• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    River Closures

    Starting Tomorrow
    don't bother today either


    National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior,
    Yellowstone National Park,
    P.O. Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
    July 30, 2012
    Al Nash or Dan Hottle (307) 344-2015
    Yellowstone To Implement Fishing Closures

    Yellowstone National Park is planning to implement some temporary fishing closures. The following waterways will be closed to all fishing, effective Wednesday, August 1:
    • Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls
    • Firehole River below Keppler Cascades
    • Madison River
    • Hot air temperatures, limited rainfall, runoff from thermal features, and below average stream flows have all resulted in high water temperatures in these rivers. Water temperatures in the Gibbon River have been above 73 degrees most of the past two weeks, with water temperatures in the Firehole River above 78 degrees temperature.
    • Water temperatures this warm can be stressful and even fatal for trout. Yellowstone National Park staff will continue to monitor water temperatures and stream flows in these and other rivers and streams throughout the park. The extended forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions with a slight chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms. These conditions contribute to continued low stream flows and high water temperatures, and could result in additional fishing restrictions.
    .. My, my, my! They are all the same.

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Published Tomorrow

    A Prose Tapestry
    some fly fishing stuff too

    .. It's not just another, (of the myriad,) Yellowstone Fly Fishing books. It is one in a long line of books about fishing in the park.
    .. It's not just another, (of the myriad,) "I did this and so should you!" books.
    .. If anything it's a book that highlights and celebrates Yellowstone National Park. It's a tapestry woven of history, anecdotes, personal experiences, interviews, rumors, legends, and fish stories.
    .. Offered up are fish stories from people who, have fished, and some who continue to fish in Yellowstone National Park. The stories serve to illustrate the rich diversity of any fishing experience in the park. They are the delights of their tellers and their enthusiasm, reverence, joy and pain are all there for us to read.
    .. The intriguing title touts the "50 Best Places." The book covers many more than that.
    .. Fishers who love specific river segments or lake localities are used to illuminate the lore of any single piece of water. The famous and infamous have come forth to share insights and delights: you will recognize many of the names and places - some you won't !!
    .. If this were an early 19th century work it could just as easily be titled "The Personality of Yellowstone's Fly Fishing." It's all there! Bears, Wolves, Monster Fish, Native Americans, Mountain Men, Explorers, Early Visitors, Bandits, Outlaws, Rapine, Tragedy, and Fishing.
    .. Of course there are plenty of illustrations. Certainly there are quite a few tips and tricks about the various waters and the fish inhabiting them. There is even the expected hatch sequences, recommended flies, secret tips and tactics, where to, how to, etc. - it really is all there.
    .. This is a "FAT BOOK" and we strongly recommend that you properly break-in the binding. We also suggest that you buy two. If you love the park and it's fishing you'll quickly wear out the first one.
    .. If you view fishing in Yellowstone National Park as just another catching destination you should avoid this book. If you would like your experiences in the park to be enriched and informed by it's long history and traditions then this is the book for you. It will even help you catch fish.
    .. It's an easy read and one full of everything from gossip to fact. It is readily apparent that the author, (a Montana native son,) is not quite done with the 50 best places. We're sure he'll be back. Perhaps he'll treat us to a sequel.
    ISBN: 0811710513 EAN: 9780811710510 Category: Sports & Recreation / Fishing/Travel / Parks & Campgrounds
    Publisher: Headwater Books, Release Date: 08/01/2012
    Author: Nate Schweber
    Synopsis: The most important hatches and recommended patterns, along with key fishing techniques and the best times of year to fish there. Interviews with a stunning collection of Yellowstone Park veterans in the know, including fly shop owners Bob Jacklin, Craig Mathews, John Juracek, Richard Parks, and John Bailey.
    Writers, including; Tom McGuane, Wild Bill Schneider, and The Drake magazines' Tom Bie. The best spots for Yellowstone cutthroat, westslope cutthroat, Snake River finespotted cutthroat, grayling, rainbows, cuttbows, brown trout, brook trout, mountain whitefish, and Mackinaw lake trout

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    NOTICE !!


