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  • Tuesday, July 11, 2006


    Firehole Fish Stress,
    Lake Shore strolling,
    Gallatin Puddle-Hopping,
    And Other Quick Notes.

    <- Between The Bridges

    .. If you must fish the Firehole River from now until September; fish between the bridges in Biscuit Basin. This is the meadow where the Little Firehole River & Iron Spring Creek join. Their water is cooler, and the fish a bit more active - even in mid day.
    .. Walk further up the two branches and the fish get bigger and more active. It is illegal to fish above the road in the Upper Geyser Basin. The Firehole River along the Lone Star Geyser trail is shaded, full of eager fish, and you have many opportunities to pose for the wandering throngs of day hikers. Smile pretty!

    <- Hide's, rise forms, & stress

    .. This is the meadow section of the Firehole River at the Ojo Caliente parking lot, (the end of the motor vehicle section.)
    .. There are fish here & they are taking. You can see several rings in the picture. The fish will be in the shadows, (shown by the *,) and will be almost leisurely about the takes. They will be wary, particular, spooky, tough, and well educated.
    .. Many of the fish will have been caught several times by this point in the season. The very warm "spike" temperatures this time of the year mean that the fish are at the edge of their limits and will be in poor shape, (pretty as they are.)
    .. We prefer to just observe them. If you must catch them do it quickly, and return them rapidly. The stress factors in this section of the Firehole River are about all a trout can stand.
    .. Yellowstone Lake is still fishing well along the shore near Bridge Bay and around the Thumb Creeks. Check your regulations carefully because there are closures in these areas as well. Ask a Ranger or a local fly shop.
    .. It is constantly a surprise to see how large of a fish will take a size 14 - 18 Mayfly. The Callibaetis hatch is spotty, but building. This next week to 10 days will provide a gentle stroll along the lake shore with magnificent views and good fishing. The behavior of the Cutthroat in the little nooks and inlets is typical of lake fish. They will "pod-up" and cruise in a regular pattern. You can see them. You get one cast each time around. Kind'a like pass shooting.
    .. Now is the time to take a canoe to Shoshone Lake! The fishing pressure is very light and the trout are not particular. Just about anything that looks like food will draw fish. Some are big, some are small, and even a Laker is possible on streamers. Be careful when you beach the boat; the grass is tall and the bears like the meadows. So do the mosquitoes.
    .. The Gallatin River is roaring to life. Complaints about the afternoon rain showers just keep away fisherfolks and encourage the fish. The river is in good shape and the fish are hungry. There are Golden Stoneflies between the bridge at the Fan Creek Meadow down to Black Butte. This is a very long and protracted emergence. The fish should be "keyed" on these flies for the next two weeks. The evening Caddis hatch is regular - BUT - won't happen in the rain. On cloudy and rainy afternoons use nymphs; the action is fierce. There are reports that PMD's & Green Drakes are coming off. You are blessed if you bump into the drakes. Fish till your wrists ache. (P.S. if you get up early the spinner float is great.)
    .. The joy in fishing the Gallatin River is that it is capricious. The best water is obvious. The riffles between the "holding pools" are frequently very shallow and seem to be "unfishable." This is not necessarily so! If you follow the paths that cut off these sections you may miss good fish. The evening is a good time to probe the thin water with a large nymph. Shoot a cast at all the big rocks in 10" of water. You just may be surprised.

    P.S. again; Take some pictures. This damp summer has brought out a riot of color. Don't forget to smell the paintbrushes.