Fishing Tanuki rod on Mill Creek in Livingston, Montana

Mill Creek is about a half hour south of Livingston, MT

  • Strategy for big cutthroat on Mill Creek

  • What tenkara rod length, line and flies?

I spent a solid day fishing on Mill Creek in Livingston, Montana, preparing my seminar about fly fishing  at the Fish Fest in Livingston. I was giving classes in "Fly Fishing with a Tenkara Rod" and a seminar on "Modern Fly Fishing". Mill Creek is packed with Yellowstone Cutthroats, and it was my first time fishing on cutthroat water. It took me about two hours to figure out a fishing strategy for bigger fish.

Most of fishers I talked too were using small grasshopper or MadamX. Since I was preparing for the seminar, I wanted to try out both western fly and Japanese Kebari (tenkara fly). Initially I started with dry fly and caught few 10" or less. After I switch to kebari, I started consitantly landing at least 10".  By noon, I have a solid plan and stick with it through out the day until dark. I landed about 80 to 100 fish.

I started on the edge of water before I put my feet on #1 then #2 and #3. If I land a fish on #1, I would not target #2 because I spooked the fish on #2. One fish per pool or 5 to 7 casts then move on the the next pool. First day I covered about 2 miles, one pool at a time. 

On deeper pool, I started from the tail end from down stream. Most of time, fish was there waiting for my kebari to arrive. If there are no results after a few casts, I switch rods with a heavier fly ready and hit into the white bubble in order to prevent spooking the fish. It works great for me. 

As for #3, I would fish from a little up stream just below the white water with a kebari. The hard part is soft landing. I lost a few flies on similar spot but the result is well worth it. 

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