• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Of Knit Caps & Halfpounders

    Fish Here
    .. Hope all is well in the valley of the snowless. Postcards don't do it justice.

    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Writers Caught Fishing !


    Secret Fishing Spot
    right next to the road

    "And then he knew that there was where he was going."*
    .. It's Thanksgiving morning and Ernie (with his unidentified friend,) are spied fishing at the hottest section of an unnamed stream in Idaho. Their break for photos was caught by astute underground shutterbugs who followed in the footsteps of the writers taking a break from their seminar "Wilde Tales & Wild Trout In Idaho."
    .. The seminar attracts aspiring writers from throughout the western United States. Each year numerous writers gather to bask in the radiance of 'Pops' and hope that some bit of genius will rub off on themselves. They seek footsteps long since washed away.
    .. Many "New Media" mavens are attracted to this hallowed ground. They fish and drink and carouse and enjoy the seeming solitude of rivers once pristine.
    .. They eschew the streamer or giant nymph, and the chance for large trout from the reservoir in the hopes of tangling with a 13" bundle of native fury - fooled by a midge. Midges are often fished this time of year; and the trout are perpetually amused by the visitations.
    .. Our savvy photographers, (tipped off by a very friendly waitress from Michel's restaurant,) arrived early and captured this image before the unsuspecting scribblers knew they were in the public eye.
    .. The day was crisp and cool; in the upper 40's. Not much to write about - BUT, you can bet much mileage will be made of this mundane occasion. After all, it's the end of the season and there's only 1,300 fish, (8" or larger,) per square mile. Who'd fish a creek like that?
    .. No pennies, cigars, or flasks were disposed of on this visitation. Many have been, and will be in the future; just not this time.
    * The Snows of . . .

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Giving Thanks

    WHAT A DAY !!

    Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twenty minutes. Half-times take twenty minutes. This is not coincidence.---
    .."Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments."
    - Mark Twain.
    .."Gluttony and surfeiting are no proper occasions for thanksgiving."
    - Charles Lamb.
    .."What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving ?"
    - Erma Bombeck , "No One Diets on Thanksgiving", 26 November 1981.
    .."Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night."
    - Irving Berlin.

    P.S. This is post # 500

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Go To Madison County

    It's Not Where You Think It Is !
    .. Madison County. We think of trout. That's right. Big beautiful four-pound Rainbow Trout. Take them on small nymphs or take them on dry flies - the fishing is great.
    .. The River and it's tributary streams are lush and fertile. Riffles and runs and pools abound.
    .. Photo-ops spring at you from every bend. It's fly fishing at it's best; in the finest of western traditions.
    .. Two Top mountain on the continental divide west of West Yellowstone is not visible - BUT - Double Top Mountain and the National Forest is.
    .. There's always a chance of wild Brook Trout, and the fishing is always gentle and uncrowded.
    .. Just a few rods are around; - of course, the weather can be a factor; - the seclusion creeps into your waders; - classic water and solutions greet your every cast; - flows vary seasonally but right now, (as you read this,) it's just about perfect, and -- if you like -- you can stay close by where you fish.
    .. This fishery is less than 100 miles from the densely populated cities elsewhere in the county.
    .. It has a phenomenal success rate, and we've heard no complaints about the fish, the water, the access, or the local hospitality.
    .. It's hard to put to words how fortunate is the fisher that enjoys these waters.
    .. It's a once in a lifetime experience and if you're in the neighborhood you should visit this fishery. Guides are available, and planning is necessary because this fishing is by reservation only.
    Do you know where this is?
    .. Nothing silly like "TUNE IN TOMORROW" or some such.
    .. When you visit the Piedmont: Washing D.C. or it's environs you can build some western memories on the other coast.
    .. Of course we're talking about ROSE RIVER FARM in Madison County, Virginia. It's a working farm with a fishing problem. They are also participants in Project Healing Waters.
    .. Take the time to visit both sites and explore your possibilities the next time you're in the D.C. area.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Growing & Better

