Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nothing Spectacular

Water Content Up
a whisper of spring

.. Well now; Yellowstone National Park will be closed to over-the-snow vehicular travel at the end of the week. The Snowmobile Expo will take place on the following weekend.
.. These two events signal a few realities for the neighbors. There will soon be places to park downtown. Seasonal employment will disappear for about two months. The heaviest snowfalls of the season are in the offing. Muck, mush, and melting will dominate the town snow piles. Winter fishing will be the best it's been since Adam was a rib, or thereabouts.
.. Our snow depth is approaching the 100% mark. That's the good news. The snow water content is lagging on the Madison River and the Gallatin River by about 20% over both drainage's. That's the O.K. news. Spring will tell the tale.
.. If the current warm-up persists to the point of rain we're done for the year and that's not all bad. If we get a few more snow storms with some wet spring snow that's not all bad either. If we get a few storms and pile up the snow to above average depths and spring warms up rapidly the runoff could be excessive and persistent, and that's not necessarily bad. Obsessing fails to comfort the soul.
.. The mid-range forecast suggests that we may see 50° F by next Sunday or Monday. That is what the folks next door call " . . a whisper of Spring . . " It's has been a gentle winter by historical standards and we're pleased to let the upper prairie states be the coldest in the lower 48 for a change.
.. Fishing has been good, catching has been better - probably because access has been easy with the soft snow and mild weather. We've been fishing our usual assortment of flies plus an additional newcomer to the boxes. Along with our worms, shop vacs, winter grub & Yellowstone Spruce fly, we've added the winter caddis.
.. The winter caddis is nothing spectacular. It's just a large, bright, overly-dressed soft hackle. It has a lead core for the body, no friggin' bead head, and is made from chartreuse hare's mask and partridge breast. It is a simple, quick, effective fly. So we use it. It can be tied without the lead and greased to float. That works too.
.. With the lowland Madison River closed, (where it's economical for us to fish it,) we're stuck with the Hebgen Tailwater, (and that's not all bad - high as it is.) There are still midges and as the days get brighter and warmer they will play a role in the theater of the fly as well.
.. We'll let you know if it gets to 50° F over the coming weekend.