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  • Sunday, July 23, 2006

    EVENING ON THE GALLATIN RIVER

    too many fish
    The Ants Go Flying By
    PRAY FOR THUNDER


    .. 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.
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    .. 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.
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    .. 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).
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    .. 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.
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    .. Check out this story - Fish with two mouths.