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  • Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Party Time

    Pretty Nice Weekend
    neighbors abandon town

    .. There's always one. That one is now!
    .. In defiance of all logic, predictions, and weather trends, MOM comes through with a bit of warmth on a weekend; just at the perfect time for fishing ice-out on the neighborhood lakes.
    .. News has spread to such exotic and foreign lands as Bozeman, Pocatello, and even Salt Lake City. If you can get here, do it now.
    .. Hebgen Lake is on fire. Oh, by the way, so is Quake Lake.
    .. There's always a few folks that are early, and some that are late. Right now the neighborhood fishers are leaving town and streaming to the two lakes.
    .. At most, the neighbors have to drive 26 miles to get to the outlet of Quake Lake, (the end of the boat ramp is only 22 miles.)
    .. Choice spots on Hebgen Lake are as close as 11 miles. The party on the north shore is about 16 miles from our front door, (with just a pair of stop signs in between.)
    .. If the next three days are as warm as some local weather mavens are predicting, this will be the last best chance to fish the ice edges.
    .. Much of the ice is still within easy casting distance from shore, (long range spey casters really get to exercise now, still water and all!)
    .. Some edges are within wading distance, (yes Mergatroid, you can use your waders in the lake - and then clean and dry them!)
    .. Those with brass underparts use belly boats to skim the not too distant ice edges.
    .. Others use real boats of various sorts to follow the receding ice and the feeding frenzy that the debris-rain engenders.
    .. The rumored midges have materialized in clouds, (starting about 3:30 PM, in the warming shallows.)
    .. There are also some mayflies and a few noses dimpling the surface. However, the real action is still subsurface and it's not quite beyond belief.
    .. We promised to mention, only in passing, that the Gallatin River, between the park line and Taylor Fork is stupendous right now, (too cold or no!) Hell, fish eat when they can, and so do the first robins of Spring.
    .. We'll forgo the bait and gear rig descriptions, use your imagination, they all work.
    .. Flies range from the mundane, through the exotic, to the ridiculous - use them all.
    .. Take the jar of winter experiments, errors and mistakes and use them.
    .. San Juan Worms are in abundance. The Gob O Worms is frequently put on the end of leaders. Woolly Worms, (yellow or black,) are common. Badly mauled Caddis imitations on the top with a Prince or Princess Nymph at the point are some of the neighborhood favorites.
    .. Trolling the ice edge is common and various streamers are favored: dark green Woolly Buggers, Dark & Light Spruce Flies, Yellowstone Spruce Fly, giant Casual Dress, and other leach and bait fish imitations are used, (Bunny Flies make their rare appearance in the neighborhood about this time each year.)
    .. This has got to be a short post or we'll lose our parking spot. It would be a shame to get out of the car to catch a 24" trout. The exhaustion might be just too much.
    .. Gotta rush, just heard the neighbor's door slam shut.
    .. P.S. Today is the general Montana Opener.