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  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
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  • Monday, May 05, 2008

    . . . on the edge of -- OUT


    Don't Get Used To It
    flows are up
    color is present
    ". . . did you ever stand and shiver
    just because you were looking at a river?"

    -Ramblin' Jack Elliott
    .. Persistent temperate days in the high country have started to accelerate the snow melt. Rivers are slowly filling their banks, and a bit of sand and silt is moving into the water. The suspended load is increasing slowly, but promises to accelerate over the next week or so. Fish now, or be prepared to gripe about the color, speed, depth, and caprice of the rivers around Yellowstone.
    .. After peaking on the 30th of April, the Gallatin River has returned to near seasonal flows with the Taylor Fork adding some color just north of the Park boundary. Fishing in the canyon sections has been exceptional and the usual spring mix of midges, nymphs, and small dry flies will get you bit.
    .. Some success is being had with Yellow Sally and Yellowstone Winter Grub flies. These are fished slow and deep on the swing. The river segment between the park line and the Taylor Fork is cold, clear and surprisingly productive; especially the pools at, and below Snowflake Springs.
    .. The Madison River at West Yellowstone has shown a nearly identical peak flow pattern to the Gibbon River; and has slowed to slightly below seasonal averages. It is still clear and not quite bank-full. Flows from Hebgen Reservoir, are running at about 700 CFS and the reservoir needs eight feet to become full. The neighbors have abandoned the tailwater fishery in deference to the amorous flutterings of the fish. There have been several good midge hatches and the last report hinted at a pickup in the streamer fishing success rate.
    .. Brave, adventurous, silly, giddy, hearty, and mostly young anglers of both the worm and fly persuasions have been scoring heavily along the banks of Hebgen Lake where the ice continues to recede. Post-holing is not our favorite pastime, yet eager fish can be persuasive. A long leader with a roughed up finish combined with a short sink tip and a pair of small nymphs will generate enough action for the strong of leg.
    .. The suspicious looking "GOB-O-WORMS" is used by by some neighbors as is a dark purple or brown San Juan Worm. These are fished on a long sink tip or even a full sinking line. Cast to edge of the ice, or as far out as you can. Let it sink to the bottom. Chug a little, puff some, then slowly retrieve the line. Pause every so often, but keep the line taught. Takes range from brutal to violent. Short stout leaders are O.K.
    .. We promised, back in October, not to publish a picture of the fly -- and we won't. You'll have to do your own research if this sort of fly fishing appeals to you. A good place to start is JUST GOOD FLIES.
    .. Down in the Madison Valley fishing on the Madison River is picking up. Subsurface action is approaching furious. Sculpin imitations, large buggy things like stone flies and of course any other wiggly creation with internal motion will probably get you some action. The stretch of river between McAtee Bridge and Ennis is drawing both row and wade fishers. A small but persistent hatch of caddis is available and there are rumors of March Browns in the air at the big sweep just north of Ennis. River temperatures have been fluctuating in a standard nocturnal/diurnal pattern and the sub-seasonal flows tend to accentuate this. Pick you spot and your bugs. The temperature will bring conditions to you.
    .. The Yellowstone River is fluctuating between fishable and "not so fishable" as the runoff begins in earnest in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. The fine folks at Parks' Fly Shop are experiencing the same conditions as the rest of the region -- fishing is good now, but the river is close to being out of shape. They're hoping that the cool weather hangs on a bit for the Mother's Day Caddis. We wish them the best - it's good for us too.