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


    It's Here !
    (brief fishing report too)
    .. Sometimes called Sea Snot,the diatom Didymosphenia geminata - DIDYMO, for short, has been documented in the Snake River Drainage just south of Yellowstone National Park. We've posted several notes about this threat to Yellowstone Waters over the past year.
    .. This is a threat to the rivers and fishing in Yellowstone National Park and it is immanent! The latest report of the deadly goo comes from the USGS after they discovered it in Lake Creek near the Moose-Wilson Road bridge, and notified Grand Teton National Park last week.
    .. According to a story in the Jackson Hole Daily, (jhnews and guide.com,) Lexey Wauters, executive director of The Snake River Fund has stated that Didymo has the potential to “really decimate a watershed.”
    .. Research in New Zealand has provided promising results for the battle against Didymo; these have been reported by Protect Your Waters. We posted an extensive note about the possibilities for containment in February of this year.
    .. Max Bothwell, of Environment Canada, broadcast a segment on the radio show Quirks & Quarks in March of this year - (Listen to it here, open it in a new tab and listen to it in the background.)
    .. The Didymo organism can alter the food chain by covering the river bed with a slimy mat that kills the benthic invertebrates that trout eat. The best research suggests that fly fishers are the major culprits in the spread of this menace. The mechanism is felt-soled-waders that can carry unique genomes of indigenous variants of Didymo to new environments thus allowing the diatom to behave as an invasive species, rather than an endemic species.
    .. Clean and dry waders are a necessary tool in the battle to prevent the spread of this fresh water organism. Check out the non-felt wader boots at the Trout Underground.
    (Click on the images below for a better view.)

    . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    .. On a lighter note, our Friday biscuits and gravy breakfasts are mightily enhanced by the good folks over at The Horse's Mouth.
    .. We heartily endorse their sentiment HOORAY, IT'S FRIDAY !
    .. And, by the way, the Fish on Fridays post is just as spectacular as the Weekend Wahine. All the old grunts at the breakfast table are eagerly anticipating this winter's posts as hungrily as we look forward to the next shipment of Viagra to this remote location.
    .. Speaking of Viagra, have you seen the Obscene Bangers at Get Outdoors? Ugh! A Slaw Dawg it ain't!
    .. Straight from Thee Ass Hooked Whitey comes a video so full of giggles that we fell off the bar stool. This is not just another flying carp piece - it's too good to pass up.
    .. On the sidebar we've added the link to Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. And, like Yellowstone Mountain Guides they are truly expert guides, outfitters, and most importantly fishers. These folks are the backcountry pioneers and experts of Yellowstone. If you would like to catch a trout as it swims over the continental divide, check out the animated Thorofare Map. The water's low in the backcountry too - but the fishing pressure is ever-so-slight.
    .. A note at Yellowstone Park News led us to read about the low water and melting glaciers in Glacier National Park. It seems that many of the rivers, containing glacial melt water that feed the lakes, are not getting to the lakes. This is definitely hard on Montana's very rare Bull Trout. The Missoulian carries the story and the situation sounds dire at best.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    .. There are quite a few lake fish moving into the Madison River. They are moving slowly, (though we anticipate that this spate of cool weather will speed them up,) and are stalled at the park line. Although a few fish have made it upstream, the large schools of fish have podded-up between the estuary and Baker's Hole. You'll need a Montana fishing license if you fish outside of the park.
    .. The neighbors are now using a variety of flies for these recalcitrant migrants. The old favorite Hornberg is making its fall appearance. It is fished both wet and dry and is on the end of many a fly line. Use the bigger sizes for the wet version, (4 - 8,) and the smaller sizes for the dry, (10-14.) The wet is fished as a streamer on the drift with a full swing to a tight line at the end. Some neighbors can strip this fly faster than the current - if you can do it this, it is a deadly technique for the deep holes.
    .. The Yellowstone Spruce Fly and the Yellowstone Winter Grub are making their appearance along side the Dark Spruce Fly and the dark olive green Woolly Bugger.
    .. A local cult has sprung up around the Hairwing Dark Spruce Fly. You can find it at the Thread & Feathers section of Montanawild Gallery. It's a fairly old rendition of the fly that has been experiencing a renewed vitality among the neighbors.
    .. Soft hackle flies are doing their share of the work as well. The visitors are buying what the fly shops sell and are doing all right, the neighbors are sticking with the Royal Prince Soft Hackle and doing a bit better. Although the run is on, it should get better very soon. It should also get more crowded - and it's already full of fishers in the traditional places. Rumor and tradition do a lot to mitigate against the understanding that the river changes annually and with its flows. Try some new water, Try a different fly - you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
    .. Try this little beetle fly in the slow deep water of undercut banks. Toss it into a foam line and let it float lazily along its merry way - hold on tight!
    . . . . . . . . . .
    .. We're headed to the park to see if the log jam has broken. There are rumors of big fish as high up as the falls on the Gibbon River - we'll let you know.

