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  • Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Madison Coming On

    Persistent Sun - - For Now
    air temp going up
    water temp too

    .. It happens every year and we're always surprised by the rapidity with which spring leaves and summer begins. It's about to happen again.
    .. The legendary catching on the Firehole River is at or near it's early season peak.
    .. Fewer fish but better catching will last for a few more weeks on Nez Perce Creek.
    .. Fisher folk have already started their migration up the Little Firehole River and on to Iron Spring Creek.
    .. A few fishers have retreated as far upstream as the water by the Lone Star Geyser Trail. This upstream Firehole River should provide exceptional entertainment with dancing and leaping Brook Trout for another 5 weeks or so.
    .. Even as the spectacular catching recedes into memory, there is still a few, (maybe four,) weeks of very good catching to be had. The shift from PMD's on the surface to soft hackles is already underway. Mid day and evening caddis, (depending on cloud cover and thundershowers,) will continue past the time when the river becomes too warm for responsible catching.
    .. As we write this the Madison River is coming into great shape. Flows are still about 150 cfs below the seasonal mean rate.
    .. The water is clear; plenty, (but not too,) cold, and the fish are frisky.
    .. The surface fisher is treated to a surprisingly consistent morning and late afternoon array of flies.
    .. PMD spinner falls are available from sunup 'til 8:00 or 9:00 AM.
    .. Hatches, (depending on location,) run from 9:30 - about 1:00.
    .. Caddis are nearly omnipresent, and nymphs and emergers are working all day.
    .. The Gibbon River is still on the ascendancy, though the canyon fish have been visited frequently - despite the construction and road closure. The big meadows are just as tough as ever but there are a few early afternoon hatches. This is still a bank-fishers proposition. Pick a nose and gently cast to it. A couple of refusals will clue you in to the efficacy of your fly or presentation.
    .. Large Soft Hackles, a dark olive Casual Dress, or a black Woolly Worm in the dark undercuts may be the best tactic for another 5 or 6 days.
    .. From Norris Campground up to the cascades is a bit of beautiful "small water."
    .. Many of the fish in this section of the Gibbon River will see you before you see them - no matter how careful you are. There are many hides and holes and the eager fish are small, (6"-10" or so.)
    .. Done correctly, there are more fish to catch here than most places. Stealth, guile, and gentility will bring the little darlings to net.
    .. Solfaterra Creek is getting a heavy pounding and the fish are becoming pretty tight-lipped around the campground.
    .. A short walk upstream will provide far fewer elbows and more willing trout. There's been a moose hanging around so be careful. Her baby is cute - she is dangerous.
    .. A couple of sleepers that will soon appear in reports and blogs are the Gallatin River and Grayling Creek.
    .. Right now is the time for Grayling Creek. Very soon this water will be a bit too low and a bit to busy. The prime catching is now.
    .. Soft Hackles and Ants will do the job. If you want some surprises try an olive Woolly Bugger, (size 10-12,) in the undercut banks. Dance partners of better than decent size will reward the fisher that knows how to quickly finger-strip this fly.
    .. The Gallatin River has finally settled down and is providing good catching.
    .. The willows around the Fan Creek confluence still have some very large fish, (to 16",) and the pressure is just now beginning to pick up.
    .. Caddis Nymphs or a generalized dry, (such as an Adams or even a Coachman,) will be eagerly accepted. Keep them on the small side, (14 - 16.)