Thursday, May 30, 2013

Z Fish Report (5/30/13)

A baby whale shark, only a mile off the beach.
The 81° blue water is now only 3 miles off the beach. We are seeing sailfish, dorado, yellowfin tuna, and blue marlin in the daily catches. The numbers are still down a bit, with only a couple of sailfish a day per boat, but we are also just now coming out of the full moon period.

Long time annual visitors John Wilkinson and Jim Heikkinen of Michiganfished offshore with Santiago for 4 days on the super panga Gitana. One day they concentrated on yellowfin tuna, getting 8. Then they fished 3 days for blue marlin. When targeting them, our average here is about a blue for every 3 days on the water, and the 3rd day saw John battling his 1stever blue for 3 ½ hours to get the 300 pound fish to the boat.

Jim (left) and John with a double while fishing with Santiago 
The inshore action has been excellent. We are averaging at least 5 different species each trip out, with large roosterfish being the main target. Even with the high surf we had most all of this last week, and the full moon, we still got quite a few fish.
Santiago holding Jim's large rooster


John and Jim also made the long run to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with Santiago on the Gitana. Due to the high surf they trolled live bait out in the “safe zone” and got 5 nice roosterfish and several jack crevalle, with one of the roosters estimated at a minimum of 50 pounds.

Another long time visitor and fisherman, Keith Paul of Minnesota, fished a day with Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos. They fished the areas down by Valentin (pronounced Balen- teen) This is what Keith had to say about his day on the water with Adolfo: (But, first I need to remind you Adolfo and his deck hand Jesus (pronounced Hay-sooz) are a fish catching machine. Normally two people fish with them and not alone like Keith does. This gives time for a person to fight a fish, and the other to recover).

“I had to ask Adolpho for the final count, because the bastard fished me into the bottom of the panga! LOL…We got 13 jack crevalle in the 6 pound range, 6 normal sized black skipjack tuna, 4 needle fish, and 4 roosterfish around 15 to 25 pounds. My freakin arms are jello.
Keith with one of his roosters fishing with Adolfo
Around 11AM I told him one more fish and I'm done. Don't care if it makes me a pussy or not! So of course four Jacks later Adolfo laughs and says “Okay. Finito!” As we are running back towards the white rocks, the birds catch his eye, and we pulled over to catch 5 bonito in 15 minutes. I even made him reel the second to last in!!”
Adolfo (photo by Keith)

While Adolfo was “abusing” Keith, John Wilkinson and Jim went down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with Cheva and me. Because of the high surf, we decided to fish my sweet spot, which is an hour down below the point. The rock hump comes to within 25 feet of the surface and a mile off the beach. We were doing fantastic with a huge rooster (which a large needlefish cut off by clipping the 50 pound bite tippet), a large rainbow runner, black skipjack, several misses on jack crevalle, etc.
Jim with his nice rainbow runner
And, then we had the incredible experience of a baby whale shark of about 15 feet long come up right at the corner of the panga. He even made a turn and came back from the direction of the bow. We could touch him. But, the game fish did not like the idea of him being there and took off. Even though the whale shark is harmless to them, they feel if something is bigger, it will eat them. So we went back to the surf line and managed to hook a couple of more roosters breaking about 300 yards off the beach.

On Wednesday, Keith wanted to see Puerto Vicente Guerrero and sample the fishing there. Knowing the surf had died down; we optimistically went down there again. We started getting into game fish at our No. 1 spot almost immediately.  
With Abel at the tiller, Keith is holding his sierra
There was bait, porpoise, birds, and all kinds of life. A nice 8 pound plus sierra for dinner was the first fish, and then a pair of false killer whales moved in on us. Poof…the game fish disappeared….again. No matter what we did, we couldn’t shake the predators. Fist we fished the area thinking they would move on, but they didn’t. Then we would gun the motor to a new area for 10 minutes, and they showed up 30 seconds later. 


We finally had to give up and fall back on plan “B”. Around the point and on the same beach, which was our plan “B” with John and Jim two days earlier, we finally started getting roosters and jack crevalle from the surf line.  We ended up with a very decent day.
Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Another of Ed’s Observations: When the surf is high and dangerous, the roosterfish and bait do not like it either. Under these conditions, having live bait on board can make the day. The schooled bait moves out a couple of hundred yards from the shore line, and the game fish follow.  We managed to pick up several with our popper spin rigs when we saw breaking fish about 300 yards off the beach, but we were lucky. When there is high surf and no breaking fish on bait, trolling a live bait is very effective, and one of the few instances I would say it would out produce the surface popper method.  

When roosters and jack crevalle are in the 8 to 12 foot deep zone, and just at the back edge of the breaking waves, they are there for a single purpose. They are actively feeding. When they have their fill, they head back out for the safety of 30 to 100 foot deeper water.  A boat cannot troll a live bait in the active feeding zone, but casting a popper 60-80 yards with a spin rod can reach them, and will outperform live bait.

