• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    That Time Of Year

    Happy Bugs & Fishers
    the faithful return
    (a brief aside)
    .. With a few days of cool and, the afternoons dampened by showers and,  the anticipation of Fall, the faithful are returning to the Firehole River.
    .. This is one of the cherished and favorite waters in Yellowstone National Park. Although its reputation can exceed it's reality - this Fall is looking to be exceptional. River flows are still slightly above the seasonal norms, (Amazing what a decent snowpack and cool Summer will do!)
    .. The temperature of the water has dropped into the range where guilt is no longer a problem if you fish in the mornings and late afternoons. At Old Faithful the temperatures are no higher than the high 60's and the flows are dropping to about 70 - 80cfs, (LINK FF-1.)
    .. By the time the water reaches West Yellowstone the temperatures are bumping the low 70's but still attractive for catching in the foggy mornings and evenings. Flows are around 300cfs and are responding to the daily rains in the drainage, (LINK FF-2.)
    .. Even the Madison River has bugs and successes this early in August. This is not unheard of but has been unusual during the last few warm Summers.
    .. As with the Firehole River the flows are marginally high but are clear, cool, and attractive for catching.
    .. It's hard to argue with all day fishing in water this clear, deep, and temperate. We do like the mid 60's and look forward to the upcoming mid to high 50's. So do the fish. (LINK M-1.)
    .. The Gibbon River has come alive in both the big meadows and in the canyon. Enough said.
    .. Down in National Park Meadows there are some sweet holes that are full of lonely fish. Must be the walk from the road to the water!
    .. We have been fishing the Gallatin River quite a bit lately. There are still hoppers in the afternoon. The swarms of flying ants, (of recent memory,) are not as prolific this Fall - yet there are some!
    .. Happily for fishers, (not so for the trees,) the spruce moth emergence has been pretty heavy. With this cool and damp weather it might be best catch it now. The hoppers are not too big this year and are waiting for the afternoon sun to commit suicide with their Banzai runs on the waiting fish. Backwater eddys collect the carnage. Fish know this.
    ..The neighbors have noted, (in the pubs and hardware store and post office conversations,) that there seems to be fewer elbows this year. If true, this bodes well for the rest of the Fall and into the early Winter - we'll see!
    .. So just what is our Justice Department up to? They are playing big brother in the worst way. They are seeking millions of names and web address of folks who visit websites that may or may not have been used to recruit participants in legal demonstrations.
    .. We caution you not to be curious. Don't seek information about organizations or other groups that you have not heard of. The Trump administration seems to believe that legislation by intimidation and prosecution is a better strategy than the constitutional process of Congressional and lawful legislation.
    .. Watch carefully to see if we are in administrative legal jeopardy from the current administration for being curious and seeking information. You may have already been exposed to administrative prejudice and discrimination by just surfing the web.
    >> Check the BBC,
    .. The overcast is breaking up. A late breakfast and a nap have robbed us of a morning catching frenzy.
    .. We may have to try the Firehole River along with a few of the intrepid neighbors. They say that there really are places to park.

    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Upcoming Slaughter In Yellowstone

    Strut Your Stuff
    use the best science
    Parasitic Mobility Of Aquatic Species - NPS


