• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Thursday, August 31, 2006

    Labor Day In Yellowstone

    river reports
    good news

    .. YELLOWSTONE MYTH: "It's too c
    rowded on Labor Day Weekend to go fishing in Yellowstone National Park."
    .. Not necessarily so. If you have to fish the glory holes where the water meets the road, there will be a few elbows to contend with. But there are places that can be fished in relative solitude. The important thing to remember is that the less accessible the water, the fewer the elbows.
    .. The fact of the matter is; for some people it's always too crowded - for others it doesn't seem to matter. At the risk of crowding-up some of the less crowded waters we suggest the following:
    ++ 7-MILE HOLE
    .. Of course, you can't have it all. But for those that want solitude, big native fish, easy catching, and simple access we suggest the Lewis River along the South Entrance Road. Most people just drive right past this water. Use a royal humpy in the pockets and pillow-slicks of the barely submerged rocks - size 12 to start with.
    .. The toughest part of fishing Yellowstone on the Labor Day Weekend is the entrance stations, the parking lots, the narrow roads, and the exhaust fumes. In this sense Yellowstone IS too crowded to fish.

    .. For the adventurous river angler we suggest a quick perusal of the Montana Stream & River Conditions page provided by the U.S.G.S. All reporting stations are on this page.
    .. Gallatin River: low and cold - walk the banks between mile post 19 and 22. Have a good assortment of Humpies, Adams, Soft Hackle, and Small Terrestrials. Hunt 'em down and commence individual battle at short range. If you are blessed with Flying Ants this will be a memorable occasion.
    .. Gibbon River: low, slow, clear. It was 20 F last night at Norris. The fish in Gibbon Meadow and Elk Meadow are becoming very selective. Your first cast must be dead on and the offering should be on the smallish side. These fish are inspecting everything very carefully. The best opportunities are in the late afternoon in the deep shadows of undercut banks. A soft hackle just below the surface - size 18 - 22. Good luck.
    .. Gardner River: The Brook Trout seem to be very willing in the upper stretches. Try walking the banks around Sheepeater Cliffs. The parking may be tight and the fisher folks may be thick but the action is pretty good. Don't expect anything larger than 10" - but it could happen. Search with your favorite attractor, (size 10 - 14,) in the pockets and tails of the larger riffles. Keep moving and you should have quite a few dances.
    .. We're going to fish the %*@$*&@# there are rumors of pre-spawn monsters in shallow water.

    .. MidCurrent advises us that a positive review of Tom McGuane's new book "Gallatin Canyon" will featured in this Sunday's New York Times. Previous reviews include the one by "Bookllist" that place the Gallatin Canyon in Idaho. So much for reviews. These short stories are about folks that we all know -from:
    "Montana, Michigan and Florida. Most of the characters are older, divorced and still looking for attachment but without much hope of love. They are alcoholics (in "Vicious Circle" and "The Refugee"), junkies ("Northcoast"), low-grade ex-cons ("The Cowboy"), embezzlers ("Old Friends"), disconnected fathers ("The Zombie" and "Aliens") and lackluster ordinary men."
    .. We bumped into the Blog "Brian Hampson - My Life In Blog Entries" a site about the life of a fisherman whose home waters are the Frasier River. Cool Beans 'Berto!

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006


    nice fish
    river reports
    Idaho Attacks
    California On Alert

    .. The nights are cold, the days are warm, and Hebgen Lake is offering up some fine fish to those folks willing to get up early and hit the water. It seems that this year's gulper action has been a bit more persistent than usual. And, although the giant "wolf packs" of years past were not observed with any regularity; some did materialize.
    .. Gulper action should be rewarding as long as the sun and warmish days continue. Keep your Trico, Calibaetis, and Streamer boxes handy, (a few pinkish/yellow Scuds wouldn't hurt either.)
    .. The fishing light starts about 7:30 AM, and lasts until the wind comes up. This is the best time for the bugs. When the wind arrives, switch to streamers and think like a fish.
    .. Not to be outdone by the giants of the "click-o-sphere" we submit our entry into the "Battle Of The Bikinis." Last year Helen, from Slovakia, visited the neighbors and took some nice fish while gulper fishing from a drift boat.
    .. Please note that unlike the photo from the originators of this shameless search for clicks, Get Outdoors, these are fishing pictures. And, unlike the Upper Sac Offering, you don't need to squint to obscure the spinning rig. And while we really enjoyed the offering from Moldy Chum - where's the fish?

