• 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
  • Thursday, March 28, 2013

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Gentility Begins

    AFTER THE CHAOS

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    .. St. Pat's is over. Snowmobile Expo is done. The park is closed. The visitors are few. The streets are bare between dusting's. There are places to park. Grocery prices are down to just 2 x retail. The neighbors are taking the time to visit at the Post Office or anywhere else that they bump into each other.
    .. Plutocrats and other wealthy residents are long gone to the less interesting and warmer parts of the globe. Transient workers are on the way out of town or busy seeking employment for yet another season of frenzied busyness.
    
    re-frozen and re-cracked ice = catching
    .. Children are loosed upon the village without fear and dogs and cats explore the deposits of foreign critters left behind by inconsiderate and unthinking visitors, (the snow hides it all - huh?)
    .. Ice out is still some weeks away but there is some fishing and catching for the neighbors.
    .. Leisure is the watchword. Opportunities last only a short time. Gentle meandering along the shores of Hebgen Reservoir allows us to fish the early holes.
    .. Little bits of open water, (sometimes less than 50 square feet,) are beginning to appear along the shorelines. The fish find them as soon as they happen. Fishers become catchers as the shifting ice responds to the wind, sun, and currents from the in-flowing rivers.
    .. Catching is nearly automatic in these little bits of open water. Any worm, spinner, lure, fly, or bare hook with a bit of flash will take a fish.
    "HELLIFIKNOW" is on stage
    .. It's a neighborhood pastime that attracts us all. It's not for the visitors from afar.
    .. It's an ephemeral phenomenon. The holes open and close as the day progresses. The ice creaks and groans. The clear, thin, skim ice from last night twinkles as it is sundered into gleaming shards.
    .. The fish appear and disappear. Scuttlebutt is passed from neighbor to neighbor in the grocery lines, at the hardware store, in the diner, and of course the Post Office. Scurrying is the name of the game. We do it on occasion. The cell phone has aided the endeavour greatly. Such fun.
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    Sledheads have run out of snow in town. Mud and slush are great fun - huh?

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Lowly Scud

    BEER BAY OPEN
    Whiskey Bay Open Too
    fling hardware or scuds
    PREGNANT SCUD - GREAT IN FALL, GOOD NOW
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    .. For the dedicated fly fisher, (not the part time local guides - nor the experts currently in the far away warmer climes,) there is - RIGHT NOW - a rare opportunity to catch giant trout.
    .. Bits of ice are leaving the shore around Whiskey Bay and Beer Bay on Hebgen Reservoir, (depending on wind and sun.) The gear guys have found it. A couple of the enthusiastic young neighborhood kids with long rods have also found it.
    .. Gear guys use gold. Fly guys fling scuds. Pregnant scuds, (a hold over from fall catching,) are taking big fish right along side the Mepps spinners and Kastmasters. Practice your figure eight retrieve and cast to the ice. 'Nuff said.

    Try this:
    ABOUT SCUDS

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    Monday, March 11, 2013

    A Bit Of Winter

    WARM WET SNOW
    Lots & Lots & Lots Of It
    waters looking good for now
    TOPS OF GHOST TREES ARE NEARLY BURIED BY THE HIGH ELEVATION SNOW PACK
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    .. With the addition of another two feet of snow over the last few days we are beginning to feel reassured about our winter snow pack.
    .. Snow depth measurements in the surrounding river basins are at, or slightly above, the seven year sliding-average. The early snows of winter were low in water content and our snow-water-content still leaves something to be desired. The mid elevation pack is below average while the very high snow fields are deep and wet. This bodes well for our summer stream flows.
    
    RED DEVIL NYMPH
    .. We took a brief survey of the western waters in Yellowstone National Park that produced some nice pictures and views of the streams running high - cold - and - clear.
    .. Some shaded parts of the Madison River still show a bit of shore ice. However, the last few warm days have started the gentle melt that feeds the early season runoff.
    .. Midges are hatching in profusion and a few early mayflies have been seen. If we were to fish the Madison River in the park right now it would be with a Red Devil Nymph. It's just a simple brassie with peacock herl head - tied with red copper wire in size 16 - 18.
    .. This is also the current neighborhood favorite Between The Lakes on the Hebgen Tailwater. It's tied as small as 22 by the folks who believe that size  matters - they catch more fish too.
    
