• 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
  • Saturday, August 30, 2014

    Really ?

    MONTANA BLOGCON
    We're The Token Fisher
    a pleasant escape to luxury
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    .. So then; we've been invited.
    .. We accepted. We're not sure what it's all about but we'll let you know.
    .. Right now it's raining and we're headed out the door for some catching.
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    Friday, August 29, 2014

    Swarms - - A Pair

    RIGHT NOW
    Big Ones & Little Ones
    trout can be peculiar
    COURTESY PHOTO:  Wayne's Word - (Thanks Wayne)
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    .. So there was a swarm and fall of "flying ants" on Tuesday. All around Hebgen Lake fishers rejoiced and fish gobbled them up.  Catching was sublime. On Wednesday the neighbors and guides and visiting sports made haste to take advantage of the blessing from the sky. A massive migration to the lake took place. SURPRISE!
    .. Instead of  the "flying ants" of yesterday there were ants so small that it was hard to see them in the sky but the fish saw them all over the water. These very small ants were the food of choice despite the abundance of "flying ants" that were clearly visible in the air and on the water.
    .. How small, you ask? A size 20 Trico with the wings pulled off and the body mashed together was a size too big and constantly refused. Now that is small.
    .. The real frustration of the current situation is that the fish have not been 'boat shy.' Dimples on the gunwales of boats, noses boinking the boats. tail splashes that wet fishers in boats, all were common and it would have been easier to net a fish than stick it with a fly.
    .. This condition may persist for another day or two. Fish very very small or fish elsewhere.
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    WALLPAPER:  WILDFLOWERS AND DAILY BREAD

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Just Could Be

    COULD BE A CADDIS
    Could Be A Beetle
    could be anything that trout eat
    COULD BE A NYMPH
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    .. We fish a lot of "could be's." Trout eat a lot of could be's. We're not chasing the trout gourmand. We're after a fish that wants to eat. Glutton vs. gourmand is an interesting proposition when it comes to trout,
    .. We don't count numbers or sizes too often. We do, regularly,  notice color, conformation, health, and such. We look around at the scenery and the sky and the bushes and grasses under foot as well.
    .. We haven't the anal retentive disposition to be finicky about exact sizes and shapes and colors. We're probably missing a lot of important and esoteric information about trout and their diet and behavior and feeding patterns. We don't miss it. Or we don't know that we miss it. We just go fishing. Sometimes it's about the fish.
    .. We're pretty nonchalant about catching but not about the going in going fishing. Getting gone is the best part of going fishing. We leave it all behind. We look forward. We seek different things: solitude, comradeship, new vistas, familiar and favorite places, the quiet, the sounds, whatever. Sometimes we seek fish.
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    COULD BE A BEETLE

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    No Fishing On Wednesday Or Thursday