    .. Cornered in a dark and dank watering hole in West Yellowstone, the neighbor outfitter/packers finally gave up a report of fishing in the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park. This did not come cheap.
    .. The Bechler River is approaching Fall with an abundance of good fish. The fishing pressure has been light so far, (mosquitoes and fanged flies are the protectors of this great fishery.) The cool mornings mean that intrepid fisher folk should look for spinners, (size 16 - 20,) or use nymphs in the meadow as the sun peeks through the brownish grass. There have been some good Baetis on the overcast mornings about 11:00 AM, (size 14 - 18.) Happily the sun has been cooperative in this corner of the park and the evening caddis continue with regular, (occasionally sparse,) hatches. There are still hoppers and it's too early to abandon your Hopper-Dropper rig, (size 12 hoppers and a floating Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear in size 14 or 16.) If you get stuck, a well drifted greenish Soft Hackle should pull fish from the shade of undercut banks, (when the sun is on the water.)
    .. The Gibbon River Meadows are seeing the sulking fish waking up a bit. There are just a few Hoppers left and they are on the small side here too. This is one place that you need a very brisk wind before you use the splat 'em down techniques. Treat the hopper just as you would a well drifted dry. Take the dropper off in mid day - these fish are every bit as selective as the ones in Slough Creek.
    .. Speaking of which, Slough Creek is in the midst of exceptional seasonal fishing. This doesn't mean it's easy. There are some morning hatches and spinners galore. Technical fishers should do very well until the mid-day zephyrs arrive. Pick your fish and go one on one. A drift every couple of minutes is not too slow. Change flies often and you will usually win a dance with these very selective Cutts. Remember, Yellowstone Fishing Regulations ask you to harvest Rainbow Trout if you catch them - not more than your limit, though. When the wind comes up, the fish become a bit less cautious if there are hoppers or other terrestrials around. Again, blind casting is not the way to go. Lay down in the weeds and watch a single fish for a few minutes. If you are quiet about it, the view is pretty good. A 15 -20 foot cast from your knees should be all you need.
    .. The Barns Holes on the Madison River have been producing some giant Mountain Whitefish. These natives should be played quickly and released gently & rapidly. They are taking large nymphs, (size 8 - 12,) and seem to be showing a preference for Bead Head Prince sorts. The afternoon caddis along the first seven miles of the river seem to be disappearing at a pretty good clip - a sure sign of approaching Fall. Wait a week or so and then take your morning coffee to the river and stake out a good place. It's about to be Streamer-Time.

    .. Protect Your Waters tells us of an article about the role of reproduction in the spread of invasive species. They cite an interesting article in the American Journal Of Botany that asks the question: "Are invasive plants an inevitable consequence of evolution?"(subscription.)
    .. The California Department of Fish And Game has opened comments on it's Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan. / Protect Your Waters Notice / The Outdoor Wire News Release.
    .. Idaho is on the attack against Golden Shiners. These invasive species could threaten the Trout, Kokanee, and Steelhead populations of the Snake River & Clearwater River. Poisen is the plan of action for Deer Creek Reservoir. Protect Your Waters alert / Idaho Statesman News Story / Public News Room Story.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006


    short post
    Bechler Hot In The Cold
    Prepare For Fall - Now!

