Planning on fishing the Blackfoot, David and I took to preparing for our first full-day outing by tying some flies. Now, I’m not much of a tie, but David is pretty damn good so I watched South Park and watched him make cool shiny things for me.
By 12:30 I was ready for bed and David was finishing trying to teach me how to spin deer hair. To his credit, David was able to wake up this morning before his alarm went off. I really appreciate when people do that, because there is nothing worse than having an alarm clock wake you up. I would much rather have David’s soft voice awaken me from my slumber.
Back on track though, after a quick cup of coffee, a short deliberation, a drive of intermediate distance and a rain shower we were ready to put the boat in the water. Now the water on the upper reaches of the Blackfoot has two distinguishing attributes. It is clear, not “gin” clear like you hear about on the South Platte, but it is literally clear. It is one of the few places I have been to that human vision can penetrate twenty feet into the water column unobstructed. The second definable feature of the upper Blackfoot and its tributaries is that they are very cold. This did not detour our copper john maniac David Luna however, he wasted no time tying on some of his freakish looking articulated streamers and a few copper johns of varying colors.
Within ten minutes David managed to hook this whitefish on his articulated meat strip. I’m not even sure how or why this thing thought it could eat his offering, regardless however, it was the largest whitey I have ever seen eat a streamer. It might be the only whitefish I have ever seen eat a streamer, I’m not really sure. This is how David got introduced to Montana’s version carp (trash fish). Enter captain whitey.
As the day progressed David was overwhelmed with countless whitefish and seemed ecstatic to haul them into the boat. I was thrilled, this is the easiest kid to please in the world, if guides could get paid money to put people on whitefish then not only would their tips be amazing but it would also be the easiest job in the world (sign me up). As the rain started to come down sideways David hooked what he assumed was just another large whitey.
I was skeptical as I watched from the front of the boat, shades of yellow seemed to speak cutthroat to me as he continued to battle the fish in the current. “Went straight to the bottom, definitely a whitey” says David as if he is now an expert. I love his enthusiasm. As the battle entered its final stages and the fish began to concede defeat, to our mutual joy it was indeed a native trout, an exhilarating victory. As the smile on his face started to turn to a smirk the only thing he could tell me was how well his opponent fought. He glanced up from his rod to say simply “Nothing like tailwater trout Nathan”. Indeed David, it just is a whole different ball-game when the fish have to fight run-off, temperature changes, and other predators in the air and water.
The day concluded much as it began, with many a whitefish and a few nice trout. For David’s first day on Montana I would say it was an overwhelming success. I pray his new found arrogance will not anger the fishing gods and bestow upon us times of great despair. Developing…