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  • Sunday, August 27, 2006

    FISHING MYTHS OF YELLOWSTONE

    mythology
    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.
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