• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Sunday, July 30, 2006


    river closures
    Forest At Stage 1
    New License Plates
    .. Emergency river closures have been announced by Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks. The good folks at Four Rivers Fishing Co. will be affected.

    .. The U.S. Forest Service has announced emergency Stage 1 restrictions and closures for the Gallatin National Forest.


    <- Bechler River

    .. Our neighbors, the packer/outfitters returned from the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park with anemia, welts, sunburn, devastating thirst, and glowing reports of the fishing opportunities.
    .. Although most of our neighbors wait until fall and the first freeze has put down the flies and mosquitoes; visitors frequently endure the summer hazards for a glimpse of this wild & beautiful corner of Yellowstone.
    .. The Hayden Party named the river after their surveyor Gustavus R. Bechler. The Bechler & Falls River were fishless at the time because Bechler Falls and Cave Falls served as barriers. The Bechler/Falls River basin is beautiful because of it's variety. Open meadows are scattered between narrow canyons and heavy forest.

    <- Bechler Meadows .. By 1891 Cutthroat Trout had been planted, and today there is a healthy population of Rainbow x Cutthroat "Cutbow" hybrids.

    <- Hot Spring Riffle

    .. This corner of Yellowstone is out-of-the-way. It doesn't have roads that connect to the "Grand Loop," and it is second only to the Thoroughfare region in remoteness - the fishing pressure is therefore light. Walking or riding is required to explore this area. Just about everywhere that there is water - there is good fishing.

    <- Confluence of Bechler & Falls Rivers

    .. It is best to plan to visit the Bechler basin in the Fall. The fish are at their best, the bugs are less ferocious, and the hot springs at rivers edge are inviting.
    .. Unless you are an accomplished back country hiker it is best to visit the Bechler region with a guide and outfitter. Day trips for fishing are rewarding, and like most back country destinations in Yellowstone - the farther you walk - the better it is.
    .. It is important to have a good map if you fish near the park boundary because the waters wend their way across the border several times.

    .. The Bechler River is fishing very well, thank you. Early morning is producing prolific hatches of Trico's along with an excellent spinner fall. There are still little yellow stone flies in the riffles, and an assortment of caddis. The light pressure means that the hungry hybrids are taking nymphs on the surface film, and nymphs down in the water col.
    .. The Trico's are about size 16, nymphs are in the range of 10 - 18. Right now the rivers and tributaries can be fished with a small and generalized assemblage of fles. Bechler Meadows is beginning to be invaded by large grasshoppers. Use sizes 6 - 12 depending on the ones that you see. We always fish size 10 -12 mosquitoes in the Bechler region. There is just a modicum of satisfaction in this endeavor.

    <- Falls River at the confluence

    .. The Falls River is producing hybrids to 16" on olive or black Wooly Worms, (size 8 - 12,) drifted through the large pockets in the giant riffle and run sections.
    .. The evening on both rivers is a magic time right now. The caddis hatch starts late, (about 8:30 PM,) and persists until after dark. There are also egg-laying caddis in the morning until about 10:30 or 11:00 AM. The sizes for these caddis is 10 -12, and a light body will produce best.
    .. Obsidian Creek is fishing very well. This bait fishery is generally thought of as a "Children's River," but the fish are taking size 8 elk hair caddis all day. Expect fish to 12" with little finesse or effort.
    .. The Gibbon River just below Gibbon Falls has been productive in the evening. Fish after 7:00 PM, and expect to take fish up to 14" on your favorite caddis imitation. The first big bend after the old picnic area is fishing well to dry's at dusk - size 14 - 16 spinners will work both places.
    .. The Madison River has a couple of good evening fishing spots. Small dark caddis are hatching near the talus slope turn out, (size 14 - 16,) and the same is true at the lower end of 9-mile hole. Lots of Mountain Whitefish are in the water around the Barns Holes. If you fish nymphs in the evenings here be prepared to enjoy this Yellowstone native.

