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  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Surviving Yellowstone Fly Fishing

    Fishing First Aid
    Bikini Note
    river reports
    .. With the increasing danger lurking in flyboxes these days, it's important to be prepared. Be sure that you have the necessary first aid kit, and know-how to get yourself patched up and back in action.
    .. The standard reference book for fishing first aid is Fishing First Aid (Freshwater Angler) by Bill Forgey. It's available on line and the prices run from $6.00 (used), to $18.00 (New.)
    .. Other resources include:
    - Survive Outdoors, Inc.
    - Exploration Products - First Aid
    - Exploration Products - Freshwater Fishing
    - Take Me Fishing
    - There are many others. We excuse this digression because it seems that untutored anglers have been wading the waters of Yellowstone National Park with enormously heavy fly gear in their search for the big fish of Fall.
    .. We strongly encourage anglers attempting to fish the FALL REEFER FLY to seek local tutelage, (see preceeding post.)
    .. We also urge you to travel to FishNet Daily News and grab an eye-full of their entry into the Bikini Wars, (photo.) For those of you without a computer we reproduce their entry here. Nice Trout!

    .. The Firehole River has come into its own during these wonderful warm sunny days. The evening Caddis hatch has been regular, persistant, and surprisingly plentiful. The area around Pocket Basin and the Iron Bridge have been very productive in the evening. The meadow south of the second bridge in Biscuit Basin has, (astonishingly,) seen both Baetis & BWO in the bright sun of early afternoon. The river can be fished with only two flies: Big Wing Sparkle Caddis, (12 - 16,) and a Green Thing, (14 - 18.) If you have better peepers than we do you can take advantage of the size 20 - 22 midge hatches that seem to love the late afternoon. The fish are just plain twinkly: not giant, but TWINKLY!
    .. Yes, the Madison River is full of large lake-run fish. The Brown Trout seem to be the earliest and biggest right now. This is streamer fishing at its best. Pick your poisen and get in line. Zonkers, Buggers, Spruce, Rubber Legs, San Juans, Softies, and others are hooking fish to 22" and reports of even more. Most of these early fish are in the 16" - 18" range with shoulders like Arnold used to have. A few 16" Rainbows have been reported. The morning and evening are the most productive because of the bright sun. There are even reports of fish 'dodging' flies in mid-day. The shady banks, narrow deep pools, and high bank runs are the best for mid day fishing. The fast water near the Talus Slope pull-out has produced some very large mid-day fish.
    CAUTIONARY NOTE: Beware of Bull Elk and the late rutting, sloitary bull Bison in the Junction Meadows - if the critters are absent - go for it! The little stretch of the Firehole River below the falls has been know to produce epic battles with large fish on small flies in shallow water - enjoy.
    .. We found no large fish in the plunge pool of Gibbon Falls yesterday. Large fish are reported from the bank pools and big meander upstream from Tuff Cliffs on the Gibbon River. It's going to be another day or three, (given the weather forecast,) before the upstream fishing produces the lake-run fish. There are some resident precocious males in the holding pools right now and they are suckers for a soft hackle, (gray, green, orange, 10 - 14.)
    .. The Gallatin River is just perfect: few folks, eager fish, plesant walking, lots of parking, and blue-blue skies. Just about any nymph, (8 - 16,) or soft hackle will pluck a fish from the shady pools. We like an olive Woolly Worm, (12 - 14,) or a Quick N Easy for the surface, (14 - 18.)
    .. One little-fished stretch of water is Bacon Rind Creek between the Gallatin River and the bridge, and along the gravel road above the bridge. The water is very thin and fish of any size are very spooky - but, in the morning before the sun hits it, and in the evening shadows it will reward your stealth tactics. We use a 10' 6" four weight rod with a #3 level line. The centuries old technique skittering a spider around rocks and shadow pools produces aerobatic takes that will stop your heart. Even from a 13" fish.
    .. At the risk of death by the neighbor's hands, we report that there are fish piling up in the lower reaches of the South Fork of the Madison River. These fish are in the long estuary by the old power line road, and along the shore of Hebgen Lake, clear up to the Spring Creek Campground - hey, it's not the park but it's good fishing.

    .. There are a few smaller fish around the mouth of Grayling Creek - the meadows are dry, and the fish are slowly beginning to move up this sparkling little stream. Once they get past the ranches they will stop in the meadow below Horseshoe Hill for a week or so - untill the snow or hail - then dash to the thin water of the pine thickets.