• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Beautiful Gray

    Fish Eat Them
    people use them
    .. The days are gray and the Fish are loving it. The Bugs are loving it. The Fisher Folk are loving it. The Tourons are cursing it. And so it goes.
    .. It's almost time to abandon fishing on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. The waters are "Coming Into Shape," which means it's easy for guides to find fish and easy for visitors to catch them.
    There Are Bugs Like This.
    .. The weather is "Settling Down," which means fishing is enjoyed in tropical-weight $105.00 pastel-colored fishing shirts. It also means that there's not a big worry about getting too much mud or wet bison poo on the $48,000 BMW X3. A few sprinkles will wash off the dust.
    .. The west entrance station has "All Lanes Open," which means traffic is backed up almost to town. It also means that there are about 700 bison repaving the road to Madison Junction. It took us over an hour and a half to traverse the first 11 miles in Yellowstone on Saturday. Of course there was not a ranger in site. They know better than to try to unsnarl a traffic jam where there are no drivers in motor-homes parked on the double yellow line.
    A Raised Tail Means "Charge" or "Discharge"
    .. The bugs are hatching to their "Anticipated Timing," which means that the feather merchants can peddle "The Correct Fly" to visitors who have never heard of it.
    .. The one truism in fly fishing is that the reason there are so many flies is that they all work; despite all the hype surrounding this years "Hot Bugger."
    .. "Nez Perce Creek Is Open," which means that it is being totally ignored as fishers fill the parking lots, wide spots in the road, and not so wide spots in the road with an assortment of vacation vehicles.
    Phlox multiflora; Happening Right Now.
    .. Ringing cell phones are frequently heard above the cat-calls of photographers, ground squirrel spotters, and raven devotees. There are more elbows on the Firehole River than in line at a Walmart at Christmas Time.
    .. The "Religious Fisher Folk," are arriving by the truckload: having heard that the record runoff is beginning it's precipitous fall to below normal discharge.
    .. They are getting, while the getting is good. The wader-friendly lodging is all booked for the next 30 days. Madison Campground was full by 1:00 PM on Friday and 2:00 PM on Saturday.
    Fish Here:
    Easy Parking, Many Fish, No Cell Phones.
    .. Tarry not! Soon all the parking places and every inch of water will be infested with the "Angler Hatch." It's more amusing to watch than to participate in.
    .. Should you choose to do it by the numbers we recommend that you read the reports of the local and area feather merchants. They will tell you exactly where and when to fish. They will also tell you just the exact fly to use. They will even provide you with a friendly guide, (just freshly arrived from Andros Island, Belize, or the Green River,) so that you don't fish the wrong 100 square feet that's still available when you arrive on the Firehole River.
    .. Should you care to experience the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, and catch a few fish as well. we suggest that you explore the soft water, seams, undercuts & back eddies of places other than the "Holiest Of Waters."
    .. Grab a handful of generalized nymphs, dry flies, beetles, ants and attractors. Take them to a place where you can cast without removing the rug from the head of the fisher next to you. There are no secrets about fishing in Yellowstone. Just do what you would on any trout stream - you will catch fish. And, you will do it without the latest fly from some imaginative salesman.
    .. If you see bugs use something that looks like them. If you don't see bugs drown any fly and the fish will eat it. Most of the time!
    Midway Geyser Basin is always a fun place to watch wader-wetters flail away.