• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Friday, May 30, 2014

    Until Further Notice

    HEAT IS BUILDING
    Thunder On The Way
    is it june already ?

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    STRAIGHT FROM NOAA

    Event: Flood Watch Alert:
    ...THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVER IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA
    ... GALLATIN RIVER NEAR GALLTIN GATEWAY. WATER LEVELS ARE SLOWLY RISING ON THE GALLATIN RIVER. THE RIVER NEAR GALLATIN GATEWAY IS NOT EXPECTED TO REACH FLOOD STAGE UNTIL THIS WEEKEND.
    ... AT THIS TIME ONLY MINOR FLOODING IS EXPECTED HOWEVER SHOULD HEAVY RAINFALL DEVELOP IN THE MOUNTAINS THE SITUATION COULD CHANGE QUICKLY.
    ... THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR THE GALLATIN RIVER AT GALLATIN GATEWAY FROM SUNDAY MORNING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
    ... AT 4:00 AM FRIDAY THE STAGE WAS 5.4 FEET.
    * FLOOD STAGE IS 6.0 FEET. * MINOR FLOODING IS POSSIBLE. *
    FORECAST
    FLOOD STAGE MAY BE REACHED AT SUNDAY MORNING
    LINK
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    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Unmentionable

    FIREHOLE TEMPERATURES
    On The High Side
    will the warm continue ?

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    ..We've noticed but hoped it would go away. It hasn't. For 8 days straight the FIREHOLE RIVER temperature has topped 60° F. Twice in the last 8 days it's been above 65°.
    .. This year there may be a very short window of prime fishing and catching before the lethargic fish seek cooler water. Keep a weather eye out.
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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    OVERBANK !

    FIREHOLE: ANOTHER RECORD
    High Water Reigns
    warm and sunny days persist
    WALLPAPER: BANK FULL FIREHOLE

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    .. Well folks, the fish in the FIREHOLE RIVER are in places unfamiliar to the faithful visiting the little river. Perhaps a bit of river sense will bring some to hand. The color is not too bad, and visibility is about 3 - 5 feet.
    .. It may seem silly to the expert fishers but, the neighbors are taking fish on both floating and drowned ants. It seems that the high water has flooded the living rooms of ant nests. Don't mention this to the feather merchants - their ant bins are not yet stocked.
    .. Wade fishers are galumphing right through the fish that are holding tight to the bank. A few minutes of careful observation will even reveal noses in the bits of submerged grass along the bank. There are fish to be had during this high water phase of the friendly little stream. Enjoy the sun, there's warm drizzle in the forecast.
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    WALLPAPER: ANTS IN MAY ?

    Monday, May 26, 2014

    New Heights

    FIREHOLE SETS RECORD
    Gibbon Sets One Too
    madison near peak discharge

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    .. There's not much to say about the current runoff event other than it's roaring along. The Firehole River is burbling along in record discharge territory. The same goes for the Gibbon River.
    .. The Gibbon River is carrying a heavy silt load and is nearing the chocolate stage. The Madison River is finally colored to the point of very low visibility.
    .. Fishing on all three rivers is tough: catching is just as difficult. The best catching conditions are at the park line in either the Baker's Hole Loops or Duck Creek at the park boundary. Watch for bears.
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    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    More Than Fishing

    WALLPAPER:  REMEMBERING WHEN
    WALLPAPER:  TAKING MEMORIES HOME
    .. Firehole River sets daily discharge record. Gibbon River approaching record levels. Madison River running at 300 cfs above mean average for the day. Still, some fish were caught.