    West & South Side Information
    it's not just fishing
    .. They've been sitting in our sidebar for a couple of years. They are dynamic, extensive, and becoming comprehensive. WHO? The folk(s) at GREATER YELLOWSTONE RESOURCE GUIDE.
    .. The larger streams and rivers are characterized. The hatch charts are useful resources. The commentary has evolved to significant proportions. It's possible to spend an hour or two just perusing the details. Winter is a good time to do so.
    .. Real Estate, events, roads and weather, the cowboy corner, and much, much more have been cataloged by the staff, (that's Daryl L. Hunter.) It's a prodigious effort and the job has been well done - and - getting better. Give it a CLICK.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Friday, November 21, 2008


    It's Not All Roses
    .. NEW WEST just published a guest column by Terry L. Anderson. Anderson is the executive director of PERC, (Property & Environment Research Center - Bozeman.) The cogent statement explores the concept of "Peaceful Enjoyment of Your Property." It is a note well worth your reading: especially if you are concerned about both the habitats for fish and wildlife, and property ownership.
    If you want to buy a big ranch and you want to have a river and you want privacy, don’t buy in Montana. -- Montana Governor Schweitzer

    Before the improvements paid for by the landowners, there were no fish in the slough except when floods caused water to flow through it. It was the improvements recognized by the court that have made the slough a productive fishery. This should make the landowners prime candidates for a stewardship award from an association that proclaims to be a “river protective association.”

    .. Absolutely food for thought. Should you care enough to join the fray on the ground there is a lovely cabin for sale with it's own private island. Under $800,000.click image for listing

    Just Perfect


    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    365 - 321=44

    Check Them All Out
    it's worth a click
    .. Jeff Kennedy is nearly done. In 43 days one of the most entertaining and enlightening sites on the web will run it's course. We're sad that it's about over.
    .. DRAWING FLIES 365 is the saga of a fly fishing artist that challenged himself to draw a fly a day for a year. Jeff is the artist and the site documents not only the flies, but gives us a glimpse into the life of this talented artist.
    .. His images range from 'found materials,' through sticks in the snow, to Photoshop manipulations, linocuts, sidewalk chalk, and traditional techniques.
    .. He has used driftwood on Yellowstone Lake's beaches, burnt sticks from a Boy Scout campfire, a stick in the snow, bison poop, water colors, pen and ink, felt marker, renderings on thumb bandage, pancake batter, and of course, (our favorite,) watercolor and gouache.
    .. The saga is now about over and we've been treated to both artistic insight and talent in a rare form. The daily discipline was self imposed in order for Jeff to "find his voice" and explore techniques. We've been treated to this and more. We have peeked into his life and family. Their vacations and eating habits have poked through in the telling of the tale. Thanks Jeff.
    .. Jeff is a busy man: active in his local fly tying club, (Northern Illinois Fly Tiers,) a featured artist at MidCurrent, a working artist, (Jeff Kennedy Studio,) Father, Webmaster, (Jeff Sketch, NIFT,) Husband, Boy Scout Leader. And, of course a fisher of the fly.
    .. Most of the originals have sold out. Some prints are still available. Jeff has promised a "wrap-up" sale at the end of the year with a list of remaining prints and originals.
    .. Maybe next year he will exercise his talents and show us a bit more of "BROOK, flyfishings original pinup girl." We're waiting for the calendar!
    .. Yes Matilda; Yellowstone National Park is closed for the 'shoulder season.' No, Matilda; the Madison River is not! Now that the visitors have left the motels and the feather merchants get a brief respite, it's time to fish.
    .. Fish the big fish in the Madison River, fish the big fish on the South Fork, fish the big fish on Grayling Creek, fish the big fish on Cougar Creek, fish the big fish on Duck Creek.
    .. Just because Yellowstone Park closes it's gates doesn't mean the fish stop running. In fact, this year it's better now than the last month.
    .. It's a poorly held secret that the big fish wait for the water-pounding and thrashing to stop before they start their sexual shenanigans in earnest.
    .. This year the weather has cooperated and fishers have no need for a snowmachine to access the hides and holes in the willow thickets. It's rare but it happens.
    .. The skiers woes are the fly fisher's joy. Get thee to the river there's just over a week before the open season ends and there's no snow in sight.
    .. Streamer fishing has finally kicked in and the monsters have arrived. You'll have to wheedle information out of some crusty old local, or do it the old fashioned way. The fish are here and in very good numbers. Don't catch 'em all.

