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  • Tuesday, July 18, 2006


    Smart Fish:
    Dumb Fisherman,
    quick report,
    gone fishing!

    -- A few days ago we reported on the Gallatin River and the fact that we, (and several neighbors,) had taken good fish on hoppers when there were no hoppers to be seen.
    -- The caprice of the "idiot fish" was noted and we thought about it no more. As it turns out it was the "dumb fisherman" not the dumb fish. It now is clear that the fish were keyed on golden stoneflies and the little hopper that had sneaked into our fly box was a pretty good imitation of what was in the river.
    -- Yes, there are stoneflies working the Gallatin River. From the meadows at Fan Creek to the Taylor Fork, good fish can be taken on hoppers, (size 8 - 14,) even if you are fishing the stonefly hatch.
    -- The Yellowstone River section that opened on the weekend is fishing O.K. Many of the large fish are in the shallow water and 'sneaking' is recommended. Some Gray Drakes, some Green Drakes, some caddis , and of course a few Yellowstone Sally flies should be in your box. Watch the water before you start to fish; the rise forms are subtle and gentle.
    -- This segment of the river is in need of help. There is plenty of food but the fish population is way down. Be gentle with the fish you catch. For a synopsis of the condition of the river and it's fish check out the fishing journal report at BLUE RIBBON FLIES, and the note at Madison River Outfitters.
    -- Slough Creek & Soda Butte Creek are both in fine form. Sneaking is also recommended here. There are some stoneflies present - maybe the hopper will work here too. Small caddis, (size 16 - 18,) are plentiful in the meadow where the Lamar River and Soda Butte intertwine. If you are in the right spot there are still PMD's at, and just below the campground on Slough Creek, stick around for the "cutthroat dinner feast" in the evening - midges are prolific and the fish are looking up. The biting flies seem to be worse this year than recent memory recalls - of course the mosquitoes are also present.
    -- Callibaetis in the morning have started the gulper fishing at Hebgan Lake. The estuary at the South Fork, The narrows at the Madison Arm, and the Marina at Happy Hour Bar are all producing fish throughout the day. If the fishing slows down abruptly - look up - The osprey are working very heavy right now.
    -- The Madison River has a heavy hatch of evening caddis right now. These are the small, (size 14 - 18,) dark caddis flies. Last night the heaviest appearance was about 8:00 PM around Mt. Haynes. They are on the river all day, and a good presentation with a small pheasant tail or Little Mite will bring some good fish to your feet.
    -- We're going "STONEHOPPER FISHING" now; after some sausage and eggs at The Firehole Grill.

    P.S. Years ago, before the dam at Pallisades, we lived in Pocatello, Id. We considered the South Fork our home water. It's fishing great this year. We may take a jaunt down there. Read about it, and see it, HERE.