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  • Monday, May 10, 2010

    Ice Out - Wallpapper (WWS - 2e)

    Slow To Leave
    fish everywhere
    (click on all images to view full size)

    .. As the major arms clear of ice on Hebgen Lake, the belly boats are being captained by fishers with brassnads, celibate tendencies, and masochistic mentalities.
    .. Open water along the shoreline is growing along with fishers out for catching and a chance for something larger than 5#.
    .. With the exposed shallows along the edge providing both ample vittles and a bit of warmth the benthic bombers are rising to the occasion. So are the neighbors.
    .. The recent catches range from 10'' to 26" and rumors of 8# fish are being touted by fishers who said they were told of the prizes.
    .. In pubs, the conversational size of most recent catches is about 22", with the appropriate Mediterranean hand gestures for illustration. The gestures are casually correct and can usually be believed because of their off-handed nature.
    .. Several repeated thrusts for added emphasis generally lead the conversant's into a duel of sorts where the gestures frequently lead to alcohol abuse in the form of spilled pitchers, bottles and glasses.
    .. Raucousness, guffawing, and nose-clogging exclamations generally indicate a successful group of anglers.
    .. The pubs are prepared for this Spring ritual and have laid in an extra supply of bar towels and spittoons.
    .. In those shoreline areas where sun warms the shallows all day the fish will occasionally move from under the ice to the gravel side of the ice.
    .. It's in these areas that the fly fishers can be seen sight fishing. Some wear their meadow-creeping knee pads to ward off the sharp edges of the rip-rap.
    .. You can see a couple of fish in the attack position if you enlarge the image, (far left near the shadow from the ice.)
    .. Food seems plentiful around the lake this Spring. The north shore is providing all manner of flotsam in the debris rain from the edge of the ice.
    .. A few crawdads are being found in the stomach contents of fish in the water near shore. Should you venture to the end of the Horse Butte Peninsula you will find a varied smorgasbord for our finny friends. Crawdad chains, leech clouds, midge rafts, and baby chubs are being gobbled up by the trout along this particular shoreline.
    .. Black slime, identified as midges, along with nymphs of various sorts, and other bits of goo leave much to the imagination of anglers seeking insights into what bait or fly to use.
    .. We've already mentioned the neighborhood fly arsenal HERE. A few additions such as Woolly Worms and Utah Slugs are making their appearance right now.
    .. Persistent rumors of fish rising to midges continue to be whispered in the grocery aisles and in the P.O. Box alcoves of town.
    .. The Grayling Arm, Madison Arm, and South Fork Estuary are essentially open water. Shore fishers with sleds, worms, and time on their hands frequent the edges of these bits of the lake.
    .. With the arrival of a fresh supply of maggots and meal worms in town, the bait fishers are doubling up on their rigs. Maggot, (or meal worm,) up top with garden hackle on the bottom is the preferred rig.
    .. Fly folks are doubling with their favorite small bit of fluff up top and their favorite sack of groceries on the bottom.
    .. Gear flingers are having good success with black Panther Martain's with gold blades. A good time is being had by everyone along the lake shore, (except the fish.)
    .. The 40-degree days over the weekend have defined the pace of the ice recession and it's accelerating as we spew this drivel.
    .. As the days get longer, breakfast is earlier and dinner is later. That means more fishing. From the blue skies at morning to the rosy tints of evening, fishing and catching is better than ever. Get thee to Hebgen Lake, or forever hold thy peace.