The sun gradually shined light on the Tobacco Roots as I cruised past the Lower Maddie on 84. Quick glances out the window revealed less ice floating down the river then last week. That's typically how I gauge things to look around Ennis during the winter months. I hung a left on 287 anxious to cross that bridge in town so I could see what the day had in store for me.
The next thing I pay attention to is the sagebrush and any flag I can get my eyes on. As I descended down into town the wind was howling hard. I got to the intersection by the Town Pump and it was decision time. Fight the winds in hopes they die down by noon or continue up into the foothills of the Madison's where the wind is less likely a factor. I hung a left. 40 minutes later I arrived all alone at the parking lot and geared up.
Fishing has been a little slow on the Upper River over the past few weeks. It was only a matter of time before those trout got into their winter habits and things got interesting. Today was that day. I was able to TL a stone fly and tagged a #16 Butano Perdigon nymph about 8 inches above the stone. It was one of those day's where the rainbows were on one thing and the browns were on another. Luckily I had the meal ticket for both.
I was dialed in and focused. I really spent time concentrating on not leading my flies through the drift too fast. A 1-2 second hesitation before leading really helps those nymph's get down to the kill zone. The fish were responding well to that technique and focus. The bridge was still in sight and I was already in the mid-teens for numbers of trout. The shallow/soft water really held those fish in good numbers today. It always helps having the river to yourself....something about that gives you confidence too almost force those fish into eating.
The magic midge hatch came off but I only noticed a few fish rising. One of these days it's going to explode. The weather looks pretty good for the next 10 days or so....if you have time do yourself a favor and get out that rod, you won't be disappointed.