    POPULAR FISHING LOCATION - YELLOWSTONE PARK
    .. We paused long enough at a couple of runs on the Madison River to ascertain that the fish indeed were rising. Neighbors with sharper eyes than ours verified that the midges were airborn and thick as midges.
    .. A winter visit to Yellowstone National Park affords an interesting insight into the fishy waters and the hatches that are not written about in the books authored by experts.
    .. Flow rates of the Madison River at West Yellowstone, Montana are at or, slightly above the 85 year average. The Gibbon River is at it's seasonal average flow. The Firehole River is running faster and deeper than usual for this time of year. What else would you expect?
    FLASHING SHADOWS AND STEAM - GIBBON RIVER
    .. This is the time of year that some of our neighbors abandon the neighborhood and head to balmy climes in search of a warmer experience.
    .. Dissatifaction with the homeland reflects their year-round perspective. Strokes and folks!
    .. For those of us fortunate enough to enjoy our surroundings through all seasons there is, right now, a magic time each evening.
    .. At this time the wind settles to a gentle breeze. The sun dips behind looming prominences and casts rapidly moving shadows over the landscape.
    .. Hides for the fish change, and it's possible to watch them flee from shadow to shadow through the bright spots on the rivers. This is an interesting bit of adaptive legerdemain that  serves the observant fisher well at any season.
    .. Fishing has slowed in the lowlands due to regulations and the conscientiousness of anglers during the spawning season. The Hebgen Tailwater remains open and keen anglers fish from shore and avoid the redds. Double fly rigs are the current strategy in this section of the Madison River. A bright small nymph is the preferred dropper and a small mangled caddis is the forward fly. Works just fine.
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    SUNSET BRINGS A STILLNESS TO THE HIGH COUNTRY ALONG THE MADISON RIVER

    Saturday, March 02, 2013

    We Call It Spring

    TWO MILESTONES LOOM
    Close It Down
    Open It Up
    it's getting close

    A COLONY OF ICICLES FORMS AS SNOW MELTS AT OLD FAITHFUL
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    .. The calendar in a tourist town is skewed toward the arrival of hoards of visitors and significant activities pertaining thereunto. Conventional calendric milestones sometimes coincide with with local significance; often not.
    An Idiocy Of Snowmobiles
    .. Our neighbors can feel the upcoming improtant days and events in their bones. Right now their bones are tingling and they've become antsy. Two coincident events, (and yet a third,) are imminent.
    .. The world snowmobile expo is just 10 days away. That chaos is a bit of calendric hoopla that we endure because of it's proximity to the official end of the winter season in Yellowstone National Park, which is on March 15, 2013.
    .. Meanwhile, as the sleds zoom around town frightening the constabulary, residents, dogs, cats, children and wildlife; quiet preparations are being made inside Yellowstone National Park for the opening onslaught of early season visitors.
    An Unkindness Of Ravens
    .. Insulation, (placed there to keep snow on the grround for over-the-snow vehicles,) is being cleared from the warm sections of roads. Cavernous pot holes, (the result of numerous freeze-thaw cycles,) are filled.  Repairs of leaky roofs and frozen pipes are undertaken and, 'seasonal staff' are gearing-up for their stint in Wonderland.
    .. And, of course, plowing of the lowland roads begins with a vengeance.
    A GANG OF ELK
    .. As soon as all the roads are clear enough for bicycle, (and administrative,) travel, the neighbors begin their pilgrimages into the accessable parts of the west side of the park. By foot, by ski, by skateboard, by roller blade, and by bicycle the neighbors and nearby residents enter the park. Right past the vehicle barriers, down the roads and into the park for free. It's a local thing and it brings out the best in folks.
    .. They visit with each other about the soon-to-be summer chaos. There will be freezing rain, (going on right now,) there will be snow, there will be ice and mud and mating coyotes and flocking ravens and elk sunning themselves. There will soon be babies. Young of the year is an anticipated event in this part of the world. All these actualities and eventualities come to the fore about now.
    GAS UP & CLEAN THE STREETS
    .. Although the conventional calendar is mindless of our local happenings, we call it Spring. The specific definition of the exact timing of  "Spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and customs - certainly! Ours is an event based definition. It's a time of quietude. Rebirth and rejuvination are still far in the future. Up here it's when the hoards have thinned and we have the place to ourselves. It's a short respit from the chaos of destination travelers. There are no tulips: not a daisy will be found. The grass will be brown and matted, and frequently covered with fresh snow. But it is Spring and it is getting close.
    .. Elk antler shedding, snow pack status, fishing prospects, picnic plans, day trips, camping, and other topics fly through the air. At the Post Office, in convinience stores, in the hardware store, in the aisles of the grocery stores it's Spring - despite the sleet and snow beating against the windows and doors. We now have time to cater to each other's concerns rather than strangers with urgent, (or - more often less than urgent,) needs.
    .. Spring is when the neighbors gather and enjoy each other and the wonderful place in which we live. It has very little to do with the calendar or the weather. We call it Spring nevertheless.
    .. AND THEN THE PARK OPENS - they call that Spring.
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    THE INANITION OF SPRING ROADS IN YELLOWSTONE - A TRUE MARVEL

    Friday, March 01, 2013

    A Bit Surprised


    AS THE STORY GOES::

    .. The whale is coming up to scoop up a mouthful of herring ( the small fish seen at the surface around the kayak).
    .. The kayaker is a local Sitka Dentist. He apparently didn't sustain any injuries from the terrifying experience.  
    .. The whale was just around the corner from the ferry terminal, and all the kayaker could think at that moment in time was: "Paddle Man--really fast!"    


    Reported May, 2010.   Analysis HERE.