Medieval Knights


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Getting around to it.

I know... I am tired of hearing about and I got your emails. It has been over a week and I am still suffering from PASD, (Post Altitude Stress Disorder), which is common for me upon returning from the mountains however it seems that this is a worse case than usual. 

I take showers.
I drive in traffic.
I don't smell like fish and dirt and bacon and there are no wine/beer/whisky stains on my pants.

Fucked up, I know.

So bare with me as I slowly get my shit back together.


-Alex the guy with the shit which is apart.

Elbow Room


Sunday, May 26, 2013

In Praise Of Gray

A LOVELY OPENER
Just The Perfect Overcast
bazillions of bugs and noses
PERFECT OVERCAST ON SUNDAY & VERY BRIGHT FOR THE AFTERNOON CADDIS
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.. Not too much to report. Saturday dawned clear and bright without a cloud in the sky. By noon the white wisps had filtered over the continental divide and by mid afternoon the sun was shielded by high thin clouds. The breeze was constant and persistent.
.. A bit of midnight drizzle brought more dense clouds and Sunday was right out of the guide books. It was bright with layered clouds for the first 2/3 of the day and a bit broken in the late afternoon. By 8:00 PM there were patches of blue between the dense gray clouds and the air stilled to dead calm - ruined our casting stroke.
.. Gentle rain and a spit or three punctuated the day and into the evening. The rivers are clear, cool, and slow. Three to four feet visibility in the Madison River and up to six feet in the Firehole River. Nifty. By nightfall there were blessed rains and a few thunder boomers in West Yellowstone.
.. We saw mayflies all day, (even through lunch,) on both the Madison River and the Firehole River.
Green Sparkle & Yellow Traditional - Fish Eat Them
.. Sunday evening produced 18 different kinds of caddis. There were big brown ones, little brown ones, gray ones, tan ones, flying ones, walking ones, big white ones, flying white ones, stationary white ones, variegated ones; ones with battle stripes on their wings, some with short feelers, some with long feelers, a few with no feelers, there were even smashed ones and crippled ones, and swimming ones, and fluttering ones, and floating ones.
.. How do the fish keep track of which ones to eat? We foiled them with a pair of commercially tied soft hackle flies. They flew through the air when we cast them. They floated when we greased them. They sank when we weighted them. They were big to begin with. They were small when we plucked them. They skittered when we stripped them. They caught too many fish to count. We wonder what they were imitating?
CHANGES AND CLARIFICATIONS IN REGULATIONS THIS YEAR
.. The National Park Service has once again re-classified the waters in Yellowstone National Park.
.. The regulations have new wordings and limits of take.
.. Killing is a "must" rather than a "should" in some additional areas. It's best to read the regulations.
.. The regulation book is very clear this year. There should be no questions, (except for the note about disposing of fish in park trash cans.)
.. One note that is very interesting states that tributaries to the West Side Rivers are not restricted to fly fishing. Unless, of course, we read it wrong, (pg. 8 of this year's regulations.)
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Lovely Dark Holes Along The Bank - Six Fish - Four Whistle Pigs (one in lower right corner.)
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.. We found our opening day, isolated, dark holes guarded by Whistle Pigs this year. We watched for a while. They weren't fishing so we tromped through their living room and gathered in some fish. Given our current count of lustra and the state of our non-bionic wheels it's nice that there are so many places to fish that are less that 50' from the car door. Seems that folks just drive by without a look or glance. Fine by us.
..  The Mary Mountain Trail is officially closed. Access to Nez Perce creek from the bridge is possible. If you fish here be sure to understand the bear closure and fishing access rules. Carry, IN YOUR HAND, bear spray. Fish with a hoard of singing Girl Scouts, and do not run if you encounter a bear. The river is clear and cold and has some large fish if that's your cup of bile.
.. More to come in a day or two. It's time for stories and some vitamin "B." There's a new pub in town that's open right now. Another one is opening in a day or two. We suffer by fish and vitamin riches.
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WHISTLE PIGS GUARD THE APPROACH TO EASY FISHING HOLE ON THE MADISON RIVER

