Another One for the Fly Fisher’s Life List: Missouri Tricos

by Mark McGlothlin on July 14, 2013

in River - Missouri

TricoManiaI’ve had the good fortune to be on Montana’s Missouri River since Wednesday afternoon working with a friend on what is turning out to be a much more fun than expected video project. As a bonus Fire Girl Jess joined us Friday evening and on Saturday (snagging a load of great still images along the way.)

Our shooting schedule put us on the water from roughly six to ten every morning and evenings from about seven to ten or ten thirty.

Montana has served up the expected menu of summer heat, breezy afternoons, plentiful sunshine punctuated by enough afternoon and early evening showers to keep things interesting from a cloud and light perspective.

Fishing’s been pretty damned good; Zack in particular pounding fatties after dusk during the caddis frenzy. Genuine summer fishing in Montana is never a cake walk and has crushed the expectation of many a visiting angler who comes out during high summer expecting to score big fish and numbers fishing banker’s hours. We’ve been astounded at the skinny numbers of anglers starting early.

Even though I probably shouldn’t admit it, I was probably even more astounded by the morning display put on the by tricos. The absolutely vertical columns of mating-maddened bugs, swirling in a humming frenzy, sometimes looked like irrigation pipe leaks spurting high into the air or even dense columns of smoke rising right from the water’s edge.

Despite recording video for roughly 16 hours I snapped just a few still images; this one doesn’t do the trico show justice – not even close.

We did get some pretty damned compelling video that I’ll be sorting and processing this week after today’s drive home – that’ll be much more interesting. The closeup vids of the morning tricos and the evening caddis swarms look killer on the small laptop screen – hopefully that suggestion of hope will be proven true on the editing computer.

But even the best video still ain’t like being there. If you’ve not seen the trico show on a big Western river, it’s unquestionably one to put on the list.