    .. The last few nights have confirmed our suspicions - FALL IS UPON US. The gloss is off the Aspen leaves, pine cones litter the ground, the sky is a darker shade of blue and frost would be on the pumpkin - if you could grow pumpkins up here.
    .. Another sure sign that we watch for is the disappearance of the Banzai skateboard kids. They are headed back to school.
    .. The weather forecast confirms a string of overcast days are heading this way. It also suggests that we should have perfect weather for the last fling of Summer - Labor Day.
    .. Apropos of a bit of chill in the air, Flyfishmagazine directs us to some fine underwear that they stumbled into at the FFR Show. The page opens in Swedish, but there is a box that lets you select the language you'd like to use to view the page, (including Icelandic.)

    .. Protect Your Waters lets us know that the arrival of the Bighead Carp is causing quite a stir in the upper Midwest. They also comment about the new rash of lawsuits over both water and air.

    .. The outfitter/packer neighbors are very busy, of late. One group just returned from the Bechler River with glowing reports. Rainbow Trout to 18" are in the first meadow right where the footpath joins the river. There appear to be a few hoppers that get through the cold nights and the fish are targeting them as soon as the sun dries the grass; about 10:30 AM. Use a modified Hopper-Dropper rig - size 8 hopper and size 12 caddis. Try to keep both of the flies on the top and hang on tight.
    .. The other pack string is due in tonight from the third meadow of Slough Creek. We'll chase them down and bring you a report tomorrow.

    .. The mature fish are beginning to pod-up in Hebgen Lake. This pre-spawn behavior can mean very good fishing if you find the fish. Rainbow Point, Happy Hour Cove, Marina Bay, and the South Fork Estuary are all good bets. The shore fisher, (without worms,) would do best to fish the stick-ups just north of Spring Creek. The tube trollers should probably concentrate on the deep water of the Madison Arm and the inlet across the lake from the rope tree. This is the time of year when you need to be prepared for both surface fishing and streamer fishing. Keep your Calibaetis and Trico boxes handy as you search the waters with a Dark Spruce Fly, Dark Olive Woolly Bugger, or Yellowstone Spruce Fly.
    .. Because of the diverse spawning habits of the Cutts in Yellowstone Lake some fish are moving into the Lake, others are moving out of it. If you are lucky enough to have a canoe in the SE Arm, now is the time for 20" fish on dry flies. We have a secondary report of good fish taken on yellow woolly worms in this area.

    .. As the rivers cool the fishing should heat up apace. This will be spotty for a week or two but the morning fishing should last until noon or so. The bugs will take advantage of the conditions that suit them so it's best to be prepared with a few different plans of attack.
    .. We don't want to start any wild rumors, BUT, the Firehole River is just a week or so away from being productive. Check yesterday's report. We're getting our fall Firehole boxes in order.
    .. Nez Perce Creek, and the Firehole River at their confluence have an early morning, (9:30 - 10:00 AM,) midge hatch. The Baetis of the last few days seem to be thin but regular. Fish spinners or midge clusters in the foam lines.
    .. The Lamar River is a sure bet for good fishing right now. The bedrock of the canyon sections hold both the heat of the day and the cool of the night. Most of these fish are in the 10" - 16" range and are very opportunistic. All hoppers that find themselves in the canyon funnel down to the river. The same for beetles. Use smallish flies for the terrestrials, (size 12 or 14 hoppers and down to 16 with the beetles and ants.) Be careful of the slick rocks and try to fish where the sun and shade meet the water.
    .. The confluence meadows where Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River join has some side channels that can be productive in late morning. Again, watch for the sun creeping into deep holes. This is a good time to drown a hopper or a black Woolly Worm, (sizes 10 - 14.)
    .. The Gallatin River has seen some nice fish moving up toward the confluence with Fan Creek. These braided meadows require stealth tactics because of the thin water. Use your best sneaky waddle and a yellow Humpy, (size 12.)
    .. The Madison River below 7-Mile Bridge is still producing good fish when tbreaks in the afternoon clouds encourage the caddis. Your favorite soft hackle or caddis nymph should produce fish all day if you are willing to walk a bit and fish the holding water, (sizes on the smallish size may be the ticket; 12 - 14 or even 16.)

