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  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Runner Watch

    MEANDERING FISH
    Of Bends & Bedrock
    observe the waters
    "And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet."
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    .. We seldom mention "The Beaver Meadows." We only visit once or twice each year: never in the Autumn.
    .. Submarines berth at various ports along the river in the meadows. Berthing strategies vary by the hour, day, month, year, decade and more.
    .. Time was that we made the trek to the river on a regular basis. Time was we could drive in very close to the Madison River. Time was that the beavers were more congenial. Fish, indeed, were in the beaver ponds and meander cutoffs. Like in a barrel!
    PARK IT ANYWHERE
    .. Times change. Rivers change. There has been an enormous proliferation of elbows in the Beaver Meadows over the past 50 years or so.
    .. Today there is a genuine traffic hazard with the inadequate parking and traffic on the highway.
    .. Above the Barns Holes the Madison River is downcutting. From the Barns Holes to the Beaver Meadows the Madison River transitions to a river that is at grade.
    .. By the time the Madison River crosses the highway below Baker's Hole it is at grade. The pool of Hebgen Reservoir has greatly influenced the lower segment of the current river.
    .. The psychology of rivers, (and lakes,) determines their personalities. Rivers want to be straight. Lakes want to be round.
    .. Fish have no idea about this. Fish do, on the other hand, take advantage of the morphology of the river: especially deep water fish in a shallow water environment.
    .. Despite the dynamic nature of flowing water, there are some elements that greatly influence the personalities of major river segments.
    FISH KNOW BEDROCK
    .. From near the western entrance of Yellowstone National Park to the Firehole Falls and the Gibbon Falls There are terminal and lateral moraines from the last glaciation. From about National Park Meadows to Cabin Creek The outwash sands and gravels are sorted both horizontally and vertically.
    .. Their distribution and character are strongly influenced by the bedrock of Hebgen Basin.
    .. Just downstream from Barns #3 there is a recent washout, (about 9 years ago.) It took out part of the old stage road. The river scoured out all the sands and gravels. It left a high cut bank and bedrock bottom. The hole is deep, clear, cold and in the sun for the first 2/3 of the day.
    .. It should be fished at dusk. It's too often ignored because it's what it is. There will be a submarine berthed there tomorrow around 3:30 or 4:00 PM. Take your bear spray.
    .. There are several submarine berths that have persisted through the years. They are all associated with bedrock control features along the river.
    .. The "real Baker's Hole" is controlled by a bedrock headland and is full of fish right now. But they move slightly through the day depending on the shadows. Ask the counter help at your favorite feather merchant about headlands, bedrock, and shadow migration. They will let you know!
    ON A HEAVY HOOK
    .. Stable river morphology, (bends and meanders,) related to bedrock control will hold fish more consistently than ephemeral bends and meanders. This is the only hint we'll parcel out.
    .. There is a genuine pod of runners in the shadows, (on the inside of the bend,) up stream from Barns Hole #1. Took some on a white feather.
    .. You'll have to cross the river. You'll have to be there early. You can see the fish from your casting position above them. They will dodge your fly unless it's overcast. (Try fishing the fly on a loose downstream cast.)
    .. It's nap time and then off to Buttermilk.
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    Wallpaper: APPLE TURNOVERS - Almond/Cherry Drizzle