• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Friday, June 15, 2007

    Big Water Getting Skinny

    Big Bugs At Ennis - Moving Upstream
    traffic jams predicted

    .. Just over the hill and down the road from West Yellowstone is Ennis, Montana. Situated in the heart of the 'big-water' Madison River country. The fishing is good and getting better. The water is low and getting lower. The Salmon Flies are beating down the doors of the Madison River Fishing Company (REPORT,) and be sure to check out the photo gallery. Floating will soon be uber-glorious and crowded.
    .. The dry-land trout are eating barbed wire staples and loving it. The Madison River is now approaching historic lows, and fish are concentrated in the obvious, (and only places,) for fishing. The legends are already building and if you want to fish the BIG WATER - get here now. "You Should'a Been Here This Year."
    .. Call any fly shop listed in the sidebar for a report and boat reservations. Hard as it is to believe; the guides' schedules are filling up, word has spread rapidly, and we're running out of boats.
    .. The Gibbon River meadows are perfect! The grass is green, the elk are munching, the bison are snorting, and the bears dot the edges like too many zombies.
    Carry the giant sized bear spray canister - not the cute one that you hang from a lanyard on your vest! An keep it handy, not in your pack.
    .. The afternoon and evening are best right now. Look for frequent sparse hatches and solitary fish in the shadows at the edge of bright water. Sneaking will be rewarded with fish to 18". Small, (16 - 20,) sparkle duns and sparkle caddis will coax even the most shy trout - if you're patient. We saw one lonely Brown Drake among a sparse hatch of Pale Evening Duns. 16 -20 for the little guys, 12-14 for the big browns. We stuck with our favorite Hare's Ear and did just fine - floated it for two blissful, mosquito-free, hours. Don't catch 'em all.
    .. The Campground Pool is getting slammed by visitors, as is the stretch around Virginia Cascade. So far, interestingly, the fishing remains worse than the catching. These little Brookies really enjoy visitors - no Grayling yet.
    .. Don't forget to stop in the Canyon Section for some rapid-fire action on nymphs. The low water leaves little to the imagination when looking for holding areas. Walk softly as the clanking boulders will ruin your chances for a great bit of fishing, (Prince Nymphs and Montana Dusters in 12 - 16 should be all you need.)
    .. Keep your casts short and the sun over your shoulder this is trickier than it seems. Below the falls the Gibbon River will deliver good fish to Humpy's and Trudes, and about any other attractor of the correct size. Don't pound a single stretch, this section demands a bit of exploring - with your bear spray at hand.
    .. Nez Perce Creek participates in the stonefly emergence at, and about, the bridge-ford waters. It's a bit of a walk, but it's gentle and beautiful. BEAR SPRAY NEEDED HERE TOO.
    .. Excellent rumors have reached our ears about Soda Butte Creek, and the Gallatin River. Both report good numbers of fish conversing with soft hackle fisher folks. We'll check it out as soon as we have a chat with our annual Grayling.
    .. Better than a rumor is the documented flights of stoneflies invading the Gardiner River at the north boundary of the park. Dusty, full of traffic, and a bit of glorious fishing await the persistent fisher in this section. Low water is making it's presence felt up there too; hurry. Call Parks' Fly Shop for first hand information - say hi for us.
    .. We're off to some small water where we can visit with the fish.
    Web Note: Arrick's Fly Shop Fishing Report has a new URL: http://www.arricks.com/fishingreport/index.php