• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: The Trout Underground
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: Buster Wants To Fish
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Apropos Of Nothing

    MIDWINTER ESCAPE
    The Lowlands Beckon
    we respond
    Headed into the promised land.
    Few folks fish up'ere in the winter.
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    .. It's a fur piece of road between here and there. It's a bit of burned hydrocarbons and furry eyeballs to get there and back over a three-day weekend. In the winter with snow in the air and ice on the roads it's a bit over seven hours of safe and sane driving. That uses up most of one day.
    .. Getting situated and scoping out the possibilities and contingencies finishes off the first day and demands a bit of well-won sustenance. So that's what we did.
    Three Fly Arsenal.
    .. Up at dawn to a great breakfast at Pourman's Cafe - chorizo con huevos and other gut bombs to get through a long day. Then to the river road.
    .. It's possible to fish downtown but it's better up the road a piece. So we get going to a place where the neighbors know us and the water is clear and the snow ain't too deep.
    .. There's ruts and mud and ice and mud and ruts and ice. We knock on the door and accept the invitation for coffee. We're on the water by 9:00 AM.
    .. Just three flies are ever necessary here, (well four, if you count the size 8 elk hair caddis that serves as an indicator.) The fish are willing and hungry all year long. The water, in winter, is never colder than about 40° F. Sometimes it gets to over 50° F in the shallow and sunny spots.
    The Place.
    .. We fish all day and even take a few. Big rainbows of 14" with shoulders like Gibraltar. They look like lake fish with their small heads and substantial girth. The air is cold. It freezes our guides, and hands, and ears, and warms our epitome.
    .. Dark comes a little later down in the lowlands. It still comes too early and we're back in town by 7:30 PM. At our age it means an early dinner and bed. We do it.
    .. We get up on day three and have the same breakfast. We fish a bit closer to the highway and downstream from town for a few hours. Then back in the trusty horse and gas up.
    .. It'll be dark as we enter the mountains at 4-corners. That's O.K., we know the road and it's treachery very well. We look forward to the vacant wheat fields and the company of monster trucks and the neighbors' pickumups.
    .. Home at 9:00 PM. Crash shortly after eating a couple of racks of Baby-Back ribs from the deli, (got there just as they were locking up - perfect timing.)
    .. We'll sleep-in tomorrow.  Don't have to be at the salt mine until 2:00 PM. Our stomach growls as we snooze on the couch - typing this is exhausting.
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    Heading home. A view for Mark in Texas.

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Snow's Building Up -- Slowly

    Our snow is building up in dribs and drabs.
    It's a bit wetter than normal for this time of year.
    We're still 40% below normal for this date.

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Blonds Have More Fun

    WEIRD NEIGHBOR SCORES
    Walmart Duster Rules
    such a simple thing
    Crazy kid used the wrong color !!

    ------
    .. The catching on the Madison River between the lakes is picking up. There are packed trails in the snow rather than parallel rows of post-holes.
    .. The fish are after the midges on occasion. And, on occasion, they will be taken on the top. But, truth be told, blonds have more fun.
    .. Hereabouts there's a small, ambitious, energetic, and slightly off-center group of local residents that refuse to believe that fishing with a fly is only a 4-month proposition. These kids are not habitues of the dusty aisles in the local fly shops. They are hard working sons and daughters of folks that have lived here for a few decades, (or more.) They wear shorts and sometimes go barefooted through December.
    .. They fish with worms and flies and spinners, and anything that catches fish at the moment. They cherish their time on the water, (or ice,) and don't fool around with the arcane minutia of proper fly fishing. Just can't be bothered!
    .. On rare occasion they will travel to the glorious catastrophe that is Bozeman. Of course they head straight for Walmart. Prices are good, selection is extensive, and the produce in the grocery section makes the local fare look like . . . well, unmentionable poop.
    .. On a recent trip Tommy, (his real name,) found himself near a trash bin and spied a genuine, ole-time feather duster.
    .. He grabbed it and found a "sales associate" and asked if the duster was really being thrown out.
    .. Long-story-short: through several levels of the store hierarchy he continued to ask the question untill it was determined that the bit of fluff on the stick was indeed used-up and being thrown out. He smiled and poked it in his rear pants pocket.
    .. Being deeply inculcated in local lore, Tommy knew that he had secured a treasure beyond belief. This was the stuff of legends. A real feather feather duster. He had several years' supply of fly tying material.
    .. Upon returning home, Tommy was assailed by his mates. You foolish dolt! The color is all wrong.
    .. Our neighbor Wally, (his real name,) used the dark gray or black feathers when he invented the FEATHER DUSTER FLY.
    .. Well, Tommy, being of the working class, was not going to let a bit of color stand in the way of his feather dusters. He tied up a few dozen and passed them out to his friends at the local pub.
    .. Of course you know the outcome. The off-color flies worked just fine. In fact they are the current neighborhood rage. It will die down in a month or two - OR - a year or two, who knows?
    .. But for now: BLONDS HAVE MORE FUN, sticking fish in their mandibular parts.
    .. We bring this bit of information to you as a public service. There are too damn many hungry trout between the lakes. They are begging for blond beauties. Natural, of course!
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    It's getting deep in town.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Not The Typical Pair

