• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Monday, January 29, 2007

    Surface or Sunken

    .. We've slid out from beneath the down comforter, turned off the test pattern, rolled off the couch, turned the furnace down, and crawled to the the pile of debris that was once a tying bench. Yes, it's above zero in West Yellowstone.
    .. Next on the agenda is 20 dozen of "Rosenbauer's Snowshoe Rabbit Emerger." What a wonderful fly! Nothing fancy, nothing strange, nothing hard: just pure fish-catching guile. This tough little fly is versatile, attractive, (to fish and their dancing partners,) and you can fish it just about however you like.
    .. The origin of this fly lies deep in the secret techniques of master fishers on the Delaware River. Cross Current Guide Service & Outfitters has an excellent web site if you're ever inclined to fish what is perhaps the best wild trout water in the ""EAST"" (horror of horrors!)
    .. We stick to the original pattern and always have a few of these little darlings in the box. This is just another kind of insurance against 'Chandleritis.'
    .. The recipe is reprinted here for those of you without a left mouse button:
    Fly Pattern Recipe
    Name: Rosenbauer's BWO Snowshoe Rabbit Emerger
    Sizes: 14, 16, 18, 20 (We're doing 14's and 16's)
    Hook Type: Curved nymph/shrimp
    Thread: Light orange
    Tail: Shuck of brown Antron yarn equal to gape, tied halfway down bend. Shuck must be scored first with flat side of scissors or dubbing needle to give it a ragged look.
    Body: ½ Dark olive, ½ Dark brown rabbit fur
    Throat: Short CDC fibers equal to hook gape
    Wing: Bunch of snowshoe rabbit's foot guard hairs from the middle of the foot. Equal to hook gape in length (We vary this from very long to very short)
    Head: Dubbed from dark hares mask dubbing
    .. This is a great emerger. It's also a great searching nymph. Grease it or sink it, it's just plain good. Since we're beginning to think about our spring trip to the Smith River, (Montana, not California,) we are keeping a few dozen just for us. Orvis sells it if you need one for a pattern, or if you need a couple of dozen in a hurry.

    .. That's about it. Time to destroy some snowshoe pelts and feet.


    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Snow Flies

    Invaders In California
    more rock snot
    ho-ha trout news

    .. They are small. They are flies. Trout eat them. Start with size 20 and then 22 and then move on to the small sizes. In this part of the world they are called snow flies. The problem is that different people call different species and families "snow flies." (See: Snow Fly #1, Snow Fly #2.)
    .. These cold-temperature critters are midges that hatch all winter. They are not famous. They are not the inspiration for many fly patterns. They are seldom recognized for what they are: mostly because fly-fisher-folk don't do much fishing in the snow.
    .. Just about 15 miles from beautiful downtown West Yellowstone is a bit of water that is open to fishing all year. And . . . you can find trout rising at temperatures that are not associated with fly fishing.
    .. The most common fly that the fish are eating is a "midge" which is a cold-tolerant fly - a real fly! They are small and appear on very sunny days that somehow don't feel quite as cold as they really are. The midges appear in swarms about mid day. They don't fly far and can be seen dotting the snow -- if you look closely. The trout love them.
    .. However, not all cold tolerant flies are midges. There are some mayflies, and some caddis flies, and even some stone flies. These are the flies that fly fishers need to know about if they are going to fish in the cold water, and the cold weather of the greater Yellowstone area. Some of these are even mosquitoes.
    .. An excellent guide to the cold weather flies is found at the University Of Minnesota's "Chironomidae Research Group" web page. These folks are busy studying primarily cold-adapted midges.
    .. As noted on the site's mission statement page:
    Climate change is predicted to have a greater impact in colder regions and therefore will have a large influence on the organisms that inhabit or thrive in these cold environments. Anthropogenically induced climate change will likely result in range shifts and extinctions leading to alterations in the composition and structure of insect communities. Research to reveal adaptations for survival at low temperatures in cold-adapted aquatic insects will be used to determine the influence of temperature on their large-scale geographic distributions and to model and predict the effects of climate change on these organisms.

    .. The site has extensive pictures, and identification keys for many of the aquatic forms and should prove fruitful for creative fly tiers. Especially during cold evenings at the bench - and by the fire. There also is a literature review section, and the identification keys are well illustrated.
    .. It's hard to tell if this is an ongoing project or just the report of a short-term research study. What every the case may be; the site is worth a visit for the "bug-inclined."