    .. Are Invasive Species a threat to home land security? Researchers at Carnegie Melon University and the Smithsonian Institution are spearheading consulting projects for the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) analyzing the contents of insect traps set around America's largest ports of entry in order to determine how threatening some of the creepy crawlies coming into the U.S. just might be.
    Read it HERE & HERE.
    .. The "Spiney Waterflea" has been found in Rainey Lake in Wisconsin. LINK.
    .. A fish kill at La Crosse, Wisconsin has initially been attributed to Bass Virus. LINK.
    .. For more detail and other news go to the News Page of the Protect Your Waters Campaign.
    .. A sad note from the Seattle Times details the upward migration of toxins in the food chain of the Columbia River. With the focus on salmon and dams this is playing second fiddle - perhaps it needs more attention.

    .. MidCurrent pointed us toward an article about our neighbors in Craig, Montana. This is "Big Water" fishing on the Missouri - and sure to please.
    .. Collateral Damage has discovered how the Japanese are dealing with terrorists by using fish.
    .. Urban Fly Fishing On The Kelvin is no easier in the heat than it is around here.
    .. We just discovered that the non-fishers at GetOutdoors are in need of fishing lessons to get their rod up. They have politely asked for lessons in the art of fly fishing. We are pleased to comply: First, they should go to Fly Fishing For Beginners and read every page - this will answer many questions. Second, they should then travel to the Montana State Fishing Guide, to explore where it is that they might enjoy fishing, perhaps they might get an idea about what fish they might want to catch while they are there. Third, we would discourage them from selecting the area around West Yellowstone, Montana, or Island Park, Idaho - they might bump into a surly guide, (should they venture this far afield we recommend the Yellowstone Park Newbie Guide.) Finally, (for this lesson,) they should dump the stuff they were touting as "fly gear" into the garbage disposal. We will continue the lessons next time with suggestions about equiptment - no charge, no fee, no gratuity!

    .. Artist Monty Dolack has produced a new license plate for vehicles registered in Montana. The plate features the Montana State Fish - The Cutthroat Trout. Dolack noted that, "The trout on the plate is taken from a poster I did several years ago to celebrate the Nature Conservancy's work on the Big Blackfoot River. It portrays a big, beautiful westslope cutthroat trout in a clean and clear river."


    Friday, July 28, 2006

    YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING . . . . (related)

    lake reports
    river reports
    Blessed Rest
    Protect Your Waters

    .. They have given us enduring literature. They have given us topics of conversation. They have given us words and wisdom to live by. They have been reviled as purveyors of tripe and escape literature. They have been glorified as sages of the slough, (ugh!) They are our beloved fishing writers - a litany would be redundant - you know them well.

    .. They use words and concepts that grab us in some important place. And the reading is easy. Their writing sucks us in and appears to use our own vocabulary in unique ways. We think that they are "Easy Writers."
    .. Truth be told there is probably nothing "easy" involved. We've known, and do know, a few of these gentlemen. Their sometime agony is painful to experience. They care.

    .. With that said; we would like to point you to a conversation about the, (long awaited,) dire straits of the glossy print media - See Below:

    .. Go to The Trout Underground for an Easy Writer of the first water, (ugh - again - it just came out!) and leap into the discussion.
    .. Go to Ass Hooked Whitey for the extended thread of the conversation. There's more, b
    ut these two will get you started.
    .. Speaking of care, and that sort of thing, a trip to The Ecological Angler is well worth your time. It's a 'dot com' and has infrequent updates - but it's full of information.
    .. For a change of pace, (still in the water,) it is occasionally interesting and informative to visit: Squid.us, a 'dot us' with frequent updates, or Squidblog, or Squidblog.net. Just plain fun; and informative - in a squiddy-kind-a-way.

    . In a very quiet and surprisingly efficient way the "Protect Your Waters" campaign, (you know - STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS,) is making in-roads in the fly fishing community. It is also making in-roads into fly fishing communities.
    .. Out in the broad expanse of the "Big Madison" valley is Sun West Ranch where covenants and cash abound. Bless their hearts, they have signed on to help in the education effort.

    .. The Livingston, Montana Area Chamber Of Commerce has also joined up to help protect fishing in the Paradise Valley.
    .. On the "Left Coast" CaliforniaOnTheFly has joined the campaign. and their sister page ColoradoOnThe Fly signed up too, (conspiracy theorists - - - ?)
    .. In our neighborhood, some of the "BIGGIES" have led the charge: Simms, Wild Life Forever, Patagonia, & R.L. Winston Rod Company are a few of the folks that are doing their part.
    .. We urge you to help in the education campaign. For too long, fly fishers have pointed to other water sports as culprits in the spread of invasive species.

