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  • Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    The Real Yellowstone Spring

    ROTTEN SNOW & POST HOLES
    Rewards For The Hardy
    SPRING?
    .. After a brief hallucination that the warmth had arrived, and that winter may have passed, (see posts about bicycling: Bear Mountain Point Blog, Yellowstone Park News,) the REAL YELLOWSTONE SPRING has returned. The wind is blowing, the snow is snowing, and the sun is being bashful.
    .. The weather is back to normal and it's 18 degrees and blustery. There's a nice picture of the current state of the Madison River over at Bear Mountain Point Blog. The hallucination was brief and encouraging.
    .. The neighbors are on their way to the most treacherous bit of snow, hereabout, for a shot at some Brown Trout 'schoolies.'
    .. Go up the highway about 8 mies, (slow down for the bison,) turn left, cruise past Hebgen Lake, (wave at the folks from Utah,) then through the Beaver Creek Pass, past the Beaver Ponds, and sneak through the avalanche area and park where you can near the outlet to Quake Lake.
    .. Bingo! You've arrived at the thirty feet - or so - of open water that produces energetic Brown Trout for those willing to post-hole their way down a steep embankment. It's only about 300 or so feet. The snow is rotten from the recent sunshine and it covers a treacherous boulder field - sort of!
    .. Even snowshoes sink. It's deep and full of voids. It's inviting; there are some tracks on top from when the snow was firm. You'll sink to your waist in some places. The joy of fishing never fails to amaze. There are some tracks, however, that you may not want to follow.
    .. Should you choose to fish here you may find some intrepid worm-dunkers. Don't despair, they won't bite and they'll let you know where, (and how deep,) the fish are. Success comes to those with a sink tip line, a double dropper and a slow twitch technique.
    .. Put a small black or dark brown San Juan Worm, (size 12, or even 14,) on the end and, up tight to the leader-line junction a dark olive or even black Hare's Ear Nymph, (size 14 - 16 - 18.) Some folks, (ourselves included,) use a pair of Yellowstone Badger flies -- seems to work just fine. Use a lot of bear grease on the line and hope that it keeps the sink tip from bombing to the bottom.
    .. A well placed double roll cast, or a Spey-flip will put the rig on the ice across the water. Let it rest there for 30 seconds or a bit more; then slowly drag it off the ice and let it sink to the appropriate depth - yesterday it was about 5 feet.
    .. Keep your rod tip low; even in the water. With a very slow, steady retrieve; give a small twitch and pause - twitch and pause - twitch and pause.
    .. SLAMMO !!! Eager brown trout in the 14" to 16" range love this rig and technique. Don't mind the worm dunkers. They'll laugh and understand why you threw back the pygmy. They've got some three pounders floppin' and freezin' next to them. We'll pass.
    .. Our annual "opening of the park day" comes this Friday and promises to be eventful. The new entrance station is not fully functional. At last report, (yesterday at 5:00 PM,) one kiosk was operational and there were problems with the others. It seems the winter construction schedule was delayed by a small amount of snow.
    .. Friday morning will see scads of lookie-loos and some intrepid visitors.
    .. The weather forecast is for a one day return of the hallusination . . . we'll let you know.
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    SORRY CHARLIE !!