weighed in the 4-6 pound range. He smacked a grasshopper fly off the surface and then raced away downstream. After about a 1/2 hour of reviving, he swam away for hopefully another adventure in the near future. He was a beautiful fish.
Hot flies for Tuesday: Beadheaded Brown Wooly Bugger; Beadheaded Prince Nymph (Size 16); and medium sized foam or para hopper Grasshopper (grey or dark tan)
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!