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  • Monday, June 01, 2009

    Brief Madison River Report

    The Neighbors Know
    fish in the grass
    .. A picture may be worth a thousand words but a fish to the net trumps all. The slightly muddy Madison River is surprisingly fishable.
    .. Of course there are better places, (there always are.) Be careful in your selection of flies and footing and ye shall be rewarded.
    .. Water clarity is between 2' & 3' while the lake at 7-Mile Bridge has receded to the point that the meadows are visible and can be waded, (no, not the swan closure - duh!.)
    .. The current is still on the swift side and despite their itsy-bitsy brain the trout avoid it. The edges and back-eddy's are dorsal to pectoral with wide-eyed hungry fish.
    .. Some fish are facing downstream in the eddy's but all are looking for some groceries in the colored water.
    .. "Not too big and not too small" is the phrase for fly size. A good assortment of nymphs in the 4 to 12 range will suffice for the subsurface fishers. The evening has brought forth some spotty Caddis hatches, (but don't count on them yet.)
    .. By all means fish in the grass. A black or dark purple Woolly Bugger, (size 6 or 8,) drifted just below the surface is deadly in the grass. Grease it up good, and if you're so equipped, tie it on a light hook. These offerings were gobbled up regularly before and after the mid-day showers and hail storm on Sunday.
    .. The Madison River bank restoration project is proceeding apace. Sweeper logs and woody debris are beginning to appear in both the obvious and less obvious places.
    .. If you've not been here in some time you may be pleasantly surprised at the new look. The more aggressive "restorations" are already holding fish, (catchable fish.)
    .. The often ignored water along Riverside Drive has produced some stunning catches in the past few days. The road is narrow and parking is tough.
    .. Park safely and hobble out to that picture perfect shoreline slick that you have driven past for the last 6 years. There is probably a fish right where you knew it would be.
    .. Despite the "Fly Fishing Only" signs, the ample parking, and the easily negotiated boardwalk, the "Interpretive Fire Trail" is constantly devoid of fisher folk. It's probably to easily accessible for good stories. Right now the undercut banks are excellent places for a Bead Head Prince Nymph, (size 10 - 12.)
    .. High-Sticking with a long rod, short line, and stout leader allows the possibility of covering miles of territory and catching a few fish in the process.
    .. This is not the idyllic image of the 'Yellowstone Fly Fisher,' but it sure works!
    .. The weather pattern for the next few weeks is shaping up as perfect Spring/Summer transition. Unsettled is the word, and we should be seeing some gloriously overcast days in the near future. We hope that the Summer pattern holds off for a couple of weeks.
    .. The rains should keep river levels up for another 10 days to two weeks. This is good. It keeps the namby-pamby's in the crowded aisles of the feather merchants and at the tables of the coffee shops.
    .. The local merchants call the showers "Pennies From Heaven." This reference to the old 1936 Bing Crosby movie suggests that there is something less exciting in Yellowstone when the rain and hail falls and the fair-weather travelers saunter the trinket shops. So be it - just avoid the lightning!
    .. Of course the neighbors are willing to brave the gawker blocks, bison poo, and wet sneakers to catch the fish that are lurking in the out of shape Madison River.