    Pre-Order HERE

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Too Hot - High Or Low

    For Man And Beast
    visitors wearing neoprene waders

    .. It has got to be a true shock to the psyche of the tweedy set. They've packed their finery. They've read the books. They are armed with rods of herculean proportions. They are ready to strut their stuff on the glory waters of Yellowstone National Park and the rest of Southwestern Montana.
    .. They forgot their short pants. They never had a short-sleeved fishing shirt. They wear socks with their sandals. Their waders are full of powder and their sweater is packed and ready. Oh Well!
    .. It's not too early to dream of blinding and slashing strikes at terrestrial bugs. Of course the experts would have you believe that the dainty flies are holding their own as fish fodder - mostly true for some famous places.
    .. The weather has been of the standard variety for this time of year. It's been hot, punctuated with gentle showers on occasion.
    .. The showers and blessed coolness of the afternoons has slowed the final molt for our local grasshoppers - but there are a ton of the nymphs ready to fall into the rivers.
    .. White millers have sprouted like dandelions as have the evening caddis, and a few spruce moths have also shown up.
    .. For the moment the catching game goes something like this: morning spinner fall, (peaks about 7:30 or 8:00 AM,) followed by recreational wading, lunch and a nap in the shade - then caddis in the late afternoon and evening, (be on the water about 5:00 PM or so.)
    .. This schedule will get you through the day on the destination waters of Yellowstone National Park. The neighbors are already fishing beetles, ants, small hoppers, gaudy rubberlegs, and San Juan worms on those waters with fewer elbows and more fish.
    .. The Yellowstone River is a destination for some fishers that remember the glory that once was. There are some large fish to be had - true enough. On the other hand, it looks like recruitment is up and should you just want a pleasant fishing experience we recommend it highly.
    .. Social fishers are clogging the parking lot at Slough Creek. Everything from hoppers to PMD's are pricking fish.
    .. Get there now and fish all day. Ignore the experts, if you dare. These fish are eager and hungry. By fishing hard you will contribute to their advanced degrees. But today, (and maybe tomorrow,) they really are just like any old hungry trout. Throw it - they'll eat it.``
    .. If you can find Snowflake Springs, you can find fish on the Gallatin River. If you can get past the beaver ponds and through the woods to the upper meadows on Fan Creek you can fish with the bears and elk: you will catch some of the prettiest fish in the park as well. Say hi to the horse packers and mounted rangers for us.
    .. Ask the visitors about their big flies. They probably won't mention the damselfly. Nor do the visiting clerks at the feather merchants.
    .. In passing we'll just note that there are trout that can, (and do,) take the blue lady from the grass overhanging the deep undercut banks. It may look foolish to the uninitiated, it may feel foolish when you do it, - BUT -  casting to the grass can take some monsters in  the mid-day doldrums.
    .. Park your car in the evening shade and walk the gentle trail to Osprey Falls. Take a picture of the monster clouds. Sniff the burnt smell in the air.
    .. Go above the falls and catch a mighty Brook Trout with every other cast. If someone got there before you it might take a half dozen casts - damn!
    .. Nothing really new right now. Catching is all in how you do it.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    The Un-fished ?

    Rewards Are Slim To None
    no pink shirts, no fancy waders

    .. Sweat is the partner of fisher folk that want cool clear water in mid summer.
    .. Little streams still fed by melting snow abound in Yellowstone National Park. Neither roads nor bus tours visit them. Expert fisher folk have never heard of them. The fish have found them, though.
    .. The few folks, (mostly our neighbors,) that fish them are tight lipped and secretive about them. They are the "OTHER YELLOWSTONE."
    .. There's not a single Chamber of Commerce brochure that even mentions them. Certainly the seasonal guides and counter workers at the feather merchants wouldn't fish them.
    .. You'll not find pink shirts on these waters. You'll not find waders on the fishers. You'll not find wide pull-outs nor well worn trails. All you will find is eager fish, solitude, woodsy noises, and lots of bear poop. You may even find a bear or two.
    .. We firmly believe that the fisher folk that visit Yellowstone National Park are made up of, those. (at least 85%,)  that want to catch a fish in the fabled waters of the park.
    .. They want to drive up to the water, saunter to the right place, strut their gear and finery, and gather up a bit of fish porn for the folks back home.
    .. Even so, we've been threatened with a complete cut-off of suds at  the pub if we are too specific about the really nice places to fish.
    .. We suggest, (no glory here,) the following:
    1} Tower Creek. If you ask about it, be sure to ask about when the informant last fished there.
    2} Obsidian Creek. Be sure to fish the tangles in the meadows away from the trail.
    3} Winter Creek. The name is familiar to some. They may have even fished it in their youth.
    4} Firehole River. The upper reaches in the giant valley beyond Lone Star Geyser. You might want to get a two day back country camping permit.
    5} Gallatin River. The reach where all the bears are. Up above the confluence with Fan Creek.
    6} Pebble Creek. Hidden in the large, long valley behind Baronette Peak with views of Thunderer. You'll need legs if you enter at the upstream end and walk down to Soda Butte Creek. You'll also need a camping permit, lots of DEET, bear spray, and a bit of appreciation for fish so eager that you can't keep them off of your hook. (even a bare one!)
    7} Specimen Creek. Obey the signs about fishing and bears. Both are important. Fish here only if you enjoy shade in the summer and catch rates of 20 - 40 fish per hour.
    .. Of course there are a few more places - but - just a note: opening day on the Yellowstone River saw fairly low water, bugs aplenty, and only a few fishers in the good spots, and some of them caught the fabled giant Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. You should've been there: the drizzle was grand.

