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  • Sunday, August 20, 2006


    lake fishing
    River Reports
    TROUT NUTMadison Arm Resort Sign

    mad arm gulper boat

    .. This sounds like a broken record: the wolf pack gulpers are patrolling the shallows of the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake with a regularity and ferocity not seen in recent years.
    .. This fishing is just outside Yellowstone National Park. Go north from West Yellowstone about 3 miles. Turn at the sign shown to the left. Any pull out in the first 3 miles where you can see the water is a good place for shore fishing.
    .. Some of the pull outs where you can't see the water, (mile 1, 1-1/2, & 2,) will take you to good spots as well. The bigger fish and the larger wolf packs are right in the center of the arm in the first two miles of the water.
    .. Get to the lake early when the sun is low and just beginning to warm the water. Be on the water no later than 8:30 or 9:00. Use your favorite Calibaetis or spinner, (start with 14's but be prepared to use 16's or 18's.) You will see many spinners before the breezes begin to ripple the water.

    .. If you plan to make a day of it; the Madison Arm Resort Marina, (about 6 miles,) has a nice boat launch ramp. The glassy lake is a joy for the first few hours in the morning: and you can see the fish coming from a very great distance. You can hear them for 30 - 40 feet before the skiers arrive and the wind picks up. If you fish from a boat you can travel the shore and fish streamers in the downfall and weed beds. Use a dark spruce fly, about size 8 or 10. There are also reports of large brown trout in the South Fork Estuary. It seems a bit early for the spawning run to be starting, but we've seen the pictures.

    .. We fished the Gibbon River Saturday morning. The thin water above Norris Campground is crystal clear and moving slowly. It's still cold, and the small Brook Trout are taking ants, hoppers, foamies, and caddis, (sizes 14 - 16 seem best.) We fished from 8:30 until noon. The largest fish was 10", but there were several of them.
    .. Between 1:30 and 4:00 we fished the Gibbon Canyon Section, and the steep runs around Chocolate Pot. we took several 12" Mountain Whitefish in the last 2 miles above the falls, and a 10" brown from the Tanker Curve riffles. Parking is slim in this section, so be careful. The riffle and run section right at the New Road Grade is always full of fisher folks - we didn't stop. All fish in the canyon riffles came to a size 10 Big Wing Sparkle Caddis.
    .. Evening, (7:00 - 9:00,) on the Madison River was also productive with the same fly. We fished Mt. Haynes Pull Out and 9-mile Hole. As the clouds lowered and the light faded we switched to a yellow Montana Duster and took a 14" Brown Trout. We have trusted reports that there is good fishing from Baker's Hole through the Barns Holes, and up to Riverside Drive. Hoppers are still the ticket here in the afternoon & early evening.
    .. Slough Creek, the Lamar River, and Soda Butte Creek are being pounded. Both the visitors and neighbors are taking advantage of the heavy hopper fall. The fishing is holding up, but the easy fishing is limited to the canyon sections of Soda Butte Creek. Use small hoppers, (10 -12,) and large caddis, (8 - 12,) as your attractors.
    .. Ants and beetles down to size 16 seem to be working in the Slough Creek Meadows. Avoid the sun, sneak your very best sneak, and pick a fish. If you are patient enough & your drifts are good enough these Cutts will take your offering. Maybe after a dozen tries with a couple of fly changes. This is "mano a mano" fishing.
    .. Protect Your Waters directs us to some disturbing news about invasive species:
    1)-There are monster exotic oysters living in south San Francisco Bay. The as yet unidentified critters may ruin the attempts to encourage the natives to re-populate the once famous beds.
    2)-Smallmouth Bass are invading British Columbia waters and pose a very real threat to native trout and steelhead populations.
    3)-Just as the Blue Crabs of Chesapeake Bay are poised to make a comeback the Chinese Mitten Crab appears to be establishing itself as a viable population. One problem the invader may have is overcoming pollution in the bay.

    Jason Neuswanger over at TROUTNUT.com has finally gotten his new site up and running. We appreciate both the new organization and the amount of work to "Do-It-Yourself."
    .. We've used several of his photos in past posts and appreciate the quality of the photography as well as the use of the photographs. We've even adopted his Deer Hair Caddis for the very small & very dark critters that appear early in the Spring, and early in the Fall, (right now!)
    .. Here are a couple of more of our favorites. We especially like the "Trout's-eye-view" of the Caddis. And we are equally fond of the larva since it matches the color of the Angora Goat that we've saved from our rare stock of Herter's treasures.

    Photo Courtesy Jason Neuswanger

    Photo Courtesy Jason Neuswanger

    Photo Courtesy Jason Neuswanger