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  • Sunday, August 06, 2006


    Glenn Black
    Lake Reports
    River Reports

    .. With the heat climbing back up to seasonal levels and a bit above, we've been blessed with afternoon clouds, thunderstorms, and overcast. This is a bit hard on the early rising members of the fraternity but favors the slow and productive afternoons that fly fishing is famous for.
    .. A couple of the last days produced rain of a magnitude to color some of the rivers. The bad news is that it's tough to fish the colored rivers. The good news is that "fish gott'a eat," and the feeding continues into the early clearing phase of the river.

    .. Artist, river guide, and fly tier GLENN WEST has produced a series of exceptional prints of his "River Odyssey Series by Glenn West." You've probably seen them in fly shops and art galleries throughout Western America. Glenn is now in Port Angeles, Wa. and has given us permission to reproduce four of his masterpieces here.
    .. The maps are beautiful, informative, and decorative. They come in several versions and serve both as a remembrance of rivers fished, and a surprisingly accurate preparation device for the 'night before.'
    .. The rivers are shown accurately. The bugs and flies are precisely rendered. The narrative is concise. What more could you want?

    .. Glenn is also famous for his historic illustration of the Bunyan Bug. A fly featured in the autobiographical novel by Norman MacLean, "A River Runs Through It". (You can see the bug and the illustration at FlyTyingWorld & FrontRangeAnglers. -- And, coincidentally, the 2-story log house that was the home of the original Bunyan Bug is currently For Sale. Now you too can partake of history, live in a nice cabin, and walk to the river.)
    .. You can view the entire River Odyssey Series at GalleryWestOnline. If you would like to contact Glenn directly: his email address is ggwestjr@aol.com.

    .. HEBGEN LAKE is the place to be in the morning. Gulpers are gulping in earnest and beginning to cruise in a very regular pattern. There is a good Trico hatch in the shallows of the Madison Arm & in the inlets around the end of Horse Butte.
    .. The hatch is beginning to get good in the deeper parts of the lake around "The Happy Hour" too. If you fish the South Fork Estuary and the shore around Spring Creek you should expect to probe the deadfall and thick vegetation along the water's edge as well. If you plan to stay for some time, visit our neighbors at the Firehole Ranch for an excellent gulper experience.

    ..The hatch begins as soon as the sun hits the water and peaks between 8:30 and 10:00 AM. Nymphs that imitate the emerging flies will work from about 7:00 AM - Noon. If you want a real challenge use duns. These are small flies, (16 -20,) and require a bit of precise casting. We like Prince Nymphs in size 16, Hare's Ear, (no rib,) in size 18, and Little Mite in size 16 -18. Be sure to have some Pheasant Tail Nymphs in larger sizes as well, (up to size 12, - 14 & 16 seem preferred right now.)
    .. The spinner fall starts quickly and lasts until mid afternoon or later - if you're lucky. Be prepared with dry spinners in sizes 14 - 18. Callibaetis, (sizes 14-18,) are thickest between the Madison Arm Resort and the Old Duck Blind.
    .. Yellowstone Lake is still fishing good in the shallows around Grant Village. Use yellow or olive Wooly Worms in sizes 10 -14 and let them sink slowly. It's worth treating you leader and using one that is 12' long. Wind up and cast it as far as you can, let it sit for 3 -4 minutes. Take another 4 - 5 minutes to retrieve it slowly and not too jerkingly. It's slow - it works.

    .. The neighborhood rivers are just about perfect. The afternoon showers and cloud cover are keeping the flows just right and the temperatures cool.
    .. The time has come for the mid-summer litany: "HOPPER - DROPPER - CADDIS - TRICO." Repeat rapidly and wave your hands in mystical motions just before you cast. Either the hand waving or the flies seem to work this time of year.
    .. Gallatin River: Spruce Moths have begun to make their appearance. Use an appropriate sized hopper, (size 10 - 14,) and a gold ribbed hare's ear, (size 16 - 18,) as your first pairing. Follow that with a Big Wing Sparkle Caddis, (size 8 - 12,) and a Pheasant Tail, (size 14.) If that is slow then you're not where the fish are. In the evening - right up to dark - a caddis alone, (or a beetle, or ant, or hopper,) will take fish you see rising. The days are already too short and the magic hour is about 7:45 - 9:00 PM.
    .. Gardiner River: If you can find a place to park; fish the stretch from the campground at Mammoth to the park line. This is best in the evening and the Caddis hatch is pretty consistent for the whole stretch. If you start around 10:30 AM on a sunny day you can fish Hoppers and Foamie Beetles until the sun leaves the canyon. Then the Caddis will provide the entertainment.
    .. Madison River: The Spruce Moths are becoming sporadic along the stretch from 9-mile hole to National Park Meadows. The compensation is that a hopper - dropper still brings the fish. If you're lucky, and notice the midges before dark, or at sun-up, be prepared with midge clusters, (as small as 20 - 22.)
    .. Slough Creek: The terrestrials are marching and the shy Cutts are engaged in risky behavior. The hoppers are a little more green than we remember, and the beetles are smaller. Not to worry - there are plenty of them. Sizes as big as 10 -14 for the hoppers and as small as 16 for the beetles.
    .. Gibbon River: The shade of the trees, and the downfall in the Gibbon River Picnic Area are holding large fish, (to 16",) and they are in the shallow shadows. Walk slowly and watch carefully. As the darkness descends, (about 8:15 PM,) use a size 12 - 14 Elk Hair Caddis. We use a 10' 4-weight rod with a #6 level line, a 5' leader and a cast that looks more like dropping the hankey. Drop it about 3' in front of them - shades of Hot Creek.
    .. Lamar River - Soda Butte Creek: Fish terrestrials to the eager Cutts in the riffles and pocket water of Soda Butte. There is a good - very small sized - Baetis hatch on the Lamar. These look to be about size 20 - 22, with nymphs very light tan and about the same size. These little critters are hatching from Buffalo Ranch, downstream to the Narrows. Watch the backwater eddy's in the narrows - foam lines are where the terrestrials, spinners, and trout are concentrated.

    .. The California Department Of Fish And Game has produced an excellent report on the New Zealand Mud Snail. It is a PDF file that includes photography about where the critters hide in your wading gear. It also includes some chemistry about how to sterilize your gear. This is similar to the washing stations at Silver Creek, in Idaho. This file is an excellent reference and can be printed once it's downloaded.
    .. Bill Thompson at MtWashingtonValley.com has discovered some of the same pitfalls of aquatic hitchhikers with the purchase of his new inflatable device.

    .. Mid Current, a near daily visit for us, sent us to an alarming article about the decline of Steelhead in Idaho. LINK.
    .. If you gott'a go you gott'a go! After all Gasoline is only $3.00 / gal. LINK.
    .. There seems to be one byproduct of Global Warming that is useful to the folks in Greenland. The National Geographic found it for us.
    .. Finally: Go fly fishing and use rocks for bait. This is no poo-poo! Here's a quote to help you salivate:
    . . . . . . But then I asked one of Don's staff, collecting rocks in a bucket down by the water, just what it was he was doing. I was somewhat taken back when he replied, "Getting bait, Bwana." . . . . . . .