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  • Friday, April 06, 2007

    Ice Out At Hebgen Lake

    Swim If You Must
    NSF News: Undersea Observatory
    Invading China
    .. Finally there is the opportunity to fish the ice out at Hebgen Lake, (Quake Lake too.) We're experiencing a warm day and the ice is pulling away from the shore. There are fish aplenty for those brave fishers willing to search for open water and an ice edge within casting distance.
    .. You can see the trout patrolling the edges looking for bits of flotsam and bugsam. Cast to them if you are secure in your gentility. Most fly fishers cast to the ice and then pull the fly to the water's edge. Although most of the bugsam is composed of nondescript bits of biomatter, there are also bugs adjacent to the ice edge. The trout seem to take either of these in an indiscriminate fashion.
    .. There are also bits of aquatic life that seek the edge for various reasons. And, of course the occasional sparse hatch from the depths as the water warms and light penetrates to the shallows. All of this means great fishing for a brief time.
    .. Most of the bugsam is small. Use your favorite midge cluster and a dark Hare's Ear Nymph, a Prince Nymph, or Yellowstone Badger; sizes near the invisible range work perfectly. However, if like us, your trifocals aren't that strong, a 16 - 20 will work. A variation of the hopper-dropper is effective. Size 22 on the tip with a well greased size 16 Yellowstone Badger about 18" up works for us.
    .. At the other extreme is the grocery-bag approach. A dark Rubberlegs, a big Spruce Fly, or even a dark Muddler will work. We like to grease up a size 6 Muddler and fish it with a splash: pretend it's dusk and you're on a bass pond in Arkansas: strip-splash - - - pause - - - strip-splash - - - pause; you know how.
    .. A few of the neighbor girls take this opportunity to enjoy their first bath of the season. What, with the pipes being frozen all winter, this is a good time to remove the winter grit. It also brings out male fishers with no line on their rod. We too have been known to enjoy the local scenery during this annual ritual.
    .. A news release from the National Science Foundation informs us that:
    Oceanographers have completed an important step in constructing the first deep-sea observatory off the continental United States. Workers in the multi-institution effort laid 32 miles (52 kilometers) of cable along the Monterey Bay sea floor that will provide electrical power to scientific instruments, video cameras, and robots 3,000 feet (900 meters) below the ocean surface. The link will also carry data from the instruments back to shore, for use by scientists and engineers from around the world.
    .. One of these in Yellowstone Lake would certainly enlighten the fishery problems there.
    .. From Protect Your Waters comes news of the invasion of China by the American White Moth, This insect's larvae can strip the leaves from a tree in a matter of days. They are now chomping up large amounts of vegetation in Beijing as well as its neighboring municipalities and provinces, Tianjin, Hebei and Liaoning. The Chinese see this as not only an environmental threat, but an aesthetic one as well, in light of the scheduled 2008 Olympic Games. The Chinese have enlisted an army of one billion moth-eating bees, released in May of 2006, and are continuing the campaign.
    .. A curious warning sneaks into this post from Glasgow (UK) about "knowing" just what size fly to fish.
    "Most angling pundits, including myself, will tell you that at this time of year a sink-tipped floating line armed with a wispy size six fly is the best way to attract a springer. By the same token, during the height of summer when we tend to fish smaller flies, sometimes tying on something like a budgie with a hook in it can do the trick."