• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Better Late Than Not

    Maybe 7-10 Inches
    only a little rain & sleet & thunderstorms
    .. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning lasting through Thursday - HUZZA!
    .. It's mostly snow and it's in the higher elevations. It's just what we need.
    .. This is an urgent warning and includes a hazardous weather alert. Here's the links so you can keep up:
    -->> WARNING
    .. You can view the real-time radar images at:
    .. You can see it in real-time on the neighborhood webcams:
    .. This is a classic winter storm pattern. The high pressure over the Great Basin has vanished. This leaves the big low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska in charge. It winds up and sends blessed pulses of weather our way. This could last for some time. Some think spring, we think snow pack.

    Snot Alert

    One More Weapon
    two threats with one bullet
    .. A couple of year's ago we mentioned that the Kiwi's were doing battle with Didymosphenia geminata - "Didymo" or "Rock Snot," for short. We've been watching the developments and now Uncle Jack's Didymo Killer is a proven winner for killing the snot.
    .. It's also effective for whirling disease. Pretty good stuff. It may even save those who prefer felt soles on waders from having to mortgage the farm to get "clean" rubber soles.
    .. Starting in 2006, (NIWA Letter,) and in 2007, (USFWS note,) and lately, (Moldy Chum,) the news is getting out.
    .. It's worth the time to read about Uncle Jack's Didymo Killer and decide if you'd like to spread the word.
    .. You can carry a spray bottle with you. You can donate a tub of it to your neighborhood feather merchant. You can provide 'stream-side squirt service.' The possibilities are endless.
    .. The news is about 4 years old, the alert is as current as today's weather.

    Monday, March 29, 2010


    Down To The Lowlands
    floating and wading
    .. It's not Yellowstone National Park but it's very good fishing right now.
    .. Our provincial mindset only infrequently pokes it's mentality into fishing opportunities too far from home. This last weekend was one of those occasions.
    .. The news of great catching opportunities zings through the aether like angry hornets.
    .. Whispers are louder than jet engines: ". . . crayfish are taking 'em in the shallows . . ." ". . . Try Beartrap - keep it quiet . . ." ". . . yeah, right at the take-out . . ."
    .. Just our kind of stuff! Park next to a river, walk to the shore, fling a fly the size of a cygnet, catch a big fish or three, don't break a sweat, smile all over; it's a situation we find hard to resist. So, the 200-mile drive is worth it.
    .. Although we are limited in our sauntering and striding, you need not be. Both wading and floating are very productive right now.
    .. The 30 river-miles, or so, on the Lower Madison River below Ennis Dam have lately been densely populated with lowland fishers - for good reason!
    .. It looks a lot like Spring down there and 55+ degrees sounds plumb tropical to us. Midges in the stillness of a balmy mid-day sojourn are a certain draw as well.
    .. It seems that when the trout are keying on the midges, they are also willing to take other small stuff as well. Floating a double rig of a midge cluster and a small soft hackle is a sure way to exercise your reel's drag.
    .. Your favorite crayfish in sizes from 4 to 8 will work, (we used left over General Practitioners from the road trip to the Chetco and Coquille rivers.)
    .. Ours were a wee bit too orange for the local palette but worked; greens and brownish-yellow are the local favorite.
    .. Stonefly nymphs of the yellowish and golden variety are also working. Even your chewed-up Woolly Buggers and Clouser Minnows are fair game.
    .. We visited with some folks from Belgrade, Montana, that were using a double fly rig. They had an Olive Woolly Bugger followed by a damned small, (16-18,) bead-head Pheasant Tail - had great cell phone pictures.
    .. The kind folks at Montana Troutfitters and The River's Edge pointed us to the places we were headed anyway. It's certainly a bump for the ol' ego when the local experts confirm our predispositions. Thanks guys.
    .. If next weekend is as soft as last weekend, we'll travel down-canyon to the big water again. We may even walk a bit because of the reports - who knows?

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    Administrative Travel - 2010

    Some Left Up High
    Some Left In The Shade
    spring rituals in force(enormous image - 3072 x 2304)
    .. Yellowstone National Park is closed to all but bicycles & such until April 16, 2010.
    .. However construction crews are already hard at work on the Gibbon River Bridge, and administrative travel in vehicles is permitted.
    .. Here's a sneak peek at the way it is:


    .. The rivers in the neighborhood are both low, and still a bit slow for this time of year. Occasional snow flurries visit us in town but nothing builds up and the streets are bone dry. We can only hope that there is a bit more of the white stuff sticking above the tree line.
    .. Right now our river drainage's snow-packs are running at 50 - 70% of the average water equivalent for this time of year. The rains should start in a fortnight or so and we hope they are gentle, cold, and sleet filled.
    .. Warm deluges would spell disaster for the snow-pack, and the exuberant river discharges would rearrange gravels, spew forth fry, and leave us with low water and the possibility of early warming. We'll see.

