Sunday, June 16, 2013

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.