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  • Monday, June 06, 2011

    Perfect Three Days

    Hang On To Your Britches
    there's still fish to be had
    We don't usually fish the big meadows but
    this one was productive on Saturday
    .. Well it looks like the long anticipated perfect spring weekend has happened. If you weren't here, you've missed it.
    .. Friday, Saturday, & Sunday were absolutely beautiful. The fishing was borderline spectacular and the catching was pretty good too. The waters of the west side rivers are darkly colored but visibility was good, (up to 4 feet.) All that is about to change.
    The Madison River provided catching over the weekend
    .. By late Sunday even the Firehole River was experiencing some of the prettiest brown colors imaginable.
    .. Fishers still fished and a few bugs, (even the sunshine caddis,) came forth. But, with rain in the forecast, and temperatures in the 60's for the next few days, catching is going to be challenging to say the least.
    Visibility was O.K.
    .. We took some nice fish at the Barns Holes on the Madison River Friday afternoon. The color was off but the visibility was at least 4' and fish were visible near the bank. There were no visitors while we were there but a few of the neighbors showed up and did pretty good in the catching department.
    .. Prince Nymphs and some caddis imitations were successful in the whiskey colored water. Flows were high and the river was bank full but the catching was steady and the fish were spunky.
    .. We even took a fish at both snags at Grasshopper Bank. We also caught something too heavy to lift and had to break off twice. Wonder what it was?
    .. The Madison River may fish O.K. for another 24 hours. Flows of the Firehole River and Gibbon River will make that decision for us. The water temperature is holding in the low to mid 50's and we're keeping our fingers crossed. Grassy banks, breaks in gradient, back eddy's, snag swirls, and other slack water areas will produce fish for the savvy angler.
    Buffs & Babies lounging in a wet meadow
    .. Most of the religious visitors populated the Firehole River over the weekend.
    .. They smirked and snarked at nymph fishers, stood around and waited for "the hatch," and fished occasionally. Rumor has it that there were fish caught by these Penitentes who must see their fly to catch a fish.
    .. The sunshine was cursed and visitors with emergers and cripples had a field day while the faithful looked on and mumbled. The parking places on the road and in the lots were full of license plates from foreign countries like Idaho and Utah. Some exotic plates from other galaxies like New York and Wyoming were also seen.
    Our favorite Gibbon River Culvert
    .. Saturday we fished long & hard on the Gibbon River. News in the local pubs spreads rapidly and it was kind of like a neighborhood block party on the nearly deserted river.
    .. While the pros and their minions were gathered on the Firehole River, the neighbors and a very few naive visitors caught buckets of fish in the canyon, on the flats and in the meadows of the beautiful Gibbon River.
    .. Parking was easy. The new road made travel from point to point a pleasure, and the fish were surprisingly cooperative. Even the small meadow around Norris Campground yielded fish of a surprising size, (to 14" frequently.)
    Crinkled-Leg Ant
    .. Woolly Worms of the small and yellow variety brought quite a few fish to hand. Two-toned Feather Dusters in both pink and yellow were also productive.
    .. We met a visitor from Hawaii, (true story,) who had seen some ants, (and beetles,) and was catching fish with what he called his "Crinkled-Leg Ant."" He gave us a couple. They are small, (16 - 18,) and we suppose that they could be an ant from a fish's point of view.
    .. The road to Virginia Cascade was still closed. Rumors of a small landslide have not been confirmed. That being the case we spent some time in the water around our favorite Gibbon River culvert.
    .. The river was not yet out of bank but there were fish in the grass in some of the eddy's and slack water irregularities near the banks. In one such place we took three eager fish on our yellow San Juan Worm.
    .. From the takes we guessed that there was some sort of competition going on in that little eddy.
    Fish swirling within inches of the bank
    .. We also took the time to wander around one of the big meadows below Norris Geyser Basin. It was not too spongy and the water in the river was plenty clear enough.
    .. A couple of the neighbors fished with various emergers and drowned dry flies. When the fly could get a good drift near the grass of the banks there were surface takes.
    .. The river was near flood stage and the grass and other shore debris made presentation critical for the surface fishers. Happily, with a bit of stealth, some accurate very short casts were possible thanks to the colored water.
    Claytonia lanceolata
    .. On Sunday we left the park by 11:00 AM and retreated to the gentle water near Baker's Hole. Getting around is difficult and wading is a life-threatening proposition. But, willows and scrub be damned, the fishing at the bank was very good. We're headed now to the clinic to get the scratches and puncture wounds dressed before all our clothes are badly blood stained.
    .. We're hoping that there will be some time during the coming "BLOWN-OUT-STAGE" to get into the park. We know a few places where we won't have to walk too far to find a hungry fish.
    Rumors of a landslide cannot be confirmed
    Two snags: two fish.
    Not bad for 10 minutes work on the way to some really hot fishing.