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Need Flies ??


    .. For an extensive selection of flies and fly patterns, as well as a series of excellent photographs CLICK HERE - it's well worth it! The Tutorials are very well done too. And you can buy the flies too.

    .. Want to see them all in a nifty web page? Click Here

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Drought Adapted Piscaforms

    Evolution Accelerated In Firehole River
    .. There have been strange happenings along the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors have been using flies from far off lands and have been catching unusual sub-aquatic creatures along the gentle bends of Biscuit Basin.
    .. Speculation by park biologists suggests that the strange creatures are the product of accelerated evolution in response to global warming and the last seven years of extreme drought.
    .. The most successful fly for taking these evolutionary wonders comes from the gentle mountain glades of northern California at the foot of Mount Shasta.
    .. Fishers from as far away as Bozeman and Tennessee have brought the fly to Yellowstone in the hopes of catching these nautical curiosities.
    .. The fly was initially developed by a famous California fisher as a joke and foisted upon unsuspecting fisher folk to keep them from catching fish in the fabled waters of the Upper Sacramento River.
    .. Fly fishers, being a thick-headed lot, have kept the unsuccessful fly in their boxes and tried it on all the rivers they encountered in the hope that it would work for something.
    .. The unnamed fly has been a secret weapon in the battle to keep visitors from fishing sacred waters in the salubrious climes of Dunsmuir and the surrounding area. Now that the secret is out, and now that people know that the fly is species specific to these evolutionary misfits it needs a name.
    .. Tom Chandler at the Trout Underground is running a contest to name the infamous fly. If you win the contest you will achieve fame and glory and be showered with an inordinate glut of prizes and wealth.
    .. If Ed Dentry had this fly he surely would have captured something on his trip to Yellowstone. He suggest that luck is drying up in Yellowstone. No sir! He just had the wrong information and flies.
    .. Click on over to the contest page and give it a whirl. Perhaps this is your day to become a most famous moniker maker!

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Old Reliable

    Madison Good
    firehole ok
    .. The rush to the glory waters in Yellowstone National Park has left the Gallatin River nearly deserted. It's still raining and by the time you read this there will be a little color in the river. The river should clear by Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday and provide exceptional fishing and catching. There are Baetis hatches in the afternoons that are bringing fish to the surface. They seem to be keying on the nymphs and floating a double nymph rig should be your first choice. For the subsurface nymphing use a double fly rig also. The thin water is concentrating the fish in all the apparent places.
    .. Don't forget the undercut banks and be cautious as you approach the river's edge. In these low water conditions most of the river can, (and probably should,) be fished from the bank. The neighbors are using stiff hackle flies, (12 - 16,) Prince Nymphs, (14 - 18,) olive Woolly Buggers, (8 - 12,) and Yellowstone Spruce Flies under the banks, (4 - 10.) As the river clears it's always a good strategy to use a San Juan Worm; we prefer a brown or deep purple one below a fairly large Caddis. Don't expect the fish to come to you. Right now the Gallatin River is a hiking proposition. Just take your time and stroll through the meadows, the gentle rains will keep you cool.
    .. The Madison River is beginning to attract both fish and fishers as the catching picks up. Rumors and stories in the pubs and on the river seem to indicate that the catching is just good enough to keep the persistent angler happy. The White Fish have returned to the Barns Holes after being missing in action for most of the summer. They keep things interesting.
    .. Despite what you see on the river, it's better to cover quit a bit of water right now, as the are still more holding areas than fish. This should change during the week if the cool weather persists.
    .. Streamer and nymph fishing has been the tradition on the Madison River during this time of the year. However, we've had remarkable success with a soft hackle variant. We borrowed a Royal Prince Soft Hackle pattern from Jeremy Barela and use it in a size 6 or 8 instead of the traditional 12 - 16. You can find the pattern HERE.
    .. Rain has not deterred the fishers on the Firehole River. It's getting that "crowded in the fall" look. There are almost as many fishers as Baetis - and that's a lot. The bugs are being unusually prolific, and the fish are enjoying it. They are on the smallish side so be sure to have a large assortment of sizes 16 - 22. The size seems to vary with the day and the river segment. Catching is still good along the riffled run below Dipper Cliff and right next to the road above the Iron Bridge.
    .. The crowds are thickest around the parking lot near Ojo Caliente - go figure. If you want some good fish and only a few folks to applaud your efforts there is just a bit of a walk in your day. Try the long runs around Goose Lake. This area has some deep water and is holding fish to 16" and maybe more. The undercut banks are just as productive as the deep holes. Play your cards right and a bright late afternoon will bring you a Caddis hatch, These hatches are going to get thinner as the days grow shorter, but they should continue through October - mother willing.
    .. The rainy road to the Gallatin River.

