• Visit: The Trout Underground
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: Buster Wants To Fish
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, July 28, 2014

    Worth A Couple Of Days

    The Horse Knows The Way
    a truly secret fishing hole
    .. Briefly: there is no better dry fly water in all of Yellowstone National Park. It's name is not in the lexicon of "experts" whose stories start with "I fished . . . ."
    .. We don't recommend it to many folks. We don't mention it too often. We're not afraid it'll be "discovered" and become too crowded - it's too far from the road. In fact just forget that we mentioned it at all.
    Red = Nex Perce, Purple = General Howard
    .. Adam "Horn" Miller was born in Bavaria in Oct. of 1839 and moved to St. Louis when he was a child. He came up the Missouri River in 1854 from St. Louis and settled in Emigrant Gulch as early as 1864 or 1869.
    .. He prospected in Yellowstone at that time along with John Davis. He later prospected with Bart Henderson, Ed Hibbard, James Gourley, Sam Shively, Pike Moore, and Joe Brown. He discovered gold in the Cooke City area with Bart Henderson and others in 1869-70, naming their mine the Shoo Fly Mine.
    .. During the next few years he helped Bart Henderson build the road from Bottler’s Ranch to Mammoth. He acted as guide for Superintendent  Norris in 1877 in the northeastern portion of the park when Norris was looking for another northern approach to the park. He again guided Norris and photographer Henry Bird Calfee in 1880 on an exploration of the Hoodoo Basin.
    .. Miller was one of the scouts under Gen. Howard during the Nez Perce War of 1877. Miller also did guiding and hunting out of Cooke City. When asked if he ever killed an Indian, he replied, "I never went to see, but I shot a good many." Later on he settled down in a cabin across the Yellowstone River from Yankee Jim.
    .. Miller Creek and Miller Mountain were named after him. He died in 1913. His obituary described him as a "man of sterling character, a man without enemies of any kind, it is said, and a citizen who always had a kind word for everyone." [[ REFERENCE HERE ]] Thank you Geyser Bob.

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Plan Ahead

    .. The catastrophic intersection of normal people on vacation and rabid destination fly fishers is taking place in a remote corner of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. This is a corner of the world where a new kind of fish is rapidly evolving: "THE SLOUGH CREEK RAINTHROAT."
    .. This not so rare trout is the byproduct of miscegenation by fish that do what fish do - in water that people drink. To the normal folks the fish is just another trout. To the fly fishers it is a highly sought after trophy. A trophy that is featured in hero photographs of conquering fishers in the wilds of Yellowstone.
    .. Despite regulations and suggestions, scofflaws lovingly release the trophies back into their home waters to continue their place in the origin of a new sub-species. Fish doing what fish do. The religiosity of the catch and release ethic is unbreakable in some folks.
    .. Right now there are bugs aplenty for the Rainthroat trout to eat. Around, and below, the campground at Slough Creek the morning fishing is tantamount to a simplistic endeavor. Teeny-Weeny PMD's are the breakfast fare. Drakes for lunch. Caddis for dinner. A few various stoneflies thrown in for snacks. This is the place to practice your midstream etiquette and socialize with kindred souls.
    .. Up the trail and into the big meadows is where the dedicated anglers will be found. Creeping and crawling is the preferred mode of locomotion in the lush grasses. No arthritic fishers need apply.
    .. Success comes to the practiced caster. Take your pocket binoculars and pick a target. Figure out what the fish are eating. These Rainthroats are frequently particular about what they eat, some of them are "one-cast-fish." Make it count.
    .. There are places on Slough Creek where the water is swift, full of boulder gravel, and highly oxygenated. Here and there are small populations of big and little stoneflies. Take some yellow ones.
    .. Of course there is always the lowly caddis fly. Take several of your favorite imitations. Be prepared to fish with nymphs, emergers, and adults in the late afternoon and evening.
    .. If you take a large enough selection it will be possible to spend many productive hours sharing the patterns with other fishers of a like mind. Be sure to have your vintage Wheatley Fly Box in a readily accessible pocket of your $300.00 Filson® Foul Weather Vest - after all it may rain.
    ..The best information about what to fish with and where to go is easily gathered from the feather merchants in the neighborhood. A few phone calls and a visitation on your way out will allow you to be fully prepared for the wild adventure of Rainthroat hunting. You might even be able to buy a new fly box and several dozen flies to cram into it.
    .. Some folks with less taste for social adventure will walk upstream from the campground at Pebble Creek. The creek holds thousands of Cutthroat Trout to be visited, (a few rainbow trout and some rainthroat trout too.) The Cutthroats are the typical brightly colored, very healthy specimens in the 10" to 14" range that are neglected in favor of the fish just down the road.
    .. The stream is small. The trail is gentle, (for a couple of miles). The scenery is overwhelming. The bugs are prolific. The mosquitoes are ravenous. The bears are frequent. and the elbows less dense than many of the more famous social waters.
    .. Forget the vest. Take a dozen flies and enjoy this fine little stream before it gains the grandiloquent status of a social fishery and the Rainthroat Trout take over.

