Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Bug's For You

Caddis In The Rain ?
4th of July in Yellowstone
The Full Meal Deal: Vitamin B For Us, Bugs For Them
.. As you read this the fishing and catching in our region is about as good as it gets - for Summer.
Famous Sign
.. The Salmonfly bloom is extensive but not yet too intensive on the lowland Madison River. Fish are eating them in the water and on the water. They are also eating Caddis Flies, Golden Stone Flies, and each other.
.. The cooling afternoon showers have not deterred the caddis from hatching if the day is bright to begin with. Spectacular evening fishing to the enormous caddis hatches should continue for another month or so - even in the rain.
.. If you like 'em small there are also PMD's, BWO's and even a mysterious greenish mayfly - it seems larger than the others.
.. Hebgan Lake is very productive in the early morning with both midges and Trico's. By mid morning, (on still days,) the gulpers are beginning. The bugs will get more dense and more ear-filling as the month grinds on. Evening on the lake can be spectacular with leaches and streamers in the Calibaetis weeds, (particularly around Rainbow Point and Whiskey Bay.)
.. The tributary estuaries on the lake are holding cruising pods of trout that are very willing to take a properly presented, (trolled or stripped,) streamer. Herky-Jerky is the name of the game here. Dances will test your footwork and legerdemain.
.. If you're not a lake fisher - perhaps now is the time to try it. Success not guaranteed.
.. Nez Perce Creek has received an influx of early migrating fish from the Firehole River. Fans of the latter already know that mid-day temps are stifling, (80° F, spikes,) for the fish.
.. Given the cooling showers it may be fishable for another week or so in the mornings - we're leaving it alone after 9:00 AM.
Get Here Early
.. Nez Perce Creek, on the other hand, will reward folks that are willing to walk and carry bear spray. The sort of reward? Catching active fish seeking the cold springs and dark hides of the cooler water. Get thee to the bridge and catching shall be delightful. Evening is good. Morning  is better. Mid-day sucks.
.. The Gibbon River is exhibiting it's typical Summer schizoid nature. Above the cascades is still a great place for kids and leisurely fishing for eager Brookies. The big and little upland meadows require some small measure of stealth. Streamers are still a viable option.
.. If there is a couple of cool nights the canyon and lower meadows may produce a few dances. Temperatures have risen rapidly this year below Norris Geyser Basin and have curtailed some of the catching opportunities.
Gallatin Access
.. We're stupefied at the lack of fishing pressure on the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park. Not disappointed at all, just stupefied.
.. Catching is great with caddis in the evening. Catching is plumb crazy all day long with nymphs in the clear pools and soft hackles in the riffles. Parking is easy. Walking is simple. What more is there? The stonefly parade is beginning to invade the northern boundary of the park and there's not often any elbows. Just fine with us.
.. The walk to Wolf Lake is gentle; so to the continuation to Grebe Lake. The bugs are emerging and the multi-winged monsters just now becoming available. Saunter through the woods early, (with bear spray in hand,) and enjoy catching Grayling on just about anything you choose to use.
Grayling Gumdrop - Yum
.. Leaches, (small please,) around the weeds and soft water. Sight fishing is possible if you take care to watch the sun. Use a San Juan Worm if you must - pink is nice, so is dark brown.
.. We suggest that your Fourth Of July fishing adventures be centered around the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. Check the link in the sidebar to Parks' Fly Shop for the best information. Things are well underway up that way.

Festival time.....

So it's almost festival time, we hope you guys are ready for a great weekend! We are going to have over 100 people taking part this year which really is a great sign of how bass fishing is growing within Ireland. Again this year we have a lot of people travelling from outside the country which is always great to see and demonstrates how well our bass fishery looks when people are willing to travel to Ireland to fish along our coastline, showing we should never take the bass fishing we have for granted!

We have some amazing prizes on offer this year supplied by our sponsors TopWater lures and Costa del Mar. Fishing celeb Henry Gilbey will be across for the prize giving on Sunday evening in the Grand hotel in Tramore which will be great night with plenty of fishing chat.  The prize giving kicks off at 7pm (make sure to bring family and friends).

Nick Roberts from TopWater lures will be in attendance for the festival so if you have any questions about your favourite IMA or Megabass lures or any of the products Nick supplies make sure just to ask. We are also delighted to announce that Matt and Fred from Fiish will be in the shop all weekend so if you would like to talk to the creators of the incredible Black Minnow the guys will be on hand to give some tips and advice on their great product range.

