July 6, 2019 Hebgen Lake, Montana Dry Fly then Harriman Ranch Fishing Report: 65°/Partly cloudy/Mild wind in all directions

Posted by Nate & Geoff at 12:00 AM on Saturday, Jul 6th, 2019

Day 4

Our objective on this trip was to film lake footage and even though Hebgen didn’t explode yesterday, it still produced two big fish. Geoff and I both thought we could do better, so we arrive at Hebgen Lake around 7:30 AM and move to the same point we fished yesterday. There’s no wind, a glassy surface, and zero fish rising for a quarter mile around us. We hunt the flat for over an hour with only an occasional rise all of which were way out of casting range. Over the next hour I get two opportunities and fail on both of them. I did get one fish to false take the caddis. Finally around 10:00 we get a target moving north over the transition line and he eats the Black Emperor Caddis #18. After an extended fight, I net a beautiful 19-inch rainbow.

After releasing the fish the wind kicks up and begins to intensify. Fifteen minutes later the lake is waking, just short of whitecaps. There are no rising fish so I flip flies to a #10 Black Gold Hardback and start searcher fishing it aggressively through the wake. After multiple casts a nice brownie rolls up on the big target and eats the Black Gold. I set the hook and fight a 19-inch brownie to the net. That was our final fish at Hebgen for the day as the wind blew us off the lake.

Night Shift:

We revisited the Harriman Ranch in the evening and it was a humbling experience. There was a monster hatch of brown drakes that came off, but I broke the biot on the only drake pattern I had plus I had no spinners. That spelled a butt-kicking from top to bottom as hundreds of fish fed. I caught nothing but three small fish. We came to this area to lake fish and fall into the epicenter of brown drakes. I’m rarely ill-prepared, but I’m on the Ranch with my pants pulled down to the ankles taking a butt whoopin’.

Flies that Caught Fish:


#18 Black Emperor Caddis
#10 Black Gold Hardback
#10 Hatching Green Drake

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