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  • Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Let's Lose This Weekend

    Classic Streams Producing Well
    The Other Yellowstone
    .. This comes to you from an early morning clear link and a borrowed laptop. Our friends tell us we've just committed piracy. So be it.
    .. The salmonflies on the Madison River, (below Quake Lake,) are just past their peak. The fishing is at its peak. The big bugs are approaching West Yellowstone from two directions: up the Gallatin River, and up the Madison River. We mention this because there are many fishers that dote on this hatch. It has already stuttered and stalled along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. But there are hints of a resurgence along the canyon sections of the Firehole River. (Try Dipper Cliff and environs if you're adventurous.)
    .. The Gallatin River is currently plagued with the Taylor Fork runoff. But it is still very productive. Yellowstone Sally flies are producing well in the deeper riffles and along the banks. The fisher with a good feel for nymphing will do well all day in the park section of the river. The Confluence Meadows around Fan Creek are a bit cold for dry fly work, but a Prince Nymph followed by a Feather Duster, (original - or colored,) will produce fish. Keep your casts short and work a lot of water. The undercut banks are hard to see right now and the fish have lots of water to explore.
    .. Don't abandon the Bacon Rind meadows yet either. Small streamers and floating a size 14 yellow woolly worm will bring quite a few fish to hand.
    .. Something that floats in a size 14, 16, 18, 20, is a good place to start for the Firehole River dry fly action. The selectivity factor is still low, but increasing daily. Sparkle Dun, Adams, Yellowstone Cinch, Yellowstone Morning Glory, and your favorite caddis will still bring fish to the surface. Time is running out and there is going to be plenty of technical time in the next week or two.
    ..Although mid day temperatures are beginning to climb, the cool nights and afternoon overcast have keep the Firehole River an attractive destination.
    .. The Iron Bridge, and the confluence with Nez Perce Creek have been excellent evening spots for caddis on the Firehole River.
    .. Even the 7-mile Bridge picnic area along the Madison River has seen windshield-clouding caddis in the early evening.
    .. We've fished these waters and enjoyed them for years. There is, however, another Yellowstone that we've enjoyed much more for the past 10 years or so.
    .. It's far & away less crowded. It's away from the clatter of roads, and parking lots, and bicyclists, and tour buses. It's a Yellowstone that few fishers come to see. It's the little water. And, yes, it too is being discovered, (see the recent entry at MRO blog.)
    .. There are some popular small waters that are more frequently visited than others: Duck Creek, Grayling Creek, Obsidian Creek, Solfaterra Creek, Upper-upper Gibbon River, etc.
    .. These places give fishers a chance to enjoy less elbows and more uncluttered scenery than most of the roadside classics in Yellowstone. Many of the smaller waters do, indeed, hold small fish. Trophies are 10" - 12" or so. But, some of the smaller waters also hold 16" - 18" fish that are unmolested and wild.
    .. There are many reasons for fishing small waters. One of the most rewarding is the surprise factor. Suppose that you've decided to take an early summer stroll through a vacant meadow. You have your favorite 3-weight rod and a film canister of miscellaneous flies. Most of them are rejects from your attempts at invention and innovation. You are anticipating quite a few dances with eager Brook Trout.
    .. And then, your rod is bent double with the energy of an enormous native cutthroat that has no where to go in the 8" deep water. Talk about having your hands full.
    The video below will give you some idea about the size of fish that
    live in small waters that you can step across.
    .. This little creek is not more than 1/4 mile from the road. It is frequented by many visitors without fishing rods. It has a gentle trail beside the water. It holds enormous trout. They'll eat just about anything that you feed them.
    .. Below are some of the small waters where you will find us for most of the rest of the summer. The photos are indicative, (enough,) of where they are. We hope not to see you. But we'll be pleasantly surprised if we do.