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    Sort Of Sultry

    Yellowstone River Open Tomorrow
    some sacred fishing locations
    .. Tomorrow is as holy as it gets for the faithful who must worship at the Yellowstone River on opening day - we'll be there.
    .. Even as the ashes from the myriad fires in the region fall on our heads, and a quick glance at the INCIWEB maps show that we are near the epicenter of the conflagrations, we shall be there.
    .. There are dozens of expert sources that are willing to  tell visitors where to fish in Yellowstone National Park. We believe that it's just as important to inform would be fisher folk where not to fish:
    1} Ignore Cache Creek. It's in prime shape right now, there are several hatches of both big and little bugs occurring simultaneously, the fish haven't see a fisher in more than 9 months, it's deep into bear country, the mosquitoes are voracious, the cutthroat trout are among the largest in Yellowstone National Park, there are bears, it's a very long walk. (44495082N - 110092519W = BIG FISH RUN)
    2} Forget about the confluence of Slough Creek and the Lamar River. There's no storied meadows, there's only sage and a few trees, there's bears, there's wolves, you have to walk a faint and dusty trail, there's stinky sulfur springs, there's bears, and there's mosquitoes, and the fish are so lonesome that they will jump in your waders just to make you feel welcome. (44550368N - 110205679W = MAYHEM POOL)
    3} Don't even bother to look at the putative Roosevelt Campsite. The water is too big, the fish are far too large for your dainty rig, it's down in a hole and getting out is a real pain, there are thousands of fishers that pass there each and every day, your rig can't cast the heavy sink tip required to put a giant streamer in front of the 4# fish that live there, too many people fish there. (44551769N - 110240892W = SUBMARINE ALLEY)
    4} If you fish Mary Bay and can see Pelican Roost you won't be able to hold on to the large Lake Trout that eats your gently stripped red Wooly Bugger, (or blue and chrome Kastmaster.) The beach where the fish are is narrow and you are liable to get your feet wet, the cut bank is steep, the parking is abysmal, the wind causes treacherous waves, gobs and gobs of flotsam are eagerly perused and inhaled by the 8# Lakers, not for wimpy fly fishers - even with a 9 weight rod. (44314837N - 110175422W = DUMBBELL POINT)
    5}  Avoid at all costs the Yellowstone River near Sulfur Cauldron. People have died fishing here. There's quicksand, mosquitoes, elbows, and enormous fish. They like eating most anything but especially like a slow drifted streamer, (sadly most of the water is fast,) They hide in peculiar places and you will often scare them just by looking at them. And, everyone knows that there's no fish in the Yellowstone River anyway. (44372497N - 110254259W = CUTTSOAK POOL)
    6} Dream on if you think it's worth fishing near the Chittenden Bridge. This is a bear, and wolf, and moose, and bison, and elk crossing area. The fish here are so lazy that they need to be hit in the nose with their favorite morsels. These are the big fish that continue to fight the slick and fast current - or - over the falls they go. Keep the rumors of 22" Cutthroat Trout safely tucked in your libido, (pant, pant,) - you'll never have the skill necessary to hook AND bring to hand any of these fish - besides that you have to wade through shoreline muck to even cast to the fish. (44431224N - 110301105W = EZ_PZ RUN)
    7} The picture below is of Seven-Mile-Hole. GOT LEGS ???