    A BREAK IN THE RAIN
    Hoppers Will Be Happy
    time for sundry tasks, and such
    WALLPAPER: WILDFLOWERS AND FRESH BREAD
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    .. Jeez, it's  wonderful. The temperatures are bearable, the grass is green, the wildflowers have lasted too long, the ants have had continuous work, the trees are drunk with liquid, and fishers have rejoiced in the clouds, overcast and catching opportunities. We've had a bit of rain - everyday.
    BLUE FISH FOOD
    .. It looks like mid week will be bright, sunny, and slightly warmer, (well into the 70's.) Fish will hide from the sun. Hoppers will dry their wings. The days will be salubrious and inviting. It will be picnic weather in Yellowstone country. The evenings should be gentle and lazy. There will be time to take a break in catching to catch up on chores. It will pain the neighbors who fish to see the sun. They'll get over it.
    .. This recent spate of cool damp weather has been a blessing for fishers and the bane of tourists from the southern half of the United States. 
    FOOD CONVEYOR
    .. The Firehole River has lost over 10° F and is being fished with impunity. Wiggly fish are being released with glee as the fishers have gotten a rare opportunity to both fish and catch in mid August. There is a slight warming trend in the forecast and the waters will probably warm to lethal temperatures again.
    .. Nez Perce Creek flows into the Firehole River above a very fishy stretch of water. The fish have concentrated themselves below the confluence and fishers have been slow to figure this out, the fish were quicker on the uptake.
    .. Gulpers are gulping sporadically above the weed beds in Hebgen Reservoir. Lucky fishers who manage to hit the lake before the squalls do manage to catch a few outsized trout sampling the surfacing bugs. It's not the sure thing that it's been in recent memory but it is a rewarding pastime.
    .. The hoppers struggling to fly up the road on the Galllatin River are finding water as frequently as land. The fish like this.
    hors d'oeuvre
    .. The hoppers are joined by the flooded out ants in learning the backstroke. The little streams that feed the Gallatin River are running full and sweeping debris and food downstream. It's paradise for fish. Fishers are scarce and the poor fish have very few dance partners - so be it.
    .. The wet weather has produced little puddles of water that persist for days or a week or two. That's long enough fo another generation of mosquitoes to burst forth. It's not like the summer swamps of Alaska but it is providing another welcome food source for the fish.
    .. All in all, it's been an August of a different stripe. Not unknown but not the joy of Summer that visitors expect. Local sports and many of the neighbors are hoping for extended coolness. We're not sure what will happen in the next three weeks but fishing and catching should continue to be exceptional.
    .. We've got rain gear drying in the hall.
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    WALLPAPER: POTTER WASP BEFORE BEING EATEN

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Head Hunting

    ONLY FOR SERIOUS FISHERS
    Grab Your Best Game
    the mouse rules the night
    WALLPAPER: IS A MOUSE A FLY ?
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    .. The mouse is running wild in the neighborhood. The mouse is secretly being fished, as well, by those fisher folk with the dinky fly affliction.
    .. Many of the neighbors are trading sleep for giant fish. It's not just a local phenomenon either. Fishers across our nation have been bitten by the mouse. Nothing, it seems, breeds success like success.
    .. We've long advocated using a deer hair mouse for catching large trout. We've not been fooled by the hype that paints a top predator in our streams as a soft-sucking, fly-eating,  pansy. We know better and so should you.
    .. Mice are excellent swimmers. They often take to the water to travel along the shoreline of lakes and rivers and swamps. They are very efficient foragers and  will go to extreme lengths to stay fat and healthy. They scurry around their territories with a zeal matched by few foragers. Often this leads to their demise. Birds, snakes, weasels, coyotes, wolves and other predators consume scurrying mice regularly. So do trout and bass and pike, and other killer fish.
    ,, At some point past adolescence the trout becomes a genuine killer fish. The meanest killers lurk in the shadows and kill with swift, strong, and brutal force. Only occasionally do the biggest killers sip the smallest of prey. They are after groceries,
    .. Let them eat mice!
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    ..

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Be Bee Aware

    THE FLOWERS ARE WANING
    The Nectar Is Scarce
    the pollinators are frenzied
    WALLPAPER:   SUCCESS - AN EYEFUL
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    .. Late Spring and full Summer are a times of plenty for insects that utilize nectar as a food source. Late Summer and early Fall are a times of scarcity for those very same critters.
    .. Bees, wasps, ants, and even birds are accelerating their searching activities in pursuit of the precious fluid. This effectance behavior produces wildly and unpredictable gyrations of the critters as they seek sustenance. Long straight flight paths, zigs and zags of hecrulean proportions, dips and dives at amazing speed and duration; all are required to find new and untapped sources of nourishment. Of course the result is that flowing water is also occasionally encountered: oh happy fish.
    DROP ME
    .. Our cool Summer has slowed the anticipated hopper madness that infects both insects and fisher folk. Wide spread and ephemeral showers have drenched many parts of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. On any given day some places get very wet: some places stay bright and dry. Unlike the conventional wisdom of 'gray is good' the insect hunter should follow the axiom of 'warm and dry is fine.'
    .. Warm and dry adjacent to fishy water is exceptionally fine if you intend to catch a fish in the current climatic conditions. This is especially true if you ignore the dinky fly syndrome and fling the fly the fish want.
    .. Right now is a perfect time to use the glorious combination of a Bumble Bee Bobber and a Copper John variant for a dropper. Success in catching often favors the thinking fisher rather than the habitual and slavishly formulaic fisher.
    .. We can see a hole in the clouds down the river near mile post 25. See you there.
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    THE PERFECT BOBBER

