First Float of the Year Brownie!|
(click image for detail)
Saturday,March 22, I found myself trying to wake up and get back into the flow of guiding season. This was my first float of the spring in Montana, and I got to float my favorite river. The Big Hole was on the agenda, and my brand new Winston BII-MX was ready for Battle. I don't know what I was more excited about? Floating, or fishing with my new Winston! "Got to fish the new Winston BII-MX." My thoughts were drifting. I've floated the Big Hole many times, but this would be the first trip with Winston's new rocket-powered BII MX. I was looking forward to the day!
So after hitting the snooze button about 15 times, I crawled out of bed and had to wake up my buddies crashing on the couch. My college roommate purchased Clackacraft's Headhunter Skiff from Frontier Anglers the day before, and we had to break it in. Scott isn't known for his rowing abilities, but he had to learn sometime. Why not take a new drift boat down a river with low flows to learn.
So after a few Advils for the head, a gallon of coffee, a billion dollars of gas, and some junk food at the supermarket; we finally headed to the Big Hole for the maiden voyage.
Melrose to Brown's Bridge was the float-du-jour. We had to stop in Melrose and see George at the fly shop. What would a day be on the Big Hole without stopping and giving George some crap. We shot the B.S for about 30 minutes, and all I could think about was my new Winston BII-MX!
Finally we made it to the Salmon Fly boat launch around 11:00. I went to throw my lunch in the cooler, and couldn't find room. Scott thought we needed 2 bags of ice. IT WAS ONLY 27 DEGREES OUT. Good early morning thinking. So, we dumped the ice out, put the lunch in, had to find room for a few beers, and tomato juice. Why not have a few red beers in the morning on the first day? Sounded like a good idea to me. Ah, it's only 27-good thinking.
Typical first day. Forgot my Simms Waderwick Bottoms. But all I could think about that morning was fishing my new Winston. "You know when you get a song stuck in your head, and can't get it out?" All I was singing was WINSTON, WINSTON, WINSTON, WINSTON!!! Remember.....it's only 27 degrees. So I got the Winston out of the case, and strung it with The new blue colored Frontier Anglers Personal Design Fly Line! Perfect combo.... Winston BII-MX and the Frontier Anglers Fly Line.
Fishing was a little tough in the morning. Maybe it was the slush floating down, or the ice stuck in the guides of the new WINSTON BII-MX! Around 1:00 we hit the slough channel, and decided it was time for lunch. Built a big campfire to warm up, drank a few COLD red beers, and had some lunch. It had warmed to 36 by now - a regular heat wave, but I had to fish the Winston.
After lunch it finally started to warm up, the thermometer read 46 above. Midges were everywhere on the surface. Not much for risers, but we were beginning to kick butt nymphing. We used the typical spring time Big Hole special, "Bacon and Eggs" combo - the San Juan worm and egg patterns. "Hey, it was the day before Easter and we had to throw a few eggs." We also fished P.T Cruzers, Varigated Stones, Flashback P.T's, Zebra Midges, Copper John's, and Rainbow Warrior's, all with good sucess.
It turned out to be a 30-40 fish day. It was so great to be back on the Big Hole, floating with friends, snow in the mountains, a new CLACKACRAFT and fishing with my NEW WINSTON BII-MX! It proved to be a fantastic rod with more power than a 1812 cannon ball. Great First Float of the Year.
It's snowing again today in Montana. Can't wait for this summer