UK Bass will also have a stand in the shop and if you are interested in joining a great conservation group who really have the best interest of bass at heart make sure to go to their stand to join up.

Dr. Willie Roche from Inland Fisheries Ireland will be in attendance on the Friday and he will be more than happy to discuss IFI's plans with Bass conservation projects they have in the pipeline. In conjunction with IFI's bass monitoring program all participants will be asked to take scale samples from fish they catch over the festival and return scale envelopes to the shop on the Sunday. When you return any scale packets you will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning a 100 euro tackle voucher, the more times you enter the better chance you have of winning ( prize courtesy of IFI). All information on taking scales and info needed on scale packs will be given to anglers when they are registering.  

So all that is left now is to hope the weather gods are kind to us and everybody gets the opportunity to experience the great fishing we have  along our coast.

Look forward to seeing you over the weekend,

James  & Cian

**(official prize list will be announced later this week)**

Here is the official itinerary for the weekend

Friday 5th of July
Festival Starts.
You can register all day from 5am at Absolute Fishing until 6pm and collect your welcome/information pack with official measure and I.D card.

Once you have your official festival measure and I.D card you can begin fishing.

Now go fishing!!!

Live music in Grand Hotel on Friday night at 10pm.
*Again anyone staying in Grand Hotel who is getting up too early to get breakfast can order a packed lunch from reception. This must be done before 8pm.

Saturday 6th of July

Registration is still open in Absolute Fishing for those of you who can only fish Saturday and Sunday. You can register from 6am.

Everyone else can keep fishing….

Live music in Grand Hotel till late…
*Again don’t forget to pre-order packed lunch if leaving hotel early

Sunday 7th of July
Keep fishing!!
All anglers who are entering fish MUST be back in Absolute Fishing by 2pm, we will not be accepting entries from anyone after 2pm. Your entry will be counted once you are on the premises of absolute fishing by 2pm.

Prize Giving at the Grand Hotel at 7pm followed by the after party.
Finger food and live music. (Bring the family and friends)

Party and fishy tails from the weekend to go on until the early hours…..

Friday, June 28, 2013

Z Fish Report (6/28/13)

Left to right: Don, Mary, Lou, and Susan Grantges about to be served the
sierra they caught off the beach in front of the restaurant at Barra Potosi

The 84° blue water is basically following the 100 fathom curve, with clean water just off the beach. Offshore fishing took a bit of a beating this last week as tropical storm Cosme (later a hurricane) formed a couple of hundred miles out in front of us. As it headed westerly we were never threatened by the storm, but we did have a port closure, some rain, overcast skies, and a couple days of wind. Things were starting to get getting back to normal again by mid-day Thursday.  

Early in the week and before the weather turned foul, Gary Whyte of British Columbia fished with John Lorenz out of Casa Bahia Tortuga in Puerto Vicente Guerrero and discovered the tuna are still here. They caught several nice ones, plus he got a couple of sailfish.

Gary Whyte with a nice yellowfin tuna
The inshore action also took a beating from the waves and wind. The waves were huge a couple of days, making for tough roosterfish fishing. But, the small 4 to 6 pound dorado we have a short distance off the beach are still around, and are great on light gear or the fly rod. The waves started to cooperate in Zihuatanejo around mid-morning Thursday, with Jeff Brite of New York fishing with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II, catching 4 roosterfish down by Play Larga. And Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, had a great day at Buena Vista and Pantla with 10 roosters for his clients.

Fly fisherman Daniel Weiss of Seattle went with me down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero, where the area was still getting the westward swell and high waves. Under the conditions we were fishing Dan was doing excellent casting the 9wt and 10wt rods, with the leaning post on the bow of my panga helping considerably. We ended up the day with a 25 pound class rooster, and raised about 5 others, a 5 pound dorado we had for dinner, and a large jack crevalle which came undone after a prolonged fight.  

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative) 
Susan Grantges with one of her small dorado on the spin rod

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mikesells Makos: A Video

I have more to say about the subject of sharks and fly rods, but for now I leave you with this videographic deliciousness, edited from last weekends gopro footage.


Also, be sure to check out Rick's play-by-play write-up over at Trouts.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lack Of Creativity

Our Wallpapers Not Commercial
enjoy the caper

.. Can You believe that a commercial venture would steal one of our pictures without asking? And, without a thank you?
.. Sure you would. It's in the nature of merchants without conscience. Click on over to the site that tries to tell you all about fly fishing gear. Would you buy a used car from these folks? Can you follow their advice? Why would they do it?
.. At least they are reading the straight poop from an ad-free blog. We are designed to tell you about what is. What is their message?
.. The original from October, 2010.

