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  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Gentle Entry

    RARE BLUEBIRD DAY
    Windshield Survey
    bugs and noses at the surface
    WALLPAPER:  MT. HAYNES

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    .. The Spring bluster that usually greets the early visitor to Yellowstone National Park has been, (so far,) noticeably absent. The clouds are sparse, wispy, and white, and the wind seldom accelerates above a breeze.
    .. The large fauna, (save for the bison,) have already started to move out of the river valleys and there are enough green grass shoots for grazing geese.
    .. The west side rivers are at their low pre-runoff discharge levels. Water levels at the bank are below the grass. Mud, erosion, and silt plumes are not apparent. "Clear And Cold" is the local vernacular for this stage.
    .. Discharge rates on the Madison River are currently at about the median for the season but have fluctuated widely based on local rain. Minimums have dipped to over 100 cfs below median on occasion. Temperatures are high and have reached 65° F.
    .. The Madison River is, at present, slow enough to have braided foam lines in mid stream and scum slicks along the shore. Fish noses are in the back eddy scum pools. There are small fish rising at the heads and tails of short shallow riffles.

    COLD SPRING DISCHARGE ALONG THE MADISON RIVER
     
    .. The streamside discharge of the hot and cold springs is low and some are just damp spots. Those cold springs that are flowing have schools of small fry in the discharge channel and near the shore of the main stem of the Madison River.
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    .. The Firehole River below Old Faithful is approaching record lows for the season and has already spiked to near 70° F. It is very clear and way below bank level.
    .. Hot spring discharge is typical and cold spring discharge is very low. Fish are in mid-stream and splashing. Could be caddis already - didn't see any, though. The small cold water tributaries are dwindling to slow trickles and the perennial tributaries are at minimal levels for this stage of runoff.

    LOW AND SLOW FIREHOLE RIVER
     
    .. Midges are present on the water. Noses, at the surface, are in mid-stream and slow to submerge. If the weather continues to be warm the catching on the Firehole River should be limited to early and late in the day.
    .. Snowpack on the west side of the park is very low and the snow water content is just a wee bit below expected levels.
    .. Above Kepler Cascades the river is full of splashing Brook Trout. it is clear and cold and would be perfect for 100-fish days for those that count. Memorial Day is May 25, this year.
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    .. Nez Perce Creek is at seasonal discharge levels and cold. The closed signs are up in honor of the bears. The trail to Mary Mountain is dry and dusty and there is less green showing on the ground than on the Firehole River or the Madison River.

    NEZ PERCE NORMAL - FOR NOW
     
    .. There are fish along the bank at the confluence with the Firehole River and there are midges in the air.
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    .. In National Park Meadows things are looking low but stable. The Gibbon River is where it usually is for this time of year. The meadows are dry and golden but the Gibbon River is at the grass on the banks and shows just a slight bit of color in mid-stream.

    DRY AND DEPENDABLE GIBBON RIVER
     
    .. The roads are clear and snow-free. Riverside Drive is open. Bear closures are at the usual places. The Old Faithful parking lots are filling up more rapidly than usual for this time of year. The temperature curve has affected both the rivers and the visitation. No significant cold temperatures are in the near term forecast. Rain should be a genuine player in the condition of the rivers over the next month -DUH!
    .. The Gallatin River is cold and productive. See you there.
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    FIREHOLE RIVER WARMING UP

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    Now -- To The Hills

    WEST ENTRANCE OPEN
    Film At Eleven
    back soon

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    Monday, April 13, 2015

    Prolific Hatch

    SOME ARE SYNTHETIC
    Some Are Not
    all float and fish
    WALLPAPER:  RO

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    ..From near and far the drift boat hatch is blossoming in our village. Soon visiting sports and guides will pair up and molest fish with pecuniary abandon.
    .. Decorative and functional: the hatch will grow more prolific in the coming weeks.
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    WALLPAPER:  SUORDOUGH SWIRL

    Saturday, April 11, 2015

    The Social Hour

    FRIDAY: 'EARLY OUT'
    Partly Cloudy And Warm
    the pre-runoff bite is on
    WALLPAPER: SPRING SOCIAL ON THE GALLATIN RIVER

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    .. Whatever is left undone by noon can wait until Monday. The waders and the stick and the whole kit are in the car. The river is right next to the road. The whole office will be there. Perhaps fish will be caught.
    P.T. NYMPH
    .. The Gallatin River, down low near Bozeman, Montana is running low, slow, cold and clear. Noses are in the air and on the bottom. Beautiful Spring days are coming in 2's and 3's and the beginning of social fishing is making deep inroads along the popular stretches of the river.
    .. Up high, near the northern boundary of  Yellowstone National Park, catching has been hit or miss with the thin water moving fish to dark cold hides.
    .. So far the Taylor Fork has added only food to the Gallatin River and the fishing just below the confluence has been augmented by good catching. The same holds true for the small willow meadow around Snowflake Springs.
    