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Just For Fun

    FIREHOLE: SOME COLOR
    Madison: Dirty Diaper Color
    gibbon: way up and near raging
    WALLPAPER: THE LAKE AT 7-MILE BRIDGE
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    .. A bright clear morning was followed by white clouds at mid day and then overcast with a bit of dripping by 7:00 PM. That was today and probably tomorrow. There were little buglets coming from the Firehole River starting about 6:30 PM.
    THE LOVELY COLOR OF THE MADISON
    .. The Madison River is high and out of bank along several stretches. The color ranges from mustard yellow to a dark amber, (similar to the color found in a sick baby diaper.)
    .. There are places where in-water visibility is as much as four feet and others where the visibility drops to under a foot. If you know the river well there are a few places where catching might take place.
    .. The Gibbon River is contributing most of the color to the Madison River. Fishing with the possibility of catching is possible above Norris Campground. It's a proposition for the adventurous.
    .. All three streams are running above seasonal and daily mean discharge rates. The constriction of the Madison River at 7-mile bridge has caused ponding upstream and the formation of 7-mile lake extends for almost one mile above the bridge.
    THE FLY DU JOUR
    .. The faithful hoards should have no trouble with catching on the Firehole River. Above the confluence with Nez Perce Creek the little river looks as good as it ever does - the slight amber silts and organic fines are a twinkling delight and visibility is easily six feet or more. The major color from Nex Perce Creek is rapidly dissipated downstream and the whole of the Firehole  River will provide opening day catching opportunities for the swingers of the soft hackle.
    .. During high water there are exceptional catching opportunities along the lower reaches of SENTINEL CREEK. That's an opportunity for those that want to see some of the finest fish in the Firehole River Drainage.
    .. By the time the Madison River reaches the Barns Holes visibility has increased to over three feet and in some of the slower sections around Baker's Hole there looks to be 5 or 6 foot visibility. Woolly Buggers should do the trick in those sections.
    .. This morning the combined agency bison drive caused traffic snarls for the better part of the morning. At one point in time the line of stationary vehicles extended from 7-mile bridge to Riverside Drive and beyond, back toward the west entrance station.
    .. The grass in the valley is low and some of it is flooded along the Madison River. Fishers should anticipate delays at anytime of day due to the bison seeking adequate forage. Of course gawker blocks will continue as there is a fine crop of bison calves for picture taking.
    .. Tomorrow we'll Be fishing and catching on the Madison River where the fish are biting and no other fishers will be within hailing distance. See you there.
    A PREVIEW GALLERY
    WALLPAPER:  BANK FULL MADISON
    WALLPAPER:  THE AMBER MADISON
    WALLPAPER:  THE BEND AT THE PARKING LOT

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    All The Same & So Different

