Readers Cast


Satoshi Yamamoto - Dec 3, 2012


As reported in PART 1, afternoon of October 25th was one of the most memorable dry-fly fishing experience in my life. October 26th, in spite of sunny and windy afternoon, BWO hatch was good (at where I call "Windbreak" spot). I fished the same way with happy results. On October 27th, weather turned out to be very suitable not only for BWO hatch but for streamers and large soft-hackles. I had very good actions with large soft-hackles in the morning. Then BWO hatch started just as I expected at 1pm. Lots of trout did rise again at the "Bend". Day couldn't have been better than that. However, little did I know it was only a beginning of conundrum, actually a trap eventually paranoia.

TROUT BEHAVIORAL CHANGE: As trout started rising at 1 p m on October 27th, I started fishing just the same way as I had been doing at "Bend", hoping another huge run-up trout would take my flies. I rigged up two dry-flies (combination of duns, spent, emergers, cripples, parachutes, and more) or one dry-fly plus nymph imitations (fished in various depth). For next two hours, my flies were totally ignored by rising trout. Changing flies more than I could recall and using more than several feet of 4X, 5X, and 6X tippets, I couldn't even get trout attention at all.

I can describe this now because I kept my daily journal entries. Trout were rising to feed on something without breaking the surface film (this first observation was the key till the end). I was simply thinking "feeding on something under the surface, so try dry-dropper nymph, and have them target on nymphs". I even tried soft-hackle swings. Nothing really happened. I actually had one strike on my dry-fly. That was the only one action when one particular trout broke the surface and fed above it. By then, I had changed too many flies and pieces of tippets, so one of knots might have been weak. It broke away my tippet, hence I couldn't do stomach sampling. I didn't take the situation too seriously in that afternoon. I said "Hey it's just a tough day".


HOW ABOUT BWO? : BWO were definitely on the water and in the air. However, considering rise forms of trout, I also thought about trout might have been taking midges. As frustration and nothingness accumulated, I walked to downstream, enough distance away from rising trout, and used my seine (always kept in my vest). What I collected was just like these.



My seine must have been covering from the surface to 4 or 5 inches below the surface film. All I got was these duns. Drowned or just fallen in? I did not collect any emerging/ascending nymphs or midges (unless counting a few of size 32 midges). Trout had to be feeding and rising for BWO then.

OTHER POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: I caught up with Tom at the creek. I explained situation and problems I had faced. As always, he pointed out potential problems and what I could do.

  1. Probably my fly patterns were limited. This was true and I accepted the fact as I wanted to add more variations eventually. Besides patterns in PART 1, what I had on that day were:






CDC Sparkle Dun
Hook: Standard dry or emerger # 18, 20, 22
Thread: Olive dun, rusty dun
Tail: Sparse amount of dark dun Zelon
Abdomen: Tying thread
Wing: White or light dun CDC fibers
Thorax: Superfine dub, BWO or gray

Pheasant Tail Mayfly Parachute – Yamamoto's
Hook: Standard dry # 18, 20, 22
Thread: Olive dun, rusty dun
Tail & Abdomen: Pheasant tail
Ribbing: Fine gold wire
Parachute: White Widow's Web or EP Fibers
Thorax: Superfine dub, BWO or gray
Hackle: Light or medium dun

Double CDC Emerger – Yamamoto's
Hook: Emerger # 18, 20, 22
Thread: Olive dun,
Tail: Sparse amount of dark dun Zelon
Abdomen: Brown goose biots
Thorax: Olive Henry's Folk Hackle – Montana Fly Company
Wing: Dark dun CDC fibers

Pheasant Puff BWO – Yamamoto's
Hook: Standard dry  # 18, 20, 22
Thread: Olive dun, rusty dun
Tail: Sparse amount of dark dun Zelon
Abdomen: Turkey biots – BWO, gray, PMD
Wing: Gray fluffy fibers of any Ringneck pheasant feathers
Head: Superfine dub, BWO or gray

These were another good bunch. But also I was fishing the same spot of the same creek. Although I was confident of my casting and presentation, through my guiding experience I should have known that trout eventually would get used to same fly patterns.

2) As of October 25th, I hadn't seen any redds at "Bend". That was why I could move around to find right angles of presentations so easily. However, just in a day or two, lots of redds were developed. Probably I should have simply left the spot but I was targeting rising trout along the far-bank and I was sure that I wasn't stepping on redds. Instead I had to be either a bit too far or a bit too close to rising trout. Yet I still presented my flies without dragging. Over all, it still sounded like "Hey it's just a tough day." Even well-known fly-fishermen can face "Waterloo" every now and then. After those tough experiences, serious anglers conquer problems and grow up into further better anglers. I can relate to that situation myself too.

To be continued in PART 3, see if I could fix the situation………..
Satoshi Yamamoto,, brought his passion for fly-fishing & fly-tying from Japan to Montana and became the first ever Japanese guide in Livingston, MT.  He guides and fishes big rivers like Madison & Yellowstone, spring creeks in Paradise Valley, and various waters in Yellowstone Park. Hence, with his Regal Vise at the bench, his fly tying interests vary from tiny midges to 5-inch streamers and anything in between. Once his ideas are combined he goes out for experiments at those near-by waters.  Satoshi submits his innovative patterns to Montana Fly Company ( 
His own innovative original patterns can be purchased from his fly-shop,

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