Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013


Gibbon Hoppers Hopping
ohmygawd it's august
.. We'll take it. Hoppers excite fish and fishers in different ways, Fisher folk soil their waders in anticipation of slashing and splashing takes by torpedo-sized trout.
.. Fish on the other hand take 'em where they find them. Sometimes violently. Sometimes not so violently. It takes a very large population of wayward hoppers to convince the fish that they should look for them continuously.
.. So far, based on nymph counts and casual observation, this year is shaping up to be an average hopper year.
.. Hopper density will vary with river segment depending on the stream-side vegetation and soil type. It is, however, a pleasant surprise to see the little Arthropods in the big meadows of the Gibbon River.
.. For now, don't neglect the aquatic hatches by tying on a hopper first thing. Or, Dap the banks with a long rod and short line. Then go fishing. In a week or two we'll know just what the population is like and where they are concentrated.
 .. We'll let you know.
.. In the meantime:
3/4 oz green creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
3/4 oz light cream

Flutterbugs At The Concert

Wings Dancing To Music
very strange stuff indeed
.. We took a day off from the river to attend a concert in the park. A group of local business leaders provide the long green and a couple of local producers donate their time, energy, equipment and stage. It's a wonderful tradition for the community.
.. The opening act was Galanis.
.. The headliner was Hot Day At The Zoo.
.. Both were spot on and the large crowd of neighbors and visitors had a lovely time.
.. The moths evacuated the premises as soon as the sun went down and we grabbed some snapshots.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Final Molt In Progress

Nymphal Transformation Now
got your foamies ready ?


.. They are not leaping into many streams yet. There are several species that are molting. They will delight the fish and the fishers soon enough.
.. Get your hopper box in order. Read your journal and plan your attack.
.. Low and hot is the key for early hoppers. Low oxygen levels seem to trigger molting:  Less oxygen = shorter time between molts = shorter life-span = fewer hungry grasshoppers.{LINK}
.. Sightings have been sparse but widely distributed. The lowland Madison River has reported a few. Slough Creek fishers have been surprised by late stage grasshopper nymphs around the campground and in the sagebrush flats downstream. There are adults on the lowland Gallatin River near Norris Road not far from Bozeman, Montana.
.. Speaking of the Gallatin River; it's the best water in the neighborhood right now, (other than Hebgen Reservoir.) It's clear, cold, and just a smidgen low.
.. This is the time of year to pick your poison on the Gallatin River. In the park it's any attractor fly floating or drowned. The evening caddis are available and prolific.
.. Down canyon the spruce moths and PMD's are working. In the lowlands along with ants, beetles, and caddis nymph imitations, there are still some small stoneflies. The rumors of nocturnal stoneflies should not be ignored.
.. We're taking today off in preparation for the newly reconfigured quintet  "HOT DAY AT THE ZOO." 
.. They are making an appearance tonight at 7:00 PM at our Music In The Park concert series.
.. We've never heard "ZOOGRASS MUSIC"  live, up close, and personal,  - Could be akin to fish grass?
..  Galanis is the opening act. Smoke on.
At Frogtown

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Madison Doldrums

Good For Casting Practice
like the Central Pacific Ocean
.. Right now, and for most folks, the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park is "UNFISHABLE."
.. You will hear the feather merchants, expert guides, and seasonal counter help parroting this when asked about the river.
.. And, while this may be true in their minds, (ahem,) they are really saying that catching fish is hard because they don't know where they are.
.. Or, they feel sorry for all those poor overheated fish and don't think it's good to add to their stress and anxiety and pain.
.. Or, (pardon the contrairian view,) they don't know the river well enough to have ferreted out the submerged cold water springs where fish are active, healthy, not stressed, and willing to dance if you properly present your fly.
.. OR, horror of horrors, they just won't tell you.
..Fish do, indeed, become stressed at the temperatures that are in most parts of the Madison River right now. Additionally, the flows are at least 20% below seasonal norms and projected to stay that way for at least two weeks - or more.
.. Most of the trout will either migrate locally to cool and shady parts of the stream - or - be displaced to new and different locations.
.. It is absolutely maladaptive, (as well as maladjustive,) to stay in one place and be parboiled by the water temperatures and suffocate for lack of dissolved oxygen.
.. Some fish find their way into cool tributaries. Some, in fact, do become lethally stressed by not being able to find water that has oxygen enough and temperatures cool enough to sustain their lives.

