.. As water creeps over the ice on Hebgen Lake, and the thrummers begin to worry about slush and cracking bringing an end to a very hot ice fishing season, local fishing and canyon fishing is on the upswing. "Buggy" flies and slow drifts are beginning to produce results among the pre-spawn fish on the Madison River below Hebgen Dam.
.. This is the time of year that the Yellowstone Winter Grub shines. The fly looks like a giant Prince Nymph, casts like a bowling ball, fishes like a spark plug, and catches any fish with at least one eye open - it works wonders. Tied in sizes from 4 to 12 it is an old fly with just local fans, not a secret - just underused. Right now a size 6 or 8 is working good.
.. The trail to the lower end of Quake Lake is still a snowy snake with icy scales. The fishable water is just now appearing and only the brave and young should attempt this type of fishing: risk/reward plays a part here.
.. Another fly that the neighbors are using is the HELLIFIKNOW. This bit of flash in the early morning darkness is just the ticket for those fish that don't yet know that the fisher folk are prowling. It is fished as much as a novelty as it is a working fly. Often it is the fly of first and last resort . . . we have several sizes and use it in the backwater eddies - it's visible for a ways and provides some measure of security for our cold fingers in the morning. Sizes 8 - 10 are the choice right now.
.. Starting around Red Cliff and going down stream the Gallatin River is providing good action in the afternoon. This is the time of year when the anchor ice has lifted and morsels from the deep are available to the fish. Nymph fishers usually tie on their favorite double and pound the depths of the deeper runs.
.. Our current double is a Yellowstone Spruce Fly with a Yellowstone Badger tied to the bend of it's hook with a 12" leader. This rig is less used today than in the past; sad if you want to catch fish -- glad if you can't cast a whirling dervish.
.. If you haven't seen it already, click on over to The Trout Underground and see how shameful behavior is running along the fine line between humor and slander. Poor Tom has enough on his plate without having to deal with marginal poop. Humor????
.. The new format and focus at THE HORSES MOUTH appears to be in it's final stages of completion. It is lean, mean, and focused . . . informative and always a pleasure to browse. Two recent posts have gotten much review at our morning biscuits and gravy fest: MAS WAHINES SURFING & POISSONS LE VENDRETI - love the linguistic juxtaposition.
.. Another revamp has seemed to reached it's zenith over at FLYTIMES. You'll be redirected if you use the old address. They are now at: http://www.theflyfishingblog.com/. Same good stuff but now a real DOT COM! We'd wondered about the paucity of posting and now we know.
.. FLYFISHMAGAZINE lets us know that the times are truly changing as more and more fly fishers take up the challenge of "Competitive Angling." How very American!
.. If you are still young and firm enough to wear a T-Shirt, it's worth your while to visit snorgTees.com. They have some shirts a bit out of the ordinary and show the kind of creativity that we wish we had. The shirts are grand, and the pictures are just as good. If you're the creative sort send them a design - they are always looking for Tee's with a bit of class.
.. As if we didn't already know it, Microsoft's latest operating system is a resource hog of the first order. Now there is a formal class action suit against them for certifying minimal PC's as "VISTA Capable." Even Microsoft employees got stung and ended up with $2,100 email machines.
.. Speaking of Windows, there is now a complete musical composition using only the sounds from Windows 98 and Windows XP. It won't seduce many wimmen at the bar, nor will it conjure fish from the depths . . . it is catchy though.