    .. Let's be clear about one thing: the term "INVASIVE SPECIES" is not a scientific term. It is a psychologically derived linguistic derision of something that some human beings dislike.
    .. It is similar to the term used by gardeners and others who love the idea of a manicured lawn or garden: "WEEDS." Weed is not a scientific term either.
    .. The folks in the cultural matrix that use these terms are driven by social and economic forces in time specific contexts. With no scientific basis or definition it is easy to attack the weeds of this world. Just call them undesirable.
    .. When science is employed to rationalize the removal of weeds it is used to define effects that are culturally or economically adverse to vested interests in the status quo.
    .. The most appropriate term, (with scientific credence,) is "PIONEER SPECIES." Pioneer species are those species that, for whatever reason, are able to adapt to a wide range of conditions and spread their populations into new environments.
    .. This world of ours is based on the successes and failures of pioneer species. Human beings are pioneer a species, so are dandelions.
    .. In fact, most species are now or have been in the past, pioneer species. We owe the diversity of our planet and it's wonderfully complex biological milieu to the spread, expansion, success or failure of pioneer species through time and place.
    .. Plants and animals have generally different modes of expansion into new environments. Seed dispersal and pollen rain allow many plants the mobility necessary for expansion. Autopropulsion like walking, running slithering, etc. allow many animals entry into new environments.
    .. Symbiotic, (or parasitic,) mobility allow both plants and animals to enter new environments. Fleas on a dog and seeds in your pants cuff are examples of symbiotic, (or parasitic,) mobility.
    .. In Yellowstone National Park the bureaucrats have chosen to use the term invasive species. It's a bugaboo word laden with severe impact on the mindset of journalists, visitors, fisher folk, and legislators.
    .. The selective use of the term is a conscious effort to garner support for actions that may not have any relevance or scientific validity when addressing most actions that bureaucrats would like to implement.
    .. It is in the worst sense "FAKE NEWS." Honest scientists use scientific terms and honest scientific arguments when contemplating proposed actions.
    .. Yellowstone National Park has 11 aquatic fish species that were present when the Euro Americans entered the park: Arctic grayling, cutthroat trout (Yellowstone and westslope,) mountain whitefish,  dace (speckled and longnose,) redside shiner, Utah chub,  sucker (mountain, longnose, and Utah,) mottled sculpin.
    Introduced Species, Brown Trout - NPS
    .. Parasitic mobility by park managers introduced rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout, lake chub, brook trout, among others that have failed to survive.
    .. Other non-fish species have entered park waters through parasitic or symbiotic mobility: Myxobolus cerebralis, (the parasite that causes whirling disease,) Melanoides tuberculatus, (that small snail that home aquariums use,) Potamopyrgus antipodarum, (the other small mud snail in the water.)
    .. When park managers introduced the non-indigenous species they did it with the socioeconomic purpose of providing recreational and mercantile opportunities.
    .. That purpose was achieved. There was no science involved. The purpose was pure and simple: catch more fish, sell more bait and gear, attract more fishers = success.