    Monday, August 28, 2006


    river reports
    Blogs Blogging

    YTH: "The fishing in Yellowstone is 100% catch and release." Not so! In fact, the managers of Yellowstone National Park are aware of the need to keep and kill fish. This places a burden of informed responsibility on the angler.
    .. However the catch and release ethic is so deeply ingrained in contemporary fly fishers that it has become an absolute truth for many, (Google shows about 8,340,000 references.)
    .. This is not necessarily good. The question of, "if, and/or when to release, and when to keep, (or kill,)" has been neglected by the fly fishing community - to it's detriment.
    .. As Practiced, (far'n fine, - don'tchaknow;) catch and release really means: Hook, Play to Exhaustion, Handle, Remove From Water, Squeeze Gut, Photograph, "Revive," Release.
    .. Values and perceptions cloud the issue to the point that rational discussion is often impossible. Yet, Yellowstone presents the conscientious angler with a laboratory for addressing the underlying values and perceptions of the catch and release ethic.
    .. Currently, Slough Creek meadows are in the early stages of hybridization of the native Cutthroat Trout population by invading Rainbow Trout. Yellowstone Park Regulations (pg. 10,) ask anglers to harvest Rainbow Trout to preserve the native wild population. Of course this requires the angler to know how to identify fish.
    ..Yet most anglers release all fish taken on Slough Creek. If this practice continues, the trout will all be hybrids far sooner than later. The question is one of value. Are native, resident, wild Cutthroat Trout worth preserving? Or, is catching -- then releasing any fish more important? Is your experience degraded by catching maimed fish?
    .. Lee Wulff is most often quoted in support of catch and release as an absolute ethic: "Game fish are too important to only catch once." This surely doesn't hold for the Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake - or does it? How about the Brook Trout in Grebe Lake? How about the Brook Trout in the nursery fishery of Duck Creek? How about the Brown Trout in the Madison River? Is a wild invasive trout of more value than a wild native fish? Is fishing & catching & releasing any trout more important than a Native Trout fishery in Yellowstone? TOUGH QUESTIONS - FOR SURE!
    .. Yellowstone Park fishing regulations have taken a small step in addressing this situation. They are not perfect but they do recognize that killing some fish helps preserve other fish. Anglers need to be aware of this.
    .. No, Yellowstone Park is not 100% a catch and release fishery; but anglers, for whatever reason, have adopted that mythic perception -- to the detriment of the fishery and the quality of the fishing.

    .. The contemporary attitude toward Catch & Release is aptly summed up by Stu in The Quiet Pool.
    .. What invasive species can do to resident fish populations is detailed by Douglas P. Peterson, Kurt D. Fausch, and Gary C. White in "Effects of Brook Trout on Native Cutthroat Trout."
    .. From Alaska comes a synopsis of the effects of catch and release: provided by the U.S.G.S.
    .. A visit to River Angel's Site for some excellent photography will also provide insight into how we learn our fishing values.
    .. And, finally; How conservation laws can kill the animals they are supposed to protect.

