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  • Sunday, August 01, 2010

    The Green Butt

    Widely Used & Proliferating
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    .. On more than one occasion we've mentioned that the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park frequently has a noticeably greenish cast to it.
    .. Several of our rivers show shades of blue and green under different lighting conditions. Experts and others have told us that these colors are the result of very fine bits of remnant glacial flour in the surrounding sediments.
    .. Others attribute the colors to a similar light bending process however, rather not small particles of ground up rock, but the high percentage of small organic particles. These floculants are also a probable cause.
    .. Supposedly these sediments stay suspended in the river and cause diffraction of the light, under certain conditions, and result in the colors of blue and green - predominately "greenish."
    .. There is green everywhere in the waters of Yellowstone.
    .. Caddis nymphs are green or greenish. There are thousands of caddis patterns and most of them acknowledge the color in some form or other.
    .. There are Green Drakes, there are Gray Drakes, (greenish gray,) there are Blue Drakes, (greenish gray-blue,) there are Dragonflies, (green, blue, and brownish green,) Leaf Hoppers, Grasshoppers, Lacewings, and on, and on.
    .. Flies for fishing have employed green and green butts for a couple of centuries. Even predominantly green patterns exist.
    .. There are many: Green Butt, Green Butt Skunk, Green Butt Black Bear, Green Butt Silver Hilton, Green Butt Bomber, Green Butt Buck Bug, Green Butt Spider, Green Butt Snapping Shrimp, Green Butt Spey, Green Highlander, Green Machine, Green Cosseboom, and so many more.
    .. The Adams Dry Fly pattern calls for a gray body of muskrat fur, or muskrat underfur.
    .. It takes no great eye to see that the muskrat, (a Gibbon River water dweller,) has underfur with a greenish cast to it. We tend to think of the muskrat as brown or reddish brown - that's the fur on the top. The underfur trends toward yellowish green and greenish-blue gray.
    .. As we've been told: the bugs develop the correct color for camouflage through a process of natural selection.
    .. It's often called protective coloration. Of course the predators adapt too and begin to see green. The pressure for color change and color vision seems to be an ongoing process.
    .. So too with flies. More and more green is creeping into recent fly patterns. Something to ponder?
    .. All this by way of saying that we're about to modify a pile of local flies to incorporate green and green butts. It will probably take all winter to devise some that will meet with our neighbors approval - they are a stodgy bunch.
    .. It's time for our annual sojourn into the wilds of Northeast Yellowstone. We've been watching the reports and it looks like the catching is picking up nicely.
    .. Soda Butte Creek is already experiencing a constipation of elbows. You can bet that we'll add ours to it. There are PMD's, Drakes, and Yellow Sallies, currently coming off. We fish a Beetle on top followed by a Feather Duster.
    .. The Lamar River is being it's capricious and cranky self. We'll take some small hoppers just in case but, a small, (12 -14,) Stimulator followed by a Yellow Feather Duster should be the winning combination.
    .. It's education time on Slough Creek. The fish have gotten theirs and now the angler is in for one. There is no place in Yellowstone National Park where patience and stealth pay off better for the surface fisher.
    .. There are mayflies, of course, but the Beetle, the Ant, and the Grasshopper, (not too large - please,) are just the ticket. The fish have seen every mayfly pattern in the bins of all local shops. Persist if you must - we won't.
    .. Our pleasure is often taken on Soda Butte Creek above Icebox Canyon, and on the lonely thin water of Pebble Creek.
    Pebble is becoming one of our favorites in that distant corner of Yellowstone.
    ..There are trees, some shade, fewer elbows, and fish willing to dance with the ham-handed. We qualify.
    .. Little terrestrial bugs, small nymphs, generalized moth/caddis, and winter rejects are all just fine for these dainty fish. The light rod also adds to our enjoyment.
    .. We're in search of a green butt!