    .. Sadly . . . "we have met the enemy & it is us." The New Zealand Mud Snail map shows a one to one correlation between Yellowstone's most popular fly fishing waters and the snails.

    <- Mud Snail Distribution

    nps map

    Yellowstone Baseline Study
    Yellowstone Invasive Threats
    Whirling Disease in Yellowstone


    .. This is more than just a plug for the neighbors. If you enjoy your blessed rest at the end of a long day of fishing,
    or if you need a place to digest that prime-rib dinner you just inhaled: you will appreciate these places. Make your fall reservations now!
    .. Faithful Street Inn,
    .. Pine Shadows,
    .. Sleepy hollow.
    .. They are about full for the fall fishing season. These links are also in the side bar.


    .. Greebe Lake is still cranking out fish by the wadersful. They are eager and occasionally reach 14" the Grayling are usually
    in the 8" - 10" range. Fish the windward shore and use an easy to see floating attractor, (size 8 - 14 Royal Wulff is about ideal.) For the brave, (and strong of leg,) you can troll a Yellow Wooly Bugger from your tube. Just paddle upwind, turn around and enjoy the scenery as the wind pushes you through all those fish.
    .. The bad news first: the flies in the morning at Hebgan Lake are really small, (size 16 - 20.) The good news: there are more of them and the fish are bigger. The gulpers have podded-up and are cruising in large lazy circles in the Madison Arm. Try a size 16 - 18 Prince Nymph between the Madison Arm Resort and the 'Big Drowned Island,' (ask a local for the spot - as if they'll tell.) Or, just look for the flotilla of tubers early in the morning. Get in the water just before the sun hits it. 5:45 to 6:30 should be fine depending on where you decide to launch. As the hatch progresses we like to fish a "Little Mite," (size 18 - 20,) first, followed by a "Chironomid," (size 14 - 16,) when the rise forms get splashy.

    .. The Hoppers have begun their "splat-making" on the first seven miles of Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Flows are down just a bit and the river is still cool and clear. The river will now provide all day fishing if you're up to it.
    .. 5:30 AM spinners, (size 16 - 18,)
    .. 7:00 AM emergers and cripples, (size 14 -18,)
    .. 10:30 AM Pastrami Sandwich - Little Nip - Cigar.
    .. 11:30 AM small dark caddis & caddis fall, (size 12 - 16,)
    .. 12:30 PM first of the hoppers and continued PMD's, (anything size 14 - 16,)
    .. 2:30 - 3:30 PM suicide hoppers, (pray for wind - size 10 - 12,)
    .. 4:30 - 5:30 PM caddis hatch starts slowly, (size 14 Big Wing Sparkle Caddis + all of the above,)
    6:30 PM Nutter Butter Cookies - Rest Of Cigar - Little Nip.
    .. 7:30 - 8:00 PM caddis in earnest, (sizes 12 - 14,) some rusty spinners, (sizes 14 - 16,) last of the big hoppers, (size 8 - 12.)
    .. 8:30 - 10:00 PM magic on the Madison! It's cool, the light is low, you're exhausted. Stroll the bank and look for large noses in little eddies and foam swirls. Hit 'em in the nose. Go home happy.
    .. Most of the neighbors are rushing to the Gallatin River. It is cool, clear and full of hungry fish. Nothing seems to have changed from our reports of last Sunday and Wednesday. If there are clouds it's spectacular, if sunny - just darn good. (HINT: Check The Weather Forecast)
    .. The outfitter/packer neighbors just beat on the door. They said that fishing is great in the Bechler Region. They demand payment for information. We'll pay; - off to the darkness of a favorite cave to swill and swap stories. REPORT TOMORROW.
    OHMYGAWD Ranger Gord Strikes Again.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006


    time flies
    Hello Alice
    Fall Fishing Plans
    DO IT NOW!
    (c) FreeFoto.com

    .. With all due respects to that fine little fly shop that was once my home in Arcata -- TIME FLIES! If you plan to visit Yellowstone this fall - - you should have a reservation NOW!
    .. There are lots of motels in West Yellowstone. It's a town of motels. There are enough rooms to house the population 4 or 5 times over. They will all be full in September and October. The fishing promises to be great this fall. Plan ahead.
    .. There are three motels, (listed in the side bar,) that are "FLY FISHER FRIENDLY." They have a limited capacity, and are filling up now. They offer the amenities that the traveling fly fisher expects.