.. Many fish are lucky enough, (cagy enough?) to congregate in the cold springs that percolate through the sediments as groundwater and issue forth in the Madison River at various places: quite a few places in actuality.
.. These lucky fish hang out around the colder water and are doing quite nicely: heat-be-damned.
.. As the Summer drags on and the groundwater table sinks to lower, (or different strata,) the quality of the aquatic springs changes: usually for the worse from a piscine point of view.
.. Parts of the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park encounter bed rock undulations which affect the groundwater, (by damming, redirecting, or channelling.)
.. We need not get into the vagaries of the differences of perched water tables and other kinds - BUT - the bedrock can have an enormous affect on where the springs are erupting.
.. Should you be foolish enough to fish the Madison River right now, and with it's diminished regimen so very apparent, it might behove you to think in more dimensions than just those dimensions dealing with the flowing water.
.. Good luck with your casting practice.
Summer Casting Practice - Madison River

Friday, July 26, 2013

Slightly Off Topic

Chetco Deadline Looms
really big fish at risk
 These Good Folks Released This Wild 20# Chetco Steelhead  
.. We have a long association, (from our youth,) with the sea-run salmonids of the Southern Oregon Coast and the Northern California Coast.
.. One of the great Pacific Salmon, (and pretty good Steelhead,) rivers has recently been threatened by dredge mining activities.
.. A small group of friends of the Chetco River has brought about an administrative action that may soon be enacted.
.. The deadline for a signature by the United States Secretary of Interior is about a week away: July 31, 2013. The signature will place a five year withdrawal from new mining claims on this wild and scenic river.
.. You may want to read about the good folks that have worked hard to bring this about: HERE.  The link is always in our sidebar.
.. Just sayin'.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yellowstone River Report, ('13)

Arise Earliest - Get Gone
the new recruits are eager
.. Now then: the reports of the death of the Yellowstone River's catching are true - for last year. This year seems to be a different story.
.. The river is extremely low and warm for this time of year and the fish are where they ought to be,  just not where they used to be.
.. If you fish here often you will recognize the new opportunities; certainly the fish have. Many undercut banks are exposed and some are dry. Many holes and hides that were normally available for the opener are now a good place to stand and fish.
.. Mid stream fishing, (and catching,) is accessible - if you are a strong wader. This is a rare treat for the adventurous fisher folk.
.. Please be advised that the river is still a strong bit of water and that deep wading is still a dangerous proposition.
{{Note the tragic death of a Montana Angler in the river: HERE & HERE.}}
.. There are bugs aplenty. There are noses in the air. Mid day fishing is grand but the catching sucks.
.. Get on the river early and enjoy the quietude and slashing action of the big fish that the river is famous for.
.. There is also a large class of fresh recruits being caught this year. Small fish in the one foot class are abundant. This may be due to the combination of eradication of Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake, and the last few mild winters. Whatever the reason you will catch more than a few of these youngsters in your day on the water.
.. Stalking is highly recommended. A small pair of binoculars is an excellent tool. Cover the water. Walk the banks. Pick your quarry. Stick 'em in the lip.
.. Right now the fish are highly selective. They are keyed on any properly presented fly: surface or submerged!
.. We watched one giant Cutthroat zig-zagging to bits of food in the water column and rising to sticks, spinners, and Drakes - all in a period of about 20 minutes. They are hungry and they are eating. Baby binoculars are a wonderful thing, indeed.
.. The experts will tell you exactly when bugs are available and exactly what fly to use. We can't afford that many of those flies.
.. We grab our old standby flies. Chuck them in the right place and hold on.
.. Catching "LIKE IT USED TO BE," ain’t quite like it is now but it has improved greatly for the moment.
.. The King Prince is a winner at this point in time. It should be the fly for all occasions for another week or ten days. Get or tie some big ones.
.. Size two, size four, size six, should do the trick. Check out StevenOjai's page for California Dreamin'.
.. The Prince Nymph page is full of very good stuff. You will need to tie them yourself. Seldom do you see this fly tied in the "GRANDE FASHION."
.. For those of you that must see the fly floating along on the surface there are many choices.
.. We mostly use Fuzzy Adams flies for generalized surface action. They are gobbled and slammed, and sipped.
.. We have taken to omitting the niceties of perfectly paired baby hackle points. Maybe it's not an Adams. It certainly is fuzzy though.
.. The days have been bright and hot. The caddis were everywhere: they were not too dense. We did leave before 8:00 PM and may have missed the bulk of them.
.. We remember the rising popularity of the Goddard Caddis from our days in Pocatello, Idaho: better than a half century ago.
.. The fly was new and exciting, and the buzz coincided with one of our trips to the Yellowstone River.
.. We took a handful of poorly tied examples to the park. We caught buckets of fish all day with just that one pattern.
.. We take them every year at this time. Nostalgia demands it. Haven't caught a bucket of fish on it since that first time.
.. See you on the Gallatin River.

