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  • Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Yellowstone Reminders

    New Zealand Mud Snails,
    Cutthroat Peril,
    New Regulations,
    Whirling Disease,
    Barbless Hooks!!

    .. As we get ready for the opening of the Middle Yellowstone River, there are several things to keep in mind.
    .. The Yellowstone Cutthroat population is in peril. There is much discussion about what to do - and how to do it. You will appreciate this resource much more if you are familiar with the concerns, (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6, Link 7, Link 8, Link 9.) This population has been severely impacted by the lake trout, low & warm river flows, and habitat degradation. Whirling disease has been found in the Yellowstone Lake Population as well.
    .. Current efforts are underway to restore the 'West Slope' cuttthroat population, and the Yellowstone Cutthroat population.
    .. There are, today, fewer fish in the sections of river that will be opening on the 15th, (from Chittenden Bridge to Yellowstone Lake outlet,) than there have been in past years.
    .. Although there are fewer fish, there are large fish, (to over 20",) and they can be caught in the traditionally 'good' places. Play them fast, release them quickly, handle them gently or not at all, leave them in the water. The pressure that these fish experience is deadly. We believe that the resource is far more important than a trophy photo.
    .. Practice prophylactic prevention between river segments and watersheds. The zebra mussel and New Zealand Mud Snail are moving at a rapid pace and you can help slow them down. Visit ProtectYourWaters.Net for prevention measures.
    .. Check the new regulations for Yellowstone Park Carefully.
    .. There are places where you must kill fish - DO IT!
    .. There are places where you can keep fish - DO IT!
    .. There are places where you must release fish - DO IT!
    .. There are species that must be killed - DO IT!
    .. There are species that can never be kept - DO IT!
    Regulations and maps: HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE.
    Prognosis Yellowstone River Opener:
    .. Various stoneflies are in the river. Take both dry flies and big nymphs. These Cutts will hit hard and fast. Try Marcella's Trout Fly, Sofa Pillows, Casual Dress, and similar flies for the big 'uns. There are PMD's galore right now and this ought to continue. A good supply of Caddis is always in order, and if you find them Gray Drakes will knock your waders off.
    .. Be sure, again, to check the regulations for the short, (and long,) closures around Fishing Bridge, LeHardy Rapids, and tributaries. With the increased recruitment of the last two years, fishing will certainly be very good - if not great.
    .. Slough Creek is at it's finest RIGHT NOW! The PMD's are plentiful, Gray Drakes can be found in good numbers, and the fish are famished. These Cutts are hungry - and wary. Don't thump and clump around the meadows wilth heavy footfalls and you will surprise yourself at your success.
    .. Soda Butte Creek is becoming crowded, & for good reason. The fish are taking terrestials, (really just about anything in sizes 10 - 16.) Take some Caddis, Hare's Ears, Prince Nymphs, and your favorite ants and beetles.
    .. Gallatin River is exactly as previously reported, (or better.) Fish the good pools AND the riffles, the trout are still hungry. This will change in the next week to 10 days and then we can only pray that the hoppers arrive on time.
    .. Want a peek into the way fishing used to be? CLICK HERE.

    .If you see these signs, take the time to read them. The fishery you save, may be your own.