• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, September 27, 2009

    Fire & More

    Catch All Day
    take a lunch or two

    .. Done right, it's possible to exhaust oneself and catch fish all day on the west side of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. The fire(s) near Yellowstone Lake caused an intermittent road closure and it's best to check the road conditions before travel in that portion of the park, (CLICK FOR ROAD INFO.)
    .. The plume of smoke is visible from the Gibbon River, The Madison River, and the Firehole River - that's more than 30 miles. Helicopters with water buckets from Hebgen Lake thumped overhead all day Saturday.
    .. For our part a 14 - 18 hour marathon blitz is a mandatory exercise when the catching is as good as it has been the last few days. The beautiful weather has not hampered catching, and the upcoming cooling, (snow?) should only enhance the prospects.
    .. The Madison River is a bit low and sluggish right now. Pick your spots carefully. There are many traditional holds that are just too slow to collect the submarines from Hebgen Lake.
    .. A wonderful mix of residents and runners is in the offing for fishers with a varied fly box and techniques to match it's contents.
    .. The morning offers surface fishing to flies that imitate a spinner or a crippled emerger. There are still beetles and hoppers trying to swim by mid morning on these warm days - use that to your advantage.
    .. The Firehole River is abandoned by most fishers during mid day. Pick a well aerated riffle in a long run with some shade and you should get to dance with some eager resident fish.
    .. The same holds true for the Madison River, (although the shade is a bit fleeting, use the undercut banks and cover a lot of water.)
    .. A thermometer is a useful tool right now. There are both cold and hot springs in these rivers and if you find the right ones you can dance for hours.
    .. By 5:30 or 6:00 PM it's time for caddis. They are becoming a bit scarce. However, there are continual very small hatches of very small caddis and if you luck into the big ones the fish will pay attention. Elbows proliferate starting about 4:00 PM.
    .. Dusk, (8:00 PM,) is a good time for your second lunch. Big flies, ripped through pools and streamers with soft hackle trailers drifted around snags is good and frustrating fun in the dark. Hang-ups outnumber hookups ten to one - that's O.K.
    .. Just before our second lunch we stopped to visit with some fisher folks. Bless their indulgent hearts! They agreed to allow us to try some stop action photography as they exercised the Firehole River and it's fish.
    .. The video below is a brief primer on the subtleties of the reach cast and the way to find dance partners in mid day. No fishers were hurt during this exercise. And, a big thank you to the kind and selfless fisher folks.

    .. Today and tomorrow promise to provide exercise and entertainment despite the unseasonably warm weather. It just goes to prove the old adage that "FISH GOTTA EAT."
    .. Watchword for the current warm weather = aerated cool deep water! Watchword for the upcoming cold weather = aerated cool deep water. We anticipate that the conga lines will continue to grow.