    .. We just love this image.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Bring It On

    A Too Pretty Morning
    can this be it?
    .. As visitors poured in and pounded the rivers of the west side of the park, the Saturday morning was just too pretty for fishing - and the fish knew it. As the day progressed clouds built from the west and the wind picked up and fishers left as the rain blew in on the swirling zephers around 2:30 PM. BAD CHOICE.
    .. The Madison River yielded only a few precocious males at the Barns Holes and National Park Meadows in the morning. But by 4:00 PM some good fish had been taken at both locations and stories (unconfirmed,) of submarines podded-up at 9-mile hole. The fly of choice for the neighbors was a standard San Juan Worm. One 17" Brown Trout was taken on a double caddis rig - nothing fancy just a pair of Elk Hair Caddis about three feet apart - size 14. A hatch of small Midges, Caddis, and Baetis occured sparodically throughout the length of the Madison River in the park. We couldn't find any concentrations of bugs but our grill did. As the rain continues it's gentle cooling and soaking we expect that the fish in Hebgen Lake will figure it out. The ones in the river seem to be a bit friskier right now. We're headed back in just 5 hours. More tomorrow.
    .. The Firehole River also had a summer morning and an autumn afternoon - fishing in the morning and catching in the afternoon. Most of the catching was near Dipper Cliff, just above Midway Geyser Basin, and in the Ojo Caliente runs and riffles. Subsurface fishers were successful with Feather Dusters, San Juan Worms, and Yellow Woolly Worms. The dry fly guys were armed with small midges and BWO's. Double fly rigs seem to be very popular this week. Excellent fish were taken at Dipper Cliff on a BWO/Midge combo - size 18 for both.
    .. Here's a video of what may be the last day of summer fishing:

    .. A hatch of momentous import has finally presented itself over at Fly Times - Congratulations!!
    .. Ranger Gord Has Resurfaced with a tale of sex, horney old men and Robo Cop. We can't make this stuff up. Click HERE for the gruesome details.
    .. The biscuits and gravy tasted much better this morning as we, (and the neighbors,) were distracted from our early breakfast by the return of FISH ON FRIDAY'S by la boca de caballo. Bless their hearts they gave us two lovely ladies to enjoy.

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Poor Dan Blather


    .. Dan is mad at CBS . . . . Awwww!
    .. Dan is suing CBS . . . . Awwww!
    .. Read why.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Blessed Rain & Cooler Temperatures

    Get Out The Poncho
    .. The weather has finally given us and the Baetis a break. We're going to check out Boundary Creek and the Bechler River. The fires are still smoldering in the Cascade Corner, but the pub talk has fish jumping into waders - we'll see.
    .. Baetis is the watchword for the week. They are on the Firehole River, the Madison River, the Gibbon River, Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek and even the Gallatin River - if you can find them. Get over to The Trout Nut for pictures.
    .. Caddis are beginning to flutter around mile post 23 on the Gallatin River and on the Firehole River. If you're looking for the big'uns carry some drakes and hope that fish memory is as good as rumored.
    .. Over at Trouts & Seasons Of The Mountain Village, Fujioka has updated his Pfluger Medalist Page. Besides some very informative pictures of these reels, there is excellent information about the evolution of the marque. We have several of these and you probably do too. There is also a list of references for additional research.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    If Not Now - When?

