Montana Fly Fishing

Water flows on the Bitterroot are pretty high and a few feet of clarity. Fishing has been good. But mostly sub-surface. It’s not really that there isn’t any bugs though… Plenty of neumoras and fair amount of skwalas. Things should continue to improve as levels drop. Should have a solid 2-3 weeks of great fishing in April.
It’s a good time to get out and shake off the rust regardless of the conditions. On that note wanted to mention something I was thinking about the other day on setting the hook. Had a couple of ladies last fall for a few days on the river. They were pretty new to fly fishing and one was having a little trouble setting the hook without breaking off. It was just one of those days you only get once in a while, where every big fish in the river is eating and not being picky. Well one of the ladies was getting the fly to the fish but just setting it too hard and breaking off immediately. I kept trying to come up with a way to tell her how hard to set the hook. And unfortunately being September, not in as patient a tone that typically usually comes early in the season. We settled, at the time on the fact that it just takes practice. And that soon enough the timing and feel will just come naturally. I haven’t forgotten this trip, and a night or two ago I thought about it some more and came up with a simple thought. When you set the hook you want to use the tip of the rod and not the middle of the rod. Now this sounds basic enough but it take a little thought. The tip of the rod is the most forgiving. And with most of the rods being a good bit stiffer than they used to be. This may even more important than in the past. If you set the hook with an upward arm motion and don’t break your wrist your going to be using the bottom of the rod on the set. If you break your wrist when you set the hook, even past your head. Your going to be using the more forgiving top end of the rod. and probably going to lose less fish on lighter tippets and dry flies.
This is probably way oversimplified, as the amount of slack between you and the fish is also very important. But something to think about anyway..