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Highs & Lows

    SHORE LUNCH:  MADISON
    Trout Lunch:  Gallatin
    pick you poison and fling some
    WALLPAPER: TAKE FIVE
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    .. It's as important to pause and reflect as it is to catch fish: that's our story. It has nothing to do with our age.
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    WALLPAPER: TROUT CANDY

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Of Bison, Drones, Fish, And Tubes

    HERD INCREASES
    Fly It Elsewhere
    park rivers are dangerous
    WALLPAPER:  ENORMOUS HERD OF HERBIVORES
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    .. Here's a few quick notes about recent park happenings; some related to fishy stuff.
    .. Some visitors, from afar and down low are pretending that it's Autumn - not yet - not now. Up here we're still waiting for Summer. That's not a complaint at all.
    STUPID VISITORS FLY THESE ILLEGALLY
    ==> The bison herd in Yellowstone National Park is at or near record numbers. Thanks are given to the recent drought and recent mild winters, BISON LINK.
    ==> A camera equipped drone was illegally crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, DRONE LINK.
    ==> A massive search is underway for a missing concession employee last seen being swept down the Yellowstone River, TUBE LINK 1, TUBE LINK 2.
    SOON THE FISH WILL GOBBLE THESE
    ==> An Enormous Brown Trout was stuck and landed at, (or near,)  9-Mile Hole on the Madison River, in the evening, by our neighbor, a world famous fisher, using a mouse fly and some cagy tactics. Only the best fishers use flies appropriate to the situation and the quarry.
    .. Although it's hopper time, the welcome and cool afternoon showers have kept the flights of hppers to a dull roar and the fish are only mildly interested - at the moment. This weekend there will be a warm-up and the trout should realize that graceries are raining down from above. Be prepared.
    .. It's not quite like a PacMan game but, the Callibaetis are erupting on Hebgen Reservoir with regularity and it is currently possible to cast to sight-seen fish. Use flies just  bit larger than the hatch and cast to fish just a bit farther away than you normally would. They are hungry and looking up.
    TRY A SIZE LARGER THAN THIS
    ..  The frequent afternoon showers have kept the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park cool and pleasant. They have also produced a situation where local information will give you a better chance of fishing in clear water. Check with Parks Fly Shop for up to the minute information about where the murky water isn't. Some of our local feather merchants have recently sent expeditions to those far reaches of the park. Some quick phone calls and a bit of savvy questioning will help your catching success.
    .. The honey holes on Quake Lake have proven to have a seemingly unlimited supply of very large fish this year. The gear guys and the worm fishers are gathering up bushel baskets full of fine fish. When our fly fishing neighbors enter the fray they are taking more than their fair share of the pretty lake fish. Please don't disturb the rusty green pickup truck - the dog will let you know.
    NOT A HOPPER - BUT . . .
    .. The Spruce Moth flights are still thick along those wooded portions of the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park. The poor things unwittingly find the water and the lucky trout leap upon them with a gusto befitting champion gobblers at Nathan's. Try a mashed caddis imitation and hold on.
    .. The thin water of Nez Perce Creek is full of swimming tourists around the picnic area. The fish are bashful: they are avoiding the naked bodies and have moved upstream in a fit of modesty - where the cool water is. A mere 4,000 feet upstream from the Mary Mountain Trailhead will provide fishers with few elbows and willing fish.
    .. The moose at Richard's Creek is not a friendly critter. Avoid this area for the moment. Even as big as a barn it's easy to hide in the dense willow thickets. We guarantee that she will fiercely protect her calf with surprise attacks and thunderous kicks and head butts.
    .. Rumor has it that there are fewer mosquitoes this year down in the Bechler Region. Welts are few and the folks around Squirrel, Idaho have been enjoying the catching along Boundary Creek. The cutthroat trout of the Cascade Corner are among the most friendly in the neighborhood. This is probably because they are passed over for fishing on the glory waters so nearby. The park-and-fish crowd just love to fish within sight of their favorite feather merchant in this part of Idaho.
    .. We're headed closer to home now.
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    THE GREAT POOL ON BOUNDARY CREEK

    Saturday, August 09, 2014

    Preview

    THE COMING SUPER MOON
    Where Will You Be ??
    where will the fish be ??
    Near Full: August 9, 2014 - 21:08:19 - West Yellowstone
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    .. Depending upon where you are tomorrow night and the way that you set your clock, and depending on the cloud cover and local horizon, the moon should rise around seven or eight of the clock.
    .. Here in West Yellowstone it's liable to be cloudy at the time of moon rise which is 8:23 PM, (7:23 PM for Luddites.) so we grabbed a quick snap of tonight's view.
    .. Of all the super moons this year the one tomorrow night is rare in that it will be overhead coincident with it's absolute perigee.
    TROUT MUNCHIES
    .. It will look biggest when near the horizon and probably should best be photographed with a few trees or a building or two for accent. The twilight of dusk should provide some exceptional views for those shutter bugs who occasionally fly fish and take hero shots.
    .. Native Americans of the upper Midwest and Northeast called this moon the "Sturgeon Moon." A good sign for catching that great fish. Closer to home the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota named this the "Moon When All Things Ripen."
    .. The neighbors that fish at night call it all manner of names depending on whether it helps or hurts the catching. Right now it is the blessed hopper moon or the great big beetle moon or the 'gonna' get 'em with a mouse moon.
    .. Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is forbidden after sundown, (we certainly do miss the 10:00 PM closure.) There are nearby, happily, bits and pieces of good water that are in the State of Montana - with no closures for light or dark.
    -- That's where we'll be tomorrow night.
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    WALLPAPER: MOUSE FLY WITH RUSTY HOOK (OOPS)

    Tuesday, August 05, 2014

    The Glorious Gray

    BLESSED RELIEF
    A Bit Of Drip Drop
    fish and fishers receive respite

    WALLPAPER:  EVENING STORM AT WEST YELLOWSTONE
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    .. Our mini heat wave has abated and the skies have opened a smidgen with some drizzle and an occasional real rain storm. The rivers on the west side of Yellowstone National Park have cooled somewhat and discharge is up just a tick. Catching has been enhanced.
    .. The Spruce Moth eruption is starting and the trout have taken notice. The neighbors have returned to recently abandoned locations along the Madison River and are reporting good catching success with flies that resemble drowned moths. Mash up one of your least favorite Elk Hair Caddis imitations and fling away. It's easy to fool the fish right now.
    .. Up the road on the Gallatin River the coolness has slowed the hoppers a small amount and the fish are looking up less and are busy gobbling Prince Nymphs and other drowned morsels. The in-water transition zones of: light to dark, shallow to deep, fast to slow, etc. are the preferred holding spots during these gray days.
    .. The neighborhood safari to the northeast part of the park has returned, (in part,) and reports that little Straight Creek has been refreshed and there are even some 11" monsters to be had on Royal Wulff and Sierra Bright Dot flies. The fish are not quite frenzied for dance partners but it is similar to a carnival. Moderately selective participants are willing to accept a slightly less than perfect partner. Presentation and stealth will reward anglers with larger fish. The fling and hope strategy will still bring a bucket full of sandwich-sized Brook Trout to hand.
    .. We abandoned the water for two days this last weekend and enjoyed the presence of a swarm of contemporary renditions of the Hot Rod. Such beautiful interpretations of the way we wished that it was 60 years ago.
    .. Just like big time college and professional sports the car culture of North America has been infused with a large dose of money. The glitter of aftermarket chrome and geegaws is apparent on all of the rides. It is not unlike contemporary fly fishing where the focus is on the gear rather than the go.
    .. We're left out of the mainstream of fly fishing for lack of money: money for $300.00 fishing reels, money for$150.00 fly lines, money for $400.00 waders, money to buy the latest and greatest flies at $3.00 each, money to wade into the stream with, (for us,) a year's salary festooned about our body. We don't begrudge the gear heads their fun, in fact we're a bit envious.
    .. It's the same with the nouveau-riche and their nouveau hot rods. It's just something that we can't participate in. After all how many of us can afford a lead sled that costs twice what a new Mercedes casts? Or for that matter fly gear that depreciated rapidly and initially cost the price of a serviceable pickup truck?
    .. We're headed to a small bit of water where we won't be embarrassed to wet wade with a 50 year old fiberglass rod and some homemade flies that work just fine and are made of bits of knitting yarn and dead birds that we ate.
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    WALLPAPER:  STRAIGHT CREEK MEADOW
    WALLPAPER:  LEAD SLED AT WEST YELLOWSTONE ROD RUN