    RECEDED HAIRLINES
    Fuzzy Reminiscences
    we'll forgo a day of catching

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    .. It's becoming less tough for us to face the conflicts of tradition that grab us at this time of year.
    .. Tradition, (for the moment still strong,) demands that we enjoy the spectacle of thrashing machinery that captivates our very epitome. It's a personal thing and we've run out of companions to share the history with.
    .. Many times in the past we gathered around a radio to listen to the race in Indiana. Many times we debated the course, the bricks, the differences in drivers and machinery. Those times are gone, (for us.)
    .. Tomorrow we'll journey to some bits of water in Yellowstone National Park. We'll call it reconnaissance for the opener. We'll poke around the park on Saturday and sample some of the water. We'll catch a few fish in the gray and damp day. We'll call it a success and feel good about another opener in the park.
    .. Come Sunday, for us, it'll be "Tube Time," although the tube is long gone. The tube has receded into the dim and fuzzy past along with our hairline.
    .. This year the Indianapolis 500 will be a very foreign event to our sensibilities. Just like the"RAH RAH" fly fishing of contemporary piscators.
    .. Pageantry around the race has escalated to the point of empty hype. Branding has sucked the event into the cosmopolitan sphere of commercialism the same as is happening in the world of fly fishing.
    .. It seems that the right stuff is who the sponsor is rather than who wins the race. The cars are all made to a cookie cutter formula and the race will be a parade of decals and colors.
    .. Visit a river and chat with the fishers. What brand is your reel? Who made your waders? Have you got the new decal from the spiffy reel company for your window? Is that a burst bubble fly line? Gee whiz.
    .. What's the spoiler angle? Is camber counteracting caster? Differential toe in? What's your contract for the season? You should see the company website.
    .. Attention is focused on the peripherals rather than the activity. Drive a mechanical beast to the finish line first is just a small part of the conversation. Enjoy the water, the day , the fish, is lost in the hype of the stuff.
    .. In this part of rural Montana, the neighbors are not much interested in the goings on in Indiana. They know something about a race and they know that it's interesting to some folks but not to most of them. They don't much talk about billet reels or high modulus rods either.
    .. We've missed the boat into the age of minutiae. We've been trapped in the bygone age of simple substance and experience. We don't even know the brand of our tennis shoes sneakers, or whatever they are called today.
    .. We have some old reels and some new reels. We have some old rods and some new rods. They all catch fish. For some folks photography is about the camera. For some folks photograph is about the image. For gearheads it's about the stuff.
    .. It's no surprise to some folks that the best catching waters for trout probably aren't in Montana. There are waters in Michigan, New York, California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Oregon that, by (pick your definition,) most standards are better.
    .. Montana has good press. Montana has good press agents. So does Pennzoil, and a slew of rod, reel, wader, and clothing makers.
    .. We're not sure it's about the trout. It may be about the water. It may be about the time and place and tradition.
    .. In the dim and distant past we remember folks saying that clothes don't make the man. It seems that today gear makes the fisher. It would seem that sponsors make the winner in the race.
    .. It takes lots of money to win the race in far off Indiana. Happily, it takes very little money to catch a fish. We've caught fish in concrete river channels. We've caught fish with small safety pins and kite string. We've lost fish on big reputation waters with fancy stuff. It has never been about the stuff; but we're weird that way
    .. Somehow, for us, the pull of the race has diminished over the the last 4 or 5 decades. At the same time the water and fish have become more alluring. We'll entertain ourselves with the race on Sunday. We'll do it because we're fossilized in our behavior and mindset. It's part of a diminished and dissappearing history. We'll fish on Saturday because we can and because it's vital and part of the present.
    .. On Saturday we'll go fishing. We don't know what rod to take. We won't know until we pick it up. We will tie on a fly, (chosen serendipitously,) and fling it into the wind. We'll splash around and scare the shit out of many fish. We'll catch a few. We'll miss a few. We won't be better because of the gear. We won't be worse because of the gear. We'll be happy to be fishing and we'll go to the pub and listen to the jabber about the sizes of hooks, behavior of synthetic materials, designs of fly lines, spoke patterns of reels, and the like. Happy fisher folk will be discussing the fish only in passing. They won't mention the water, the rain, the elk, the bison, the wind, or the bugs. They might debate the suds in the pitcher. It's all good.
    .. It's all so different and yet much is the same. We enjoy the sameness and eschew the differences. The spice is not the meat. The rod is not the fish. So be it.
    .. On Sunday we'll be back in the 50's at the brickyard. The stench of oil, alcohol, and grease will numb our neurons and it will be a fantasy trip down memory lane. There won't be many more
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    Sorry Steve, just had to link to it.


    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Don't Miss Out

    A WHOLE NEW MEDIA ?
    IPO AND MORE
    just something to think about

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    .. As we watch the mud move into the Madison River we're taking a moment to let you in on a view of the future of communication.
    .. Fly Fishers should take note if they plan to let folks know about their exploits. Of course you need the gadgets as well as the distribution.
    .. Many fishers have discovered the advantages of "Movies" when they need to explain or teach or communicate or document.
    .. Many have turned to bulky and expensive DSLR cameras for this endeavor.  Some have discovered the advantages of jumping, with both feet, into the ocean of social media. It's here to stay, (in whatever form.)
    .. The GoPro camera company has filed for an IPO and the listing shows plans for it's next bold step into the future of media distribution, (from the mundane to the exceptional.)
    .. More interesting than the IPO is the agreement with Microsoft for the GoPro channel on X-Box and several other media distribution agreements. Right now the YouTube channel is among the most popular.
    .. Images from the little camera have already been used in significant big screen motion pictures. Resolution is improving with each new model. The little box is attractive to the world at large.
    .. The GoPro company will bring out some new editing software and some additional tools for distribution to existing media channels as well. It's more than just fishing, it's more than just fly fishing. It's where it's at.  Don't be left behind.