    .. The Faithful Street Inn has an assemblage of cabins that are internet friendly and comfortable. The establishment is operated by an icthyologist-flyfisher with a Master's Degree and a drift boat. Ask about Fall Fishing Rates.


    .. Pine Shadows has accommodations ranging from rustic motel rooms to palatal cabins. It is operated by a long time local outfitter with experience on all of our rivers and lakes. He has the stories to prove it. He will be pleased to aid you in tying local flies at the tying area as well.

    .. Sleepy Hollow has an assemblage of cozy cabins, (named for your favorite flies.) They have a well stocked fly tying bench. Sleepy hollow is operated by an outfitter who came to West Yellowstone to fish. He has, and does.
    .. If you want to enjoy both the fishing in the area, and partake of conversation with like-minded hosts and guests these establishments will enhance your stay in the neighborhood.

    .. Duck Creek is still a "less fished" destination. There are PMD's from about noon until dark, and they overlap with a very heavy caddis hatch that starts about 6:30 PM. Use sizes 14 - 18 for either fly, and pheasant tail nymphs on the surface. Technical folks can use some of the emerger patterns and, perhaps, do a bit better. The fish are not too selective yet.
    .. The cooler bits of the Gardiner River are fishing very well right through the hottest part of the day. If you need a mid-day fix take a double hand full of terrestrials like ants, (size 14 - 16,) foam beetles, (size 10 -14,) and hoppers, (size 12 - 14.) Cover a lot of water, ignore the cars, catch fish.
    .. Nez Perce Creek, (for some unknown reason,) continues to fish very well. The late evening, right up to dark has an excellent caddis hatch. Use a Big Wing Sparkle Caddis in size 12 - 14 and enjoy the cooling breezes that are funneling down the valley from Mary Mountain. The smoke from the Magpie fire is all blowing the other way right now. If you arrive early be sure to have a hopper or four - size 10 - 14 will work, (this is where we like to fish our Hornberg.)
    .. Hebgan Lake is beginning it's heavy 'gulper' phase. Quiet & still mornings, (maybe the heat is good for something,) are producing excellent fishing conditions in both the Madison Arm and the South Fork Estuary. Be sure that your float tube doesn't leak and take some nymphs and flies that will fool the fish into thinking yours is a juicer Callibaetis than Mother Nature's offering. Sizes are pretty consistent at 16 - 18. If the fish are rippling and not rishing try a small, (size 14 - 16,) olive colored wooly bugger, or even a "pinkish" scud in size 14 - 16. The bloom is on and fishing should get better right through the early days of fall.
    P.S. Check Ranger Gord For "Rhadamanthine Citations"

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006


    a couple of secrets
    some fishing is good
    Some Fishing Is Great
    ..On the way from downtown West Yellowstone to the Gallatin River we drive over the Highway 191 bridge on the Madison River. If there are no "Tubers" or "Wormers" we take 20 minutes to check out a couple of hot holes.
    .. This part of the river is not in Yellowstone National Park, and you do need a Montana Fishing license. The river picture shows a big deep hole where, in the Fall, fish migrating from Hebgan Lake park and rest. This time of year big resident fish hang out there. Usually bait and gear fishers are sitting in lawn chairs and taking the fish - there always seems to be some.

    .. The area between the snowmobile bridge, and the highway has a couple of nice pockets that can be reached with a roll cast and your favorite sack of groceries. It's shaded, smooth and deep, protected, and - swallows have their nests here: the fish get all kinds of bugs to eat - it's not guaranteed . . . . . . BUT!
    . . The big parking area at Fawn Pass is fishing very nicely in the evening. This is cold water and, currently, the best fishing in the neighborhood. This is the confluence of the Gallatin River & Fan Creek. The braided channels hold surprises. Don't thump and bump through the brush. Despite what it feels like, this is saturated sediment and transmits your thumping very well. Stroll and enjoy the scenery. Sneak and peer at the water. Fish late in the day. The later - the better.
    .. Fan Creek has some very eager fish that have not been spooked too badly. Use some Royal Humpy flies. or a Big Wing Sparkle Caddis. Sizes 10 - 14. This will get the fish to visit.

