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  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
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  • Sunday, October 02, 2016

    Here It Comes

    GENTILITY WANING
    Catching Picking Up
    elbows arrive en masse


    WALLPAPER:  MODERN MUDDLER
    WALLPAPER:  ORIGINAL MUDDLER by Don Gapen
    Courtesy Martin Joergensen
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    .. The recent influx of anglers to this little village corresponds with an anticipated change in the weather. Even the fish seem to notice it.
    AS NOAA SEES IT
    .. The rain and coolness is arriving with the regularity of a Winter pattern in the Gulf of Alaska.
    .. The big low off the coast is spinning off pulses that are suggesting that the snows in the forecast may be for real.
    .. The destination for most of the recent visitors is the Madison River. Runner fever is rampant in town and on the river. Rightly so!
    .. The fish are stacking up in all the traditional resting holes. The cars are crowded tightly in all the traditional parking spots. The stories range from child-like glee to morose blameshifting. Fish, by the way, are being caught.
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    .. We  had a pleasant visit with a gentleman from Chicago.
    .. As he fished the Madison River he was taking a few good sized runners with regularity. We waited for him to take a break.
    .. Eventually, (not to be pushy or pry too much,) we asked about the strange bit of fluff wrapped on the hook that he was using.
    .. He chuckled and reminded us that we knew the name but not the fly. Of course it was a "Muddler" tied in the fashion of Don Gapen's original fly. The one that has transformed itself into the modern Muddler Minnow.
    .. The pertinence of this is a rather simple lesson about the variation of stylistic impositions of ego maniacal fly tiers. The flies in fly shops look little like the original. Even the one sold by Don's family is a later variation of the original.
    FROM THE GAPEN FAMILY
    .. More interesting, however, is that the internal action of the original just beats the far out of the contemporary renditions. And the original is considered "too sloppy" and "too casual" for sale to the visiting sports that are on the water right now.
    .. Most interesting of all is that the one being used by the fellow from Chicago was catching fish at a rate far above that of the other three fishers, (crowded into the same run,) - two of whom were using Muddler Minnows dispensed by local counter help.  My, my.
    OH SO PRETTY
    .. We admired the ragged, (rather large,) rendition from Chicago and as we were fondling the fly we asked a terribly impertinent question.
    .. Had the gentleman told the others what fly he was using?
    .. But of course he had! He just hadn't shown them the one that he was using. They didn't even ask.
    .. We've mentioned this before and do so again in the hope that this grand old fly will return to it's "buggy" roots and gather up fish the way it was intended to.
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    .. Deeper into the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, all the pull-outs and paved parking lots are full of invasive license plates.
    A LOCAL FLUFFY ONE
    .. Catching on the Firehole River is about as good as it gets.
    .. Were it not for the dogged insistence of the floating fly fraternity this could be termed "beginner water."
    .. Soft hackles and little nymphs, appropriately presented, are damn near guaranteed to weaken your wrist from cranking the reel to subdue the 10" monsters of the Fall Firehole River.
    .. For the persistent surface slingers there seems to be a trend toward flies  a bit larger that resemble the small patterns made so popular by the guide books.
    .. Way up the road the Gallatin River is still delighting a few of the neighbors. Some have even ventured out of the park and traveled as far as Big Sky, Montana.
    .. With a whisper we gently report that, in the biggest of meanders, streamer stripping is taking it's toll on the sullen fish of the darkest waters of the Gallatin River. For some folks it's worth the drive to avoid the elbow hatch around here.
    .. Other whispers, (that we will be soundly chastised for,) include: Bacon Rind Creek, Gibbon River - by the campground, West Fork Gallatin River, South Fork Madison River, and of course the Upper Firehole River, (not to mention Iron Spring Creek.)
    .. With all that whispering going on it must be Autumn in the neighborhood. The moon has become black and the evening turns to night way too early.
    .. Time for a breakfast cookie and some milk.
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    WALLPAPER:  BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES