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  • Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Little Waters & The Weather

    Then Get Ready
    .. If Yellowstone National Park adheres to their Drought Fishing Restriction Strategy (PDF) which is: 1) Stream flows decline below long-term averages, and/or 2) Stream temperatures approach 73ºF (22.7ºC) for extended periods. Then we anticipate that one criterion will be eliminated this week. The historically low flows will not not be alleviated until more rain is in the forecast. The official announcement of any change will be posted on the YNP News Releases page.
    .. Keep an eye on the weather from NOAA, and plan your fishing accordingly. Leave the Firehole River alone for the rest of the year. Visit with the local fly shops (links in sidebar,) for information when you arrive. Be sure that you have early 'wader friendly' lodging reservations.
    .. Fishing in the neighborhood has been pretty good considering the conditions.
    .. The Gallatin River continues to be a worthwhile proposition; both in the park and further downstream. Localized afternoon showers have produced some off color days but the neighbors continue to explore this river as a first choice. There are still a few hoppers and spruce moths in the park sections. Evening Caddis hatches are holding up fine and there are even some PMD's holding on. Late afternoon is best for surface action. Fish all day with a hopper-dropper combination and you should do fine. Drop a Prince Nymph or a Feather Duster: use your favorite hopper in sizes 8 - 12 and it may fool a few as well.
    .. The Madison River between the lakes is very crowded - justifiably so. The cold tailwaters continue to attract fish and fishers alike. Some very good fish, (18" - 22",) have been taken in the Discharge Riffles on streamers, (dark olive woolly buggers and dark spruce flies: sizes 4 - 6 3xl.) Good nymphing is to be had at Campfire Run, and some excellent evening Caddis is available between Choice Hole and Awkward Bend. Fishing this section of the Madison River gives on a chance to observe both out of state license plates and etiquette.
    .. Gulpers are still on the menu for Hebgen Lake. Get up early and hit the water about the time that the sun has been on the lake for an hour or so. Callibaetis spinners seem to be the item of choice, (size 16 - 20.) There have been a couple of reports that Yellow Woolly Worms in size 12 - 14 have taken fish in the South Fork Estuary - worth a try?
    .. The upper Gibbon River continues to provide great entertainment with eager fish of the smallish variety. The water adjacent to the Norris campground is hammered pretty hard, but the One-Cast Meanders still harbor eager Brown and Brook Trout. Beware of the large solitary bison in these vest pocket meadows and enjoy fishing with a 3-weight. Big fish can run to 10" in this bit of water.
    .. Further up the Gibbon River in the meadows above Virginia Cascade and around Wolf Lake your 3-weight will be well exercised by some wily and energetic Rainbows and Brookies to 16" or a bit more if you're lucky. All of this fishing is best done with small terrestrials and a few nymphs, (float them or sink them at your pleasure.)
    .. When it's clear Soda Butte Creek is fishing very well indeed. Generalized surface flies will work in the water below Canyon's End and the larger pools below the Pebble Creek confluence. Yellow Humpy, Adams, and Elk Hair Caddis will all do well. Keep the flies on the smallish side: 12 - 18 will be the ticket. Small beetles and ants should be in your box too.
    .. Rock Snot has a new name: "Sea Snot," ( 1, 2, 3, 4). Protect Your Waters lets us know about an article in The New Haven Register that details the current evolutionary adaptations of this menace. And: "Lately, it has been expanding its range and changing its preferences for low-temperature, nutrient-poor, water." This does bode well for the high country waters that the neighbors enjoy.
    MAP NOTE: Additional locations have been added to the maps. To view the locations maps by river segment go to YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS, to view all locations go to Yellowstoner's places @ Platial. The seven maps, (more to come,) have been viewed a total of about 5,000 times in 4 months.
    .. Upcoming maps will include: Regional & Local Fly Shops, Good Grits, Watering Holes, etc.