    .. From Protect Your Waters comes news about invaders in California. Zebra mussels and Quagga mussels have been found in several waters in California. The San Francisco Chronicle has a full report.
    .. Rock Snot is continuing to make news in New Zealand. The New Zealand Herald reports the story in graphic fashion.
    .. The promising news about the Ho-Ha trout is also reported, and gives hope for combating Whirling Disease. The cross breeding of the Hofer & Harrison Trout has proven to be one solution to the stocking program in Utah. The new trout is 10 times more resistant to whirling disease than previous strains. The Deseret News carries a story about the continuing breeding and stocking program.
    Ho-Ha Photo by Kevin Rogers

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Plan Your Summer Vacation NOW!

    nps photo
    Understand The Vocabulary
    be nice

    .. As the walls creep closer to the computer with each tap on the keyboard we begin to see summer approaching through the glaze of our mind's eye. It looms large in the cranium and beckons us to the green stream-banks of our favorite rivers. We see placid pools, billowing clouds, gossamer wings, dimples in the film, tight lines, the plash of a rise, and tourists by the bus load.
    .. They interrupt the reverie as violently as they do the reality. How do we know that they are tourists - let us count the ways . . . . . . . . . . .
    .. It is best that you understand, as you plan your visit to Montana, that you will be entering an alien culture. Very much it is as if the place is also in a different time. Plan carefully and you won't be disappointed or maimed.
    .. Go to Mr. Completely, (via Moldy Chum,) to see the rules for entering Montana. Read them twice and then print them. Keep them on the dashboard of your car for quick reference. You may have a better time.
    .. Become familiar with the local controversies and be sure to investigate the different points of view. This is key to having a pleasant experience.
    .. Two significant issues that are in the news right now include: the discussions of fishing access and water rights, and the ever popular Row vs. Wade controversy. These kinds of issues are dear to the hearts of the natives and you should be prepared to discuss them intelligently, and in a non-committal fashion.
    .. It is also imperative to understand the local jargon and the world view of the natives. Humor is often a key to this understanding. Paul Stanton and the kind folks at Duckboy Cards, Inc. have done their best to help visitors become acclimated to the Montana Attitude. Pay them a visit for sterling insight and the proper perspective for your summer vacation.
    .. It is also important to keep in mind that many of the best places will tax the suspension of your motor vehicle.
    ..If you can really afford the car that you are driving, take it: if not it might be wise to rent a truck. Trucks are the preferred mode of transportation in Montana for a very good reason.
    .. Every wonder why there are so many pick up trucks in Montana? Wonder no more - It's because of truck farming.
    .. This activity is widespread in Montana and indicates a deep and abiding commitment to growing the economy of the region. You should be prepared to admire the crops and should also be able to discuss the pros and cons of dry farming vs. irrigated crops.
    .. Perhaps, as important as anything, is the need to understand that hunting is a way of life in Montana. Just about everyone hunts. And, even without a truck, it's possible to gather up some protein for the freezer. Keep in mind that if your vacation extends into the fall you are bound to see hunters with their provisions. Smile and wave!
    .. For a unique bit of insight visit Gallery Of Odd. This is an unusual page on the Wyoming Outdoors Web Site. Our neighbors have some interesting perspectives on Montana: including good fishing news.
    .. And then, as the line whistled past the snag and landed softly in the seam we knew that the monster would be ours. The cranes honked similar to geese and the heavy clouds scudded overhead as we prepared for battle. Lean forward, gentle mend, twitch the line, peer into the evening gloom, pause and then . . . . . . . .

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    It's Only 30 below; How's Your Trout?

    Cabin Fever Set In Early This Year!
    we've been plutoed

    .. So, what to do? The maggots are gone, the meal worms are gone, the fly tying bench is a mess, the hamper is full of underwear, and it's only January.
    .. In a town this small you wake up with worries on your mind. Especially if the only warm place in town is the local pub, and the only women are locals. The mind demands diversion!
    .. We've decided that an excellent pastime would be cruising fly shops - (on line of course.) Check the sidebar for that sort of thing.
    .. There are two flyshops in our area that really enjoy the winter sooooooo much that they transform themselves into ski shops.
    .. If you're in the West Yellowstone area check out Bud Lilly's. You can talk fishing, plan a trip to the Bahama's and get your equipment all in one place.
    .. If you are in the Gardiner area stop in at Park's Fly Shop for good conversation, fly stuff, and ski stuff. As they say "Get Waxed At Park's."
    .. Should you be of a mind to set up a web site and tell the world what's on your mind, (a truely droll avoidance mechanism,) check out Black Canyon Writing & Editorial Services. They will see to it that you have a voice on the web.
    .. Don't ski? Click on over to Klondike Dreams to see what our neighbor is up to. "Rodeo" Vincent, musher and local concrete contractor, has taken a year off to trot up to Alaska and enter the Iditarod. He's just lovin' it. Sleeps with dogs - don'tchaknow! That's another way to avoid cabin fever.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    It's 45 Below; How's Your Trout?

    New Images From Yellowstone
    Winter Access Debate
    Great Photo
    .. A study from Idaho State University confirms that there is widespread decline in populations of the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. Competition from introduced species, hybridization, environmental factors and selenium are cited.
    .. In a related study hybridization is singled out as a driving force in much of the elimination of the species and its gene pool.
    .. Georender has produced some startling new images of Yellowstone and beyond. The images are incorporated in the latest version of Flight Simulator X.
    .. A note from Science Daily reports that NASA is encouraging integrating studies of the Earth with those of the atmosphere and beyond: the Environmental Remote Sensing Center (ERSC) recently joined the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School.

