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  • Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Road Work

    Old Pool Destruction
    'tis the season
    .. The neighbors smile when they say: "We have two seasons in West Yellowstone - Winter & Road Work." Well, it's not Winter.
    .. The road to Bozeman is being repaired, there's a new bridge & road alignment in the Gibbon Canyon, and the bridge over the South Fork of the Madison River is getting some much needed attention.
    .. The old Bridge Pool wasn't much as bridge pools go; it did offer a couple of easy fish though!
    .. The constriction slowed the river just enough for both upstream and downstream fishing & catching to be enhanced for a couple of hundred yards. We're awaiting the new flows to see if there is a significant change.
    .. The South Fork of the Madison River continues to provide good catching, even in the mid-day heat, (should you choose that sort of silliness.) Mornings are "mooseeee" and evenings are both "mooseeee" & "beareee." Loud noises and bear spray along with gallons of DEET and a head net are called for right now... Neighborhood tradition separates the river into two segments: above, and below the road. This separation covers part of the middle course and all of the lower course of the river.
    .. Hydrologically and physiographically there are four distinct river segments: never mind, above and below works just fine.
    .. Below the road has more wary big fish, above the road has fewer wary big fish - but they are more wary: sometimes bigger too, (when the snow flies and the mosquito dies!)
    .. Right now there are a predominance of Spruce Bud Worms above the road, and the Grasshoppers are making themselves apparent below the road. These chompers of vegetation are superlative trout food. The trout love them - fisher folk should too.
    .. Despite the whining about dead trees, (it's part of the cycle,) the bugs provide for good catching opportunities. Now is that time. Soon it will be the Spruce Moth time.
    .. Caddis & Ants & Beetles continue to provide excellent trout food along the South Fork of the Madison River. The fish seem to be enjoying these unsurprising terrestrial delicacies without hooks in them. Perhaps we should provide some surprises.
    .. Catching is best below the road in the late afternoon and evening: the same can be said about above the road; with the caveat that the eager youngsters will practice their Rumba all day long with any one that tosses them something that will fit in their mouth.
    .. Or, for that matter something that they think will fit in their mouth. It is quite startling to discover a fish impaled on a hook who's fly is as big as the head of the poor little darling.
    .. Rumor has it that there are some mayflies in the morning below the road. We'll trust the reports since we would rather have some marmalade pancakes and a third cup of coffee. Besides that, there's rat killin' to do. It never ends.
    .. There are a couple of nifty backwaters that provide superlative mosquito hatcheries. The river segments adjacent to these areas will also provide catching opportunities.
    .. Use your rarely used mosquito patterns. The trout will eat them with gay abandon - if you can stand still long enough to present them with any sort of gentility.