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  • Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    So Far, So Fine

    Most Un-August-Like Weather
    it's just fine with us

    .. We should say nothing for fear of jinxing the gift. Mom has presented us with an early August that reminds us of mid or late September. The evenings are crisp, the days are gently warm, the wind has held it's breath, and thunder showers have punctuated the first 10 days of this month. We're loving it.
    .. The fishing and catching has been pretty damn good. The weather is just cool enough to keep us from complaining and just warm enough to allow the Hoppers to mature and find the streams. The days have warmed slowly enough to allow prolonged gulper fishing, and the breezes have been gentle enough to let us cast with some precision.
    .. Of course, now that it's out in the open - it will rapidly deteriorate into a standard August. We'll have wild hot zephyrs, sweltering temperatures and no thundershowers to cool off the afternoons. The blame will be placed squarely on our shoulders for mentioning just how nice it has been.
    .. Gulpers are going strong. Hebgen Lake is the regional focus for this wonderful form of masochism. It's hard to explain the phenomenon to fisher folk who have not experienced it. A mirror still lake, a dead calm morning. and giant trout behaving like porpoises for as far as the eye can see is seemingly unbelievable. The clouds of little bugs that attract the submarines to the surface are spectacular enough, but giant fish eating very small flies is nearly unbelievable. The good folks at Blue Ribbon Flies have posted the video below on You Tube. It gives just a bit of flavor to this local delight.

    .. Hebgen Lake may be the prime destination for gulper fishing, (indeed the term was coined there,) but it's not the only place in the neighborhood. To a lesser degree the fun also occurs on  Quake Lake. And, should you be well acquainted with the neighbors, the impoundment on Duck Creek also provides a sampling of this joy. Even a bit of the estuary in Yellowstone National Park provides some fun from the shore. Try it, you'll like it.
    .. The bugs that attract these fish go by many names: gnats, midges, snow flies, and such. They are chironomids and their pupae hang out for quite a bit of time in the surface film just prior to hatching into the winged form. There are millions of them and the trout know it, and love it.
    .. There are two principal tactics employed in the catching of these ravenous fish. The most popular is the "TIME-N-TOSS" technique. The fisher targets a specific fish and notes the rhythm of it's rises. Then times the cast to the spot where the next anticipated rise will occur.
    .. Just a little less popular is plain ol' bobber fishing. Folks often sit in the midst of a pod of feeding trout and wait for their offering to be gulped down by a rising fish. Both techniques are successful and both have their adherents. The discussions about effectiveness and success fill the gloomy corners of our local pubs.
    .. Every feather merchant and every fly fisher has a favorite "killer" fly for the gulpers of Hebgen Lake. The colors, hook styles, segmentation, and other details are also fodder for the pub. One thing that seems to be agreed upon is the sizes: small and smaller. Sizes 16 through 22 are the most common, however there are adherents of large hooks with small dressings as well. Of course they all work.