Saturday, August 13, 2011

All's Well

The Fish Are Ravenous
catch 'em all day on the gallatin

.. Better late than never is what the neighbors are chanting. The high and cold water is a memory. The bank-hugging fish have moved into mid-stream feeding lanes. It's now possible to wet your waders with a reason. Catching is good on all west side rivers, (even the hot one.)

.. Flows persist above seasonal averages and temperatures of the waters are very cool in the mornings and evenings. The "perfect" weather includes a few afternoon thundershowers that punctuate the mid-day warming and the little freshets from the tributaries are keeping good grits flowing into the main streams.
.. The neighbors have noted that the first signs of Fall include winged grasshoppers, enormous berry crops, wrinkled willow leaves, curled aspen leaves, and the reduction in numbers of the hoards of school children splashing in the streams. It's all good.
.. The Gallatin River is the local magnet for catching oriented fishers. Generalized surface offerings of the "slightly too big" variety are dragging them in. Hopper / Dropper rigs are much in use, and even small streamers in the the dark water are galling some big fish between Snowflake Springs and Black Butte.
.. Experts have abandoned the Firehole River because "it's too hot." Just six weeks ago they were praising the 64° F water as perfect. Well now Ethel, it's 64° for a few hours in the morning and evenings. Caddis are busting out all over.
.. The same story holds true on the Madison River. If you must catch a fish on the surface take a size 10 Adams and aim at the noses in the foam lines. Should your purist tendencies be lagging a double nymph rig will suffice. Try a size 10 or 12 Prince Nymph followed by a size 16 Shop Vac.
.. Nez Perce Creek, Iron Spring Creek, and the Little Firehole are all full of fish just begging to be caught with such mundane flies as Scarlet Humpy, Royal Coachman, Adams, and Hendrickson. Fish the local exotics if you choose, but the neighbors are fishing the old stand-by's.

.. A pleasant surprise in this high water year is the population of catchable fish in the waters of Solfaterra Creek above the Norris Campground. The moose and the bears are not too much of a problem right now but well-armed anglers have a canister of bear spray in their hand anyway!
.. We should point out that the upper Gibbon River meadows (both big and little,) are finally fishing just fine. Catching is the reward for stealth anglers in the big meadows. Numbers is the name of the game in the small meadows and the tangle along the way to Grebe Lake. We usually take the long way in and the short way out.
.. We finally made it to Obsidian Creek. The residents were so glad to see us that they ate anything we offered - up to a size 8 Renegade, on the surface. Small San Juan Worms along with sparsely tied Pheasant Tail Nymphs were dyn-o-mite in the water column,
.. Well, the mid-day warm is about over and it's back to the water for us. The gulpers of Hebgen Lake are finally about everywhere. It's taken an extra week or so this year. The faithful have been chasing the bugs and fish from weed bed to weed bed. Now just about all weeds are giving up the bug feast we've been waiting for.