    "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot,  full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing."
    _-_-_- Will . . . baby.
    .. Now, with the need to garner public support, current non science using managers are mounting another socioeconomic effort to murder both indigenous and pioneer species in the waters and on the land of Yellowstone National Park.
    Pioneer Species Carriers - NPS
    .. The ducks and geese of Yellowstone carry pioneer aquatic, (and terrestrial,) species on their feet from watershed to watershed, (including seeds and spores and such.)
    .. Poison grain is a good way to eliminate ducks and geese - yea team.
    .. The furry legs of bison carry pioneer aquatic and terrestrial species from watershed to watershed, (also seeds and such.) Poison hay and oats is a good way to eliminate bison - yea team.
    .. Bears and coyotes catch fish and transport pioneer aquatic and terrestrial species from watershed to watershed, (also seeds and such.) Hunting with firearms and traps is a good way to eliminate bears and coyotes - yea team.
    .. Recreational bathers carry all sorts pioneer species from watershed to watershed in the seams of their bathing attire and accoutrements of fun. Bathing in the nude will mostly eliminate this transportation, (save for extreme hirsute human specimens) - yea team
    Transport of Pioneer Species - NPS
    .. Eagles and hawks are notorious transporters of aquatic pioneer species. A federal law can be enacted to ban these birds from the park - yea team.
    .. Fisher folks transport both terrestrial and aquatic pioneer species from watershed to watershed.
    Rubber Soled Boot Laces
    .. The species are in the seams of their gear, the Velcro of their fashion statements, the laces of their shoes, the mud on their spats and cleats of their rubber soled shoes and boots, and the flies that stay tied on tippets.
    .. The wet interiors of fly boxes harbor great environments for pioneer species. Oh, and the felt soles of some waders.
    .. The most effective solution to the high mobility fisher problem is to ban fishing. Ban fishing for the introduced fish. Ban fishing in waters with new pioneer species. Ban fishers and other visitors from walking in park lands where pioneer vegetation or aquatic pioneers exist - yea team.
    Rubber Soled Wading Apparel
    .. The human population of fly fishers is predominately a group of followers: follow the neighbors, follow the fly club, follow the bar crowd, follow the latest fly trend, follow the latest gear trend, follow the lead of assertive individuals - groups - etc.
    .. They are currently being led by the nose into believing jargon without definition or scientific validity. Many better terms can be used for "Invasive Species."
    .. Try introduced. Try non indigenous. Try successful pioneer species. Try economic augmentation by species introduction. There are many good and valid terms that can be sensibly used. They can be defined with precision and used in cogent arguments.
    .. Even scientists, who should know better have begun to use the term - as if everybody agreed on the definition. Such a sad state of affairs. Writing papers and books with inflationary language. Just who reads this tripe without a challenge?
    .. Of course grant seekers, wader producers, managers, and others enjoy using the term "INVASIVE SPECIES." It can bring most fly fishers into line without a whimper. The scare tactics are blatant and transparent.  "Look Matilda - A common enemy!"
    .. Shame on the managers of Yellowstone National Park. Shame on them for not defining the terms they use. Shame on them for seeking the economic solution to the mobility of introduced species. Shame on them for their proposed ban on felt soles for wading foot gear. Shame on them for introducing the idea that somehow wading gear without felt soles is even safer for fishers.
    .. Shame on their alliance with the followers and the merchants. Shame on their idiosyncratic world view that does not rely on science. Shame on them for not seeking public input for this and so many other actions taken on a whim.
    .. Banning felt soles on waders and wading shoes, and wading sandals has not been shown to eliminate the transport of introduced species. Using wading apparel with rubber and metal cleated soles has not been proven to eliminate the transport of aquatic species.
    .. Appropriate cleaning and sterilizing of gear has, indeed, been shown to reduce or eliminate the transport of introduced species.
    .. If Yellowstone National Park Managers choose to inspect boats should they not also choose to inspect all waders and all fly boxes and all cuffed pants and all cuffed swimwear?
    .. We wonder if they are trying to legislate morality or reduce the transport of introduced species. Perhaps just enhance wader sales!
    .. We doubt that they will kill all the ducks, geese, bears, moose, elk, bison, coyotes, eagles, osprey, and wolf in the park. We wonder: have valid scientific data shown that these critters are less of a transport mechanism? Please let us know.
    .. The biology of planet earth demands pioneer species. The continued success of life on planet earth depends on the adaptability of all species to the environments that life finds itself in. Adaptability can be biological or behavioral.
    .. Evolutionary change can be adaptive or adjustive. Many adjustive responses are in fact maladaptive = leading to death and extinction.
    .. We wonder if the proposed ban on felt soles is adjustive or adaptive? Please let us know.
    .. If Yellowstone National Park, and the fishing gear industry, and fishers of all stripes are serious about the reduction in transportation of introduced species then, an educational campaign would be more effective than just the passive banning of felt soled wading footwear.
    .. However, active educational campaigns require commitment, persistence, and longevity. Probably too much of a committed effort for the managers and industry.

    >> Felt vs. rubber: Bozeman Daily Chronicle,
    >> Economic Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species: EPA,
    >> Fish and Aquatic Species: NPS,
    >> New Zealand Mud Snail: NPS,
    >> Essentials of Conservation Biology: Primack,
    >> Extremely High Secondary Production Of Introduced Snails In  Rivers: Hall, et al.
    >> Invasive Species Impact: Asymmetric Interactions Between Invasive And Endemic Freshwater Snails: Riley, et al.
    >> Potamopyrgus antipodarum: distribution, density, and effects on native macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Kerans, et al.
    >> Assessing the effects of climate change on Aquatic Invasive Species: Rahel & Olden.
    .. Time for a visit to the cooling waters of the Firehole River. Afternoon showers and cool nights have jiggled the psyche of the fish and the fishers.