    LITTLE BLACK STONE
    .. Small dark nymphs or large black bugs are the neighborhood choice. Of course the San Juan Worm is near the top of the list. Short-term and intense sunny exposure on thin water has produced a few early Baetids and some midge clusters but, it's still a subsurface game.
    .. Down around Big Sky, Montana fishing is in full bloom. Day to day catching is dependent on the caprice of the early hatching buglets. A few Batids and quite a few midges are keeping things interesting down that way.
    .. There are other foods as well, and some folks are lip-sticking fish with stonefly nymphs. The action is sporadic until the afternoon when water is warmer and the bugs feel the urge.
    SAN JUAN WORM
    .. Double fly rigs are a good way to hedge your bets. Big and little - or little and big seem to work equally well. Pheasant tail variants and black stonefly sorts are the combination settled upon by most folks.
    .. Riffles and small dark pocket waters are where the fish are. Heavy broken cloud cover will move the fish from light water to dark water in mid afternoon. Working lots of water and watching the slicks will produce happy anglers.
    .. Down towards Gallatin Gateway, and below, the river is fit for a postcard. For however long the April and May showers remain in abeyance the catching will only continue to get better than the already good it is.
    .. Although not high on the preferred list small streamers are making their appearance in a few savvy fishers' boxes. The lower down the river you go the better chance you have to move fish with a streamer.
    RED-THROAT MATUKA

    .. Sling it and strip it - OR - swing it and twitch it. Fish and fishers vary in their moods and predilections. Try it all if you are seeking bigger fish with ferocious grabs. Opportunities abound and the fishing is great trending toward spectacular - catching has been pretty good too.
    .. Watch the weather, pick your spots, and enjoy this gentle period on the Gallatin River before runoff limits your choices and tactics.
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    LITTLE STUFF FOR ICE OUT
    .. Just down the road, (and around the corner,) a couple of neighbors have plunked some boats into the open water on both the Madison Arm and South Fork Arm of Hebgen Reservoir. Ice out continues apace with the warm and bright days. The edge of the ice is moving around with the wind and convection currents. Wherever the edge is - the fish are.
    .. As the water warms and the ice disappears, bits of debris form a continuous rain of potential food along the retreating edge. Cruising fish gobble sticks, leaves, dead bugs, and other stuff. The fish will eat a worm or a fly with delightful abandon. Big stuff and little stuff is fair game.
    .. The ice edge has made it to the Great Springs embayment on the Madison Arm and is moving rapidly toward the main body of the reservoir.  Already the worm folks are dusting off the lawn chairs in anticipation of the long edges soon to be available when the main body of the reservoir warms just a smidgen more. The social aspects of sitting in the warm sun while tickling fish are a rite of Spring among many of the neighbors.
    .. We need a social circle.
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    WALLPAPER: THE BEGINNING OF ICE OUT - HEBGEN RESERVOIR

    Friday, April 10, 2015

    Fisher's Breakfast

    QUICK AND DELICIOUS
    Sticks To The Ribs
    warm it up for lunch too
    WALLPAPER:  DESAYUNO DELICIOSO

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    FOR ICE OUT

    .. Traditional fare for our nearby neighbors. Chorizo con huevos and patatas fritas con cebolla. The salsa and tortillas are on the table and this is ready to go.
    .. The snows of last night have given way to heavy fog this morning. It is surprisingly warm and very still outside. The neighbors have left already.
    .. Ice out beckons the faithful and they are filling their dance cards with ease: it's a neighborhood thing.
    .. A little creek in downtown Lewistown, Montana is calling our name.
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    WALLPAPER: FRESH SLICED SALAMI ON BRIOCHE BUN

    Sunday, April 05, 2015

    Easter Tits

    WALLPAPER:  MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    It's Worse Than We Feared

    LEGISLATURE SHUNS VISITORS
    Guts FWP Budget
    a signal to fishers and hunters

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    .. While the population of Montana sleeps happily in it's warm and cozy bed it's elected representatives are messing up a good thing.
    .. Soon they will be seizing Federal Lands and selling them to drooling developers. We did warn you.
    .. Read this nonsense:


    .. We sometimes wonder about the intelligence of the Montana electorate.
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