    THE LITERATI CRINGE
    The Simple Approach
    ice auger's getting workout

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    .. There's only a week left before February smashes into West Yellowstone. We're using it to rest up before the onslaught begins.
    ..We have boxes and boxes of winter flies. We love them all, we cherish them, we even use most of them on occasion: but, time and again we return to just two for most of our winter fishing.
    .. The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Wet Fly & the Sierra Bright Dot often suffice for every situation above or below the surface. Both can be fished either wet or dry. Both are easy to tie and both stab fish jaws with satisfying regularity.
    -- These flies have the additional distinction of being rare today. Neither is sold at the local feather merchants, neither is the latest and greatest, neither is full of fancy hard-to-get synthetic materials, and neither will leave you fishless.
    --The "neighbors-of-the-auger," usually have one of these tied to their rig along with maggots or meal worms or bulldog flashing blades. They are a secondary attractor beneath the ice but they are common and will take fish.
    .. The NORTH AMERICAN ICE FISHING CIRCUIT is holding it's $21,000 Regional Qualifier on Hebgen Lake February 3-5. The neighbors are on the lake en-mass and dragging in the fish. Practice is essential in this sort of thing.
    .. The current midge hatch Between The Lakes is drawing the faithful to the open water. Often times a twin rig with a Prince Nymph and GRHE-W is the weapon of choice.
    .. The true and faithful dry fly fishers use a small Sierra Bright Dot. Correctly tied the fly presents the perfect attack: the fore & aft hackle combined with the dark tips of the pheasant seem to entice the starving fish into a frenzy of idiocy. There are three targets with three specular patterns and they are close together. The fish seem mesmerized by the little fly. The red is easy to see, (so too is orange or yellow.)
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    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    The First Aftermath

    WIND + SNOW = AVALANCHE
    We're In For It Now
    ..
    -------
    .. The neighbors are praising MOTHER for her blessed bit of snow. Some folks, (more frisky than most fly fishers,) are taking to the hills. Thrills come in all forms.

    AT LAST !!

    SNOW !!! WARNING !!!
    About Time
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    ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET... ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY...

    A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY.

    * TIMING AND MAIN IMPACT: LIGHT SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD OVER THE AREA THIS MORNING AND INCREASE IN INTENSITY THIS AFTERNOON PARTICULARLY OVER ...THE MOUNTAINS. SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. SNOW COULD BE BRIEFLY HEAVY IN THE VALLEYS.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 7 INCHES AT LOWER ELEVATIONS BUT 7 TO 15 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS ARE LIKELY.

    * WINDS AND VISIBILITY: EXPECT SOUTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH AT TIMES. VISIBILITIES WILL BE BELOW ONE-HALF MILE AT TIMES DUE TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MAINLY IN THE MOUNTAINS.

    * OTHER IMPACTS: EXPECT ROADS TO BECOME SNOW COVERED AND ICY... CREATING HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

    * LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE: BATTLE RIDGE PASS...BOZEMAN... BOZEMAN PASS...TARGHEE PASS...WEST YELLOWSTONE... BIG HOLE PASS...CHIEF JOSEPH PASS...DILLON...MONIDA PASS... ENNIS... NORRIS HILL...RAYNOLDS PASS...TWIN BRIDGES

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

    FOR SPECIFIC ROAD AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS IN MONTANA...DIAL 5 1 1.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Monday, January 09, 2012

    Previews Of Coming Attractions

    BIG HAPPENINGS ON HEBGEN LAKE:
    The neighbors are already dragging 'em in,
    New service for ice fishers,
    Tournament coming to town.

    Friday, January 06, 2012

    Of Lake Trout & Grizzly Bears

    WORLD HERITAGE REPORT
    Highlighting Fish & Bears
    the state of the park

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    .. We note, (from the BILLINGS GAZETTE,) that there are some things that need attending to in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. The park is asking for it's funding partners to come up with an additional $1,000,000 each year for the next 6 years to enhance the Lake Trout Eradication efforts in Yellowstone Lake.
    .. The Grizzly population in Yellowstone National Park is so genetically isolated that the park may have to import bears to increase the genetic diversity.
    .. Bison management inside of and outside of the park remains a concern. And so it goes.

    Thursday, January 05, 2012

    G'day

    Sunrise - West Yellowstone.
    Another Warm, Beautiful, Dry Day.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2012

    Counterattack!!

    JUDAS FISH REPORT
    Underwater Receivers
    plus Transmitters on Fish
    National Park Service biologist Brian Ertel and Student Conservation Association volunteer Jessica Dugan surgically implant a sonic transmitter into a lake trout in this photo. Increased efforts to capture invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake are paying off. This summer the catch rate increased substantially. Photo: National Park Service
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    .. The counterattack on Lake Trout in Yellowstone lake continues. Read about it HERE. And HERE.
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    .