Elmer Meiler and I fished together in the Gardner
River in Early August and he had a lot
of success with a couple fly patterns that I was particularly
taken with. Just a week ago he
sent me a selection of them in this nice fly box that he purchased
for members of his
fishing group, the Cornhusker Fly Fishers. The hopper pattern
on the left is Mary's Hopper,
originated by Mary Kuss of eastern Pennsylvania. As you can see,
it is a foam body fly with
a clipped deer hair head and yellow rubber legs.The second fly
is a clipped caribou hair body,
spider pattern with a white foam post that makes it very easy
to see. Elmer said he got the
pattern from David Potter, a friend in South Africa.
I gave the flies a try in a mountain meadow stream
in Southwest Montana just a couple
days ago. You can see a Mary's Hopper hooked to the hook keeper
of my rod. The fine
little stream I fished runs deep within the golden grasses of
the meadow in the background.
The stream is a series of deep cut bank runs separated
from one another by shallow
gravel bars. The water is clear and blue in the depths and holds
marvelous, deep bodied
westernslope cutthroats. This particular meadow section is about
a mile long and has only
a few quite challenging trout in the twelve to eighteen inch range.
This nice fish came to one of Elmer's spiders. The
upper wrap on my rod is at exactly
fourteen inches making this nice fish about a fifteen incher.
The depth of his body makes
him very strong. It probably took me five minutes to get him in.
The extreme cold of
the water in this stream kept him nice and fresh through it all.
As soon as I removed
the fly, he dashed back into the depths of the run.
This fine fellow, another fifteen incher, came to
one of Elmer's Mary's Hoppers. If you
look closely you can see that I did a little manicuring on the
yellow rubber legs. Overall,
I had a wonderful day enjoying solitude and catching wonderful
fish on flies
tied by a special friend.