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  • Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Pick Your Poison

    LITTLE FLIES or . . . etc.

    .. It's that time of year. The bug and fish tango has many beats; pick yours and enjoy the dances.
    .. Just about all rivers on the west side of Yellowstone National Park are seeing eager fishers and hearing exclamatory whoops of joy and exultation.
    .. You may not catch what you are fishing for - but you will catch fish. On the surface, in the film, high column, mid column, or down deep: the fish are eating up a storm.
    .. A stupid-silly way to pass a whole day on any of the the rivers would begin with a surface double of a midge cluster and a spent mayfly, (or dredge streamers for the submarines.)
    .. By mid morning nymphs, soft hackles, and streamers would bring action. A blooming of bugs will grace the waters shortly after noon, (did you eat lunch?)
    .. Midges by the billions and Baetis by the millions will keep the trout rising like popcorn. As the shadows turn to dark, fish some spent mayflies again and deep streamers, (with a Prince Nymph on point.)
    .. With just a little luck and perseverance you'll die exhausted and happily fished out. Your arms will ache, your eyes won't focus, (spectacles or not,) and your under things will be wet from the eager sweat and other bodily fluids.
    .. About the time you finally drag yourself away from the river, hunger will have turned to starvation that can't be stayed by a simple meal.
    .. If you didn't die from exhausted joy on the stream you will order the giant prime rib dinner, baked potato, and Caesar salad; preceded by a shrimp cocktail appetizer with a cold one, and followed by a double helping of cherry cheesecake and two snifters of Kahlua. Coffee and Ice Cream should put the finishing touches on the perfect day.
    .. For day number two, (if you live through day number one,) pick a different spot on the river. The results will be the same.
    .. From Baker's Hole to the junction pools on the Madison River there are rises going wanting.
    .. For some unknown reason the late Autumn fishers are fewer this year than in recent memory, (just an observation - not a complaint.)
    .. The persistent rain (and bits of sleet and snow,) on Sunday was truly a blessing for the trees that are dying of thirst - fishers rejoiced too because the sacred Baetis clouds should continue to allow those that must see their fly fish on the top.
    .. The willows below Baker's Hole still hold bears, elk, moose, hunters and very large fish. Only the neighbors dare fish here.
    .. Even with the campground gate closed and locked Baker's Hole is a big magnet for fishers this year.
    .. The catching has been consistent and the fish are not just long but plump as well. Purple and/or Black Woolly Buggers along with giant soft hackles are the choice here - it's working well.
    .. The Madison River inside Yellowstone National Park is yielding good fish. The low, cold water has concentrated the fish in many of the unusual places.
    .. Holes and hides are a bit different this year and it's going to take some 'water savvy' to dredge up the runners.
    .. Resident fish are thick as . . . well you know!
    .. One suggestion: please don't stand in the foam lines or the deep holes. It confuses the poor hungry fish and they have a hard time picking the chow from your mud plume and waders.
    .. Whether you know it or not - fish know that those rumpled pajamas that you're wearing are not tree trunks. Standing crotch deep in the Madison River means that you've found where the fish were - just before you got there.
    Saw these dimples. Spent 5 minutes taking pictures of the ones that were readily apparent. Baetis hatching everywhere. Fish moving from hide under the bank to the slick, and taking the bugs right at the shadow line. Was so fascinated that catching was put out of mind. (Click for big image of dimples & such.)