|A Gallatin River brown trout, taken on a #8 Gould's Half Down Skwala.|
The cold, wet spring weather that we've endured in Montana over the past few weeks finally gave way to warm, sunny conditions this weekend. Despite not having heard of any skwala sightings on the river in over a week, I decided to give it a shot Saturday afternoon. My hope was that even if the hatch had passed, maybe the fish would still recognize and take a skwala, much the way they will take a salmonfly a week after that hatch.
I went with a tandem dry fly set-up, trailing a Gould's half down skwala with a sparkle dun. I was all in on the dry fly game, double or nothing. The first take caught me totally off guard, six months of rust with a dry fly was in evidence. Over the course of the next couple of hours I slowly found my timing and brought a few browns to hand, all of which took the skwala dry. Sure, I likely could have caught dozens of fish - and larger fish - if I had nymphed, but catching a few trout on a big dry fly in April was just the payoff I was looking for.