    .. The Firehole River is still cooling down and, interestingly the flow has increased. Be ready - next week? Wait for the first snow? If your vacation plans brought you here today, and you have to fish the Firehole River - fish the cooler water. You did bring your thermometer - right? Try the area behind Goose Lake, there was a fine Baetis, hatch (size16 -18,) on Sunday. The morning started out drizzly and gray, the bugs came out steady and widely distributed from about 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Caddis are making their reappearance in Biscuit Basin between the bridges.
    .. Gallatin River: stick with your Hopper-Dropper rig from late morning through dusk. There have been several flights of flying ants in recent days. If this is the case when you are on the river try a double ant rig, (size 12 - 14 up high & size 16. at the end.) Not many of the fish can pass up the ants when they are on the water. The near clockwork afternoon thundershowers have the Baetis hatching with regularity. This hatch is scattered and you may or may not encounter it. However spinners and nymphs, (sizes 14 - 16,) may spark a trouty remembrance.
    .. Madison River: the renewal of the evening caddis hatch is starting. Be ready by 7:00 PM and expect it to peak around 8-8:30 PM. Right now there is a good chance you'll bump into them above 9-Mile Hole, and the lower reaches of the river in National Park Meadow, (size 12 - 14.) If you're on the river when it begins to get dark, a Woolly Bugger or Spruce fly might bring an early Lake-Run fish to net, (sizes 4 - 10 should work.) We've had trusted reports from the area around Grasshopper Bank & the Barns Holes that some of the early spawners are beginning their run - no pictures though.

    .. The "wolf packs" have disapated in Hebgen Lake, and gulper fishing is returning to singles and doubles. There are still lots of fish cruising in the morning, and the Tricos have come back to augment the steady Calibaetis hatch. Calibaetis are about size 14, Tricos down to 18. A floating nymph, (size 16,) behind your size 12 Royal Trude might be the ticket to the dance if you're after large fish. Of course, if the ants come back, it's a no-brainer.
    .. Trout Lake is worth the grunt if you are young enough. 'Nough said.

    Sunday, August 27, 2006


    lake reports
    river reports
    blogging about

    .. We've added the "mythology" category to our page breaks. This category will address the disjunction between popular myths and the encountered reality of the situations that the myths address.
    .. So often the truths of myths become confused with reality. Myths serve the function of illustrating the truth of the tale - they are not the truth itself.
    .. There are abundant myths about Yellowstone fishing that become perpetuated as truths. This leads to disappointment and frustration for those that believe the myths as if they were true.
    .. Case in point: Yellowstone National Park has the best fly fishing in North America. Aside from having to define "best," this is a myth that often comes up when talking to visitors.
    .. As far as we're concerned, this is the best place to go fly fishing. But this is completely different than the "Best Fly Fishing." Our decision is made with accessibility, variety, scenery, and a myriad other factors considered: (idiosyncratic perceptions included.)
    .. A fair description of fishing in this neighborhood would be that it is the most accessible, diverse, very good fishing to be found; without looking too hard. There are times and places when the fishing is , (pick your adjective,) very good, exceptional, spectacular, outt'a control, etc. There are other times and places when the opposite is true.
    .. Certainly, part of the mythology stems from the setting. The spectacular scenery and geophysical wonders just demand that the fishing measure up. This type of correspondent mythology was employed by many of the early explorers and visitors when they came to Yellowstone. The perpetuated myths of Yellowstone are very old and deeply rooted in both our cultural history and our fishing lore.
    .. "Caught a fish so big that it took an hour for the water to fill up the hole it left in the river." "Caught a fish and boiled it without moving or without taking it from my line." "Caught so many fish it took a week to haul half of them back to camp."
    .. The reasons that myths persist are at least three-fold: {1} things were always better last year, {2} our brains remember pleasure better than pain, (if this were not true women would quit having babies,) {3} there is some truth that is illuminated by the myth.
    .. YELLOWSTONE MYTH: "Obsidian Creek is only for bait fishing children." Not so. The creek is a nursery fishery populated with ravenous Brook Trout. They take flies and can provide many hours of enjoyment. Walk away from the road and it's a real pleasure to fish. After all, what are you after?
    ..The same can be said for Duck Creek. It's often populated by squadrons of mosquitoes. There are squishy spots in the big meadow, (but you don't have to go there,) & the fish are smallish. What are you looking for? Are you a size snob? Are you a numbers snob? Are you a native fish snob?
    .. YELLOWSTONE MYTH: "The local flies catch more fish than Cabela's flies." Depends on who's fishing them. The fishing around here is not that different from trout fishing elsewhere. Neither are the feather merchants. Just scope out the river, scope out the bugs, fling it in, and your skills will be rewarded. If it's the wrong fly remember that that you chose it. This puzzle is part of the dance. Do you wear blue jeans to the cotillion?
    Enough of that for now!