    READ ABOUT IT

    -- GoPro Website,
    -- From The Atlantic,
    -- From Forbes,
    -- From Bloomberg,
    -- From Business Insider, 
    -- From Engadget
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    Preview Of Coming Attractions
    .

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Let The Circus Begin

    UPTICK IN ACTIVITY
    Memorial Day Approacheth
    more than fishing underway

    WALLPAPER:  DRINK THE SPRING MUD
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    .. We may be among the most blessed of folk of the earth. We may experience perfection in weather. We may have gentle rain and swollen rivers for the start of catching in Yellowstone National Park this year.
    .. The 5 day forecast calls for some dripping from the sky. It calls for fog and coolness. Most visitors will moan and groan. A few piscators will smile and enter the fray, (FISHY LINK.)
    .. It's a bit later than usual but the rivers are finally moving toward a lovely shade of brown that will dampen the enthusiasm of the hoards of anglers invading the park. The Madison River is about 250 cfs above the median discharge rate for this time of year. It's not yet to the pure mud stage and could be, (at this moment,) fished with success in a few select places.
    RENEGADE FOR FISH
    .. The Gibbon River is nowhere near record discharge levels but is running rapidly and will probably continue to build as the rain and warmth add to the available water. Above the meadows at Norris Campground there may be fish in the grass by Saturday. We've fished it under those conditions and caught some tailing trout in 6" of water. It doesn't look like the conditions for that sort of tomfoolery will obtain this year.
    .. The Firehole River, (as anticipated,) is in pretty good shape. It is running just a bit above it's seasonal numbers and is colored like a perfect fly fishing stream should be at this time of year.
    .. As the calendar pushes us toward the opener there are other bits of activity that a wider population is interested in. Today starts the bison hazing to move the brutes back within the park boundaries, (LINK 1.)
    .. The Greening Yellowstone Symposium just concluded and enthusiasm is rampant about corporate sponsors and the push to tidy up the environment within the settled portions of Yellowstone National Park. (Read about the herculean efforts HERE.)
    FENCE IN THE SKY
    .. There are a few folks that are not waiting for mega bucks to tidy up the park. A small group of citizens in Gardiner, Montana has taken to the streets in a bison poop removal project. With any luck their spirit and enthusiasm will spread to all  of the park and the unsightly and smelly nuisance poop will be removed from all of Yellowstone, (AHA LINK.)
    .. There are even more innovative ideas springing forth from the foreign country of Idaho. Perhaps a major fencing project would help with both wolves and bison, (C'MON LINK.)
    .. Should you GoPro junkies want to lift off there is a resistance from some folks to drones in Yellowstone National Park. A precedent setting ruling in Yosemite has brought the discussion about unmanned aircraft in the park to the fore, (FLIGHT LINK.)
    .. Oh, by the way, some real flooding may be approaching in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The final Spring Flooding Forecast from the National Weather Service points toward the confluence flats of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. The distributary channels of Soda Butte Creek can use some flushing and it will be interesting to see if this comes to pass, (WET LINK.)
    ..With all that fence building, bison hazing, poop removal, green construction, and drone dodging it should be a typical weekend for the opener in the park.
    .. Come Saturday we're planning to visit some of the poop laden meadows along the Firehole River. We've put some bolt cutters in the fish car along with a few surface to air missiles and our rubber duck flotation device. The world be damned - we're going fishing. After the poop we will be catching above the dam on the Firehole River, (yes there is a dam on that "pristine" river.)
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    WALLPAPER: ABOVE THE DAM ON THE FIREHOLE

