This year has gotten off to a slow start for sure. It's hard to say of it's the economy or not as we are busy once we get into early July and a little is starting now. Last year was such a prolonged runoff, it's also hard to say if folks decided to wait a little later on average this year to avoid the runoff. Regardless, it seems like it's been quiet on the rivers for everyone this June. I'm looking forward to getting busy soon and I've been enjoying some fishing on my own for a change.
Chris and I hit the Lower Madison last Thursday night in hope of Salmonflies. They weren't out yet, but there were a ton of Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and PMD's. I ended up taking pictures more so than fishing and Chris worked at it pretty hard with dries. He finally worked it out on a PMD para winger after throwing a bunch of different patterns at them.
We saw a nice fish that was tailing in reverse down the river. The only thing we could figure is that it had a sculpin or crayfish that it was trying to get down, heck it could've been a trout too, it's throat and fighting that more so that the current. The other phenom over there right now is the presence of Sea Gulls. The gulls live at the landfill in Manhattan all year, but they usually migrate up the river with the Salmonflies. I assume this is what they're doing as they show up about now and hang out for a few weeks. I've seen several of them over the years at this time of year that look like they are feeding on dead fish of some sort. Not sure exactly what it could be but I've seen this behavior the last few years. This could explain why they get on dead drift sculpins so well around now.
Chris and I also fished on Sat on the UM. Fishing was good, not great. Stonefly nymphs, worms, and small PT's were the best bet for us. PMD's were out and Salmonflies are probably just a few warm days away.
I played with an 11' 5 wt. Helios Switch rod all day. The length was really nice for mending, but overall I thought the rod was heavier than what I'd want to fish with for a day or two of trout fishing. It has some great application for wade fishing larger rivers like the stone or Madison, but I primarily fish out of a boat so that extra reach isn't as important to me. If I did primarily wade fish, I think this would be a great rod to have for fishing in the fall and to have for days on the Yellowstone. A cool rod but definitely a specialty thing.