    .. Grebe Lake continues with it's entertainment. Brookies and Grayling are the dance partners. Don't bother to walk the 3 miles if you are after wallet stuffing pictures of monsters with teeth. These bug slurping beauties are feasting on Hoppers, Beetles, and Ants. We like Rainey's Hopper, (size 12,) Hornbergs, (size 8 - 10,) small flying ants, (14 - 16.) If you're not afraid of the dark wait until the breeze stops and watch the mirror surface of the lake become dimpled with feeding fish. Just about any attractor will work if it's size 18 or 20. Fish scuds in size 14 - 16 too. Be sure to have good headlight batteries and sing loudly on the way out.
    .. Yellowstone Lake has slowed down for the shore fishers. If you're in a tube we would recommend the gulpers in West Thumb for morning fishing & trolling a dark spruce fly in the evening. Try the picnic area pull out at Arnica Creek. For that matter Arnica Creek has some nice Cutthroat holding right above where it enters the lake. The caddis are still working here, (size 12 - 14.)
    .. Hebgen Lake still a gulper paradise in the mornings in the Madison Arm, (Calibaetis and Ants if you are lucky.) The stick ups and shore weeds just north of Spring Creek Campground have some 12" - 16" trout responding to drowned Hoppers, (short quick jerks, sizes 8 -10.)

    .. The early afternoon cloud cover and thundershowers have perked up the Gallatin River fishing. The confluence of Fan Creek, Bacon Rind Creek, Taylor Fork, Specimen Creek, etc., have pods of fish chomping the flotsam. San Juan Worms can be added to your terrestrial arsenal if you fish the silt plume edges.
    .. The Madison River is still low but has cooled considerably. Small evening caddis are the ticket above 7-Mile Bridge, (14 - 16.) The hoppers are thick along the eastern half of Riverside Drive and past Grasshopper Bank - all the way to the Gneiss Creek parking area. Walk the "other side" of the river to fish where few dare to tread, Dave's hopper size 10 will bring good fish.) There are still some hoppers around the Barns Holes, and the larger fish are also taking streamers, (Yellowstone Spruce Fly, Dark Spruce Fly, black Woolly Buggers, sizes 6 -10.) The Mountain Whitefish are very active if you use a Prince Nymph, Bead Head Hare's Ear, or Rock Worm, (sizes 14 -16.)
    .. Slough Creek and Lamar River - see yesterday's report. Soda Butte Creek is still fishing well to small terrestrials. It is very low and very slow, but still cold. This water has been well hammered this year. If you don't mind a few folks, fish with some beetles in size 12 -14 or some Humpies in size 12.
    .. Pebble Creek is just a trickle, but the fish are still holding at it's mouth. The walk is easy and the bison have moved out. There are still some small hoppers, (12 -14,) and caddis in the evening, (14 -16.)

    .. John Montana, (great name for a fisher,) over at Carp On The Fly has taken the new baby fishing. Perhaps he should plan a more exotic trip to SE Asia or Africa and check out the Carp that are being reported by Carpe Carpio. Try those on a fly!
    .. As our "Dog Days" wind down, and the fish sulk in the best holding areas, a note from the Contemplative Angler suggests a bit of wisdom that we tend to overlook. Sort'a like "Rocking Steelhead!"
    .. The shameless "Battle of the Bikinis" has erupted into full bloom. Tom over at Trout Underground has posted a spinning rig just to keep up. And, in a return salvo, Get Outdoors has posted some hot "Real Women" clinging to rocks. Please note that even Moldy Chum has gotten into the fray with a poster quality photo of a "Reel Woman" with a fly fishing rig - click on the photo for a screen sized view.
    .. Apropos of the above; Live Science reports on shrinking genitals - in polar bears!
    .. Fishing Jones, of course, brings us back to earth with a note about Pluto being demoted and a Manatee following warm currents north to Cape Cod.

