Thursday, August 30, 2012

Starting Tomorrow

Enjoy Ennis On The Madison
maybe win a very fine boat

.. It's well worth punctuating the fishing season by going to the Labor Day shindig in Ennis, Montana.
.. Celebrating 10 years is a major accomplishment for the MADISON RIVER FOUNDATION.
.. This fund raiser and good time gathering is where the neighbors and friends of the Madison River will be this weekend. Good food, good speakers, good seminars, and just plain good time.
.. Help out:
==> Home Page,
==> Tomorrow's Events,
==> Join.

Z Fish Report (8/30/12)

Roger Reese with Adolfo and an estimated
70 pound plus roosterfish
The blue water has moved out a bit to about the 12 mile mark, but what is astounding is the surface temperature is averaging between 84 and 85 degrees to out at least 30 miles and to the 1,000 fathom line. The sailfish action is still about 1 to 2 fish a day per boat, which is about average for this time of the year. The dorado action died off a bit this week, but it was on fire down at Puerto Vicente Guerrero. I was down there this last Sunday, and all the local fishermen were getting about 10 fish each, weighing between a respectable 12 and 20 pounds. I expect those fish to move up here any day.
Roger and Adolfo with some excellent eating

Roosterfish are still the main attraction, with Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos having them located down in the Petatlan area.

Early in the week Roger Reese, from Springfield Illinois, fished 4 days with Adolfo and got 7 huge roosters, several jack crevalle and 3 nice dorado. His first rooster of the first day was at 8:30 AM and estimated at over 70 pounds. Roger told me: “How could it get any better?”
Look how long and narrow Roger's rooster is.
It should weigh double of what it is.

Then fly fishing client Steve Skidmore and his spin fishing wife Alex, from Seattle, fished with Adolfo and I in the same areas south of Zihuatanejo as Roger had fished a couple of days earlier. But, every day on the water is a new day, and we had incredibly huge waves to contend with. When the sets came in, some of the waves had faces of 12 to 14 feet. This is not an ideal time to be too close to the shore. But, this is not Kansas, nor the East Cape of Baja. It is blue collar fly fishing, and we still got it done!
Steve Skidmore with his fly caught rooster

With Steve up on the bow, bracing himself as best as he could to cast the 10wt, and deckhand gorilla sitting up on the roof of the panga and making consistent 100 yard casts with the popper, we ended up with two spin rod roosters, 1 fly caught rooster, a nice jack crevalle, a couple of needle fish, and a lot of misses on roosters. But, it was Steve’s first time and there is a learning curve. When he comes back he will be ready, and absolutely amazed in the changed surf conditions.
Alex Skidmore actually tailed this rooster out of the water

Backing up a bit about Adolfo’s deckhand’s nickname. His real name is Jesus (Hay zoose). He is the best deckhand in the port for roosters, working for 12 years now with the best captain there is (anywhere) for roosters. He earned the nickname gorilla, not because he is built like one (he is actually built like an NFL guard, but shorter), but because he will sit up there on the top of the panga roof and consistently make cats of 80 to 100 yards, or more, all day long. He is in the hot sun, and it is incredibly tiring work to scream the surface popper across the surface. Yet, he does it all day long. The only time he gets a break is if the fly client hooks up. He will be so exhausted by day’s end; he stays on the roof and sleeps the 1.5 hours back to port.

When the surf is high, like it was for us, the roosters can handle the pounding surf, but the bait cannot. They have to move out to deeper water. Adolfo would spot the breaking fish and accelerate to full throttle, getting us there in time to have plenty of action.
Alex and her jack crevalle

Ironically, it was only when Alex went under the covered top to have a bite of sandwich did Adolfo spot the breaking fish. Naw…we aren’t superstitious. But, after the 1st huge melee, and some slack time afterwards, she said “It was the sandwich!” She went back, took a bite and it happened all over again. Go figure!
I think Steve and Alex had a good time

Steve did have several chances at roosters teased in from the surf, but most of our fish came off the roosters boiling on bait about 200 yards off the beach. In fact, Steve’s rooster was not off the teaser, but rather casting from the bow into the crashing fish. His first fish was a needle fish and foul hooked in the back, which was a huge disappointment.

