Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Peril

Neighbors Itchy
Grand Teton Too

.. The brief cold snap last week has been enough to put a skim of ice in some places on Hebgen Lake - Jackson Lake too.
.. Quite a few of the neighbors use homemade lures for ice fishing on Hebgen Lake when the ice thickens up to the point of safety.
.. Many of the "lures" are flies in the traditional sense. We'll be reporting the wonderful array of these as the season progresses, (check HERE for a suggestive discussion.)
.. One new component to the winter mix is the regulation for Grand Teton National Park. There will be a provision for 25 Best Available Technology, (BAT,) snowmobiles to access Jackson Lake. BAT sleds are very clean and quiet 4-stroke sleds designed to comply with the Yellowstone National Park access regulations. They are touring sleds and required in Yellowstone.
.. Snowmobiles have been used on Hebgen Lake since they arrived on the scene and provide easy access to areas that are not available to wheeled vehicles, or are prohibitively distant for walking. Some of the local ice fishing fly patterns date to the early post-war, (WWII,) era.
.. The combination of early snowmobiles and other snowmachines with ice fishing developed in Canada and the upper Midwest at the same time. The practice has been entrenched in our local culture since the earliest days as well.
.. The current epicenter of motorized ice fishing access is the upper Midwest and Canada but, it's becoming more popular by the year in West Yellowstone.
.. The catch can include "SMOKERS" (very large Whitefish, to 6 - 7 pounds,) as well as both Rainbow and Brown trout of the same size.
.. Although not considered by many to be "Fly Fishing" the local tradition is certainly "Fishing With Flies." Some of the flies are old favorites, others have given rise to successful attractors when cast in running water. Many, interestingly, come from the reject pile that won't, (or didn't,) work in the streams of our neighborhood.
.. More to come.