    Famous River Bends Show Lots Of Beach
    Upper Gibbon Fishers Slightly Affected By Burn

    does your trout have surrogate parents?
    guyser photo
    .. The weather is about to give us a break. A break from the beautiful Indian Summer and a town with no empty rooms. It couldn't happen at a better time. The Fall Fishing Frenzy has been a bit slow and behind the traditional calendar.
    .. There are two reports, (from trusted sources - one with a photo - of 20" brown trout,) in National Park Meadows on the Madison River. Both were taken on size 12 Yellow Woolly Worms - not Woolly Buggers but Woolly Worms. The sneaky critters seem to have charged through the gauntlet of fishers that have lined the Barns Holes and Baker's Hole these last few days - good on 'em! The feat is even more amazing considering how low the river is and it's continued wormth.
    .. The Gibbon River is fishing very well. The prescribed burn at Norris pumped smoke into the little meadow adjacent to the campground periodically, but only the fishers seemed affected. The eager Brookies and small Brown Trout were in a ravenous mood yesterday. Attractors and Hoppers were the key, not counting Feather Dusters and Prince Nymphs. Royal Wulff's in size 12 were gobbled up in all sections from Last Hole to the meadow above Virginia Cascade. The low water has concentrated the fish, and even the shadows of eager tourists did not seem to spook the gluttons. Fish to 14" are readily available in the meadow at Virginia Cascade - parking was surprisingly available on both Saturday and Sunday. Here's a video of the Gibbon River, from yesterday.

    .. The University of Idaho and some scientists from Tokyo University are working on a way to efficiently breed fish with surrogate parents.
    The Tokyo University inventors dubbed their method "surrogate broodstocking." They injected newly hatched but sterile Asian masu salmon with sperm-growing cells from rainbow trout — and watched the salmon grow up to produce trout.

    .. The Idaho research team is going to try to implement the technique to propagate the endangered Sockeye Salmon. This technique holds promise for many of the disappearing salmonids across North America.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    The Slowly Falling Autumn

    Bears Doing Bear Things
    Elk Doing Elk Things
    Cutts Getting Attention
    prescribed burn announced
    .. The gentility of the weather has produced a bumper crop of visitors to Yellowstone National Park. The glorious Fall weather is occasionally punctuated by a snow flurry or cold shower - often accompanied by a bit of a blow. All-in-all it's just too nice to be the middle of September, (we're waiting for October's revenge.)
    .. The fourth grizzly bear attack occurred yesterday. This one was in the park. As we noted earlier the bears are restless this year - numerous too! Click over to The Seattle Times or the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for the story and the YNP page for the press release. Just before you get your fresh leader and specialty flies you should get a big canister of bear spray. Wear it where it is quickly and easily grabbed - not in your back pack. Get the big one and practice how to use it. Portions of Yellowstone and adjacent Forest Service lands have been closed to human entrance because of the attacks. It's interesting to note that no report of the attack said anything about bear spray. Despite the video below, karate does not work!!
    .. Bears are not the only cranky animals in Yellowstone. Elk and bison can also do serious harm to humans during the "Testosterone Season." The video clip below shows how not to view animals in Yellowstone.

