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  • Monday, July 12, 2010

    Gibbon Road Progress

    Bridge Available Soon
    paving to follow apace
    .. Well folks, the Gibbon River Bridge is scheduled to open sometime this week. The new road which moves away from the river will soon be open to traffic. Delays will continue and paving will start soon.
    .. Until road completion it would be best to get out your rough-road fish car and enjoy the trip through the gravel, mud, dust, and bumps.
    .. The big meadows, (Gibbon Meadow, Elk Park,) are beginning to fish very well indeed, and the trip from the west edge of the park may just be worth it.
    .. The little meadows above Norris Junction, and above Virginia Cascades are in prime shape right now.
    .. The fish of the Gibbon River are dancing with all willing anglers and are eating just about anything that you happen to have in the box.
    .. Over the weekend, (Saturday morning was drippingly wonderful,) we used some giant Double Humpies, and an enormous E-Z Nymph, - the silly fish ate the damn things. Try it, you'll like it.

    .. Final plans and eager anticipation are rampant in the neighborhood.
    .. The Yellowstone River opens on Thursday, July 15. Discharge from Yellowstone Lake outlet is running better than 1,000 cfs above the seasonal average and it looks to continue in this mode for some time... Yellowstone Lake, just around the corner from the West Thumb Geysers is full of eager fish and sadly lacking in anticipatory fishers.
    .. Leeches, small streamers, and a big Adams with your favorite scud or callibaetis dropper will gather up most of the willing cutts. Cast far and slightly angled to the shore. Wait for 20 seconds or more before beginning a slow finger strip - hold on!.. The shoreline is full of dimples and the fish are feeding with gay abandon. They are so hungry that they are eating sticks. Lakers are still in the vacinity. Kill 'em all. So be it!

    (Please click on images for high resolution views)
    .. Here's our annual report on the summer fly box. It looks very similar to last year's box, but we've continued with our growing fondness for the Shop Vac.
    .. Sizes have become in some instances larger, and in other instances, smaller.
    .. The Prince Nymphs are absolutely gigantic, (6 & 8,) and working wonders in all waters.
    .. The stimulators have also grown in size, (6 to 10,) while the Elk Hair Caddis have both grown and shrunk, (6 to 16.)
    .. The bead head nymphs are now outnumbering the unweighted variety about 6 to 1.
    .. The itty-bitty Bead Head Caddis, (14 &16,) is doing a number on even the most educated fish on the Madison River and the Gallatin River.
    .. The eensy-weensey Shop Vacs, (16 in particular,) are pure death from above on the gullible Brookies of the Upper Gibbon River and the cold water Firehole River.
    .. Old favorites continue to be very productive and haven't been relegated to the museum yet.
    .. Feather Dusters, (original and yellow in sizes 10 to 14,) are still the go-to fly for soft riffles and dark shallow undercut banks.
    .. Jacklin's Rock Worm and the Madison Mauler, have a reserved place in the box as well. These flies are particularly useful in the seams and long slicks at the heads of pools as well as the long tail-outs on the few dark spots on Fan Creek and Duck Creek.
    .. The Irresistible Bumble Bee is both decorative in the fly box and a surprisingly effective fly on big water like the Madison River below the lakes.
    .. For some idiosyncratic reason we always have a few Goddard Caddis in the box.
    .. They don't seem to perform any better or worse than the elk or deer hair variety, but they appeal to us and we use them quite often.
    .. The Madame X is useful as a caddis imitation and also, with it's broad wing, doubles as a spruce moth or white miller caddis. We choose to use these in sizes bigger than the bugs on the water. They take their fair share of fish.
    .. If you bought the box and flies, fished them judiciously, and lost only a few - the full compliment would set you back about $250.00. These flies will work all summer and need only be augmented on a whimsical basis: Hoppers, Beetles, Ants, Damselflies, Dragonflies, and Kerploppers.
    .. Should you choose to tie up a mess of each fly you'll certainly have at least $1,000.00 invested before you buy the box to put them in. About as much fun as you can have cheaply in this day and age.