    Saturday, July 08, 2017

    Like An Archer Fish

    BUT AT 1000 YARDS
    Precise As Poetry
    gone for a week
    .. There's no better time to abandon fishing the west side streams in Yellowstone National Park than right now.
    .. The Gallatin River and the upper Firehole River are still barely worth fishing.
    .. Small bits of the upper Gibbon River and most of Notellum Creek are swarming with active trouts.
    .. Save for the earliest morning and latest afternoon fishing, river fishing is a terrestrial game. The creepies and crawlies are doing well in this warm spell.
    .. If you have the wherewithal to make it to Hebgen Reservoir before the wind -- do it!
    .. We'll be headed to the hottest part of the High Plains to challenge the vagaries of wind, mirage, distance and weather. It's a mental failing on our part.
    .. It's a drive of heroic proportions and we'll need three or four lunches to make it. Ta Ta.

    Thursday, July 06, 2017

    Billings Gets Wet

    Bash The Champagne
    a splashy launch
    .. The Littoral Class ship USS Billings has just been launched, [LINK-BS.]
    .. It may have something to do with the earthquake we just felt, [LINK-EQ.]
    .. Gonn'a be hot today. Quick vittles and a stroll by Notell'em Creek is in order.

    Sunday, July 02, 2017

    Pack It In ??

    Madison Is Too
    gibbon & gallatin o.k.
    .. We're on track for a record setting Fourth of July visitation.
    .. Morning wait time to enter the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park is in the two hour range. Traffic is at a near standstill along Canyon Street in town. Go early or go late!
    ..The Firehole River is now spiking to near 80°F at mid day and the fish are pooped. We suggest that the popular runs be abandoned until Fall, (barring a 3 three day snow storm and drastic drop in temperature - it has happened.)
    .. Flows on the Firehole River are still a bit high, (as has been the case all Spring.)
    .. This has allowed more white water riffles and a bit of a respite for the fish given the additional oxygenated water.
    .. Despite the recent rains the grasses are maturing and yellows are creeping into the meadows. Seems a bit early to us.
    .. Way up in the shady water along the trail to Lone Star Geyser the water is holding in the low to mid 60's. 
    ..The playful Brook Trout are being visited more frequently than in recent memory. The cyclists and dog walkers are dense as well.
    .. The Madison River is still above seasonal discharge norms. It has flirted with normal flows over the last couple of days.
    .. Temperatures at mid day are now in the 70's and fishing should be limited to the hours right after daybreak.
    .. Small streamers near the undercut banks at the edge of the morning shadows will be amply rewarded with dance partners. A twitch at the end of a slow drift will enhance the presentation.
    .. Postpone the second cup of coffee. Enter the park early and avoid the rush: come out when others are going in. An hearty early lunch, a short nap, and some grocery shopping can fill out the day prior to dinner and the evening neighborhood fireworks.
    ..  The Gibbon River has finally slowed to slightly below seasonal flows. There are still some catching opportunities in the shady stretches of the canyon.
    .. A double nymph rig will be the best choice: big and little, light and dark, deep and shallow are excellent combinations. Keep the upper nymph small, small, small.
    .. The neighbor's choice for crowded fishing locations is the Gallatin River and Fan Creek. Access is quick and easy from town. There is always a deep bend that is missing any elbows, (it takes some careful observation and a bit of walking.)
    .. There is an early appearance of spruce moths and there are white miller caddis for the fly floaters.
    .. The grasshopper nymphs are approaching their final molt. They are very active and are wingless. They are on the smallish side this year and a size 6 or 8 will work wonders if you have to float them.
    .. Try not to use any floatant and let them ride just below the surface on a short leader - hang on tight.
    .. This year Specimen Creek seems to have more eager fish than usual.
    .. You will have to walk a ways. You will have to be cordial and visit with the tons of hikers.
    .. You will have to explain why you are fishing for  little 10" fish. It's all good - there's a whopping pacel of 'em.
    .. We enjoy this water for it's congenial fish that eat just about anything. This is your standard "attractor fly" water. It is sometimes called a children's fishery. So be it. We'll be a child!
    .. We're busy watching some braised short ribs. Time to sign off and make do with something to fill the growling chasm until they are ready.