    .. The hour or so between 8:00 and dark is most productive. Bring caddis imitations in sizes 10 - 16. We fished the ancient Shell Fly and took some nice 12" fish. Caddis and spinners in the cool of the morning and caddis in the evening or a hopper-dropper will do fine.

    .. The trail from the parking lot to the Fan Creek meadows goes through the trees. If you take the trail you will miss 300 to 500 yards of the best fishing which is along the lower course of the Fan Creek shown in the picture. Get off the trail, walk gently, sneak up on the good water - you only get one cast.
    .. We had a break from the heat during the last two days. It was gray. It drizzled. It rained a bit. The clouds came low and visited mere mortals; and fishing on the Gallatin River went from very good to spectacular. (This can happen in Traverse City too, according to Dave Richey.)
    ..There were fewer folks, there were hungrier fish, and the bugs found our nose and ears. Trico's-a-plenty in the morning; along with spinners. PMD's at noon - along with caddis. Caddis in the afternoon; along with hoppers & PMD's. Hoppers in the evening: along with caddis. Sadly, the heat is scheduled to return for another week or so. This being the case, fish early to the spinners, or very late to the caddis.

    .. There is some progress being made against whirling disease. This is the good news. For all of the story click HERE.

    .. If you need a break from the trinket stores in West Yellowstone, take a mid day break on the Madison River. The snags and pockets along Riverside Drive are producing good fish in the shade. Use a light gray casual dress, (size 10 - 14.)
    .. The Yellowstone River has a few good fish to be caught. You will have to fish hard, and you will have to pick both the fish and the fly. The 40-fish days are long gone, and we prefer not to fish this river at all. Even in the best of all worlds about 20% of all released fish die. If you must fish here, you'll need some flav's, (16 - 18,) PMD's, (14 - 16,) and caddis, (10 - 14.)
    .. Nez Perce Creek is a good place to find shade and willing fish. The stretch between the Chief Joseph Story Board and the Confluence with the Firehole River has shade and wary - but hungry - fish. Hoppers are beginning to work here.
    .. It's not too long a walk to the Little Firehole River or Iron Spring Creek. Take a stroll at dusk and carry small hoppers, (10 - 14,) and small dark caddis, (12 - 16.) Be careful you don't sink in a deeply undercut bank, and don't challenge any bison.
    .. The Gibbon River is getting harder, (and more rewarding,) by the day. Both Elk & Gibbon Meadows still have eager fish but they are very 'twitchy.' Fish late in the day with some small hoppers, (size 10 - 14.) Be on the look out for the locally heavy small caddis. These dark little flies are size 14 -16, and may only occur in a 200 yard stretch. If you're there when it happens; you can tell the story of the Gibbon in summer.
    .. The N.E. Trinity has come into it's own. When it's clear the Lamar River is producing good Cutts to 14" at the long riffle by Buffalo Ranch. There probably won't be too many folks because of the walk. Hoppers and beetles will work all day; there are caddis both in the morning and evening.
    .. The shadows in the canyon are the places to fish Soda Butte Creek. This is pocket water at it's finest. It's narrow in spots and hard to stay on the bank - but do it. There are fish everywhere and if you spook one, the cascading panic may cost you an hour of futility. Walk softly and use a short light rod. A 6-1/2 foot 4-weight is great. Leaders and tippets should be short and fine, (6' overall is maximum, & if your cast is 15', it's too far.) Terrestrials of any stripe in sizes 10 -16 are the ticket to play here.
    .. The rush to Slough Creek has started. The transition from mayflies to hoppers produces some of the finest fishing this river has to offer. Throw in some caddis, toss in an ant or two, and don't forget your beetles - boy do these Cutts eat well. There are still flies and mosquitoes but that is just part of the story you can tell when you get back home.

    .. Heart Lake is producing Lake Trout on flies. Dragons and big nymphs, (in sizes 8 -12,) in the reeds and marshy edges during the evening will produce. If you fish 'til dark, be sure to sing loudly and have good headlight batteries on the way out.
    .. Shoshone & Lewis Lakes are beginning to show action in the connecting river. Float tube and canoe fishing is beginning to be productive. If you drag your tube that far - don't forget a box full of ants and beetles. Because of the warm weather the terrestrials are in full bloom.

