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  • Writer's pictureBear River Tackle

Green Ghost & Metal Head

High Desert Trout Lake

Idaho is an ideal destination for remote trout fishing trips with hundreds of options to choose from that have good populations of trout and little fishing pressure.

It is also a beautiful place to evaluate new fly patterns, which is the reason for my trip. The first pattern to evaluate was the “Green Ghost” which was excellent for bass and panfish but had never been tried for trout.

Green Ghost - Patented

Predictably, there were the usual reactions from local anglers who were not familiar with Bear River Tackle. “Really? That doesn't look like a normal fly (which is true), and I doubt you will catch anything.” I just smiled and said, “Guess we will see.”

The lake we were fishing is managed for trophy trout and they are notoriously difficult to catch. Three of us were fishing and atmospheric conditions were tough with a bright blue sky, north wind, and stationary low-pressure system.

During a three-hour period on the water, one angler had no hits using his favorite fly, another angler briefly had a fish on but did not land it and the Green Ghost, fished under a sink tip line caught a beautiful heavy rainbow trout.

It measured twenty-two inches in length with a cloth tape measure and my hand did not reach halfway around the girth. This was the biggest fish caught during the trip. So much for “You won't catch anything with that fly.”

The next day we moved to another high desert lake. This fishery has a greater population of trout, but they were smaller, and the tough atmospheric conditions remained.

The Green Ghost also caught fifteen nice fish here, but it was time to assess a different fly, so I switched to the “Metal Head.”

Metal Head - Patented

Unfortunately, the lake was beginning to weed up and my sink tip line with the extra weight from the bead took the fly right into the aquatic growth.

It was time to change tactics, so I switched to a floating line and moved to deeper water along the dam.

As expected, the reaction was “That’s a crazy looking fly, no trout is going to hit that.”

I responded, “You are right, no small trout is going to hit this fly. Bear River Tackle flies mimic minnows and crawfish which are the preferred food for large fish,” and headed for the deep water.

The person next to me caught a couple of small trout on a standard woolly bugger fly, gave up and headed back. I decided to move down the dam a bit further and was rewarded with a hard strike that turned out to be a nice 14-inch trout.

It was then that what appeared to be largemouth bass began working minnows next to the shore. Thinking it would be fun to catch one, I eased the float tube closer, cast the fly so it landed near the brush and started stripping it back.

The strike was crushing, and when the fish took off, it spun my float tube around and towed it through the water. When I finally got a look at the fish it was not a bass at all, but a large trout that measured nineteen inches and ended up being the heaviest fish caught on this lake.

Within a few minutes I had yet another hard strike, which was a 15-inch trout. Even though the fish were still smashing the fly it was time to turn back because it was a long kick back to the launch point and it was starting to get dusk.

Beyond doubt the Metal Head fly proved to be extremely effective for large trout. Once again so much for the conventional wisdom that “No trout will hit that crazy looking fly.”

Trout for Shore Lunches

It is tremendous fun to show up with flies the fish have never seen, and that no other anglers have! This is the Bear River Tackle difference, and it will work for you!!

Order these flies using the “Design Your Own Fly” option under the Shop Tab at the top of the page. Please indicate if you want the Green Ghost, Metal Head, or a combination of both flies.

My standard patterns are also highly effective for large trout especially the “Ash Special Family” which are also available under the Shop Tab (see the Trophy Gallery and Adventure Newsletter Tabs for more information).

Go Fly Fishing!

Glenn Personey

Founder and President

Bear River Tackle

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