    .. See previous post about the "CONSERVING GREATER YELLOWSTONE AREA TOGETHER" workshop.

    Saturday, August 26, 2006


    the insidious
    enemy is us!
    river reports too.
    nps photo



    .. We've mentioned this before: it bears repeating. The Protect Your Waters campaign is an example of the best work that our Federal Government can do for us.
    .. As inevitable as the growth of glaciers during the Pinedale, and just as sure as their disappearance today; the Protect Your Waters Campaign is driven by the similar relentless forces of just a few dedicated public servants.
    .. This "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers" program is a part of the ANS TASK FORCE, and is Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & the U.S. Coast Guard. It has grown to include: individuals, blogs, web sites, advertising agencies, fly shops, manufacturers, various organizations, and even other branches of our government.
    .. We joined the campaign a couple of months ago. We added a banner-link at the top of the page & started adding simple notes in our posts - didn't even hurt.
    .. Site statistics indicate that between 5% and 10% of our out-clicks are going to references in the Stop Hitchhikers paragraphs. Some folks are looking - and that is good.
    .. This effort is a public awareness campaign that is working. As shown on the map below; the Greater Yellowstone Region has a high density of cooperating partners in this campaign.
    .. The map idicates that Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Bozeman, Montana are the region's leaders in this concerted effort to make fishers aware of the problem and how to address it.
    .. The "CONSERVING GREATER YELLOWSTONE AREA TOGETHER" workshop is being hosted in Jackson Hole, (the fishing is better there than in Bozeman,) on September 28, 2006. The folks sponsoring and attending this workshop demonstrate the economic & environmental concerns of the region. This is a planning workshop to explore ways to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. The workshop is free & YOU ARE INVITED!
    .. The optimists of this world will approach this campaign with the attitude that something can be done to prevent invasive species from destroying the great fisheries of America. The pessimists will scoff at the idea and do nothing. The grouchy and grumpy will remind you of the problems so that when the worst happens they can say "I TOLD YOU SO!"
    .. This just might be the kind of thing that would be worth attending - if you are an optimist - Aren't all fly fishers?

    .. If you are in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park, take the time to visit Jackson Hole. Before you go be sure to check out the Jack Dennis web site & the High Country Flies web site. High Country has an excellent introduction to the region on their site, (LINK.) Both sites have mostly current river conditions and reports that are precise, accurate, and truthful. (Jack Dennis Report -- High Country Report.) Looks like things around Jackson are about the same as here. If you want fish you best work for them.
    .. Those of you with "KILLER FLIES" should be aware of the Jackson Hole One Fly Event. It's being held this year September 7 - 10, and generates funds for river conservation and other projects. Home Page - About - RULES - Team Selection.
    .. Yellowstone River: very low and warmer than normal flows will make your fishing tough. Fish in the morning or the evening - we suggest that you leave the fish alone for about 2 -3 weeks.
    .. Fan Creek is worth the walk. Go early and sing loudly, the berries and the bears are making their appearance. Surprisingly large Cutts, (to 14" are in the first meadow, and the meanders at the flat above it.) These fish are eating midges in the early morning, (to size 20,) beetles, Hornbergs, and crickets in mid day, (size 12 - 16,) and an early spinner fall is providing desert about 6:30PM - these little devils are some sort of Baetis (?) about size 18 - 20. If you bump into the hatch so much the better. If you see fish that are "eating nothing" it's probably these little bugs.
    .. The Lamar River is in surprisingly good shape. The mountain thundershowers have been too few for the firefighters but just right for the fisher folks. The narrows between Buffalo Ranch and Slough Creek has some big rock outcrops that hold the overnight coolness and some nice fish. The hoppers that are here all end up in the river and the fish are pigging out. Fish where the shade and the sun and the quiet water come together. Hoppers, (10 -14,) beetles, (8 - 12,) and if you live right ants, (12 -14,) will reward you efforts in this broken section.
    .. SLOUGH CREEK - SLOUGH CREEK - SLOUGH CREEK -- get there now, sneak your best sneak and fish hard. Wary as they are the big Cutthroat are beginning their fall feeding. Terrestrials are still the ticket; but - the late appearance of Caddisflies, (Lepidostoma? - the only one we think we know because of their raggedy wings and pretty pea green bodies,) are blooming! Sizes 14 - 18 will do. And, as if that wasn't enough, there are also some little yellow stoneflies making an appearance in second and third meadow.