Good Tool

Monday, June 24, 2013

Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner

Fish Hard All Day
a long lunch & early dinner
.. The first rhubarb pies of the year are entering the gastronomic stream of our neighborhood fishers.
.. Of course we gobble them up as rapidly as they are presented to us. The fish on the Gibbon River and Madison River have set the precedent. They are gobbling the surface offerings of fishers with gay abandon. Also, there are some big bugs in and around the water. My, my, my.
.. National Park Meadow and the confluence marsh are seeing some heavy pressure from the fly flingers. The fish are in a very cooperative mood.
.. Not only the big bugs, but the little bugs, are feeding the ravenous trout. Caddis, Golden Ones, PMD's, Big Ones, and White Ones are on the water all day.
.. Some piscine psychologists  have opined that the floating smorgasbord must confuse the trout into a catatonic state that leads to indecision about which morsel to eat. Other mind readers believe that the trout eat the bug most available to their current hiding place. Some even think that the trout behave toward bugs the way that fishers approach a giant slice of freshly baked rhubarb pie: gobble it before your neighbor does.
.. Whatever the state of the trout mind, (in these two rivers,) may be, one thing is certain: fish looking skyward are available all day. So too, are those that don't like rhubarb pie and hide in the dark caves under the bank.
.. Now is the time to fish. Catch some too. We're having another piece of pie.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

a slight bitch and a preview of things to come v-8.2

I must have done something wrong like thanking the incorrect deity post trophy-fish netting or running over some old gypsy woman or something because this feel like some brand of voodoo.

First it was the the week-long PM steelhead trip where the first day I began an apocalyptic sinus head-fuck cold/flu/snot-fest that kept me in bed and out of the drift boat for the first few days.

Now it was strep throat for the San Diego shark trip; fever, body aches, headache, prescription antibiotics, the whole shebang.

And if that isn't silly enough, two years ago when I had a day scheduled with Conway Bowman (the guide we had for this trip) who at the last minute had to pass the trip to Dave Trimble because he was sick with, get this, strep throat.

Seriously. I havn't had strep since I was like 8, and now it shows up on the day before a trip with a guy who had to bail because of it two years ago?

Two out of state trips this year, two sicknesses that could not have been planned better for maximum shittyness. Yeah. Voodoo.

But you know what? Fuck it. In Michigan I stuck steelhead and yesterday Makos felt the cold steel so eat a dick, illness. You have to do better than that to keep my fly out of the water, you bastard.

There is GoPro footage to edit, and I am going to bed so hard right now but I will leave you with this little tasty screenshot.


Spoiler alert: That fly is in trouble.

-Alex who will probably be enjoying soft foods for a few more days.

Crowded ?

