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.