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  • Thursday, June 15, 2006

    YELLOWSTONE RAINS RAISE RIVERS

    HEAVY JUNE RAIN IS NORMAL:
    Combat The Weather With Nostalgia,
    can you say scarlet ibis?

    (P.S. YELLOWSTONE LAKE OPENS FOR FISHING TODAY!) **


    <-- Scarlet Ibis, ca.1964




    -- The gray days of the last week, and the evening showers are typical June weather. The soaking rain of yesterday and last night is not an unusual thing this time of year.
    -- Folks that have been here for only 5 or 6 years seem astounded that it should rain so much in June. The phraseology is interesting if you listen to a conversation between folks who have lived here all their lives, and those neighbors who have recently arrived.
    -- "JEEZ, it's still cold and rainy, and it's already June."
    -- "YUP, it's June."
    -- June is, historically, our wettest month, and consistently provides us with our greatest water content in precipitation. This includes all but the deepest snow years. Maybe the drought is over. We hope so.
    -- The west side rivers have responded to the persistent precipitation of the last two days with a noticeable rise in discharge.
    -- The Firehole River has gone from a seasonal 400 cfs to a sprightly 600 cfs. The color is still good and I'm sure the remaining Baetis are just happy as bugs in . . . . .
    -- The Madison River has gone from a pleasantly slow 650 cfs to a bubblingly seasonal flow of about 850 cfs. It's color is a bit off, but still fishable. These overnight swings are normal for this time of year, and do present some day-to-day challenges, but they can be overcome. Change your flies and change your techniques. Change where you fish; after all the damn rivers are changing.
    -- Apropos of all this is the happy coincidence of the mention of a couple of recent articles that will just grind at the guts of the technical brethren who have boxes full of 'realistics.' The alert fishermen at MidCurrent, and The Trout Underground reminded us of a timely solution to the current conditions.
    -- At MidCurrent two perfectly pertinent notes should be read immediately. "Beyond The Swing," by John Likakis, and "The Mystery Of The Ratty Fly" by our neighbor, Paul Schullery.
    -- These works provide us with nostalgic views of techniques that are still viable and pertinent solutions to today's challenges.
    -- The photo above is of an imported Scarlet Ibis from about 1964. (We admit to never throwing anything out.) And, it is also an example of a 'Ratty Fly.' The hook is a bit rusty, there are no Ibis feathers in it - never were; and it has seen it's share of use. We would buy these things by the handsfull - they were very pretty, they were very cheap, sometimes they came in assortments of six, (yellow, white, dun, red, black, brown,) and some even came with a leader attached - ah, but we digress again. This fly, and the techniques mentioned in the Likakis article will probably catch plenty of fish on the Madison and Firehole Rivers in their current conditions.
    -- We've not been to the Gibbon yet today; but, we're going tomorrow on our continuing annual Grayling pilgrimage. We're going to take the old ratty scarlet ibis. More to come.
    _____________
    ** The lake is high for the opener, and fishing should be good right at the Lake Hotel - depending on the direction of the wind. Stick a "Laker" for us.
    --
    The Yellowstone River, at the outlet, is running at about 5,300 cfs; that's about 2,000 cfs above the 76 year median daily average.