    .. If you are planning to fish in the Norris area on Monday, be advised that a 65 acre prescribed burn will take place southeast of Norris. This could affect your eyes if you're planning to fish the meadows around Wolf Lake or Virginia Cascades. Additional information and instructions for the press are included at the NPS site. The fire in the Cascade Corner continues and is not of any immediate danger to fishers on the Bechler River or Boundary Creek. However some backcountry trails and campsites are closed.
    .. West Slope Cutthroat continue to attract the attention of concerned citizens. New West reports of an effort by the Bonneville Power Administration and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to begin restoration of Cutthroat populations in the Flathead River Basin including parts of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The restoration effort will take place over the next 10 years and use rotenone to kill the entire aquatic population of fish in several stream segments and lakes. A large population of Whitefish and Bull Trout, (a threatened species,) will also be killed. We anticipate that a similar effort will take place in the future on Slough Creek in Yellowstone if fishers continue to release Rainbows and the hybrid Cutbow population continues to grow. The online version of the Yellowstone Fishing Regulations, (pg. 16,) says:
    Non-native rainbow trout also interbreed with native cutthroat trout, producing hybrids. Once this happens, a cutthroat population can be restored to genetic purity only if all fish are removed from a stream and genetically pure cutthroat are reintroduced. To reduce hybridization in the park’s cutthroat trout waters, anglers are encouraged to harvest rainbow trout.
    .. Hebgen Lake and Quake Lake continue to provide great catching as does the Hebgan Tailwater. The morning gulper fishing is still rewarding but the Callibaetis are thinning out. Late afternoon at the narrows or in the Madison Arm are still a viable proposition with hoppers - (we're surprised and delighted at this.) Midges and a few Caddis continue to keep the area around Campfire Lodge a viable proposition throughout the day. From Awkward Bend to the Choice Hole eagar fish are taking both the small Caddis nymphs and dark green Woolly Buggers. The fish seem to have moved from the edges to mid-channel as they move up from the lake.
    .. Some small pre-spawn fish have moved into the South Fork of the Madison River and are podding up in the estuary. The neighbors with worms have found the fish in the estuary but the willows make access difficult upstream. Small streamers and Hare's Ear or Prince nymphs should gather up some nice 12" - 16" fish. There is no sign of the run above the highway.
    .. The Madison River between Hebgen Lake and Baker's Hole is jam-packed with parked fish that are slow in moving further upstream. The neighbors are reporting some fish to 20" - all Rainbow Trout so far. Besides worms, Thunder Creek, Dark Spruce, Yellowstone Spruce, and black Woolly buggers seem to be the ticket to dance in this segment. There is the beginnings of a Caddis hatch at about 4:30 - 5:00 around Baker's Hole - sparse at best; the afternoon winds may make it hard to see the bugs and the rising fish. Size 16 Elk Hair Caddis on top with a size 14 Rock Worm dropper is an excellent prospecting rig.
    .. Salubrious weather and low flows continue on the west side of Yellowstone National Park. The Madison River from the park line to 7-mile bridge has some medium-sized Rainbows that are causing a rustle in the pubs. The early morning Trico spinners are getting very sparse and the evening Caddis are even less apparent. From National Park Meadows to 9-Mile Hole is a desert during the mid-day heat, (rightly so,) and only two fishers were seen in this six mile section today - wonder why.

    .. The Gallatin River can be fished all day if you choose. Cover a lot of ground and prospect with a hopper - dropper rig during the heat of the day. Sometimes a pair of drowned hoopers of different patterns will produce. Stick with the smaller hoppers and beetles.
    .. The best fishing on the Gibbon River continues to be above Norris Campground. Afternoons with a 3-weight and a box full of terrestrials and attractors will provide you with many dances if you're willing to stroll from hold to hold. It's a wonderfully pleasant way to enjoy this sterling little river. Be sure to look around and watch for bison and bears - a few bars of your favorite drinking songs will go a long way to keeping you safe. The riffle and run waters of the canyon are holding some nice Brown Trout, as is the pocket water around Chocolate Pot Spring. Again nothing fancy other than your approach is needed.
    .. Slough Creek is producing excellent fish in from the late afternoon to the evening. It is clear, cool, and low. Terrestrials are present and will move fish -- BUT -- don't be sloppy. The big fella's are not likely to be taken with the same poor approach twice. There is a growing hatch of BWO's and midges to accompany the still present hoppers. Soda Butte Creek, in the confluence meadows, is full of late-blooming hoppers - as is the Lamar River from Buffalo Ranch to Cache Creek. A little color creeps into these waters from afternoon showers, but so far the rains have been light enough to allow pretty good fishing, (we know it won't last.)
    .. For those willing to work for fish the Yellowstone River, in it's popular sections, will yield 15" - 20" Cutts on well presented Baetis imitations. Prince & Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear nymphs will produce good fish if you are very attentive. Keep the flies on the small side, (16 - 20 on top and 12 - 16 below.) One area that has gathered up a dense population of fish is the area immediately downstream from Tower Creek. There are also fish to 18" in the lower stretches of Tower Creek.
    .. Down south, Jack Dennis reports that the lakers are podding up for the spawn in Lewis Lake. The reports for the Gardner River system from Parks' Fly Shop suggest that if you pick your place, day and fly you should be amply rewarded. Give them a call and tell them hi for us.
    .. From Protect Your Waters comes good news about the battle against Rock Snot. They also bring us a bit of bad news about the two species of Asian Carp that have invaded the Upper Mississippi River Drainages. These flying carp would be a bit more entertaining were it not for the impact that have on indigenous fish -- and fishers. The Tunica Times has an excellent article about the impact in Mississippi on the lower river. And there is yet another video of flying carp produced by the Illinois Natural History Survey, Great Rivers Field Station.