The second time we came up on breaking fish, there were dorado, jacks, and roosters. And Steve got his rooster.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here, please click on this link:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Big Smoke

Your Eyes May Water
preparations for fall
.. The west side of Yellowstone National Park, including the adjacent Hebgen Basin is enjoying our annual eye watering smoke from fires near and far. It neither enhances nor hampers the fish bite.
.. It does provide us with some interesting sunrises and sunsets. It does taste funny and certainly lets our eyes and lungs know what is going on around us.
.. It seems to have a singular positive affect on the west-side rivers. It filters the sun just enough to allow some minor cooling of the rivers. Temperature spikes, however, continue into the dangerous range on the Firehole River.
.. The closed rivers of the Madison River Drainage are showing a cooling trend that defies the air temperature trend. That's a good thing for the possible early re-opening of these rivers to fishing.
.. We are under a RED-FLAG WARNING and will probably stay that way for some days to come, (if not weeks.) Today's break in the current record and near-record high temperatures may continue for at least another week. That's good.
.. Significant cooling or precipitation may not occur until mid-September. That's not so good.
.. Most of the neighbors continue to fish the Gallatin River with good results. The lessor known tributaries are getting more attention than usual.
.. The upstream portions of the tributaries are still cool and serve some of our diehard neighbors the opportunity to try out their fall streamers.
.. It's amazing how small a fish will attack a very large fly. Keep in mind that it is sometimes hard to tell if you have a small fry on the end of your heavy line when Spey Casting the mega flies that are so in fashion right now.
.. The mama grizzly bear and her cub continue to visit with the visitors around Specimen Creek. You don't need to be in the backcountry to need bear spray. You do need to have it in hand when you exit your car.
.. If you are interested in fires and weather we recommend the following links:
=> InciWeb for all fire information,
=> Yellowstone Park News Releases for fire, road, and fishing updates,
=> National Weather Service for national conditions, alerts, long range forecast,
=> Yellowstone Fishing Weather for current Yellowstone Park and West Yellowstone conditions and forecast.
.. Our ever-optimistic neighbors are busy tying flies for the Fall Fishing Frenzy. We've tried to convince them that it's not a necessary activity in the heat of Summer - they chide us and promise retribution in the form of fish stick totals. We listen patiently.
.. Some of the neighborhood fly masters are already tying streamers and other devices that are not available from the commercial feather merchants.
.. We'll save the full fall fly rundown until the elk have quit pestering each other. Yes the rut is underway despite the heat - it seems weird - but that's the way it is.
.. P.S. Gulpers still happening on Hebgen Reservoir.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Thanks, James. That shit is pro. The cigar is a nice touch.

Guitar Picks? Whoda thunk.
-Alex who need to stick some large slimy then smoke it like a phatpimp. Word.


So my grandfather lives with my folks because he is to damn old to live alone. He is 92. He lives in my old room, and found an old shirt of mine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Insect Florescence

overlap with
.. It's no large secret that right now there are bugs aplenty for the trout and the fly fisher to enjoy.
.. Whereas the earliest emergences of aquatic species are usually calculated by degree days for first appearance, those for terrestrial and arboreal species are generally subjected to the concepts of degree weeks or degree months.
.. Temperature and photoperiod bring on the bugs. We are now at, (or just a wee bit past,) the peak density of said bugs for our neighborhood. There is no time like the present to use "just any old fly" and have a good chance of poking a fish in the lip, (so to speak.)
.. As our neighbor Marybell has often said: "It takes not a trained observer to find out what bug to use, just check your car's grill." Thanks, gal.
.. Our upland meadows, transitional steppes, and vest-pocket grasslands are all lined with conifers, (Spruce Moths anyone?,) and other herbaceous plants of one sort or another. Where the myriad streams of Yellowstone National Park transect these environments, and their consequent edges, the diversity of fish fodder is immense.
.. It's all just another way of saying: pick your bug and pick your place, it's all good for now, (and a couple of more weeks.)
.. Just check the many merchant reports and fishing blogs for our region. The reports go something like this: "The __________, (pick your favorite stream or river,) is fishing well to _________, (pick your favorite aquatic bug,) and good activity with ____________, (pick your favorite terrestrial bug,) if neither works use _______________, (pick your favorite, nymph or streamer or attractor.)
.. This is not capricious reporting of what works. They all work. If anything it's capricious behavior of the fish with such a wonderful array of food to choose from.
.. So then; the Gallatin River, Soda Butte Creek, Lamar River, and Firehole River, (above the falls,) are all fishing well to small hoppers. It is useful to trail a mayfly cripple or nymph on these rivers. Green and Gray Drakes are being eaten by fish on the Lamar River and on Slough Creek, you can also stick a good fish with a streamer or Prince Nymph if you choose.
.. If you persist in your endeavors on the Yellowstone River, a small yellow hopper or very large caddis should reward you with a fish or two per hour, (if you cover a lot of ground and water.) Fishing the Yellowstone River is akin to playing 18 holes of golf: walk a lot - hit a few.
.. Fishing Between the Lakes is always a good place to practice short casts between your friend's legs. Watch your backcast; the fedora you land may belong to a prized celebrity. Most terrestrials, aquatics, and attractors are catching the best fedoras.
.. Gulper fishing is steady on Hebgen Reservoir. Conventional Callibaetis Cripples are doing the job. A big Parachute Adams will also work. Floating a very light colored Feather Duster is also successful. If you find the right weed bed a small leech or Woolly Bugger will gather in a fish.
.. When in doubt tie on an Elk Hair Caddis followed by a Bead Head Nymph of your own choosing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

the DSP effect

One man said that the carp here were just like the carp back home, if the carp back home didn't eat.