    .. For one of the most beautiful pictures of a Brook Trout & lessons on deep breathing at high altitude visit the Trout Underground.
    .. The National Geographic gives us some timely information on a FROG JUICE bug repellent. We'll wait.
    .. For those of you intent on precision and the technical aspects of one-fish-one-fly; Westfly has an excellent article on the stages of the PMD hatch. Read it now and tie some.
    .. Mark at blogfish brings us a sad - even frightening tale of the state of the ocean and the invasion of jelly fish. Read it and weep for your grandchildren.
    .. As mentioned previously, Huey's Ditch, (a song or a whine?) is making big news. MidCurrent has picked up this story. The results of this case will affect you! Even the New York Times has noticed.
    .. The Gaurdian tells us that science is about to discover the difference between ourselves and Neanderthals. They haven't seen this year's crop of visitors to Yellowstone.

    Sunday, July 23, 2006


    too many fish
    The Ants Go Flying By

    .. When the shadows are long - but not yet on the water - is the time to rig up for evening fishing on the Gallatin River.
    .. The hoppers haven't materialized in any numbers yet but the "hopper-dropper" with a large caddis and a light nymph is still a good combination.
    .. The last two evenings have produced a combined hatch of visitors, gawkers, and caddis. The river is fishing excellent in the evening.
    .. For those of you that like the challenge of a specific fly for a specific fish, there is a tremendous spinner fall that starts in late afternoon, (about 5:30 - 6:00 PM.) Big-fish fishing seems to be concentrated in the open meadows below Black Butte. There are some 'tanks' above this point, but they are rare.
    .. This fishing lasts until dark-30, (about 9:45 right now.) Use your favorite size 16 - 20 spinners and watch for noses in the shady banks. Once the sun is off the water the bigger fish will move into the funnels behind rocks, at the heads of pools, and they will dominate the mid-stream seams.
    .. There almost seems to be too many fish right now. Most will be between 8" and 12"; right at dark the depths can produce a 14"-15" pair of shoulders. Don't fish too far or too fine - walk slowly, cast short, and hang on.

    .. At about mile post 29 there were fisherfolks elbow to elbow for about three hours, (we joined in the fun for a bit - too.) Stonefly nymphs, naked hoppers, hopper-dropper, caddis, and spinners all took good fish. This is not unusual when the smorgasbord of the Gallatin River is in full bloom.
    .. After an hour or two of this we left the crowd and went to a secret spot.

    .. At about mile 27.5 is a little pull-out that is usually filled with fisherfolk cars, picnicker cars, and children and dogs. We pulled in here and looked between the two trees shown at the left.
    .. If the little branch is running full; as it is right now, it produces a silt plume in the Gallatin that is full of fishy delights.
    .. Most fishers pull on their waders and dash to inviting water away from the kids and dogs.
    .. We just walked down to the river and fished until dark. We covered about 200 yards of bank. We fished down and up, and up and down. A short fat tippet, a big wing caddis, and casts to 30 feet were all that we needed.
    .. When we hiked back to Da Ford, kids and the dogs had long since gone, so had most of the fisherfolk. Not a one of them came within 50 yards of the silt plume.
    .. On the drive home the windshield was splattered with flying ants from about mile post 27 to mile post 25. Maybe tomorrow. Today was a repeat of yesterday - except that the evening thundershower cooled things off and darkened the water a little early. Most of the same cars were parked in most of the same spots - word spreads among the neighbors with alarming rapidity.

    .. Visit MidCurrent for a timely article on fishing flies that you can see. Visit Ranger Gord for insight into video, retirement, and assholes. Try the RedOrbit news for the one that didn't get away -- twice.

    .. Congress acts, and 13 years later the The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies received a Multistate Conservation Grant to support a comprehensive, three-year project. The project addressed a national conservation need to increase effectiveness of state agency efforts to manage aquatic nuisance species (ANS).