Bison Enjoy Lounging
fishers enjoy catching
.. The "HIGH SEASON" in Yellowstone National Park is upon us. A major spike in visitation is just two weeks away.
.. By the Fourth Of July behavior patterns of fish and people in the park will have reached maturity.
.. Right now motor home owners have learned to park on the double yellow line. Fish have learned to look up.
.. Bicyclists have already learned to ignore the bicycle lane. Fish learned to follow the shadows two weeks ago.
.. Photographers are learning  to scorn the life-giving rains. Fish have remembered to use the current in a tussle with upright featherless bipeds.
.. Changes in the learning process and park conditions will soon begin to take place. These changes should increase the maturation level of visitors, fish, and fishers. Lines at entrance stations will reach astronomical lengths. Fish will begin to avoid the warming waters. Fishers will need to fish at different times on different days with different weather conditions.
.. Sadly visitors will not learn to enter the park earlier or later. Interestingly fishers will gripe and grouse about the weather - rather than take advantage of it.
.. Fish, of course, will be in the most advantageous water for feeding and keeping cool: The fish mature faster than humans.
.. The Firehole River has provided excellent catching over the past four or five days. Air temperatures have been below seasonal averages.
.. Along with a couple of decent showers, our cloud cover has been fortuitously conspicuous and has encouraged the hatches of Mayflies, Caddis, and other aquatic bugs and such.
.. The next few weeks will demand rapid maturation of the fishers if they intend to become successful catchers:  A WARMING TREND LOOMS.
.. The Madison River has become slow, cool, and crystal clear. It is spewing forth little winged creatures that seem to be unappreciated by many visiting fishers: perhaps it's the combined vehicular and bicycle traffic.
.. Grebe Lake is experiencing some heavy pressure. The early disappearance of the snow and the rapid drying of the trails has allowed happy anglers to spread the word about this normally moderately fished destination.
.. Pistol packing fishers have been encountered on the Mary Mountain Trail. They had no bear spray. Apparently they have lost their light bulbs.
.. They were disappointed with the catching as well. Search the deep riffles and dark pools with drab nymphs and you'll do better than they did on Nez Perce Creek.
Tough Casting On Grayling Creek
.. The larger fish seem to have backed down from Grayling Creek. This leaves the creek with an exuberant population of 8 to 10 inch fish and lots of elbow room - for both the bears and the fishers. There is even a small caddis hatch happening late on warm days.
.. The best catching is beginning to move from the rapid bits of water in the park to the lower willow thickets of the lower creek and the upper ends of the estuary at Hebgen Reservoir.
Do It Yourself
.. The Upper Gallatin River is still being ignored by experts and feather merchants alike. Sparse hatches of mayflies have been reported. Sparse sightings of caddis are problematic. Big fish are being taken on giant nymphs, small streamers, and both soft and stiff hackles. Some of the deep holes along about mile-post 26 are clear and it's possible to to see the gentle inhalation of the nymphs: if you're sneaky.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Generals

Too Few Flies
make 'em do double duty
.. So it's come to catching time at the O. K. Corral.
.. All of the wealthy visitors and other sorts of technical fishers currently in Yellowstone National Park have each bought a hundred dozen flies in eight different sizes and 27 patterns.
.. They have listened to the professionals. They have read all the books. Now, flies in vest, they have it all covered. Good on them.
.. We're not strong enough to carry that many flies, nor can we change them quick enough to keep up with the different bugs that pack our ears and nose, and radiator.
.. The neighborhood kids, on the other hand, are poor; they cover acres and acres of water - and - are true artists at devising flies for matching our local hatches: real and imagined! They tie exceptional flies. You can't buy their flies: at any price.
.. They are also masters at destroying perfectly good flies given the exigences of changing conditions, luck, or whim, or whatever.
.. One of their favorite flies, (ours too,) is, (for want of a better handle,) the "Triple Threat Caddis."
.. It's just a standard elk hair caddis pattern. It's a bit lighter than most of the commercial patterns.
.. The wing is a little sparse for catalog pictures. And, Horror of horrors, the hackle is the premium dry fly sort and way too big for the fly.
.. It is usually tied on a gold-toned hook that they have scrounged up from some undisclosed Bass Pro Shop or Wal Mart.
.. With deft manipulations of their fingernails, (or whatever,) they transform the fly into a floating something-or-other, and with a smidgen more plucking they end up with a sinking thing-a-majig.
.. We've tried it. You should too - or not, depending on your creativity, desperation, or pocketbook.
.. The lowly and ubiquitous Muddler Minnow is subjected to a similar, but slightly different treatment. It is usually tied with colors that could imitate either a small fish or a local grasshopper.
.. It is usually fished with gusto,  (appropriate to the conditions and imagined imitation,) and can be swung, stripped, floated, jerked, or plopped. The wing is often split side-to-side and pulled down below the body and supposedly imitates a hopper. If nothing else it is a good bobber for a hopper-dropper combo.
.. Great stuff if you can't afford a 97 pocket vest and the heavy boxes to fill all those pockets.
.. A Montana legend is the Sandy Mite.
.. The neighborhood kids have a variation that dispenses with the woven body and can be rapidly tied with simple, cheap, and common materials. They sometimes call it the Local Mite - when they call it anything at all. Sometimes just the Mite - or - Mighty Mite.
..This little darlin' is subjected to the same depredations and humiliations as the caddis. Plucked naked or with just a few shortened fibers it becomes anything your heart and imagination desires.
.. We own a few fly boxes. We use them. The kids have a few, or many, as their whims demand. We usually take our boxes with us. They fit in a lunch sack with pepperoni and a baguette of French bread.
.. The kids pack an old 35mm film canister with a bunch of flies and jump in the river. Travelin' lite and catching many. Not the stuff of slick videos, product endorsements, or webbyzeeens - aw shucks! Catch fish by the bucket though.
RECRUITS: 100+ strong. Fish Near Here In The Evening. YUM!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Z Fish Report (6/20/13)