I feel warn. Some people say that the water will begin to burn if you don't wash it off soon enough. Some have said that the tingling can start within minutes of entering. Still, I feel that people who wear waders in this river are not to be trusted.

The sun had just started to push yellowly at the metal blinds in the living room. He handed me a cup of coffee.


"No sugar."

I needed the coffee. Not because I like coffee. I don't like coffee. It makes me twitchy but I needed to take a shit before we left the house. It is easier to drink coffee for that purpose with some sugar.

He slurped loudly and the sound was somehow reassuring. Someone creaked the ceiling barefoot from above.

His car is clean. He just had it detailed and even picked all the french fries out from under the seat that flew out of the bag that I was put in charge of securing. There is a giant oversized Humphrey Bogart Plus dure sera la chute poster on the wall in the living room that I almost don't even notice anymore.

You see, there is this plant material that is floating down the river all the time. It is floating down right now. I can hear it silently pissing me off. When your line lands on the surface of the water, this material will slide down the leader as it sinks and become stuck on your fly. The carp, which are for the most part not interested in what you have going on anyways, will be less interested in what you have going on when it is covered in salad. I didn't catch a fish. I am not using the salad as an excuse, just pointing it out as a new development in my DSP carp chronicles.

We were going fishing. We did. It was much of the same.

Some people don't care about salad. Some people are professionals. Some people are winners.

Will Rice and Clint Packo. Winners.


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Fall Festival

Visit With The Neighbors
invading rock star appearance

.. It's mostly a neighborhood gig. But quite a few outlanders from far and away are increasingly present each passing year.
.. International celebrities, local guides, feather merchants, boat builders, equipment peddlers, our neighbors, and just plain fisher folks will be in attendance.
.. It's a celebration of Ennis on the Madison and the good works that the Madison River Foundation is involved with. It takes place in just one week - or so.
.. Making a sneak appearance this year will be Montana native son Nate Schweber: fly fisher, author, and singer. Hot off of his appearance at the IFTD show in Reno he will make a brief appearance for his book signing in Ennis, {Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park: an insider's guide to the 50 best places.} Rumor has it that it will be on Saturday, September 1, 2012 - we'll see.
.. The two day festival is a good chance to hob-nob with all the stars of our neighborhood fly fishing scene. It's a chance to attend mini seminars on topics as diverse as rod design and photography. It's also a chance to gorge yourself on some of the finest convention food that ever splattered a plate in our neighborhood.
.. If you're in the neighborhood drop in and enjoy the doings.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Interspecies erotica and nine knuckles deep; a pre-pre-slam shortie.

It is not strange, by definition, if it is expected.

The pre-pre slam activities are progressing as expected, for the most part.

Cakes caked.

Party is happening.

Reynolds showing why he is the man.

Fish is happening.

JPL like a mofo

Nine-Knuckle Gangstas are abound. (You probably want to know, but you can't.)

And then there is the other stuff...

Luchadors in action

DSP Dirty Love.
-Alex who always knows how it will be, but is always a little surprised.

Z Fish Report (8/23/12)

Chris Jaap and his Father, From Tasmania, Australia
Fished with Santiago and Adan on the super panga
Gitana for 3 days releasing this sailfish 
The blue water, with average surface temperatures of 82 to 84 degrees, is still at about 6 miles off the beach and basically hugging the 100 fathom line all up and down the coast.

Friend Ken also got involved. They released 1 sailfish and
caught 12 dorado in the 3 days they fished with Santiago 
The offshore fishery is fairly decent, but with very few people here fishing. The boats are averaging 1 or 2 sailfish a day, but it would be more if there weren’t so many dorado. The dorado are about 9 to 12 miles out, with 6 to 8 a day being average per boat.

The inshore waters have been clearing up from the hard rains we had last week, with good roosterfish and jack crevalle action. Plus, the bait is back at Barra Potosi, and the large jacks are there too. It is a great time to take the spin outfit or the fly rod, and kick back with a cool one and some appetizers under the shade of one of the palapas. You are just waiting for the birds to start diving and the jacks to come a crashing. I really like that kind of fishing, at least until I hook up. I then immediately start frantically looking around for somebody to reel it in. Jacks are a lot of work.
Locals hand line fishing for jack crevalle
with live bait they netted
Adolfo, on the panga, Dos Hermanos, has primarily been fishing down near the Petatlan area, with his clients averaging 5 to 6 roosters a day. But, the inshore day is often cut short as they head out to the blue water and pick up some nice dorado before going back to port.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Well what can I say but this season has to be the worst conditions for lure fishing I have ever witnessed. If its not Northerly or Easterly it's blowing a gale from the direction we want Southerly. Then wind comes good conditions look good but water clarity is poor due to previous wind directions and strengths. Fresh water running off the land, pressure seems to be low and not hitting the usual summer highs.