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    The Lamar Five

    Stuff  'Em In An Altoids® Tin
    share them with friends
    .. Oh to have the legs and exuberance of youth. For us, that time is long gone. Some of the neighbor kids still have it all.
    .. They travel light and fast. They fish the best water at the best time and in the best way. They are on intimate terms with the lakes, rivers and streams in our neighborhood and in Yellowstone National Park. They cram a month's worth of fishing into each week and a year's worth into each month.
    .. For reasons unknown these kids have befriended us and treat us far more kindly than the cliquish establishment fly fraternity. They probably know more and fish more as well. They don't have to impress visitors. They don't have to sell the latest and greatest. They don't have to engage in hyperbole and fantasy by the day or hour. They are out there and doing it.
    .. One rule that permeates all of their catching endeavors is expedience and effectiveness. Their gear is good and effective. It is not limited to fly fishing stuff. It is catching oriented, not stylistic. It is pared to the bare minimum.
    .. Their flies are designed from what they see on the rivers and creeks. They will occasionally cruise the local feather merchant's aisles. Ideas are gathered from all points of the compass and then shared with each other over a brew or two. Experimentation is rampant. "Keepers" become legend and they eventually become standardized, (more or less.) The flies are tied at the kitchen table after the dishes are done.
    .. There are certain groups of flies that are used for specific times and places. These are loosely codified by river drainage and occasionally time of year. The assemblages are simple. They have no formal designations -- neither do the flies -- usually. Occasionally descriptive terms are applied to specific flies that have proven themselves. Terms like: The Footed Monster, The Spaghetti Muddler, The Green Floater, etc. Some are varieties of well known flies. Right now the Red Humpy is in ascendancy.
    .. The kids currently are expending enormous amounts of energy and gasoline traveling to the hinterland of the northeast corner of the park. Only a few flies are used. They  can be made to cover all situations. Sizes are situational. They work: only one has a familiar name.
    .. The names are: Dark Floater, Light Floater, Winged PT, Spaghetti Muddler, Red Humpy. The kids have allowed me to make some pictures of the Lamar Five. You should not have any trouble matching the names to the faces.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Unmentionables ?

    Ignore This Post
    damn if you don't have to walk
    .. This is the time of year when fishers in Yellowstone National Park recite a litany of names familiar to all. Third Meadow, Second Meadow, Soda Butte Creek, Lamar River, Slough CreekSulphur Cauldron, Gardner River, Blacktail Deer Creek, etc.
    A HERD
    .. These are places where the social fishers gather to perpetuate the fiction that these are the best catching locations in the northeast portion of the park. More power to them.
    .. These are places where it's easy for the casual angler to gather in a bucket load of fish and enjoy the company of other fishers with a popular vocabulary and compatible ring tones.
    .. These are the places that seasonal shop rats can send visiting fishers and feel safe about their recommendations - even if they've never been there.
    .. Given that the typical destination fisher has only a few partial days to spend fishing in the park they need to maximize their catching opportunities: usually within sight of the car. Run and gun is the name of the game: just like every other casual visitor.
    A FLY
    .. On the other hand, shanks mare will bring a few fine opportunities to the angler who is not enamored of social fishing.
    .. Quietly whisper a few other, less mentioned,  names to any park habitue and you may get a quick, sly smile and some really interesting insights.
    .. What names, you say? Try Upper Lamar RiverMiller Creek, Cache Creek, or Calfee Creek. Ask about these at your favorite feather merchant's counter. Ask about the trails. Ask about each discharge eddy into the Lamar River.
    .. Ask about the first or second distributary gravel bars in the creeks, and the deep dark holes that can be reached with a simple easy cast. Ask about the flies to use and the times to go. Verify the answers with a simple test: when were you last there?
    A SIGN
    .. Should you be inclined to fish the finest catching localities in this section of the park be prepared to walk a long way. It's better to ride a horse. It's even better to spend more than a day - perhaps a week.
    .. But, then again, sad but true, you'll not be able to share stories with the typical casual park fisher. Your stories will be better and far from public knowledge.
    .. Keep this in mind if you'd rather be a social fisher.