• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, October 19, 2009

    Roads To Solitude

    Or, Maybe Not
    (brief report)
    .. There are some less traveled roads in Yellowstone National Park that lead to fish. Good roads, (or trails that were roads,) that remain substantially abandoned by fishers. There are many and spurious reasons for this. Perhaps the number one reason is that most fishers are gregarious folks.
    .. Despite the whining about crowds, they like to fish alone - together. Too, the aging fly fishing population seldom takes it's $30,000 SUV into the dust and dirt. And then, walking is hard on old legs.
    .. The bigger roads in the park have many pull-outs. If you're lucky you can visit with celebrity fishers as they hold court in their folding canvass chairs. They will provide you with entertaining conversation, clever anecdotes and stories that you can take to the folks back home.
    .. Little clusters of fishers dot these bigger roads. Waiting for the hatch - yup! Talking for hours - yup! Moaning about the current state of things and bemoaning the passing of time - yup!
    .. This is entertaining and enjoyable - yup! As if fish didn't eat until the hatch - yup! The god Skues is diminished in these conversations - yup! The god Halford is revered - yup! Their names are never spoken; perhaps not known - sad!
    .. There is good fishing in the long and riffled waters of the Madison River along Riverside Drive. The neighbors fish here. Nymphs, attractors, dry's, etc. Even in the bright October sun. Find the fish and you'll catch the fish.
    .. The Brook Trout are in an aggressive mood on the Firehole River along the Lone Star Geyser Trail. There were no cars in the parking area yesterday.
    .. We have precious little time to fish. When it's available we do it. We wave at the celebrity feather merchants.
    .. We toot the horn at the neighbors. But with the days getting shorter and the park about to close we forgo the pleasantries of genteel conversation. We forgo the exploration of truth, (there's plenty of that in the fly fishing world.)
    .. The weather looks to be making a slow crawl toward winter. That's a good thing. Last year it happened all at once. There's just time for a quick run to the park before work. We'll go.
    .. The Firehole River was a cranky tart over the weekend. A few persistent fishers waited for Baetis that showed in sparse numbers. They blamed the sun for poor fishing. The waiting might have had something to do with it too.
    .. Double nymph rigs took fish in the sun and broken clouds. A Bead Head Prince, (size 12,) followed by a Speckled Soft Hackle, (size 16,) was the ticket for those that fished.
    .. Several fish were taken in the big pool above Dipper Cliff on small Golden Stone Fly imitations. Some also fell to Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears, (size 16.)
    .. Catching on the Gibbon River has slowed down and there are only a few dedicated fishers willing to walk the distance to the good pools. There's plenty of parking and very little traffic with the road closure.
    .. The fishing and catching centers on soft hackles and very small nymphs, (to size 20.) That's a bit small for our eyes. We rig a double loop connection in the gentility of the home place and manage to make it work on the water. When it's warm it's fine. We'll see what happen in the next 10 days.
    .. Nez Perce Creek is seeing a surprising number of younger fisher folk. These are young legs that can make it to the pools around the first old bridge. Again, soft hackles and assorted nymphs are the flies that are in play.
    .. Midges and midge clusters are doing their part along the shadow lines and in the evening.
    .. One trusted source reports that large, (size 8-10,) Royal Wulff and Yellow Humpy flies are working in the fast sections of the wide pools. We believe it.
    .. The Madison River continues to entertain. Persistence seems to be the watchword. One thing to remember is that there is a range of dark water and holding pools that are not near the turn-outs and traditional parking spots.
    .. Not that we have any special piscene insight, - BUT - if 15 felt-soled pairs of boots charged through our resting place every hour for hours on end, we'd move to a quieter, (if less gentle, spot.)
    .. Woolly Buggers, Woolly Worms, and Yellow San Juan Worms are all the rage right now. They work so why not? The Crackleback Worm is making inroads this year too.
    .. Most anglers over the weekend groaned and whined about the bright sun and brilliant blue sky. It was different for sure, but, warmth is always welcome to these old bones. Fish will tell you how to catch them - just listen - even in the sun.