Let me start by saying this is just my opinion and I could be wrong but I think that massive storm we had in June ( the worst weather recorded for something like 113 years for that time of year ) had a massive effect on the whole season. All of the early summer weed and kelp got uprooted and is still all over the shore and floating around. The bait fish were slow moving in and and water temps were slow rising.

Did that storm stop the usual progression of the summer routine on our coastal system? Yet again last week we get hit with massive winds from the south. The biggest surf I have ever seen here in tramore real winter weather. The water clarity is now poor again when winds are perfect and tides are good. When I talk about water clarity it does not have to be gin clear but it does have to have some bit of visibility. All of these factors have made things very difficult but saying all that fish are still being caught and a good stamp of fish too. Put in the hours, search for that better bit of water and you just might be rewarded. When conditions are coming good and clarity is ok we seem to be hitting our normal standard of fishing but as we have all witnessed getting those conditions this summer has not been regular to say the least.

September and October have always been my favourite months so lets hope it comes good and I am sure a few good sessions would make everyone forget the tough ones. Wind is staying in the south a bit more lets hope it stays that way.

So yes it's been difficult but yes fish are still being caught and some good ones too. Unfortunately we can do nothing about the weather but we will keep fishing that's for sure because who knows....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There again.

It is that time again. Time for them carps in CO.

Once the urban Platte gets in your blood, it is part of you forever... Generally in the form of some blood borne virus. But I ain't scared. No, sir. It is time for the baptism of chemical and slime, and green sludge that leaks from large concrete pipes. Scrub that good, mister fisherman. Scrub hard.

See you soon on on the banks of the SP, rocking the MG/JPL/AL manwich. This shit is about to get real. Again. Even realer, this time. If that is possible. C'mon, Ricecakes; let freedom ring!

So real, it hurts.


Friday, August 17, 2012

. . . Into It's Own

Elbows Diminishing
catching is way too easy
.. The sweet sister river on the west side of Yellowstone National Park is in perfect shape for catching.
.. With flows about 100 CFS below seasonal averages, and temperatures at a fish loving perfection, the GALLATIN RIVER has become the choice destination for fishers of all stripes.
.. The hoppers are going mad with delight at the very warm days. They awaken predictably after the Fall-like cool evenings. They swim poorly, much to the delight of fish and fishers alike.
.. Some flying ants are present near the northern park line, and Spruce Moths have found their way to the river from the edges of the wooded meadows.
.. The golden hues of Fall are invading the emerald rainbow of the valley floor at a rapid clip. Straw colored grasses are creeping toward the green's of the river's edge.
.. Our sparse afternoon rains have allowed the beetles to mature at an astonishing pace. AND - lo, the predictable caddis are present in satisfyingly large numbers.
.. GALLATIN RIVER tributaries, in the park, have begun to look too thin to hold fish of any appreciable size. Don't be fooled. The fish seem to know the season even before the calendar or the weather.
.. It takes a bit of a walk to get there, but the tangled willow meadows of FAN CREEK are easily the second finest place to surprise yourself with an outsized fish.
.. If you can bring yourself to brave the dusty road along the edge of BACON RIND CREEK, and if you can forego the urge to rush upstream from the parking lot, and if you are not in too big of a hurry to reach stream side - THEN - there are some pudgy resident fish not 40 yards from that selfsame dusty road.
.. Should you care to brave the bears and brambles of the cloistered stretches of SPECIMEN CREEK, you will have found the third best chunk of water for surprises of the largish sort.
.. The dinky little parking lot at the trailhead is almost constantly full of vehicles. Some of the invading $40,000 SUV's receive their first bit of parking lot rash in these environs.
.. Our destination, this weekend, as usual, is the upper reaches of the GALLATIN RIVER. It's that lonely stretch along the Bighorn trail. We end up hoarse from singing to the bears and winded from the walk. We pledge, after each foray, to never torture ourselves again.
.. Yet, back we go to the isolation, beauty, splendor, and gregarious fish of this bit of water. The bears miss us and it's easily the fourth best place to gather up a submarine in water so thin that they leap onto the bank and land themselves.
.. On the other hand, we may end up at the first best place to catch the early run monster fish of the GALLATIN RIVER.
.. It doesn't take a horse to get there but one would make it a lot easier. You'll know where as soon as you see the only rig in an unlikely pullout far from any named tributary. The one near the giant culvert.