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Opening Day

Big Hole 408 cfs Jefferson 885 cfs

Today was opening day of the general big game hunting season in Montana. For the past few years I have elected not to go hunting on the opener especially when it’s a beautiful warm day like today. While most hunters were sweating hiking around the hills in the above average temps. we were floating the deserted river and were having a great time catching fish. We were taking turns rowing and Art was using a beetle pattern on top getting a lot of action on it, but no big fish. When it was my turn I tried a pattern I tied last spring for big browns. It’s kinda of a cross between a yuk bug and a wooly bugger with a rabbit strip tail and olive in color. He looked at it with some skeptisism but it soon proved itself. We caught about the same amount of fish but my wooly yukker got the bigger ones. At one point I threw it into this fairly shallow back eddy and it immediately snagged up, or so I thought. I was trying to get it off that snag when all of a sudden the snag started flopping around in the water. It turned out to be a big brown and that when he hit it he just stopped and sulked for a few seconds. I had to take a little flak over that one with comments like, best looking snag I ever saw. Things always even up as it took a few minutes to release the biggest one of the day, about a 200 pounder. He was still giving me some flak about my so called snag when he hooked him self perfectly in his lower lip with his beetle pattern. I had no problem popping it out with the leader technique but before I did I couldn’t resist tugging on the tippet just a bit so see that lower lip hang out.

As far as I’m concerned it was one of the best opening days of hunting season I’ve had.

Forecast for the rest of the week is warm and sunny. Bad for the hunters–good for the fishing.

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