    Friday, August 25, 2006


    An Old Tradition
    Comments Day
    River Report

    .. The story goes this way:
    "Hamilton Stores, (a previous Yellowstone Park Concessionaire,) was in need of boosting their retail sales. They decided on the slogan 'Christmas comes but twice a year - once down there and once up here.' This would add spice to the dwindling sales in the terminal stages of the Summer Sales Season. It Did."
    .. Now the town of West Yellowstone uses the day to discount all the merchandise that didn't sell and calls it "Crazy Days." Good Junk for cheap. Even the "T-shirt" selections at the fly shops are reduced in price. Mark your calendar for next year.

    .. In keeping with this tradition we present the Christmas in Yellowstone page. Comments are open for information requests for our fall fishing tips. They will be closed in 24 hours. We ask that you keep them short and concise.
    .. Excellent Yellowstone Christmas wallpaper for your computer can be found at Mathilda's Wallpaper. Good photos of Christmas in Yellowstone can be found at Christmas in Yellowstone - 2004.
    .. Today is the 90th anniversary of the "Organic Act" that established the National Park Service, and the haze from the fires in and around the park makes the eyes water for a different reason entirely. The opening of the Canyon Village visitor center is a fitting celebration for both the retailing tradition and the birthday celebration.

    .. Thomas Moran sent this Christmas Card from Yellowstone to the folks back home in 1883 - bless his heart.

    <- nps photo

    .. As an aside: today is the birthday of Allen Pinkerton - need a detective to find fish in the warm waters of the Firehole? Just wait a week, the temperatures are still dropping.

    .. The Firehole River along the Lone Star Geyser Trail is low, cold, and full of eager Brook Trout. Find the deep undercut banks and drift a Hornberg, (size 10 -12.)
    .. The meadows of the lower river valleys are beginning to turn color, (those that aren't on fire,) and the Hoppers will last for another two or three weeks at most - weather dependent. Get to Slough Creek, the Lamar River, and Soda Butte Creek for some of the best terrestrial fishing of the season.
    .. The Bechler River is producing some large fish on beetles and ants, (sizes 12 - 16.) Walk a bit further than you did last time and the eager Cutts will reward you. The Rainbows and Cuttbows of the lower meadow sections are becoming a bit fussy: use some foam beetles and dark Caddis to improve your chances.
    .. The Gibbon River between Black Butte and mile post #20 is experiencing a late afternoon Caddis hatch, (size 12 -16.) There are also some ants still falling from the sky. It's surprising to watch your perfectly presented Caddis drowned by the wake of 14" Rainbow on it's way to the only ant on the river. Although the river is in fine shape, the fish have become wary of moving shadows and heavy footfalls. Uncharacteristic as it seems; now is the time to "Sneak The Gallatin."
    .. Hebgen Lake is still in the grip of gulper mania. It's kind'a like the whole neighborhood moves to the glassy waters for an early breakfast. If the flying ants appear - forget the Callibaetis!

    Hebgen lake without gulpers.