• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Friday, August 04, 2006

    Yellowstone - "THE PARK"

    the sideshow is spectacular
    Lesson 2 for "Get Outdoors"
    River & Lake Reports

    .. In The heat of the moment, we occasionally forget where we're fishing. The cars disappear, the crowds fade, the critters blend into the background, & the wonders of Yellowstone National Park become a fuzzy sideshow.
    .. We were brought back to our senses yesterday morning when the first shrill notes of an elk bugle pierced the air and reminded us that fall is not too far away in this neighborhood. It must have been a young bull trying out his voice in the face of a pair of overactive gonads. It' a bit early - but it's here.
    .. There is a new thermal feature on the bank of the Firehole River just north of the foot bridge in Biscuit Basin. We've mentioned it before - Here, & Here. It reminds us that less than two miles beneath our feet is the engine of one of the world's largest super volcanoes.
    .. The new geyser is causing a stir among the geyser gazers as they struggle to decide what to call it, and if it's going to be around for awhile.
    .. There are many things to see, hear, smell, and enjoy in the park. Living here tends to make us a bit blase.
    ..Here's a couple of pictures of lesser wonders that we walk right by as we're fishing. It puts things in perspective.

    <-New geyser at Biscuit Basin.

    <- Gold Ring Geyser


    .. Although the Hoppers are making their appearance, and although there are still hatches of mayflies and the perpetual caddis, this is the time to start fishing our favorite wet flies.
    .. We use an old fly that is as much streamer as it is a wet fly. It's called the "Quick-N-Easy." A dozen of these in sizes 8 - 14 will serve you well when there are no fish rising - or they just aren't taking what you're offering. It's easy to tie, can be fished on top, in the film, drifted, or on the swing.

    .. Traditionally it is fished with a bit of weight and in the seams. Pile up your cast as you quarter upstream and impart just a bit of action as the fly dodges the pockets and pillows around the rocks in deep riffles. When the line finally gets to the end of the drift and begins to tighten - feed out some line and finish the drift. Hang on as the fly swings to the surface and, then, pretend it's a Steelhead that just ate it.

    <- Dipper Cliff
    .. If you need a "Firehole Fix" stop at Dipper Cliff in the canyon just above the falls. There is good fishing to Prince nymphs, (size 12 -16,) and Gold Ribbed Hare's ears, (size 12.) The water is cool here, and the fish are active. Play them quickly and release them gently.

    <-Elk Island Pool

    .. Stop at the parking area at elk island, just before the Firehole River plunges over the falls; this pool also has active fish and is also beginning to cool off.
    .. This area is fishing pretty good to dry flies in the evening. Park and watch for rising fish. Spinners, Caddis, and Hare's Ear Nymphs, (size 14 - 18,) floated to big noses may take a 14" fish if you're careful. This is as much hunting as fishing, and you only get one shot. It's a pleasant pause just at sunset.

    <- There's a fish on this side of the log!

    .. The Madison River is still spotty, except in the evening. There is a pretty good caddis hatch along Riverside Drive and up to 7-Mile bridge. This is also a nice place to catch the sunset, (or the low clouds.)
    .. The riffles will produce if you use a Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph, (size 14 -16,) and about 8:00 PM switch to a Big Wing Sparkle Caddis, (Same sizes.)
    .. The Mountain Whitefish at the Barns Holes on the Madison River are very active right now. They are taking just about any nymph in sizes 12 - 16, and an occasional caddis imitation, (drown it!) We saw a pretty good battle with a 16" monster Whitefish. It even jumped before it quit. Enjoy these native fish and release them gently.

    .. Lewis Lake is fishing well to Streamers, Leaches, and olive Wooly Worms. We're waiting for the activity to pick up in the Lewis River. When it happens, we'll let you know.
    .. Grebe Lake is producing some nice Brookies, (to 12",) on surface food of various kinds. Fish the windward shore and have some hoppers, beetles, ants, and caddis. Keep it fairly small - sizes 12 - 16 ought to be just fine.
    .. There is still a rumor of a giant Cutthroat cruising the marina at Bridge Bay, on Yellowstone Lake. Fishing is not allowed there, but it indicates that there are still some fish in shallower water. Right now you'll do best with four pounds of lead, a crocodile, a 20' Bertram, and some SPF 15, (kill every Laker you catch!)

    .. The USGS invasive species site has some interesting pictures of Zebra Mussels and photo-micrographs of Whirling Disease & West Nile virus.
    .. West Fly has an article about whirling disease and the possible development of resistant Rainbow Trout strains. There is also a summary of the current state of the disease.

    .. The National Geographic News site gives us a note about the depletion of Blue Fin Tuna in the Atlantic. One more instance of population growth and greed.
    .. The Missoulian reminds us of the warmth of our rivers and the mandatory - AND VOLUNTARY closures. Seems that some of us are listening.
    .. With plans being made for the fall, it might be good to keep in mind the contagious nature of disease. The News & Observer reminds us that fowl can transmit Bird Flu, in it's many varieties.
    .. We look at it at least twice a week - and probably take it for granted. West Fly is an exceptionally good source of both standard, and current information. The article by David Golobay; Follow The Swallow reminds of things we should keep in mind at the end of the day. The Montana Report / Forecast For August is jammed full of information for this tough time of the year.
    .. In response to the beginners at GET OUTDOORS; here is lesson two. (Lesson one can be found HERE.) Before you buy gear, (and now that you have mastered the concept of fly fishing,) it is useful to understand 'casting.' Read about it and absorb the information before expending $$$$ on gear. It will allow you to ask the right questions at the tackle shop. Visit gmtoday for insight into the proper attitude. Then visit Sexyloops for some insight into the learning process; and some real-world application and learning. Lesson three will be forthcoming soon.
    .. Speaking of the real world; try the blog at "it's hard out here for a wench." This is where KitchenWench lets us see just what fishing, (and other things,) mean to all of us. We like the post about Big Timber Brookies and Other High-altitude Shenanigans. We've activated the link in the sidebar.
    .. The Real World also gives us Anything About Sports. Including the "All-Fat Professional Athlete Team."
    .. We've been to Mongolia, now how about the bane of the Colonial Englishman, MAHSEER FISHING IN THE HIMALAYAS. Maybe this is real world stuff too.