    Friday, March 26, 2010


    We've Goofed Again
    correction below
    .. Yesterday's post, (right below this one,) has an inadvertent error. Pete, over at Fishing Jones let us know that the tat pictured; ". . . belongs to his buddy Cody, not Corey K. the photographer. They are both from Utah, though."
    .. The rest of the post seems to be copacetic. The fish is very fine and the photos are still wonderful. SORRY GUYS !!

    Thursday, March 25, 2010


    The Color Should By Grand
    we await the final unveiling
    .. Via Fishing Jones: trout art from Utah, (a place where water is 'owned' by the private interests, to the tune of about 7,000 river miles, can this really be true?)
    .. This 'tat' looks to be one fine fish.
    .. The arm belongs to Corey Kruitbosch: fly fisher and photographer extraordinaire. His work has been featured in many national publications; most recently profiled in “The Drake”, “American Angler”, and in the Trout Unlimited Publication “Trout”.
    .. Check his blog at Western Fly Fishing. His photo stream at Flickr is also well worth a click.

    Another Few Bite The Dust

    Electrons Forever ?
    my, my, my
    .. We note that HDW MOBILE hasn't posted since last August. Shame! And; announced yesterday, THE RETREAD RANGER STATION is on indefinite hiatus.
    .. The YELLOWSTONE NEWSPAPER is on hold while the real world gets addressed. Thus is the way it seems to go.
    .. Of course all must end sometime. Bet you're betting on this 'un.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    She's Back

    Visit Angie
    .. We left the link in the sidebar because we thought it appropriate. Turns out we were right.
    .. A blog has appeared from out of the PNW. It's a new page on the Fishing Goddess' site, and is beginning to roll.
    .. Just force yourself to click on the link below for some choice prose, a bit of Gonzo fishing, just a smidgen of "Guido Genetics," and rare insight into the situations of fishers in the great state of Washington.
    .. As she reminds us, ". . . I make this stuff up . . . " - sure thing! She's bought a farm, relegated fly fishing to the back seat, and observes that there seems to be something wrong with a whole pile of stuff. Could be.
    .. We note that "Orvis Boy" is still in the picture.
    .. THE LINK!

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Locals' Interlude

    It's Just A Big Barrel
    calm before the storms
    .. This is one of favorite times of year for the neighbors to fish. Between now and ice-out the fish are concentrated in the estuaries between the ice and the "silt plume."
    .. By thinking of the open water as a big barrel it's possible to fully appreciate the phrase, " . . . like shooting fish in a barrel." It's just that easy.
    .. Should you bother to take the time to trudge to the several barrels available locally you will be amply rewarded with dance partners stronger than your arms can hold.
    .. A day's catching in these areas will leave your arms quivering, your muscles twitching, your hands aching, and your heart pounding.
    .. It's a simple spring-time occurrence. As river discharge impinges on the ice-covered lakes the melting ice gives up the debris accumulated from the winter. Much of this debris is indigestible for the trout. However it is almost all eatable. Pods of trout cruise the edge of the ice and nibble at almost anything suspended, (or slowly sinking,) at the edge of the ice.
    .. As the river discharge slows, the debris from upstream begins to settle. The edge of the debris-laden discharge is another place where pods of trout concentrate. They pluck the eatable, (some indigestible,) morsels from the water column.
    .. Right now these two sources of goodies are very close together and the neighbors are loving it. Although some of the tributaries to Hebgen Lake are still closed to fishing, the estuaries are open to catching. It's a grand local tradition and provides stories of some of the best fish of the year.
    .. The neighbors are concentrated at two points nearby. Some are at the Beaver Creek Delta; some are on the South Fork Estuary. A few stalwart souls have reported that the Madison Arm Estuary is loaded with big fish and few fishers - we'll take their word for it.
    .. The annual gentle weather period, (equinoctial,) between "REAL WINTER" & "REAL SPRING" is upon us. Spring storms will soon muddy the rivers. Right now snow comes in flurries instead of storms. Rain is cold and sprinkled with sleet. As air masses mix we get raw wind and bright sunshine, or warm and overcast, or warm and blinding as the sun bounces off the snow.
    .. But weekends like this last one are frequent enough for the locals to refer to "Beach Weather." We're loving it.
    .. This is the time to use the small rejected flies from your winter experiments. Dark amorphous blobs of stuff on hooks in the 16-20 range are just the type of flotsam that the fish are eating, (along with twigs and frozen mud balls.)
    .. Last year's ragged emergers are a sure bet too. Remember all those unraveling and unraveled ants and midges that you just couldn't throw away. Use them now.
    .. There are fry that get washed down from upstream and translucent bits of fluff in the 12-14 range will work on the upstream end of the barrel.
    .. As the neighbors meet, greet, and part; "Don't catch 'em all," is the favored salutation this time of year.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Sled Shops & Pubs

