Smalley gives some tips on how to fish the bucket pool

Print Article

“So, what’s the hot fly right now?” my son-on-law asked one of the fishing guides as they sat in Joe’s, popular watering hole in Craig.

“Wouldn’t matter if I told you, ‘cuz you still couldn’t catch fish,” the guide replied somewhat arrogantly.

“You kiddin’ me?

“You can’t catch fish because you probably don’t know how to put your fly in the bucket!”

“What’s the bucket?” I asked Mark Raisler, co-owner of Headhunters Fly Shop on the Mo.

Mark told me “the bucket” is a steelhead term for the hole or depression behind a rock.

Makes sense.

For a fish, there’s no need to waste valuable energy fighting current, when they can duck in behind a rock and wait for food to drift by.

The first rule of fishing the bucket is to not spook the fish.

Wade or position your boat so you can effectively drift a fly into the bucket without scaring the fish.

Food concentrates along seams so drifting a dry fly right over the top of a barely submerged rock may not work as well are working the seamlines on the sides of the rock.

Drifting a weighted fly naturally is not easy for any angler, regardless of experience.

Fishing an unweighted fly with a small shot a foot or so above the fly will allow the fly to move more naturally in currents near the bottom.

Dragging a streamer sideways through the water below the rock will fool fish but you really only get one chance.

In many cases, the best option is to carefully drift an unweighted fly along the bucket, picking off fish, one at a time, off the side.

Remember the old saying that only 10 percent of the stream holds fish? To a veteran angler, that number is ridiculously high.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Sports

Chisholm receives national sports journalism award

August 15, 2018 at 7:57 am | Lake County Leader University of Montana student and 2015 Columbia Falls High School graduate Henry Chisholm was recently selected as one of five nationwide recipients of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation scholarship ...

Comments

Read More

Twins hold off Sox for state championship

August 08, 2018 at 8:47 am | Lake County Leader After fighting off a late surge from the Bitterroot Red Sox, the Glacier Twins are state champions. The Twins took down the Sox 8-6 in the title game of the Montana-Alberta Class A State American Le...

Comments

Read More

Swim Cats finish fifth at state meet

August 08, 2018 at 8:48 am | Lake County Leader With 46 swimmers competing at the state meet in Conrad over the weekend, the Columbia Falls Swim Team came away with a fifth-place finish in Class A. The Cats were led by Alanis Peterson, who won on...

Comments

Read More

Green throws touchdown in Shrine Game

August 08, 2018 at 8:46 am | Lake County Leader Columbia Falls quarterback Austin Green accounted for one of three touchdowns for the West team in the 72nd annual Montana East-West Shrine Game in Great Falls July 21. Green’s touchdown came in the ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X