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  • Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Want Big Fish


    The Gibbon Rocks
    The Firehole Socks
    get off the road !
    .. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Gibbon River is fishing as good or better than the Madison River right now. The water temperature is a bit colder, but the fish are resting peacefully.
    .. However, if you just can't stand the thought of being out of sight of your $30,000 crossover, then stick with the Madison River. And further, should you really think that bigger is better, you might ott'a be in Amarillo, Texas -- there's a 72 ounce steak waiting for you.
    .. If, on the other hand, your vehicle is just transportation, and you'd rather catch a bunch of fish, and avoid the crowds, then take a leisurely drive up the Gibbon River road.
    .. Park wherever the mood strikes. Walk through the trees, over the downfall, across the meadowland, and find a riffle with a bit of dark water at its head or tail. The resident fish will accommodate you willingly, and there may be a sleeping giant in the shadows.
    .. These larger fish have successfully run the gauntlet in all the popular places. They've seen the depth charges hurled at them and have become a trout of the recalcitrant sort. They haven't seen a fly in two or more days and are now approaching complacency; they are again beginning to feed in their normal fashion.
    .. The bigger runners have moved the residents aside and there is a bit of jockeying going on as the search for food is uppermost in their little pea brains, (sex comes a bit later.) They are hungry, sexed-up, competitive, and eating.
    .. They haven't, recently, been stuck in the jaw by a bit of food, they haven't been tortured with a springy leader, and they haven't been starved of oxygen as their guts are squeezed for the camera. These are fish just going about their business and waiting for the next bit of chow to come their way.
    .. There are no stories to share as you wait in line. No butts to grind out under you foot. And, it's always your turn.
    .. There are no pushy guides demanding you hurry so that they can dawdle. There are no 'experts' kibitzing or chortling: just you, the river, some willing fish, and mom in Yellowstone National Park. The only camera is the one you left on the seat of your vehicle.
    .. If you just can't stand to say that you fished the last days of the season on the Gibbon River; just truck on up the Firehole River road. Stop and fish the lower reaches of Nez Perce Creek, oops - wrong again.
    .. Do Firehole River fish enter this lonely little river -- damn straight they do, and they are hungry as well. But then again, it ain't the Firehole. The folks back at the office never heard of it, and no matter how many good fish you catch it just ain't a bit of 'glory water.'
    .. As for the 'right' flies: something small, (16-18-20,) a bit ragged, and not too bright. Something with a touch of pink, yellow, chartreuse, or orange is O.K. Use two if you like and float them or sink them or do both. There are many unpounded fish waiting for a dance partner. Some are of a size to surprise you.
    .. Should you have an absolute need to be able to watch the car, fish glory waters, tell the folks back home stories, and use the right flies we suggest that you spend some time checking the sources in the sidebar and masthead. They will tell you where the crowds are. Enjoy.
    P.S. The impending cold weather will be good for surface midges and the persistent baetis all along the Firehole River. If you must!
    P.P.S.We're fishing the other run! Can you say Duck Creek?