Opening day on Idaho’s Blackfoot River was fabulous! We caught 10+ cutthroat trout that were over 20″. I landed two cutthroats that were 23″ and probably in the 4-5 pound range. We also lost 4 trout that were even bigger than the 23″ trout.
The water on the Blackfoot River is about a foot low for opening day which does not bode well for later summer fishing, especially if we keep having 90 degree days. Make sure to bring a net so you can land and release these trophy cutthroat trout quickly.
Size 4 bead head woolly buggers – brown and black
Size 16 bead head prince nymph or hare’s ear nymph
Size 12 blue Damsel fly
Here is a little video of a giant stonefly we found crawling around on Stump Creek. Stump Creek doesn’t have a large giant stonefly hatch but there are few that come out in the first weeks of June. Stump Creek does have a large hatch of small golden stoneflies (size 16-18) that also hatches in the first few weeks of June. Fly fishing with adult stoneflies is a blast if you can hit the hatch just right. Here is a good description of stoneflies and their entomology: http://www.flycraftangling.com/index.asp?p=124.
Here is a fly fishing video of my dad hooking into a Cutthroat Trout hybrid on the Upper Blackfoot River. Right after this he had two 20+ inch trout hit both his upper and lower fly at the same time. Luckily one flipped off and he was able to land another 22″ trout. As the video shows, Blackfoot River fly fishing can be awesome for large cutthroat and rainbow trout. We caught 30+ trout fly fishing on bead head woolly worms and the average size was an amazing 18″ with only a few fish caught under 17″.
Here’s a video of my dad catching a cutthroat on the Blackfoot River. Right after I quit filming he landed two Cutthroats n the 20″ range. As usual my timing was imperfect at best. Even with low water the Blackfoot was fishing great and we landed a lot of beautiful Yellowstone Cutts.