Saturday, May 31, 2014
Caddis Festival 2014
I had a three day weekend over the 17th, 18th, & 19th which I spent camped out near the trout town of Craig, Montana. Saturday was the opening day of general fishing season and the annual Caddis Festival was being held in Craig. The Caddis Festival is a barbecue and street party held annually to raise money for the volunteer fire department. The festivities didn’t start until 4:00pm so there was ample time for anglers to get in some fishing without missing out on the festivities. I spent the earlier part of the day fishing with my oldest grandson, while my wife took our younger grandson on a geocaching adventure. If you don’t know what geocaching is feel free to google it. The short definition is a treasure hunt with a GPS. Fishing with the grandson is a new thing for both of us. He’s tried fly fishing only one other time which was last year. I’m not gifted with a great deal of patients with kids and was concerned how my nerves would hold up. Overall things went well. The only fish to hand for the day was caught by accident next to the boat ramp while I was giving some basic instructions. We fished with a wire worm and nymphs under a strike indicator, and the indicator did go down on many occasions. Most were probably caused by bumping the bottom but at least one was a fish that was on the line momentarily. It was a pretty uneventful day with slow catching. Saw bald eagles, pelicans, geese, and deer and I learned a lot about fishing with kids. The lack of fish caught was a bit disappointing but a good time was had. We got in at the takeout about 1:00pm which was earlier than I had anticipated. I usually fish alone and use the boat to get from one spot to the next stopping the boat to fish a run or hole until ready to move on. So I wasn’t sure just how long the float would take especially with the water running faster than normal at over 8,000 cfs. Everything worked out pretty well though. Our getting to the take out earlier than expected allowed time to load the boat, put fishing gear away, and for me to get out of my waders. It was at this point I discovered I had left on a three day trip and had forgotten my shoes. I put my waders on before leaving the house and left my shoes at home. I’d been considering purchasing a pair of wading shoes from Headhunter Fly Shop and the decision just became a lot easier. My memory just isn’t what it used to be; at least I don’t think it is. Maybe I just don’t remember how it was. Too many years and too much whiskey or is it not enough whiskey? After getting the fishing gear stowed away, donning pants and new shoes, and cracking open a cold beer I was ready for the festival even though it didn’t officially start for a while yet. About this time my wife and other grandson joined up with us. We chatted and gave each other accounts of our day’s adventures then the wife and both grandsons left to go on more adventures of the geocaching sort. I was left to drink beer, smoke cigars, mingle with the crowd, and in general allow my nerves to unravel. The festival was a great hit with way more people in town than usual. The weather was perfect and a lot of people where out including a motorcycle club and a Corvette club. I checked out all 3 fly shops and visited with the venders. My wife and grandsons eventually showed up and gave more accounts of their adventures. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the parade, which the grandkids where in, and eating barbeque. As it got into late evening my wife and grandsons headed back to Great Falls and I stayed behind to fish again the next day. I ran into some fishing buddies at Izaak’s and we drank beer together while discussing fishing & other manly subjects. A conversation sprang up with a group of gals and at one point a couple of the gals took my buddies onto the deck where the music was, to do some dancing. I was left there standing next to a really nice young lady named Molly. After a moment she struck up a conversation by asking me where I was from and what had brought me to Craig. I told her I was there for the festival and to do some fishing. She asked me what I was floating. I was puzzled not sure what exactly she was asking. Obviously I was floating the Missouri River. I asked if she meant what stretch of river I was floating. She said no, what boat do you float. So I went into my normal spiel about my drift boat which is a predecessor of the Adipose Flow. It struck me that only in a trout town in Montana would a sweet young girl ask a guy (even a well seasoned one such as myself) what drift boat he owned. About 11:00pm my buddies and I bid each other farewell and strolled off to our camps for the night. Here it is two weeks later and I have another three day weekend. This time I am taking the younger grandson fishing. We’ll see how it goes with the water bumped up to over 10,000 cfs. There’s supposed to be more cloud cover though so maybe the fishing will be a bit better. You can read about this adventure in my next post.