Cathy's ESN, Hopper Invasion, & 2022 Trips

Cathy's ESN – How it's Going

ESN 0793You may have read in an earlier blog that I decided this spring to get better at euro nymph fishing. Our guides were all doing it, exchanging stories, and it was clear that they liked it. I wanted to be part of that new energy, to take part in the conversations, be part of the group, so I got Tom & Jim, two of our guides, to help set up an outfit. It included the Sage ESN rod, an ESN reel, and on the reel I had 20 lb. Amnesia followed with 42” of 20 lb. Chameleon to 42” of 12 chameleon, then a RIO 2-tone indicator tippet to a barrel swivel and fluoro from there to the fly, or flies. And off I went.

In the blog I wrote how I struggled with reading the depth even with the 2-tone indicator tippet. I was used to feeling the flies and split shot bounce along the bottom and watching the strike indicator and this required a whole new level of learning to read the drift. When we were in Slovenia a couple years back we spent a week casting mono and fishing this way but we were closer to the fish and the water was clear and not as deep. Here in the spring I just couldn't get a read. I caught a few fish but I “picked” a lot more because I was late in striking. Sometimes I would feel a wiggle and know that I was late again so I would cheat and add a yarn indicator and then the catching improved, but I wanted to do it the right way. I felt like I was cheating on an exam.

Then I tried giving up on so much of the mono and went with the RIO Technical Euro Nymph Shorty and the casting immediately got easier. I thought I was on the right track but by now the water was warming and hatches were starting. I knew I couldn't fish a dry fly on this set-up so it took second place on the rod rack and I got out my Trout LL and enjoyed dry fly fishing. That didn't last long. We have had a very wet spring and for every couple of days of good dry fly fishing, we get high water for a few days, so it wasn't long before the ESN came off the rack again.

It's almost unheard of but we've got high water as I write this in the middle of July and I have to say that after many hours of euro nymphing under my belt, I can see how effective it is when bouncing nymphs off the bottom and I amESN 0807 getting better at reading the 2-tone leader and have to say that I like the indicator tippet. The other thing that I really like though is the tippet ring and we are now using them on all of our rods. It makes managing the tippet so much easier and protects the leader. We're using tippet rings in all of our classes and I think that it helps a new angler in understanding tippet and leaders.

I think if you are on the right water the ESN rod and set-up is deadly. When the water is low and clear it's all delicate sight fishing and just about anyone would prefer that to watching the leader. The ESN rod has earned it's spot on our rod rack next to the Trout LL and I'll let the water conditions dictate which one to fish. As I said before, there is definitely a learning curve, but as you start to get comfortable with it you can sure see the advantage of this style of fishing.


Hopper Invasion

hoppercaptureA friend and client sent us the following article. It seems that the west is not only dealing with drought and wild fires, but with a grasshopper invasion as well. It's hard to believe that there can be this many hoppers and it doesn't sound like a good thing, but we have to hope that we find them in mass on the Bighorn when we get there in a few weeks. It could be some amazing fishing!

 2022 Trips

Every week our 2022 schedule looks a little more solid. Here's what we've got so far:


Montana Fishing Restrictions, Spain Openings, & Br...
Room at Turneffe, Alaska Airlines, & Nymph Sale