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  • Saturday, June 24, 2006


    Finding Many Eager Fish
    news from over the hill

    <- Upper Firehole At Dusk

    -- It's been a good week fishing, and we've abandoned most of our neighbors that have been fishing on the Madison and Firehole Rivers. We foolishly thought that since fishing was so good this year our annual Grayling would come easy and early -- silly us.
    -- We decided to take a break from our Grayling quest and went up to that little stretch of the Firehole River beyond the Upper Geyser Basin, and above the falls. This afternoon as we drove by the Firehole River below the geyser basin we noticed that it was crowded; but not overly so. There was a good PMD hatch at the Iron Bridge around 1:00 PM.
    -- We decided in favor of the water in the woods and that has made all the difference. The access is easy and the trail is good. There were not too many folks on the trail, but that will soon change. Fish here if you want your picture taken by strangers. This is primarily a Brook Trout fishery, and that is all we caught. The big fish of the day was 11" and was fat. The late afternoon produced an ear and nose filling Caddis Hatch which is shown by the white dots in the photo above. (We just aren't any good with cameras.)
    -- On the way down the road after our Brookie Safari we stopped at 7-mile Bridge on the Madison River looking for some more Caddis action. We fished from the bridge to grasshopper bank and back. There were many fish but we couldn't figure out the risers, so we switched to Hare's Ear Caddis and Prince Nymphs in sizes 10 - 12 and took a few fish to 12" near the bank. The sun was setting when we got back to West Yellowstone at 9:30 PM.
    -- Second Hand News: The Salmonfly hatch is scattered and thin in the Firehole Canyon. Big rubberlegs are still dragging in some fish. Dry flies for this hatch have been iffy, and as they say in Mongolia, "It's where you find 'em." The Yellowstone River at the Yellowstone Lake outlet is nearing seasonal flows and sightings of trout near shore promise an exciting opener in just over three weeks. The Yellowstone River is fishing great as it clears just outside of the park. The good folks at George Anderson's shop can help you out if you decide to fish the big water up there.
    -- Heart Lake opens in just one week and sunny weather of the past week should be just ideal for that event.
    -- The big water fishermen are currently beating a hasty path toward Ennis, Montana. The Madison River is, (as we speak,) being engulfed by swarms of Family Pteronarcidae. Ennis fishermen report that it as heavy a hatch as they remember. Our memory is a bit longer than most of theirs; however, we are headed that way too. The major activity seems to be from the Varney Bridge to Ennis. This is going to be tricky because of the continuing warm weather.
    -- The folks at Westfly ran a series of pictures of the big critter as it emerged. (We always need an excuse to search the www for fishing news.) Kris Kristovich, the photographer mentioned at the Westfly site kindly provided us with some additional photos to show to you. Keep in mind that it can take the better part of an hour, (or more,) for the whole process. Thanks to you, Kris, for waiting it out for us.

    <-Kris Kristovich Photo

    <- Kris Kristovich Photo

    <- Kris Kristovich Photo

    -- It is always an adventure to fish the "Real Madison River," as the folks in Ennis like to call it. We'll probably stop in at the Madison River Fishing Company for the best stories and a bit of information from the lowlanders. Indian Creek still has some water in it. The coming of the early rain this year , and the afternoon thundershowers has made the Madison River Valley very green, and diversion of all the water in Indian Creek for irrigation has not been necessary this year -- YET! We'll start there, sans boat.