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  • Sunday, September 13, 2009

    The Meadow Mambo

    It's Way Too Early
    fish the bugs
    .. It's true! The big fish have started to run up the Madison River from Hebgen Lake. It's also true that there are very few of them. Eager neighbors and visitors are are busy thrashing the water and the meadows in search of the pre-spawn leviathans.
    .. It's good exercise. It's aerobic fishing. It's scanty catching. If you're a head hunter - keep it up.
    .. The meadow mambo dancers are concentrated around the Barns Holes, Baker's Hole, the Junction Pool, and Tuff Cliff. The dancing wears us out just watching.
    .. We tried it and didn't like it. Besides that, there are phalanxes of hoppers in all of these places and the big residents are eating them. There's also some good bugs to add spice to the piscine diet.
    .. Given just a cloud or two and the morning hatches are starting on both the Firehole River and the Madison River. Evening caddis hatches are starting about noon -right!
    .. The Fall hatches that the Firehole River is famous for will be in full swing within the next 10 days - or so.
    .. There's no telling when the caddis will peter out. It's been a very good year for caddis of all stripes - may they prosper.
    .. The mayflies are likely to be anywhere right now. The Firehole River is still a bit an the warm side but morning and late evening fishing is producing some catching. Spinners are just the ticket for the small stuff.
    .. The caddis, on the other hand, are of two sizes: about 10 or 12, and way to small to fiddle with. We've never seen a size 20 Elk Hair Caddis - never hope to!
    .. The Madison River is on the low side, but flows are within the seasonal range and should pick up a bit with the coming rains.
    .. The wise old men of the neighborhood missed their snow prediction and the gentle Fall weather has slowed the rivers considerably. This concentrates the fish in the obvious "best" places and catching is getting better as the water level drops.
    .. The fish weir, upstream from the Highway 191 bridge has seen some nice Rainbow Trout. They are tagged and if caught should be reported.
    .. One large fish was reported around the Tuff Cliff Meadow. The source is usually believable but the dimensions are suspect. Yet, it is distinctly possible that there is a very fast 23" trout headed toward Gibbon Falls. The plunge pool is off limits this year, so is Clam Creek.
    .. The posh motels in town have a few rooms left for the fishers that arrive this time of year. The best of the wader-friendly lodgings are about fully booked.
    .. Currently the best catching is on Nez Perce Creek and the Gallatin River.
    .. Duck Creek is low and there has been a regeneration of the mosquito population - we need some snow and a real hard frost or two. Terrestrials are still the way to go on these waters. Ants have been present, beetles are large, hoppers are still hopping, dragons and damsels are prolific this year, (especially at Cliff & Wade Lakes,) and all is right with the world.