• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, September 28, 2009

    Drive-by Fishing

    Gallatin, Grayling, Duck
    wave as you pass 'em by
    .. A pile of good catching gets ignored this time of year. Great rivers and great scenery are passed up in favor of dashing to the Madison River, Firehole River, and Gibbon River, in search of a big fish.
    .. If that's your gig - chase it! We caught a few over the weekend: good fun. Streamers, mice, soft hackles and leeches are just the ticket for head-hunting.
    .. Night fishing is becoming a ritual with a few of the neighbors: their stories are barely believable - no offense guys.
    .. Lost flies and tippets in trees make for good stories. Photos by headlight and cell phone are nearly convincing.
    .. Trophies in trees attest to the presence of wayward casts. But the number of leviathans reported seems a wee bit high. Oh well, to say the least - night is the time for big fish fun.
    .. On the other hand, a gentle drive up the road can carry the fisher to excellent Fall fishing and catching on the Gallatin River.
    .. There are little bugs in the morning, (including some midges.) There are minuscule caddis all day. There are hoppers by 10:30 A.M., (soon to change.) AND, believe it or don't, fish spawn in the Gallatin River too! They're hot, agressive, and hungry.
    .. Grayling Creek at and about the park boundary is an excellent prospect for catching both resident trout and a few lake-run fish as well. There are a couple of places that the water is so clear that the fish look like sculptures. Stealth is a necessary element in your arsenal for any of the daylight hours.
    .. Large soft hackles, pink Feather Dusters, and Yellow Humpies will work just fine. A bead head Prince Nymph behind a Hopper is a neighborhood tradition for the thin water adjacent to deep pools and undercut banks.
    .. The flows of Duck Creek are slowing somewhat and the upcoming weather should provide the freshets necessary for the runners to smell and taste their way home. Right now the tangled willow bottoms are a hit and miss proposition.
    .. The segment from the highway to the impoundment is hot. Large nymphs, soft hackles and small streamers are pulling in good fish in the late evening and during the dark of night.
    .. Above the impundment is working just fine and the last crop of mosquitoes seems to have starved to death. There are a few small bison bulls in the trees and thickets. Moose and bear are present at all times. Arm yourself and do battle with the trout.
    .. The moon is cooperating nicely. Fuller & fuller it gets. Now we'll have to see how the clouds work out. Broken clouds are a blessing for the night fisher. That's when the trout sees your offerings the best. It's not too hard to wait for the next opening - unless there are too few to bother with.
    .. We'll venture a guess that after midweek the catching will be insane. If Fall changes to Winter like it did last year it will seem all too sudden. There will be 10 to 15 days of Firehole hatches, runners in all streams, residents gorging for the lean times and enough water to go around: even for this place.
    .. We're going to have some breakfast, visit the Horse's Mouth and Chi Wulff. Then some gentle fishing away from the elbows. Wave as you drive by.