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Field report: Clark Fork back in action for anglers

FLY FISHING -- My friend David Moershel and I drove over Lookout Pass on Thursday, dodged lightning storms and endured weather ranging from cool to hot over two days to check out Montana's Clark Fork River a week after fishing restrictions were lifted after weeks of water too warm for the health of the trout.

The verdict:  The Clark Fork is back in action, when it's not being cruel.

The three photos with this post (click continue reading) show the thick 14- to 16-inch cutthroat, rainbow and cuttbow I caught on dry flies and nymphs in a two-hour period on Friday morning.  They were among five other fish I caught including a whitefish in three hours of walkng and wading.

Not bad for a guy who casts like a zombie and was trying to train his English setter to stay on a rock and NOT retrieve the fish as they were reeled in.

But while we had periods of good fishing, we also had stretches when we couldn't buy a trout.  On Thursday evening we drove to several spots that have been good to us in the past and we couldn't find a rising fish.

The moral: When it's hot, it's hot; when it's not, it's not.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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