• Visit: The Trout Underground
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: Buster Wants To Fish
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, September 15, 2014

    Sunny Daze

    SO FAR
    A Gentle September
    hoppers last stand
    .. Another 10 days for mostly sunny weather will allow any remaining hoppers and beetles to find the water.
    .. Evenings in the 50's and overnight soft freezes will slow the morning terrestrial bite for most of the neighborhood rivers.
    .. The last of the flying ants are splatting on the water as well. Compensation in the form of a sparse spinner fall is not enough to drag most of the neighbors out of bed before 10:00 AM.
    .. The Madison River just down the road is yielding some large fish that have probably run up from Hebgen Reservoir. It's not too early to strip a streamer - just for fun.
    .. The Firehole River has perked up nicely over the last week with a genuine dump of caddis flies. The white ones, the brown ones, the big ones and the little ones are around for most of the day. Should you be lucky enough to bump into a Baetid hatch the surface action will justify carrying that box too.
    .. It looks like the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park is getting a break. The periodic torrential rains have diminished and flows in the rivers have stabilized to the point that the famous waters are attracting fishers again. Terrestrials are still active over there and beetles, hoppers and ants should provide good catching when the little flies are not hatching.
    .. It's not widely publicized but Slough Creek gathers up some monster spawners of the slashed throat variety, Third Meadow can yield some brutes if you are willing to forgo the dainty flies and swing or strip a streamer. The gravels are perfect - fishers forget this most of the time: the fish remember. By the way the big Fall Drakes are seemingly more prolific this year than usual - be prepared!
    .. The lowland Madison River is attracting a large flotilla of drifters as the sun warms the water and presents a smorgasbord of bugs for the edification of fish and fishers alike. Flying ants, caddis, beetles and hoppers are all in the offing. Nymphs are a go-to selection with big Rubber Legs and small Shop Vac a good combination.Stripping streamers will raise some of the brutal carnivores that inhabit the river. They are getting fidgety right now.
    .. Down low the morning bite is on the slow side and it is common to see drift boats parked and fishers dredging the deep runs with scrumptious offerings to entice the lethargic trout. Whitefish have been active and these iridescent beauties are very willing to take your nymphs as well.
    .. If you fish the wade section be prepared to cover lots of water and hold on tight the submarines are on the move.
    .. The big meadows on the Gibbon River and the small meadows around Norris Campground are already being fished for spawning fish. they traverse these sections and park and rest for a spell in the deep pockets, under the banks and in the dark water. Fish for them and quickly release them they are bright and beautiful and rare.
    .. Know the weeds on Hebgen Reservoir. Gulping has slowed to a sparse activity for the fish. The bugs are about done with their sexual escapades. Find and fish the edge of the deep weeds with a streamer or a soft hackle. Not too much action on the fly will gather up the big fish that haven't started toward the estuaries.
    .. Staging in the estuaries is now a fishy activity. As the Fall run of spawners begins to unfold the fish and fishers will be crowding both the shore and water around the mouths of rivers. Streamers and giant nymphs are the way that the neighbors prick these laggards.
    .. When the Gallatin River warms it is teeming with bug life and feeding fish. Hope not to see you there this afternoon.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Faunal Identification

    This Will Help
    and that's the rest of the story
    .. This was sent in by an alert reader from the far reaches of the Atlantic Coast. It's what we've been needing out here as fall approaches. . . . eh?

    Tuesday, September 09, 2014

    Snow Tomorrow ??

    Autumn Is In The Air
    it really is different up here
    .. We've waited a full three months for Summer to arrive in the neighborhood. We were teased with a few sporadic days of 80 degree temperatures.
    .. This has been a season of whining visitors. Too many clouds were in the sky. Too many days brought rain. Too many nights required heat that was not planned for. Too many roads were clogged with mobile condominiums creeping through the fog and rain and construction zones. Too many grumpy rangers and seasonal employees disappointed in the weather, the facilities, the animals, the erattic eruptions, and so forth.
    ..The last few days have been as close to  a real Summer as we've received this year. The neighbors are used to these kinds of years. They don't come very often but they are not unheard of either. Most of them rejoice. The trees get a good growth spurt. The rivers and streams get a good scouring and are rejuvenated. The critters have plenty to eat and get fat for the winter. Cars get washed without spending any time or money. Storm drains are flushed and need very little attention. It's a good thing for our neighborhood.
    .. Of course fishing is unusually good during these sorts of years. The bounty of the landscape is reflected in the bounty of the waterscape. Fry have more places to hide and more bits of flotsam to eat. juveniles have the same advantages and adult fish are stressed far less than in a "NORMAL YEAR," (whatever that is.)
    .. Snow will bring welcome water for next year. The nitrogen content of the snows is higher than the rains. The trees and other vegetation thrive on early snows that partially melt and invigorate them. Sap with sugars flows rapidly and is distributed throughout the conifers systems. The deciduous trees have their leaves crammed with sugars and a quick freeze will precipitate the colors of Fall that so many folks cherish.
    .. This anticipated snowwfall is just what the doctor ordered. It signals a new daily regimen for merchants, neighbors, visitors, critters and, in fact, the village as a whole.. The elk will whistle and bugle, the bears will range for the last forage, the photographers will grab cameras, the fishers will change fly boxes, and preparations for the winter ahead wil move into high gear.
    .. We anticipate a bright clear weekend with crisp mornings, 60 degree days and superlative fishing on the neighborhood streams. The snow should be completely melted by Thursday and neighborhood activity will pick up. Hunters will begin to stream into town. The grouse will become scarce. Scouting for elk herds will become frenzied for the early season. Fishers will rejoice at the cool weather that makes their waders more of a blessing than a curse.
    .. We've got to wax the car for the winter protection. We've got to check the coolant  and be sure it's good to 40 below. We need to increase the air pressure in the tires for the anticipated cold that deflates the tires. We need to sharpen the snow shovels and rakes. Cover bushes and drain external water pipes and all the other preparations that are needed. Wood for fires is being gathered at a more raapid pace than the last few weeks.
    .. Of course if the weekend pans out as anticipated we may visit the lowland Madison River for one last goodbye.

