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  • Tuesday, February 08, 2011

    Tough Neighbors

    Cold & Clear At Home
    new snow helps
    .. We traveled over the hill to the lowland Madison River. The morning fog persisted for some time and then turned to light snow.
    .. There were very few midges visible but fish noses dimpled the surface near $3 Bridge and took our flies frequently enough to keep us in the water for about three hours.
    .. The trout were happy to eat a size 12 soft hackle. When the noses disappeared from the surface we switched to a large, (size 8,) bead head Prince Nymph and continued to have some fun with the local fish.
    .. There were mostly Rainbow Trout with a couple of precocious 10" Brown Trout in the mix. Two giant Whitefish, (maybe 16") took the nymph out near the large boulder in a typically "trouty place."
    .. The Reynolds Pass fishing access is plowed closed and the early vehicle tracks are not visible under the newly fallen snow. The 6" of snow we just received is a blessing and is keeping the snow water content high for the coming spring.
    .. Back up in the Hebgen Basin the neighbors are still visiting the trout on the Madison River.
    .. Between The Lakes, the Hebgen Tailwater has been lightly fished after the first rush that came with the first snows a couple of months ago.
    .. Just a few neighbors are paying their respects to the trout and the fish are being most accommodating to the few locals that take the time to visit.
    .. The kind folks at Campfire Lodge have kept the road to the river nicely plowed and are willing to listen to requests for parking. There is also a nice wide pull-out at the Cabin Creek Scarp Area.
    .. The local offerings are the usual mixed bag of nymphs, midge clusters, emergers, and attractor dry flies. There has been a recent abandonment of San Juan Worms in favor of a mashed and drowned Adams dry fly.
    .. Drowned dries are in the giant size range, (8 & 10,) and are purposely mangled and rumpled prior to casting. It seems like a waste of good hackle to turn these beauties into a submerged stiff hackle - but then, if it works . . .
    ..We occasionally get to visit with the local fly fishing guides.
    .. They are constantly touting the latest and greatest places, techniques, and flies.
    .. They catch scads of fish as testified to by the fish porn on their cell phones and videos from their fancy cameras. Good on 'em.
    .. Most of the neighbors that fish in the winter seldom darken the doors of the feather merchants. They drink their suds in quiet corners of local pubs and don't seem to associate much with the elite pros. They catch scads of fish too.
    .. They don't usually carry cell phones or cameras. They talk about the weather, the local politics, and mundane topics that fill the life of the working stiff. There is definitely a non-meeting of the minds between these two cultures.
    .. Each of the groups could probably learn much from the other. Sadly, we doubt it will happen. On the one hand there's just too many flies to invent and, on the other there's just too much work to be done.