This cutthroat, hooked by my buddy and fellow blogger Tim Romano last week on Montana’s Blackfoot River did not, as you can see, cooperate for a quick mug shot. But the fish isn’t what’s important in the photo. Take a look at the thick layer of foam behind the cutty. The trout was one of dozens dimpling through this big swath of clean, rich, frothy goodness we stumbled upon late in the day. While there is no such thing as a bad dry fly eat, I have always found that finding trout and catching them when they’re sipping in the suds is a special treat that can be more challenging and rewarding than targeting rising fish in clear water.
If you’ve experienced a situation like this, you know that foam can be friend or foe. On one hand, foam stops the fish from being able to see you easily. On the other, any subtle disruption in that foam from a fly or leader or line plopping too hard can shut down feeding in a nanosecond. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. What I find most fun about foam, however, is that it often tricks you into thinking the tiny little ripples a bulges you’re seeing are being produced by tiny little trout. That’s not always the case, and there is a big difference in the amount of jitters you experience when you can size up a trout rising in clear water and when what lurks below is hidden by a blanket of white.
The cutthroat in this foam patch were so ravenous, we would catch one, put them down, and within five minutes they’d be up again. The first one I caught couldn’t have measured more than 9 inches, so we assumed they would all be about the same. Tim’s first cast, despite the eat looking no different than mine, produced the 14 incher above. We had so much fun that we stayed on that one foamy bank until dark.
Any epic foam eats you’d like to share?