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    Countdown To Saturday

    THE EINSTEIN FLY BOX
    It's Fully Inexplicable
    some are even used by experts
    WALLPAPER: A RED DRY ?
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    .. Come Saturday the faithful and the less so will descend upon the rivers of Yellowstone National Park for a ritual deflowering of the year's fishing season: some fish will be caught. Most of the fish will remain unmolested for the moment.
    .. Albert Einstein said that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." By that definition many of the fisher folks on Saturday will be experiencing that condition. They will go to the same places, with the same flies, using the same techniques, and following the same sage advice as failed them last year.
    .. This year's runoff event has not been exceptionally notable. This year's runoff  has, on the other hand, changed some portions of the west side rivers in significant ways. Do it the same as granny did if you choose. Read those old books if you like. Go find the illustrated sacred rocks and boulders if you must.
    .. The Spring Fly Box this year is heavily dependent on nymphs and, of course, the kind generosity of a few of the neighbor kids that have taken pity on our ineptitude and poor vision.
    .. These flies are not for framing - they are for fishing. Some of the flies are recognizable as old favorites. Others are unique creations or modifications of recognizable patterns. All have and will catch fish.  Many will catch fish on Saturday. Some won't catch any fish at all - such is fly fishing.
    .. We have been accused of being touched with the insanity germ and will start our riverside stroll on Saturday with a Feather Duster. It usually takes a fish or two so we're not expecting different results.
    FEATHER DUSTER - ORIGINAL
    FEATHER DUSTER - WHITE THORAX
    FEATHER DUSTER - YELLOW THORAX
    .. Our fall back nymphs are some old standbys that are seldom seen these days. The Casual Dress is an oldie that has fallen out of favor in these days of beads and synthetics. The Naked Prince has no bead head and no ribbing and works great in the film.
    CASUAL DRESS
    NAKED PRINCE
    .. Albert also said that "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." We're very amenable to that.
    .. On Saturday we will also be packing some of the neighborhood deviants, (not the folks but traditional, standard patterns, nymphs in various sizes and colors and materials.) This should change the facts of the matter pretty significantly.
    BLACK WOOL NYMPH
    CREAM WOOL NYMPH
    ORANGE WOOL NYMPH
    .. Should a change of facts not accomplish the compliance with our theory that the fish are eager, starved for attention and food, and in need of traditional nymphs - there are other choices..
    .. We, again, turn to Albert for some sage insight: "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." Since our consciousness is stuck in the traditional rut and, we almost always first use antique flies,  perhaps a bit of synthetic consciousness is in order. These are the flies that the neighbor kids use to begin their day.
    NEON WHAMME
    ROCK WORM
    PENGUIN
    .. Again, we find our self agreeing with one of Einstein's most famous maxims: "The only real valuable thing is intuition." The intuition of some famous fisher folks is legend among fly fishers. Some say it's just a long history of experience.
    .. On the other hand there are very young and inexperienced fishers that seem to have all the "luck." Go figure! The collective intuition of the neighborhood youngsters currently holds that the chamois leech-worm should be the go-to fly on opening day.
    CHAMOIS WORM
    .. The bugs that live in our waters are more or less active and available as fish food year 'round. Anticipation in this part of the universe is firstly aimed at big bugs and then floating bugs. Right now there are a few floating bugs on the Firehole River. That same river is usually the first in the neighborhood to produce big bugs.
    .. Of course Albert had something apropos to say about this kind of situation: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Perhaps the big bugs are moving.
    BLACK STONEFLY NYMPH
    .. Gifts from the gods arrive in various forms. On opening day there will probably be some surface scraps for both the fish and fishers to examine. These gifts and maybe some early caddis could be present if the sun is out.
    .. Maybe even glorious flights of dinky fluff will arrive if the dreary days of Spring return. A few floaters in the Einstein box should do for openers. We can't afford all the fancy new stuff dreamed up by the feather merchants over the Winter so we stick with things like the "Mashed Caddis," or a Royal Coachman. Some of the limited production flies from around the neighborhood are in the box as well.
    .. What would Albert say? "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
    ROYAL COACHMAN
    MASHED CADDIS
    RUBBER BAND CADDIS
    FURNACE AND GREEN CUL de CANARD
    MINI MUDDLER - (sort of)
    .. You can be sure that only a few folks will be fishing any of these flies come Saturday. The feather merchant catalogs are full of the latest and greatest - far different than the latest super stuff of a half decade ago, (it also caught a lot of fish.)
    .. The good Doctor Einstein had something to say about this as well: "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."
    .. Come Saturday a lot of visitors will be insanely thrashing familiar haunts with spiffy electric fly patterns seeking to prick a fish with what they think the fish is supposed to be gobbling up. We are going to have a go at it too.
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    PRAY FOR GRAY