    No Wonder The Fish Were Lazy


    Straight From NOAA
    The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for October 2008 was the second warmest since records began in 1880, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

    Temperature Highlights:

    * The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for October was 58.23 degrees F — 1.13 degrees F above the 20th century mean of 57.1 degrees F.

    * Separately, the global land surface temperature was 50.72 degrees F — 2.02 degrees F above the 20th century mean of 48.7 degrees F, ranking as the warmest October on record. Much of the unusual warmth occurred over Asia, Australia, and Eastern Europe.

    * The global ocean surface temperature of 61.41 degrees F tied October 2005 as sixth warmest on record and was 0.81 degree F above the 20th century mean of 60.6 degrees F.

    * The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January-October was 58.25 degrees F – 0.85 degree above the 20th century mean of 57.4 degrees F and ranking as the 9th warmest January-October on record.
    Read the whole report HERE.
    .. Even too hot in Adelaide! The World Naked Bike Ride was canceled.
    .. See the whole nude cyclist gallery HERE.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Let's Hear It For Jim Rice & Karla M. Gray

    Fisher Folk Rejoice
    this will impact the neighborhood -- and beyond

    .. As we mentioned two years ago; drama in the form of Rock & Roll vs. Stream Access was being played out in the Montana Supreme Court.
    .. The ruling is out: Mitchell Slough is not a ditch. It is a naturally formed waterway that may have been improved by irrigators - but not dug by man. You can read a synopsis of the ruling in The New West, and at ravallirepublic.com. The New York Times also covered the situation in 2006.
    .. We're pretty sure that this is not the last case to address the public water issue in Montana. However, it's a strong affirmation of the water ownership and access rights of the citizens of Montana.
    .. You can read the ruling HERE. You can follow the case history HERE.

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    South Fork Fun

    Brisk Mornings
    very short days
    talk about siege
    .. "The other run," is in full swing. It'll get better right after the season closes. So be it.
    .. Administrative travel in Yellowstone National Park is pleasant right now. Photo-ops abound. Get a government job and see the gentle mantle of snow growing by the day - but not too quickly.
    .. The streamer fishing on the South Fork of the Madison River hasn't picked up as yet, but the fish are really hungry. Try your favorite nymph [Yellowstone Badger] in larger sizes, (up to 8.) Also, the ever popular Winter Grub and Yellowstone Sally are telling the tale. There is a smattering of snow flies but no dimples yet.
    .. Empty open water and holding pools abound below the bridge. The thin water and willows between the bridge and the springs also holds some huge fish, if you're so inclined. Wading between the willow-tangles is nigh-on-impossible here and discouraged as well. The redds are visible, and so are the fish.
    .. A 10' four weight rod with a #5 or #6 level line and short leader is the neighbors choice. This is really hunting rather than fishing. Usually one cast (read "dap") is all you can get. Make it good.
    .. Two important stories are being followed by bloggers. The reported $9,000,000 electric barrier that isn't quite functional is being watched by HDW MOBILE.
    .. The whole staff at the Trout Underground [#1, #2] is working on both the Klamath & Pitt Rivers situation. These are clicks worth your time.
    .. You can also keep up on the Klamath situation at "HYDROFORM" postings of dam stuff from around the country.
    In the evening, fish the pool right below this little cliff for both big daddy residents and great granddaddy visitors.