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    Quickly Now

    A Little Damp Approaches
    respite and extension
    .. The last few days of very warm weather seems to have prolonged our high runoff waters. Despite the high water, river temperatures have continued to escalate to their seasonal norms.
    .. The color varies by river and is slowly, (finally,) becoming recognizable as what water should look like - should you choose to fish it.
    .. We may get a few more days out of the Firehole River with the forecast for upcoming cool and damp weather over the next week.
    .. Just keep in mind the fish are already hammered and in a condition of stress. Temperatures on the Firehole River have been spiking to the mid 70's [LINK-FR.]
    .. The color is good and despite the high water both the bugs and the fish have been doing the "Riverside Rag." Get off the river by noon and move on.
    .. The Madison River, has shaped up nicely in the last week. It's still running above seasonal discharge rates but is beautifully clear and cool. Recent temperature spikes have just now topped the 70°F mark. Take a long lunch and you should have a full day of good catching, [LINK-MR.]
    ..  With an exclamation of final satisfaction we can report that the gooey colors of the Gallatin River seen last week have receded.
    .. Last Wednesday marked the turning point as the gauge height at Gallatin Gateway dropped to sensible levels for the season.
    .. Temperatures are near perfect for catching and the neighbors have grudgingly joined the visiting elbows for the fine catching opportunities on the river, [LINK-GR.]
    ..  The overcast and intermittent drizzle over the next few days should bring back the hatch of the Baetid bunch and provide good times for the float 'em folks.
    .. Just like a broken record we will suggest that fish can be taken on all three rivers with your favorite soft or stiff hackle fly. 
    .. Use the smaller ones on top and the bigger ones underneath. OR, start with a floating big one and when it starts to sink - let it go. There are dance partners for either presentation.
    .. Right now the shaded water and dark deep protected hides are where the fish are.
    .. There are noses in the air all day long if you should choose to pause and watch the water before splashing your way to the "perfect spot."
    .. Whether it's just whim or real insight; the neighbors are using very sparsely tied flies for their excursions. You can pluck yours if they seem too bushy.
    ..  We would be remiss if we failed to mention the beginnings of the availability of terrestrial food sources. Beetles have led the charge this year and the ants are close behind.
    .. White Miller sorts are also available and beginning to thicken up around noon - or thereabouts.

    .. In a fit of masochism we've been fishing a few fan wing flies.
    .. They are cute. Sometimes they float correctly. They even take a fish or two.
    .. The most rewarding bit though is, the wonderful fluttering noise that they make just before they impale themselves in your ear. We do have mental issues.
    .. The gray is here already and the drips from the trusty steed are making a line in the sand. Breakfast is early and there are lights on in the neighbor's kitchen. Must be time.
    -- Try Hebgen Reservoir in the still of the morning.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Countdown Reminder

    Just two months to go !!
    Accurate Path Mapped
    visit thornton idaho
    PATH OF TOTALITY (world map link)
    .. In just 8 months a celestial event will grace us with it's presence: a total solar eclipse. Absolute totality is a rare sight.
    .. We get to see partial eclipses frequently enough. But a total eclipse in the neighborhood is a rarity. We've put it on our calendar.
    .. On August 21, 2017, for two minutes and seventeen seconds the world around Thornton,  Idaho will not be able to see the sun.
    .. The time for the start of totality at Thornton is 11:33:14AM (MDT). 
    .. An absolute total eclipse is qualitatively so much different than a partial eclipse: even one that is nearly total.
    .. Jackson, Wyoming and Teton Village, Wyoming will have the same length of totality starting at 11:35 AM.
    .. For about an hour and fifteen minutes on either side of totality the event will be noticeable. At totality only the corona will be visible. In our village it will only be a partial eclipse. We will travel to see totality.
    .. Speaking of eclipses: this will be a good year to be in our neighborhood. On February 10, 2017 there is a penumbral lunar event. 
    .. If you are in the neighborhood plan to see not see it. We'll remind you again when it's time to stop your catching.
    .. Time for the shoveling snow drill and then, a couple of eggs with the second pot of coffee.