    .. From the Old Faithful Web Cam comes a new and astounding record low for Yellowstone National Park. It's really quite amazing what minus 40 will do to modern instrumentation.
    .. The States of Montana, Idaho & Wyoming have voiced their opinion on the winter use plan for Yellowstone National Park. They would like the ban on non-commercial tours lifted.
    .. From Gadling's Photo of the Day comes an eerie and beautifully haunting image of Palette Spring at Mammoth.

    It's 40 Below; How's Your Trout?


    .... the water quality managers at Montana State University are catching frozen trout. This fine specimen is from the Coal Bed Methane product water impoundment. For a view of the lucky fisherman go to the MSU Water Quality Program Site.
    .... the mayor of West Yellowstone has his hands in his own pockets.
    .... we had to get on the roof and break the smoke off of the chimney.
    .... we have to put the meat in the freezer to thaw.
    .... the neighbor's Labrador retriever is stuck to the fire hydrant.
    .... a 33rd degree Mason dropped 10 degrees.
    .... you can't store your vodka outside.
    .... our Finnish neighbors took the B-B-Q inside.
    .... the French are studying winter tailwaters habitat in Wyoming.
    Some Assembly Required
    .. Get your Brass Monkey Freeze Indicator.

    HI TOM.. Time to go help the neighbor with his dog. He's been plutoed.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Cabin Fever

    Protect Your Waters
    Protect Your Mind
    internet to the rescue

    .. Staring at dead bird parts, bits of tinsel, scraps of thread, and shreds of fur is beginning to push us to the mental realm. The flies are piling up and the wind is howling and ice fishing doesn't appeal to this household. There are, however, other diversions.
    .. Our government servants at Protect Your Waters alert us that invasive species don't take the winter off to tie flies. Rock snot is being reported on its way toward the famed Restigouche River between New Brunswick and Quebec. The invasion could take place from the Matapedia River and impact the salmon fishing. The story is in yesterday's CBC News. For a description of the characteristics of this single-celled diatom the Southwest Invasive Species web site has the details.
    A single celled alga (diatom) that is microscopic individually, but forms dense colonies that cover aquatic substrata. These colonies ooze a mucus like substance called mucilage that has earned them the name "Rock Snot"
    .. Also via Protect Your Waters we learn that the Zebra Mussel has jumped 1000 miles to Lake Mead. The note at the 100th Meridian Initiative site details the problems with this amazing traveling species.
    .. A search of the Internet provides all manner of results for cabin fever. Three of the most appealing are:
    ---> Schflay Beer 'Cabin Fever Winter Beer Festival' Try some Barleywine, or Winter ESB, or Spice Porter, or Dopplebock, or Schwartzbler, or whatever. The only problem is that you have to be in St. Louis to do this, and the Bozeman Airport is closed because of the storm. Dog Sled?
    ---> Cabin Fever, by B.M. Bower; an online novel that is a surprisingly good and rapid read. Brought to us by the World Wide School. It rings true this time of year. Don't start this book . . .
    Bud Moore, ex-cow-puncher and now owner of an auto stage that did not run in the winter, was touched with cabin fever and did not know what ailed him. His stage line ran from San Jose up through Los Gatos and over the Bear Creek road across . . .

    ---> Trout Shangri-La: Remaking The Fishing In Yellowstone Park. A 2002 article by John Byorth about the place of stocked-trout in Yellowstone's history.

    Early Yellowstone fish stories came from easterners who "discovered" not only a wondrous place in the park but the kind of fishing paradise that prevents grown men from returning to their loved ones on time.

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    AHW TIME in Yellowstone


    AHW To The Rescue
    who'd 'a known?

    .. After some rest & refreshments; and whilst reviewing blog statistics for the past year, a note of concern slowly crept into our Psyche.
    .. TIME, (the magazine - and all of its corporate power,) is watching us! And, not afraid to show it.
    .. Of the last 100, or so, visitors from around the world: visitor # 14,402 this year was a spy from the legitimate media. They were probably looking to see if we did right by their person of the year.
    .. Additional snooping in the statistics showed that there was an unseemly number of referrals from AHW. Using all of our powers of investigative reporting we sneaky-footed to the "BLACK DOMAIN" and discovered that verily there was another blog worthy of note. A blog that, indeed would probably qualify for the cover.
    .. Not wanting to offend Mr. Richard D. Parsons ** a talented lawyer, or others in the Hallowed Halls of the legitimate press, we have emended our post about fly fishing blogs.
    ..The magazine cover should really have featured a representative blog of sterling quality, innovative reporting, blinding insight, herculean prose, and mass appeal.
    ..To correct this error we show below the way TIME should have done it!
    We should'a stolen a fish for the cover.
    **Before joining Time Warner, Mr. Parsons was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., one of the largest thrift institutions in the United States. Previously, he was the managing partner of the New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. Prior to that, he held various positions in state and federal government, as counsel for Nelson Rockefeller and as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford. Mr. Parsons received his undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii and his legal training at Union University's Albany Law School.