• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, August 23, 2010

    Brookie Heaven

    Forget It.  It's Just For Kids!
    we're an aging kid

    .. It's known as a simple place to catch fish. It's right along the road. It's too easy to get to. It's not in the lore of glory waters for Yellowstone National Park. It's not worth the time of "serious" fly fishers. There are surprisingly few elbows. It's just our cup of tea.
    .. Indian Creek is currently providing tons of fun for fans of the colorful Brook Trout. The colors of the fish and the meadows are as bright as can be. The delights of catching are punctuated by both beautiful scenery and the occasional diesel tour bus.
    .. Sunday started with a thunderstorm and intermittent showers continued all day. There were holes in the clouds on occasion, and the bright sun was dazzling compared to the general gray of the day. The fish didn't seem to notice the difference.
    .. The flies used were a wonderfully eclectic assortment of attractors, cripples, nymphs, hoppers, and famous designs. We changed them periodically and whimsically: all were happily banged by the little, (and not so little,) fish in the river.
    .. Most fish that accepted our invitation to dance were in the 6" - 8" range. The biggest fish brought to hand was maybe 11". And we tangled with something a bit larger but must have stepped on it's toes during the ballet as it did a beautiful aerial 360° and flung the hook into the shoreline grasses.
    .. We also visited Obsidian Creek and found the fish there just as willing as their relatives in Indian Creek. They were of the "visit and slurp" clan unlike the "slam-it-now" behavior exhibited by the others.
    .. The little grasshoppers are now in their final molt and creating quite a disturbance. There are about 10-12 per square meter from Roaring Mountain to Sheepeater Cliff. There are fewer in the trees.
    .. These small hoppers are the fly tiers prototype and their shades of yellow, amber, and brown are very spectacular.
    .. Another few days and the colors will fade as the exoskeletons harden. Right now these little dickens' are just about 3/4" long and stand out in the just beginning to dry grasses of the meadows.
    .. The colors are perfect camouflage for the meadows and provide a perfect target for the fish. Many a 3" Brookie slammed our small hoppers. Some even got them in their mouth.
    .. The bridge over the Gibbon River is all but done. Paving on the road is proceeding at a fair clip. There are still delays. The length of time for the wait to use the single lane depends on the traffic.
    .. Going north from West Yellowstone before 10:00 AM the delay is about 15 minutes. Coming south at about 3:00 PM the wait can be 30 minutes. At dusk the traffic thins out and the wait can be as little as 10 minutes. The dancing fish are worth it all.
    .. We're habituated to the river stretches around Sheepeater Cliff Campground. The other river sections in the big willow meadows and around the Loop Road Bridge are also full of fish.
    .. We didn't stop at those places because the elbow count was fairly high. There seems, however, to be something about the numerous cars in the campground parking lot that keeps fisher folk from parking & walking the 45 feet to the water's edge. We don't mind if they stay away.