Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adios Visitors

Snow Is Not A 4-Letter Word
very and cold are 4-letter words
View Toward The South Fork Last Night.
.. Minus 15° F is on the border between cold and very cold in our neighborhood. Happily we are not sleeping outside.
.. The weather mavins missed this one! We're hoping they are correct about the coming warm up and the chance for some continued productive fishing.
.. As the pubs empty of visitors and their chatter about "too-cold-to-fish" and their comments about Siberia, the neighbors are geared-up for some spectacular catching.
The Evil Eye Of The South Fork
.. There are still 19 days of catching to be had among the forgotten haunts and holes of the South Fork of the Madison River. Here the fish are far larger than those that run up the Madison River into Yellowstone National Park.
.. The fish are mostly untutored in the ways of fly fishers and seem to be willing to grab any thing with a hook in it = even nightcrawlers and Mepps.
Easy Access
.. Many of the motels in our village are closed as the staff gets laid off and mom and pop head to Jamaica or Hawaii or Belize, or some such place. Visitors flee from town when there is snow and the temperature reaches single digits.
.. The neighbors feel blessed that they have this glorious time & water all to themselves. With the recent snow, access is easy on a snowmachine and the elk hunters can hear you coming.
.. The old adage about keeping your fly in the water is most appropriate when the air temperatures get below -10° F. Half a chicken worth of feathers becomes a colorful icicle very quickly with more than just a couple of false casts.
.. Most of the neighbors fish close and roll cast, (a forgotten art form among the testosterone laden Spey flingers.)
.. The neighborhood fly box is quite a bit different from the one that the feather merchants sell for the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.
Hornberg For Now
.. Small and medium sized flies with gobs of "internal action" are the favored offerings of those that have fished the Fall run for decades.
.. As we've mentioned before, the old and dowdy Hornberg is a local favorite. So too, the small wet flies of bygone days. Flies like the Scarlet Ibis, Lead Wing Coachman, and Whitt's White Wing.
.. Mash them up good and separate the feather parts into individual strands. Not too pretty but very effective.
#4 / 2xl Soft Hackle
.. This year we've seen some giant soft hackles and some imitation salmon flies that seem to be working just fine. Most of the sizes are tied on extra long hooks of the 4 and 6 variety. Occasionally there will be a 4 / 2xl thrown into the mix.
.. The Fall run on the South Fork is a bit later, (by weeks,) than that on the main stem of the Madison River. It started just a little early this year, (to the surprise and delight of a few savvy kids in the neighborhood.)
.. Usually the catching heats up to mercurial dimensions about the last week of the season. The biggest fish are in the system by the second week in December and they draw some fish watchers, (the riverine equivalent of bird watchers.)
.. Well, it's up to 1° F on this sunny and balmy Fall morning. We've finished the huckleberry flapjacks and the second pot of coffee. There's a stale dozen "grocery store" donuts on the front seat of the car and the neighbor kids are tugging at our epitome to get there before the other old farts in the neighborhood do.
The Glorious And Unmolested South Fork Of The Madison River.