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  • Friday, October 07, 2016

    Other Places

    RUNNER RAMPAGE ?
    Avoiding The Elbows
    weather's encouraging
    WALLPAPER: THE STORM GATHERS
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    .. As our weather sinks deeper into the Autumn/Winter transition the runner rush is still in full stride.
    .. Good numbers of trout from Hebgen Reservoir are decorating cell phone screens. Everyone is doing it. The Madison River is sprouting elbows at a record pace. 
    .. The weather has much to do with it. Gray days with splattered gobs of wet snow can attract the fishers. We're not sure what the fish think. Join the crowd, it's a good year for catching and the weather is delightful.
    .. We've caught more than our fair share of the submarines of Autumn. We now seek those other places where fewer elbows sprout.
    .. One of those other places is the Firehole River. The traditional runs and riffles still have a good crop of elbows.
    .. But not far from the fisher concentrations is excellent water. We've been exploring the bits and pieces of Pocket Basin. Oh my, there's fish!
    NOT REALLY WALLPAPER:  POCKET BASIN
    .. There is also some quiksand, a few thermal springs, slippery bedrock stretches, and a couple of surprisingly deep pools. It's seldom explored because of the normally warm waters. Right now the weather cools the water. Yum !
    POCKET BASIN CANDY
    .. These fish are currently taking up their "winter positions" and are staking out their territory.
    .. They are feisty, still sex crazed, and hungry. Toss them a bit of a snack and they will happily dance with you.
    .. The hardest part of the catching is getting into position to present your fly. The water is very clear and the bottom ranges from very shallow to fairly deep over short stretches. The bank is fragile and the sun is never your friend.
    .. Creeping, duck walking, crawling, and slithering is possible in a few areas. Then again with our knees and back it's just slow crouch walking. Ugh; the price of fish.
    .. This is the time of year that the neighbors relish. Very few visitors clog the roads and pull outs. The fish are at their cooperative best. Feeding activity transcends the guide book wisdom. The whole water column is fair game - simultaneously.
    HEAVY,  DENSE DROPPER
    ..There is still a month of fishing left in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. With a dry/dropper combination it's possible to take fish on either fly or, occasionally both at once. We like a fairly large, (8 or 10,) on top and a bit of bead head below, (14 or 16.) Your favorite feather merchant can provide recommendations - it's the end of the season.
    .. There is yet another, other place, that we've been sampling. Up the road is Buttermilk Gorge and Buttermilk Creek. It's not in the guide books. It's unnamed on the maps. It's a dinky tributary to some very famous water. It's short and steep, (sort of like a miniature coastal steelhead stream.)
    .. There's a small population of rambunctious trout that spawn in the little creek. If you isolate an older fisher in a dusty corner of some feather merchant's shop you may find out about the buttermilk secret. Whispers are appropriate.
    ONE  OR  T'OTHER
    .. Don't bother with the folks under 40. They're too busy with their 7-league boots to pause at the Buttermilk. They probably just step over it - if they even see it.
    .. Very small flies are the ticket on Buttermilk Creek. We usually use some form of midge imitation. Clusters are good. Sink 'em or float 'em - it really matters not.
    .. Long rods, short lines, shorter leaders, and stealth give the best results. Casting is optional. The fish are under the long grass that dangles from the bank.
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    .. It's dark at 5:00 AM but the coffee is hot and there's just time for some vittles and a gentle run through the skiff of snow to some lonely fish.
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    WALLPAPER: WHITE BREAD, (with milk, eggs, lard)