    Saturday, August 02, 2014

    For The Carnivorous

    SOUS VIDE STEAK
    Halogen Roast
    especially for the ravenous

    WALLPAPER: CHOICE RIB EYE STEAK
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    .. There are times when the BBQ is not the right tool. Not too often does this occasion present itself during the summer. However, when it does we choose an appropriate tool and charge ahead.
    .. For steaks we dive into, (so to speak,) a perfectly cooked sous vide rib eye steak. For roasts we choose the halogen convection oven.
    .. Roasts come out of the halogen oven perfectly done and succulent. They are completely cooked in a fraction of the time a conventional roasting would take. Energy consumption is reduced and time is saved. Whole meals can be cooked in the halogen convection oven - with ease.
    .. Our favorite roast is the chuck roast. It has a hearty flavor and is reasonably priced at the moment. A three or four pound roast can be seared and roasted in about 40 - 60 minutes. Energy savings included.
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    4# CHUCK ROAST IN HALOGEN CONVECTION OVEN
    JUICY TENDER CHUCK ROAST  --  A BIT OF O.K.
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    .. Sous vide steaks take a bit longer in preparation than conventional cooking would require. Most of the time is taken up with the water bath and that can last as long as convenient - short times are not an option.
    .. If it fits your schedule There is no finer way to cook and appreciate a rib eye steak. Some salt, pepper, riced garlic, butter, a sprig of rosemary, and sealed in a bag. The nice thing about this technique is that the meat can be cooked to and held at the perfect temperature for your liking.
    .. Should you want a blood rare steak just hold the water bath at 115 °F. The meat will not over cook and become a gray mess. Should you want the perfect medium rare steak just hold the water temperature at 130 °F.  It will stay that way for hours. Should you choose to have gray / brown innards in your steak you can choose the temperature for your preferred shade of well done.
    .. The wonderful thing about sous vide cooking is that the whole piece of meat is cooked the same. No gray overdone parts surround the best part of the meat - however done you like it. If you enjoy a charred sear, (most do,) use a blazing hot cast iron griddle or judiciously apply heat with a kitchen torch.
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    SLOW COOKER MODIFIED FOR SOUS VIDE COOKING
    TOP TO BOTTOM PERFECTION -  MEDIUM RARE RIB EYE STEAK
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    .. Either technique will enhance flavors and tenderness beyond conventional methods. Both can be used during the heat of Summer without heating up the kitchen or the whole house.
    .. Watering eyes, and the camaraderie of open flame cooking are traditions that we social carnivores are loath to give up. Burned meat is forgiven in the service of social joy. Traditions that destroy excellent cuts of meat are part of the social milieu of the carnivorous fly fisher.
    .. Concessions for hamburgers are not acceptable. Perfectly cooked hamburgers are possible with either technique.
    .. For sure, taste is an individual thing. Ours is toward the medium rare side of meat, life, and fishing for that matter.
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    WALLPAPER: ROAST BEEF AND TURNIP FRITTER