    Sunday, September 07, 2014

    Try The Madison

    Scenic Views & Hungry Fish
    even the hoppers are working
    .. We are now having a gentle episode of Fall weather. The nights have dipped into the low 20's and the days have climbed to the mid 70's. The rains have been absent and the clouds have been scarce. It's what the neighbors call "Tourist Weather."
    .. Along the Madison River the bugs with feet on the ground are scurrying in the near warmth and doing buggy things. They are also active enough to find the water of our streams. The trout enjoy this bit of buggy catastrophe. The bugs are rewarded with death by fish. It's all good.
    .. It's not too early to start swinging some streamers in the darker water: along the shady banks, in deep holes, under sweepers and snags.
    .. Try a mouse in the late afternoon. Try a caddis of your choice at the end of a sunny day. Or, by all means, ask at your favorite feather merchant just what and where to fish. Ask when they last fished the river and just where. Record the answer for posterity.
    .. You are going to need two fly boxes for the upcoming fishing at the end of this season in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. The standard FALL FLY BOX with fluff for all occasions and the BIG-N-UGLY FLY BOX with flies, (and other stuff,) for the headhunter.
    .. This is also a good time of year to pick up some pointers about fishing with a two-handed rod. These rods dragged out each Fall by folks that need two hands to cast and are impressive indeed. Some of the rods are longer than the rivers are wide where they are used.
    .. There has got to be a reason for this display, other than: style or fad or peer pressure. We wonder at the reasons when we see a gentle fisher landing a 16" trout with an 8',  5-weight rod standing just down stream from the whistling line from a 14', 11-weight rod. We're bewildered. Something about strokes and folks !!
    .. We're watching for the Tenkara fishers. They make their appearance this time of year as well. Wispy rods without reels and flies tied backwards are making their appearance next to the super macho double hander's.
    .. We may ask if one is more effective at catching and landing a fish than the other. We suspect that as soon as every fisher has been sold both of these sorts of rods that kites with fly rigging will make their appearance on the feather merchants must sell list. Maybe puttees and Seal Dry waders will come back.
    .. We're thinking that Fall must bring about a congenial madness in both fishers and fish in this part of the world. It's a small amount of entertainment for many of us.

    Monday, September 01, 2014

    September -- ALREADY !!

    Mud Just Like Spring
    the faithful return to the firehole
    .. As it turns out the last few days weeks of cool rain have turned the fishing demography of Yellowstone National Park on it's ear.
    .. On this day, (National Chicken Boy Day, Labor Day, No Rhyme [nor reason] Day,) take your pick; there are strange happenings appearing in and around the park.
    .. Fishers are invading forgotten haunts along famous rivers. The Lamar River is running bank full and scouring it's channel with a discharge that frightens even the fish. It is setting seasonal daily records with regularity.
    .. The Madison River is at levels most reminiscent of this Spring's runoff. House rock is in danger of drowning and the Gallatin River canyon is not the wader's paradise that it should be during the first of September.
    .. Even with the buffer of Yellowstone Lake, the Yellowstone River is up - but fishing very well. It's been a wet mid Summer.
    .. Slough Creek demands a smidgen more water savvy than is usually present from visiting fishers  --  if they want good catching.
    .. On the other hand, even with discharge rates near record levels the Firehole River is providing exceptional catching. It might have something to do with the 25°F drop in temperature over the last two days. The color is good and the unusual dark color of Nez Perce has not added much mud to the areas downstream.
    .. The clogged roads of our village are thinning out and wet waders are reappearing in the crowded aisles of our grocery emporiums. The olfactory symphony of fishy neoprene, stale perspiration, cut meat, and fresh fruit is a wonder to behold.
    .. We suggest that you be here yesterday to get in on the rare opportunity to successfully fish the Firehole River on Labor Day.
    .. We're headed to an unnamed tributary on the "Wrong Side" of the Madison River. Discharge be damned, we're putting on waders and going catching.

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

    Really ?

    We're The Token Fisher
    a pleasant escape to luxury
    .. So then; we've been invited.
    .. We accepted. We're not sure what it's all about but we'll let you know.
    .. Right now it's raining and we're headed out the door for some catching.