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Gorge Lake

by Phillip Dobson
(Butte, MT)

Summer is here, the rivers are flooding with water and fishermen, and the mountains are finally thawing. With that in mind, I took a hike up into the Pioneer Range on SW Montana to visit a lake that I haven't fished yet.

After a rough drive and a pleasant hike, I arrived at the beautiful southern lake to find that all of the ice had recently cleared. I haven't fished an alpine lake so early in the year before, but I quickly realized that the surface action would be slow. I didn't bring a whole lot of non-dry flies, but I cycled through what I did have. Bead head soft hackles, weighted streamers, and good, old-fashioned kebari were getting consistent results from the healthy cutthroat.

I've been trying to practice my Western fly casting in addition to tenkara fishing, as I found myself getting very dependant on the extra control the long rod. As the afternoon progressed I settled into a nice system. As I had said earlier, not many fish were taking dry flies, but there were a few cruising the surface. The rest of the fish were enthusiastic about kebari and nymphs. I rigged the Sagiri with a kebari and fished it most of time, occasionally picking up the 4wt to make a cast toward the occasional riser that popped up in range. This was an excellent combination of practicing long targeted casts with the Western rod, and catching fish continuously during the downtime.

Comments for Gorge Lake

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Jun 25, 2017
Cool Photos!
by: John Evans

Cool photos, Phillip! I'm going to think about those pictures next time I'm sweating here in South Texas . . . Splendid-looking country and water!

Jun 25, 2017
Nice looking fish
by: Les A.

Nice looking fish, and it sure looks a lot more like home than where I was fishing last week! I enjoyed fishing in Texas, but there is no place like the Rocky Mountains. I'm going up in the high country next week. Thanks for the great report! What kind of manipulation did you use on the Kebari in still water?

Jun 26, 2017
by: Phillip

I should also mention that there wasn't another person to be seen anywhere! I had two beautiful lakes all to myself for some crazy reason.

As far as fishing the kebari, presentation mattered. Firstly, cast out and let it sink for a while (beadheads sped up the sinking process). Then convince the fish that your fly is alive: slowly drag it through the water and occasionally pulse the hackle. Sometimes a longer, accelerating retrieve was the ticket. The fish would strike right after the fly stopped trying to get away.

Jun 26, 2017
Manipulating the manipulators
by: Hoppy D (SD)


Our manipulation of weighted kebari in still water is similar to Phillip's. And it goes like this: cast, sink, lift (like a Leisenring lift), pulse-pulse-pulse, and sink. Prepare for the strike on the lift and the sink. The pulsing seems to attract attention from the lesser-attentive, but the strikes still come as the kebari is starting to sink out of the pulse. Give it a go--sped up or slowed down; I hope that it works for you as well as it works for us.

Jun 26, 2017
by: Les A.

Phillip and Hoppy those remarks were very helpful. I have never tied a bead head kebari. I'm planning on tying up some Keeper Kebari today. It is too hot to do much outside, and I may try to get out for some evening fishing near home.

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