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  • Saturday, June 04, 2016

    Game On

    Fish The Firehole Late
    a tale of two canyons
    ..We're not prone to hyperbole but, the classic and popular segments of the Firehole River are fishing just like the guidebooks and counter help explain it to you.
    Shuckster   #1
    .. We'll mention a few flies but the truth of the matter is that just about any fly of the right size will gall a fish - quickly and successfully, (given a gentle presentation and sharp hook.)
    .. We visited with a few visitors on the rivers and came away with one interesting observation that they had made: the hooks from the feather merchants are amazingly dull this year. A few swipes with a diamond sharpener will go a long way to insuring your success.
    Shuckster #2
    ..  Better than good numbers of Baetids and some PMD's have been coming off.
    .. The super dry fishing has been just O.K. but, the emergers, (slightly drowned or in the film,) have been what many of the neighbors have been using.
    .. These combined with the standard drowned soft hackle or "Dry Soft Hackle" Are becoming, (more than usual,) the go to choices.
    .. It's  good to enter Yellowstone National Park early: it's better to stay late. The caddis are already prolific in the afternoon and there have been some late evening spinner falls of the mayflies. Lots of noses in the air in the early evening.
    Lots of eager and lonely fish here
    .. The Madison River is alive with eager and ravenous fish. They are feeling very lonely.
    .. Ignoring the Madison River early in the season is a tradition of feather merchants, guides, and guide book readers.
    Here too
    .. Many folks would rather gather up fifteen to twenty 10" fish instead of ten or fifteen 19" fish. It's a strokes and folks thing.
    .. Of course, by the time they get to the Madison River the best of the catching has moved on and they spread stories about how the river really isn't worth fishing. Some of the strange stuff you hear from the establishment rumor mill.
    Gibon River coming on early
    .. The Gibbon River Canyon has a nice assortment of rainbow trout and some wily brown trout, should you need to gather up more than a handful of fish in a morning or afternoon break.
    .. This is one of the most rewarding of nymphing rivers at this time of year.
    King Prince
    .. We use the King Prince or just a large Prince nymph.
    .. There are also regular and consistent hatches of mayflies that the fish seem to discover before the fishers. Floating a dry in the appropriate places can surprise even the most expectant fisher.
    .. We gathered some intelligence from a couple of fishers that fished the big meadows and the Brook Trout Paradise above the cascades. Recruitment of Brookies has been exceptional over the last few years and it's becoming commonplace to take a few 10" or 12" specimens in couple of hours. The crowds have found this water but the fish seem to be very cooperative and not too skittish right now.
    Firehole Canyon
    .. The Firehole Canyon is being visited by some savvy fishers and  a covey of the neighbors.
    .. Stoneflies of several sorts are in both canyons. Pick your poison and hang on.
    .. There are even some large salmonflies on the Madison River between Madison Junction and 7-mile bridge.
    .. The neighbors are using sparsely tied black nymphs in both canyons and on the Madison River.
    .. The big bugs are beginning their contrary appearance along the Firehole River. They are crawling along the shore above Firehole Falls - but not in any great numbers.
    .. Firehole Canyon has a few early fliers as well. This is a good time to use a floater/dropper combination. Put your best "mature" floater up high and a dark, (sparsely dressed,) nymph ten to fifteen inches down at the tip. No need for weight, just cover a lot of water.
    .. Should you be feeling adventurous a double nymph of yellow or golden stones along with the big honker can provide near constant action in the right place.
    .. Soon you won't have to cover any water - the fish will willingly jump in your waders.
    .. Our days and nights have tried to fool us into believing that Summer is really here. The days have been partly cloudy and bright, (too bright for some.)
    .. The nights have been warmer than "sleeping weather."  Days will continue in the 70's - approaching the 80's, (egad!)
    .. This is about to change. Hatch chasing for the dryfliest should become exceptional over the next five or six days as the gray and gloom and drizzle return.
    .. There should still be enough afternoon sun and brightness for the caddis and white miller visitations. Hopefully the nights will cool off some.
    .. Get thee to the Firehole River right now. Discharge on the little stream is a few hundred cfs below median rates for this time of year. It is also approaching historic minimums.
    .. Temperatures have already spiked to 75° F.  Official closure may or may not happen but, it's soon going to be very hard on the fish if you stab one in the snout.
    .. We are loath to say it but, catching has gotten off to a fantastic start. We hope that there is a guide book writer in the house.
    .. Better get out the 10 weight two handed rod.