    Monday, July 09, 2012

    Just Plain Hot

    Fish May Cool Off In Florida
    guides get new outfits
    .. Yes it's hot. And, sad but true, going to get hotter. Heat spikes are fairly common in the high country but it's beginning to look like a heat wave of extended duration. Record heat, (and/or near record heat,) is going to be with us for quite some time.
    .. Most visitors think that the weather is wonderful. Yet, when it hits 90° F stress of the entire ecosystem is apparent.
    .. Big critters like bison and elk hide in the shade during the day. Little critters like pikas, marmots, and ground squirrels take cover underground or under rocks.
    .. Human critters from afar wander around in a daze sporting argyle socks, Italian sandals, short pants, giant cameras, gaudy Hawaiian shirts, and freshly bought straw cowboy hats.
    .. The trees just sit and swelter. Their needles shrink. The glossy green of spring becomes a dull shadow. They become hosts to the tiny critters of the forest. Birds, beetles, ants, and several other denizens race around their limbs and trunks.
    .. Summer has arrived with a vengeance. Prayers for rain are tempered with curses of lightning. The neighbors seek shelter in a pub and wait for heavy cloud cover or sunset before even thinking of fishing.
    .. With a bit of stealth it's possible for visiting anglers to follow the local fishers to the places where the water is cool and the fish are eating.
    .. It's best to use a beat-up pickumuptruck. New minivans, fancy crossover vehicles, and shiny black BMW's are a dead giveaway to intent when seen on the dusty gravel roads of the neighborhood.
    .. The current conditions have sped up the terrestrial hatch and that can be a good thing. The little hoppers are entering their final molt about two weeks early. Beetles have grown large and glossy. Ants have a fine store of food already and are proliferating at a blinding rate.
    .. There are still many aquatic species on and in the water. Caddis is king for now. Midges will come and go. The PMD's should make a few more appearances if we get clouds - or not.
    .. It's drake time right now and for a month or so - but don't count on them. Callibaetis are starting on the lakes but the depth and temperature of the water has stunted weed growth - hatches will be more generally dispersed this year, (as last year.)
    .. BWO's are taking a break and should reappear in about 6 weeks. The Western Green Drake has made sneaky appearances this week and may continue - or not. A few spruce moths have been seen but no widespread happenings yet.
    .. It's coming on time for our terrestrial roundup. We'll give you just a sneak peek here. The ants and big black beetles are very apparent if you look down. Some of the "Flying Ants" have been reported down low on the Gallatin River. Hoppers are present but the population seems sparse - for now.
    .. Should you find yourself heading this way in the near future please have a well stocked terrestrial box.
    .. Please, also, wear your pink and yellow and turquoise, and lime green tropical fishing shirt. It helps us know where you are. A bright red or blue vest also helps. Newly acquired bleached yellow straw hats are a necessary accessory for visitors too.
    .. Good insect repellant is mandatory and sunglasses are more than just a help. A hat that protects the ears is more than just a fashion statement. And, in all seriousness and with our most deadly earnest concern - wear long sleeve shirts. Dress for protection.