Inge and Adan on the Gitana 
The 82° clean water is just off the beach, with the 85° blue water only 7 miles out. The fishing has improved over the last couple of weeks. Similar to last week, Offshorethe sailfish, striped marlin, and blue marlin are mostly being caught between the 8 to 10 miles marks off the beach. However,most boats this week are averaging 3 to 4 sailfish a day.
Richard, Sue, and Francisco on the Gitana with 1 of 6
Early in the week, Inge Solberg of Houston, fishing with Santiago on the super panga Gitana released another two sailfish caught on the fly rod (he caught a couple the previous week also).
Sue with another. Note the yellow tag
Also, this last Tuesday, Richard Kurt and his wife Sue of Cleveland, Ohio fished with Santiago tagging and releasing 6 sailfish…which is a very respectable day.  Friends Edward Redmond and Joseph Cash, also from Cleveland, fished with Adan on the panga Gitana II, catching 3 sailfish.
Tessa Jackson with her 1st sail. She fished with John Lorenz
at Bahia de Tortuga in Puerto San Vicente Guerrero
The inshore action is best for the small dorado we have a short distance off the beach. They are 3 to 10 pounds, and providing a lot of action for spin rods and fly rods. Don Grantges of Arlington Texas, with brother Luis and wives Mary and Susan all fished a morning with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II. They took home more than enough for dinner after hooking about 24 with spin rods.

The next day they spent an afternoon out at Barra Potosi, and took their spin rods with them. They ended up catching lunch, which the restaurant cooked up for them, with lots of small sierras. Now, that is fresh fish.

Talking to Adolfo, we can’t figure out why the roosters and jack crevalle aren’t here in numbers as in the past. June should be the best month of the year for roosters. Adolfo feels we need more rain to open up the river mouths, and attract more bait to the beaches. This makes sense to me, because the fresh water carries a lot of nutrients, and starts the food chain. But, I also know we don’t want to start doing the rain dance, because June also has the ability to give you a whole lot more rain than you bargained for.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative) 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

not talkin' 'bout pleasure boatin' or day sailin'



As Suspected

Up The Hot Staircase
closure may be early this year
.. We're watching the spikes on the Firehole River:

==> JUNE 15 = 75° F,
==> JUNE 16 = 76° F,
==> JUNE 17 = 77° F,
==> JUNE 18 = 76° F.

.. Them's a bit warm for this part of June. The extended forecast is for continued warming. The near term outlook is for moderating temperatures in the mid- to high 60's.
.. Fish now is the consensus.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

pops pep talks

Nothin' better.

Happy fathers day.

The Incubator

Nicely Sorted Gravels
a magnificent nursery
..The well sorted sands and gravels of the Gallatin River above it's confluence with Fan Creek are absolutely perfect.
.. Right now they are dotted with the disappearing evidence of the redds of spawning trout. They are the perfect subtrate for the complacent willow thickets that choke the river's course and both give and get nutrients to the oxygen-rich waters flowing at grade in this outwash meadow.
.. They are perfect for holding the gently riffled stream in moderately stable channels. The distributary channels are braided and with the willow roots provide deeply undercut banks.
.. The rocky soils of the uplands are mostly comprised of large and coarse sediments. Thus the color of the stream in this meadow is seldom too brown or dense to fish. The gravels trap the sands and the fine fraction is nearly absent.
.. There are shallows. There are holes. There are occasional, (but rare,) glacial erratics.
.. In truth; the meadow, the stream, the willows, the gradient, the oxygenation, and the many micro environments are perfect for spawning and raising trout.
.. As long as food is available the large fish from down below hang out in this part of the river. There is sparse insect life available right now.
.. There are, however itty bitty fishes doing their best to make it to bigger stages in their short life. The big fish eat them. Sad, but true.
.. Those of us that bother with this "Too Cold" water enjoy the quietude and the catching. No long, (underwear-ripping,) casts are necessary. No fancy flies from exotic natural or synthetic materials are needed. A bit of stealth goes a long way. A bit of stealth is necessary in the willow thickets.
.. Dapping and stripping the local streamers is a simple and easy to way to gall a fish and satisfy the blood urge of fly fishing. Killing is not necessary.
.. The rain has abated: the clouds remain. They are leaving fast. We're headed back to this unrecommended water in our neighborhood.