We spend a lot of our time wearing waders up in Alaska, but we absolutely appreciate the drift boat experience too. Here in Montana, we enjoy fly fishing the Madison
without fighting currents or losing the river bottom. The backcountry is incredible, and the angling is always an adventure.
Between our drift boat fishing up north and here around Bozeman, we've developed some pretty reliable strategies for catching trout. We've come up with a few tricks that always up our production when we're throwing streamers in the spring, and they work really well in the fall too. We offer these four simple streamer tips for catching more fish.1. Be Willing to Experiment
We all cast our streamers within a couple of inches of the riverbank with a fast strip, but it's too easy to fall into a routine. If fish were predictable, we wouldn't have much of a sport, so mix things up. As you strip back to the boat, go for a slow, even retrieve, and then follow that with a steady, fast strip. Change your angle, try a couple of retrieves with generous pauses, and tempt those trout with something different.2. Get Real Off the Back
You want the best possible streamer presentation, but that doesn't always happen then you cast down and across. The technique definitely catches fish especially with a fast rip, but more realism results in more hits. Up your chances for hooking up with that trout swimming down stream with a throw off the back of the boat. Try putting some belly in the line with a good down mend and a little extra tension.3. Make It Easier to Manage
Try coupling a stiff 6 or 7 weight rod with a fast sink tip and a short, stout leader. We find this setup easier to finesse than a combo with a full sink line. A 6-foot leader that tapers down to 2X is a pretty good choice, and we sometimes go with 0X. Managing the big flies calls out the big fish. Turn on their aggression with a presentation that finds the strike zone fast.4. Bang the Banks, Not the Boat
You want to get it out there where they're holding just on the edge. You don't want to waste time reloading with false casts. Make your throw, mend, and then give it four or five strips. Cast back to the bank, and nail your next target. Don't strip all the way back to the boat. This puts the fly deep in the water and makes it hard to retrieve. If you can't pull it out into a back cast, roll cast your line forward to pull the fly to the surface.
You can't go wrong fly fishing from a drift boat that covers more miles in a day than you can cover with waders in a week. We admit that those side channels sure tempt us into the water, but we join you in the pleasure of scouting the rise from a boat. You're invited to join us up here at No See Um Lodge
the next time you're headed north. Just look for us on the banks of the Kvichak River.