    .. The guides at Madison River Outfitters have been inordinately busy this last week and over the weekend. They have stolen all of our thunder - and then some. Check the MRO River Report for the popular rivers - Yellowstone River, Soda Butte Creek, Lamar River, and Madison River.
    .. The Gibbon River is becoming warmer and the morning or evening will be the best bet in the meadows. PMD's in the AM, along with spinners in sizes 14 - 18, will still take these wary trout. Caddis, (sizes 12 -16,) is the best bet in the evening, along with a Montana Duster, (size 14.) The fish in the Gibbon River, in the upper meadows at Norris are still hungry. The shade of the trees and the cold water means that you can catch all the eager brook trout that you want -- provided you can do it with one cast per fish.
    .. Greebe Lake is still fishing exceptionally well in the evening, and along with the grayling you might catch a grayling researcher.
    .. Check out this story - Fish with two mouths.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006

    Yellowstone Very Hot

    fishing pretty good too!

    nps photo

    .. This is the time of year that our visitors bemoan the fact that Mother Nature is messy in her rejuvenation methods, and that sometimes they have to fish in a non-postcard setting.
    .. The Magpie fire that we noted a few days ago is approaching 800 acres in a slow and leisurely fashion. The fuel is limited and the hot winds have not been too bad the last couple of days. Next year there will be places for three-toed woodpeckers, grass for elk and bears, and the start of a beautiful wildflower meadow.

    .. We're going fishing this afternoon; and in honor of the 135th anniversary of the British Open Golf Championship, we're going to fish an "OLDE ENGLISH" fly.
    ..The Shell Fly is among the oldest mentioned in English literature, & is recommended for July. It looks remarkably similar to the huge flies that have been draining our blood on a daily basis: -- we will, (metaphorically, allegorically, symbolically?) return the favor.
    .. The recipe is simple. "The shell fly: the body of green wool, wound about with herl from the peacock's tail, and wings of the buzzard." We use "Tail of Argus" as a buzzard substitute. (sizes 6 - 12.)

    .. The local phrase is Hopper & Dropper for the Gallatin River. The yellow guts on the windshield will tell you where to stop and wet a line. We use size 6 Big Wing Sparkle Caddis and a size 12 Little Mite. Or sometimes we use any ol' hopper and a size 14 Prince Nymph. As soon as the hoppers are in full blossom we will try to match the size and belly color.

    .. The grass in the first meadow at Slough Creek is a golden-green and beginning to turn brown; It'll take two weeks and the hoppers will explode during that time. The Cutts are becoming pretty spooky now and the best fishing is in the evening.
    .. Because of the heat, there are a few early mayflies, (around 7:30 or 8:oo AM.) Use the smaller Gray Drakes, (sizes 16 - 20,): and PMD's, Baetis, duns and spinners in the mornings to size 22. The evening is still producing good caddis hatches but they are small as well. It might be useful to use ants, beetles, or floating nymphs and emergers in the evening. The fishing along the road below the campground is excellent right now with a bit larger caddis and some small stoneflies.
    .. Soda Butte Creek still has some large fish, but it's mostly being a good mother to the yearlings and fry. Fish just about anything that floats in a size 14 - 18, in the pocket water of the canyon. It's shady and cool for a mid-day break. There are still larger, (and hungry,) Cutts in the meadow at the confluence with the Lamar River.
    .. The evening caddis hatch on the Madison River, (just about anywhere,) has been good. Sizes 14 - 18, and the hoppers are starting.
    Second hand, (but trusted,) reports:
    .. The Bechler River, Boundary Creek, Mountain Ash Creek, are all doing good on afternoon hoppers and evening caddis. Hint: so is the Falls River outside of the park.
    .. The Snake River at the southern park boundary and on to Flagg Ranch, is fishing very well. These fine-spotted Cutts are still taking stoneflies, large caddis, and beetles to size 4 - 6. Don't let the big water intimidate you. Just imagine that each bit of water is made up of a group of parallel rivers & streams, (which it is,) fish each of them and you'll do great. Evening is best but still very warm.

    ..Read about the New Zealand Mud Snail in Yellowstone Park, and the current planning to respond to the creature.
    Check your knowledge about aquatic pests with the online game "Who Wants To Be A Fish Biologist."

    .. Visit the Trout Underground for a peek at heaven on earth.
    .. Fishing Jones points us to Reel Time for insight into catch and release techniques - on Big Water.
    ..Marshall Cutchin at MidCurrent directs us to the Aspen Daily News so that we will know how to be a woman angler. He also sends us to Maine to learn about something that we should already know.
    .. Not a blog but real news: "FLY FISHING FOR SCIENCE" in the Salt Lake Tribune.
    .. Politics of the west - Fire, Senators, & Healthy Forests, at NewWest.