    Sunday, July 08, 2012

    Down Low

    A Few Little Bugs
    quite a few deer flies too
    (big enough for wallpaper if you like.)
    .. We just took one of our infrequent visitations to the lowland Madison River. As usual, fish were eager and larger than we are normally familiar with. We suffered through it all in soldierly fashion.
    .. Because of the repairs at Hebgen Dam and the tailwaters coming from the top of Hebgen Lake, the water on the lowland river is a bit warmer than usual for this time of year. And, yes, the bite slowed during mid-day - probably down to a single fish every 10 minutes or so.
    .. Bugs were plentiful and the fish were gobbling in a wonderfully indiscriminate manner.
    .. Giant Salmonflies, (Pteronarcys californica,) and our Least Salmonfly, (Pteronarcella badia,) are still being eaten with gay abandon by the fish, (bless their little pea brains.)
    .. They were so willing that we have been forced to deliver some fish porn just to maintain our veracity.
    .. Herds of caddis and several sorts of big and small mayflies were also present throughout the day. The pudgy fish were eating them all.
    .. As a matter of course, we eschewed our normal nymphitis, (a malady common to fisher folk of a certain mature age grade,) and fished mostly big bugs on the top. Various local varieties of the common stimulator pattern were used.
    .. The fish whacked them all. We even foul hooked a few that were pounding the flies with their tails - steelhead or salmon genes?
    .. There really isn't much that is novel to report. The Madison River usually delivers spectacular fishing - even for novice anglers or curmudgeons with old Fenwick sticks.
    .. The fish were willing to come up to eat the big flies on the top. They even ate the little flies on top. They even ate the little flies under the water. They were in an eating mood and we took full advantage of it.
    .. The river is a playground for all manner of folks during these warm months. There were bathers, tubers, kayakers, and fishers all enjoying the 80° weather.
    .. We also, (busy weekend,) visited Indian Creek Campground. It's becoming very popular right now. Obsidian Creek and Indian Creek are providing good catching opportunities.
    .. The rambunctious Brook Trout of these waters don't even care if you try to trample them to death - they will still inhale anything that could be food.
    .. A few of the neighbors are brave enough to get up before dawn and visit the Firehole River for the "morning bite." On the water before the sun can be seen, they follow the shadows as the sun climbs upward. When there are no shadows - fishing is done.
    .. This is fishing with very little catching and reserved for the faithful that must worship at the river. Spinners, floating nymphs, drowned caddis, and midge clusters are dropped along the edges of the shadow lines. A few fish even get caught.
    .. We've been blessed with afternoon cloud cover and even a few cooling thunder showers. Obvious as it is there are a couple of things that need mentioning:
    1) Bear spray is a very important fishing accoutrement,
    2) Graphite is a good lightening rod, as is any fishing rod,
    3) Be kind and gentle to fish hooked in warm water.
    (big enough for wallpaper if you choose.)

    Thursday, July 05, 2012

    A Friendly Stream For Summer

    Take Bear Spray
    take humpies and ants and beetles
    .. 'Tis the Nez Perce season. For the next three weeks, (and more,) Nez Perce Creek will fish as good as it ever does. Rain or shine, hot or cold, morning-noon-night, this is the neighbor's choice destination, (among two or three others.)
    Confluence With Firehole River
    .. The persistent hot weather may or may not give us a few more mornings and evenings on the Firehole River but the cognoscenti will be migrating to other waters. It's an annual ritual.
    .. The Firehole River will fish well above the Kepler Cascades for the rest of the summer.
    .. The Firehole River will fish well for about 300 yards below it's confluence with Nez Perce Creek for another 2-3 weeks. But Nez Perce Creek will do well for as long as you care to take the time to walk it's banks.
    Not Much Of A Bridge
    .. Heading upstream on Nez Perce Creek, the broken meadows and decaying geyserite aprons of the first meadow occupy about 2 1/3 miles of exquisite water.
    .. Runs and riffles, pools and glides, and undercut banks. This is the most heavily fished stretch of this stream.
    .. Use caution and avoid the thermal features in this region. You will see the decaying skeletons of animals that ventured too close and became DEAD! Don't let it happen to you.
    Stay Away
    .. Another 2 1/2 miles, (or so,) finds the creek constricted into a canyon, of sorts. This section is referred to as "The Narrows" by our neighbors. This section represents the maximum distance that is comfortably fishable in a day.
    .. The narrows have the same sort of water as the first meadow but the fish are feistier and a bit more gullible. Local legend reports that the fish can be, in fact, a bit bigger in this section, (we can't verify it.)
    .. Last Meadow extends to the foot of Mary Mountain. It's about an 8 mile grunt, (one way,) and is infrequently fished.
    .. The fish here are just the most sociable of all the trout in the park. They will dance with anyone and eat anything. Forty years ago we would tie small twigs and bits of pine needles to hooks and catch them - ahhh, youth!

    Lots of fine water if you walk a bit
    click on image for detailed view

    .. Most fishers seek one of two destinations for prime fishing on Nez Perce Creek.
    ==> Destination #1 is the glassy waters at the junction of the narrows and first meadow. (Hint: deep channels on the downstream end of islands.) 
    ==> Destination #2 is the similar water at the upstream end of the narrows. (Hint: downstream from the "restoration" sweepers.)
    .. But, there are fish along the whole stretch and if a spot strikes your fancy - fling some!
    .. The hopper nymphs are in their second molt now. Soon the lush meadows will lose their emerald green and change to a rich golden color.
    .. It's not too early to think of hoppers. And it's not too early to take some ants and beetles. For most purposes on the surface a Humpy of this or that color will do fine.