    West Yellowstone Exposed
    webcams proliferating
    .. One of our neighbors has undertaken a project to provide the world with views of West Yellowstone through the use of webcams in all the usual and unusual places.
    .. From the top of our IMAX Theater to some favorite pubs, through vacation cabins and local snowmobile shops, the cameras are multiplying like guppies in a fish tank.
    .. The cameras show real-time streaming images. The antics of local wildlife and citizens are captured for the enjoyment of all.
    .. Our inside information lets us know that there will soon be between 15 & 20 cameras in and around our little village.
    .. Cameras facing east give nice images of sunrises. Those facing west give nice views of our sunsets. Weather is visible in all cameras as are snow conditions and traffic patterns. Such a deal!
    .. Voyeurs take note. Folks interested in looking around town, spotting friends, checking out accommodations, or finding hot social prospects will now have a new tool at their disposal.
    .. Of course fly fishers don't care about such things as hot social prospects or pubs or wader friendly lodging. We note the cams just as a point of interest.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Split Some

    Enjoys Wood Shop
    builds bamboo rod
    try it you'll like it
    .. The Federation of Fly Fishers is offering a bamboo rod building class at the West Yellowstone High School August 19 - 23, 2010, (tentative dates.)
    .. Then the FFF will meet in conclave at their FLY FISHING FAIR in West Yellowstone, August 26 - 28, 2010, (actual dates.)
    .. Full and complete details HERE (PDF.)

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Do It Nice

    Check The Buster Page
    more than a gesture
    .. It is often forgotten that not all of our efforts for sustainable wild fisheries go unrewarded. A bit ago the call for preserving the wild native fish in the North Umpqua River system was issued. Fishers responded with a petition, telephone calls, and letters.
    .. The managers listened. The catching has been good. Now the boys at BUSTER WANTS TO FISH suggest that a bit of a thank you is in order. We agree. Buzz over there for the details. The thank you's should be heartfelt, as suggested, and it's an easy thing to do. [[ For the complete story; history and future possibilities click HERE.]]
    .. Perhaps it's also good to take the time and thank your own neighborhood officials. Pros and volunteers alike put in time, effort, energy, and $$$$. Often unsung and unrecognized, they persist.
    .. We're going down the street and visit ours right after breakfast. It's a thing we often forget to do. Thanks to Buster Boys for the suggestion.

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    All The Blogs - All The Time

    Content Aggregation
    Thank You Richard
    .. The content aggregation site On Line Fly Central has been added to our masthead links. The site has matured to the point of being exhaustive and informative.
    .. For a quick scan of the blogs about fly fishing just bip on over and check out the RSS. There are five sections: Favorites, U.S. West, U.S. Middle, U.S. East, International. Give the pages time to load - it's worth it. Something for everyone can be found on the site.
    .. Leave a note about what you might like to see next. Perhaps a video section? Photos? Whatever? Then drop the founder a note of appreciation. Thank you Richard Primeaux!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Gold Fever *

    We've Been Snookered
    go anyway ?
    .. Via Moldy Chum, we learn of a sneak attack on the Chetco River.
    .. Last November we ventured that way to dance with some fins in the CALGON corner of the world.
    .. Catching was spectacular, access varied from easy to suicidal. The fish were strong, willing and beautiful.
    .. Places like the South Fork of the Smith River and the remote sections of the Chetco River, and even the less accessible parts of the Coquille River rival the Yellowstone backcountry for wild fish and wilderness.
    .. An old mining claim combined with a clever developer in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southern Oregon, has resulted in the bringing in of helicopters, gas-powered dredges and paying customers to a remote location on the Chetco River. We fear for the fry.
    .. Read the blood - Guts - & - Gore --> HERE.
    *an abnormal condition of the body, characterized by undue rise in temperature, quickening of the pulse, and disturbance of various body functions.