Z Fish Report (7/25/13)


With an average of 86° surface water, from the shoreline to out for miles and miles, the blue water has not changed in the last month and is out about 6 miles, following the 100 fathom curve, with clean water just off the beach.

Offshore, the fishing has slowed as we are in the full moon this week with the boats averaging 1 or 2 sailfish a day each. However, Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II, had a couple of very decent days with 5 sailfish on the first day, and then 3 on the second.

Most of the action is still starting at about 6 miles, and then on out to 14 miles. Several small dorado are also being taken off the weed lines.

The inshore action is still great, especially for roosterfish. The full moon has been making for some high surf on the beaches and strong tides, but the fish are still active. Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, has been doing well fishing south near the antennas with 3 or 4 roosters a day and several (up to 10) large jack crevalle each day.

Spin fishing clients Helen Saunders and Yves Laliberté of Toronto, Canada went down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with Cheva and me for a day of roosterfish fishing. Considering the high surf, we did well, catching 3 roosters from 25 pounds to 40 pounds.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Helen Saunders

Wallpapper (WWS-9eb)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

float that shit

This is a float, brother.
Pack that shit and get to the flowing river, brother.
What is that thing? You don't need that shit. Throw that shit out, brother.
You got some pants and a fly rod? Then you all good, brother.

What has two thumbs and pshops pre-float? This guy.

No, Brave Little Grater... this is no place for you, brother. We will get our quesadilla on hardcore when I get home, I promise.

-Alex who finally filled his Patagucci Black Holer duffel-n-stuffs.

You Think You Know It

You've Fished This River
just not here
.. The kids in the neighborhood walk farther than we do. They carry enormous packs. They ignore mosquitoes. They welcome rain and wet sleeping bags.
.. They fish hard and long. They fish where few have fished. They keep a few to eat and relish the skin charred by an open fire. They tell the stories and we are jealous.
.. They don't carry cameras, (weight is important and a second canister of bear spray is more important.) They aren't interested in fish porn. They just like it "out there" and enjoy the adventure.
.. They taunt us with the lure and lore of the backcountry. They retell the tales of isolation and fish far larger than expected in gentle streams of pristine beauty and clarity. They even let us post this report because they know we can't get there. They suspect that you won't either. If you do, the stories will last a lifetime.
.. Just what river is pictured above? Just how familiar is the name? If you fish Yellowstone you know it well - just not here. Of course it's the Firehole River. The meadow is lush, wet, and oozing life. The fish frequently are 13" long. They are ravenous and willing.
.. You think that 13" is not too big? You think that 13" is just a good fish, not a great fish? When was the last time you caught a 13" Brook Trout? Did it sparkle in the sun? We're jealous!
.. Last week the fish were eating a wonderful assortment of artificial flies. Royal Wulff, Royal Coachman, Adams, Mosquito, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, (of the wet variety,) Prince Nymph: nothing exotic was gobbled up. There were no secret or proprietary flies. There were no fancy presentations with the 5 or 6 piece pack rods.
.. The wind blew the flies to just the right place - almost all the time. All the hype and pseudo-sophistication of the fraternity was ignored - nay, not even known. Fishing and catching, to say the least, was as good as it gets.
.. It's just about five miles from the nearest road to this sweet little meadow. The trail goes up and around it and day hikers leave it alone. If you've legs that can handle it - fish it. If you don't know where it is. Just ask the kids - they'll be back from another spot in a week.