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  • Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Are You Ready ?

    The Visitors Are Here
    the bugs are here
    .. So, you're going to make it a four day weekend  --  are you? You're late. There's a pile of folks that are making it a six day weekend, and they are already here.
    Claytonia lanceolata
    .. Yellowstone National Park is in full bloom. The protracted cool Spring and the wet meadows of just two weeks ago have given us an early summer riot of color that is at least three weeks late. The fishing and catching has followed suit. Everything is in a gloriously verdant state. The temperatures are warming rapidly and 80's should be seen by Monday-next.
    .. The Gibbon River has finally settled down and hatches may be persistent for the weekend. We expect that it's still a soft hackle proposition.
    .. We're headed up there tomorrow to see if there are any parking spaces left and if the fish will be cooperative.
    .. Conventional and simplified fishing has finally come into it's own on the Firehole River. Visitors with guide books tucked into their kit bags should have no trouble catching fish in the manner prescribed and described by the authors of those books.
    .. Hatches, for the purist, are on time. Set your clock and clean your windshield - the bugs are here. We suggest that you scan the reports from the feather merchants in the sidebar.
    .. Finding the fish to catch will be a bit different this year. The river has been rearranged from the high flows of the last four years and the cute little names of perfect fishing areas are, at best, misleading. How-to books tend to be static entities, rivers are dynamic.
    .. The Madison River has been greatly rearranged. For instance; 9-mile Hole is either 9 1/2-mile hole or 8-mile hole, now. Yet the visiting angler can be easily spotted following the footsteps of authors that describe the very rock to fish near, (the rock is still there on the shore.)
    .. Recent accurate information should be available at our local tackle emporia, from guides that actually fish. Stop and visit, it will enhance your catching chances.
    .. The 'correct' fly choice is always a point for heated discussion this time of year. There are so many bugs, in so many stages, and so many flies, in so many variations, that the discussions continue ad nauseum.
    .. We tend to agree with that sage fisher, Mortimer Snerd, "The fly that catches the most fish is the one that is in the water."
    .. The fish are frisky, hungry, plentiful, and eager to please; just give them a chance. The 'soft water' is still the key right now. Dark holes, gentle bubble and foam lines, undercut banks, mid-river bars, and pillows in front of boulders are all places where the fish are.
    .. There have been a few neighbors testing the waters of the Gallatin River. It's a river connoisseurs game. There are some fish to be caught, (and bears to be avoided.)
    .. If you like to make fishing into a competition rather than a 'by-the-numbers' exercise, the Gallatin River should be your choice this coming weekend. Should you want to avoid elbows, test your river-reading skills, and walk to cover a lot of water: have at it.
    .. Some of our younger neighbors, (they visit us for feigned conversation and a quick snort,) like to "explore" [their word.] They seem to think that they should pound every inch of all water in the neighborhood. We did that once - maybe?
    .. Some of those same kids who enjoy combat fishing have brought back a fly from the far northern reaches of Montana. It's the "X-Stimulator" from the Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop in Missoula. This hybrid monster has taken on a bit of local mystic. The kids mash it and twist it and pull the wing forward and drown it. To each, his own: takes fish!
    .. The traffic in the park is already horrendous. We suggest that you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and that you park where it's safe rather than where it seems to be convenient.
    .. We'll provide some documentary posts over the next few days, (time and traffic permitting.) The fishing is glorious, the catching is nearly the same!