Friday, May 24, 2013

Prognosis = Practically Perfect

COME THE DAWNING
Enter The Faithful Hoards
it could be the stuff of stories
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Legal fishing opens tomorrow in Yellowstone National Park.
Here's the neighborhood outlook:
Weather: Mild - high in the 60's, mostly cloudy overcast, occasional and scattered  or widely scattered heavy drizzle or light rain, breezy not windy, bright.
Madison River: Lightly colored, visibility up to two feet, rising slowly, way below seasonal discharge levels, pretty river.
Gibbon River: Cold and approachable in the upper reaches, some slight color in slower sections, noticeable color in canyon and big riffles, stable discharge, below seasonal runoff levels, pretty river.
Gallatin River: Well into runoff regimen, cold but fishable near the banks and back eddy areas, especially attractive in confluence meadow near Fan Creek, pretty river.
Firehole River: As good as it gets this early, below seasonal discharge, rising slowly, fish moving and vigorous, visibility up to five feet, wonderfully cool, very pretty river.
Nez Perce Creek: Distinctly attractive, bears, bison, moose, dangerous.
.. Bugs? Yes, all day long on the Firehole River. Possible in early afternoon on all other west side rivers.
.. Flies? Soft hackle in shallow riffles. Stiff hackle in deep riffles. King Prince Nymph in deep and dark water. Small Pink San Juan worm in meadow sections. Surface and film = size most important.
.. Traffic? Probably not as bad as you'd think but gawdawful anyway. Visitation is lighter than in recent years past for this weekend. Visiting fishers will be happily surprised. Parking possible in most pullouts - if you arrive early.
.. Lodging? All wader friendly lodging plumb full. Rooms still available at plush-carpeted motels and cabins.
.. We had little time to explore the rivers away from our west side environs. Check PARKS' FLY SHOP for rivers in the central, north, and northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park.
.. We may visit some of the best places tomorrow. We may wet a line. We may catch a fish. We probably won't encroach on your elbow room. There's a couple of nice dark holes that we haven't explored since last year. Hope not to see you there.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Z Fish Report (5/23/13)

Jim Mckenna with deckhand Francisco on the Gitana

With 81°water returning to the inshore and along the beaches, and the 84 to 85° water hugging the 100 fathom line at 5 miles, the fishing has been improving. But, with a reverse parody, there are fewer fishermen here to take advantage of all the options present now.

The offshore fishing is seeing a couple of sailfish per boat caught per day, a few dorado are showing, with both striped and blue marlin being taken. And, the small yellowfin tuna are still hanging around the 1,000 fathom curve.

Jim McKenna of New York fished 3 days this week in the blue water with Santiago on the super panga Gitana. They released 6 sailfish, 1 striped marlin (estimated at 140 pounds) and 10 football yellowfin tuna.

Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, reports good inshore action for all areas north and south. The water is warm and clear, and the roosters are back.  When I was talking to him on his cell phone while typing this report, they were into heavy sierra and jack crevalle action up at Troncones.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative) 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dirty Stuff

WHAT'S A WATER SPOT WORTH?
Happy Anniversary
just another stick of grass ???
Mismatched cork, Water spots, Jordan Seat, Simple Walnut, Casts Great, Catches Fish

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.. Time was when utility was dismissed in favor of aesthetics.
.. Discounting utility for 'the pretty' is still a fairly common practice among fly fishers. Pretty fish, pretty flies, pretty cast, etc.
.. Members of the cult of Arundinaria Amabillis can be heard extolling the beauty of: grain, finish, craftsmanship, taper, uniformity of joints, etc. Oh, by the way it's possible to catch fish with it too.
.. The Orvis "99" rods sneak under the radar of pretty fishers. They look just like a conventional Orvis Impregnated Rod, (from a distance.) But upon closer inspection cult members dismiss the rods as substandard. Water spots in the bamboo are accentuated by the impregnating process, (ugh, dirty stuff.)
Serial Number - Duh
.. Red thread wraps scream abomination to the cult members that extol the aesthetic value of the dark brown thread that is "properly" used for the Orvis rods.
.. The NINETY NINE is a commemorative model. It was introduced in 1955 to commemorate Orvis's 99th anniversary. It's price point was below that of the then existing Battenkill models.
.. The quality of  bamboo, tapers, and construction is all the same. It just wasn't as pretty. There were water spots. You could see, infrequently, some small amounts of joint glue that barely was visible. It had Super Z ferrules, etc. Just not pretty. It catches fish though.
.. The 99's could be had with one or two tips and persisted in the Orvis offerings through 1966. This old friend is a late iteration and just had a birthday: April 1965, made by George Reid and Calvin Skinner. It's a fairly rare eight foot model with one tip section. It casts a 7 weight line and weighs a hefty 4 3/8 ounces. It catches fish just fine.
.. If you are not overwhelmed by pretty, this model can be had for, (in American Dollars,) far less than the pretty rods. It catches fish with the prettiest of them.
.. Orvis bamboo rods, (all of them, even the pretty ones,) are sturdy and meant to be fished. The lower grade rods feel just like a bamboo rod should feel. If you find one that matches your casting style, and can appreciate it's wonderful utility rather than it's pure beauty it can be had for a song in today's market. If you 'collect' sticks these are not for you. They catch fish.

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.. More dirty stuff. The Madison River in Yellowstone National Park is gaining a bit more color. We've had some blessed cool weather and some slow and soaking rains. The west side rivers are at, or below, their seasonal norms and still in the early runoff stage.
.. We suspect that they will all provide catching possibilities for the opening day this coming weekend. We're headed into the park on Thursday and Friday. We shall return with a final and late update. Check the sidebar links to feather merchants for the appropriate flies.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blue Collar Bamboo

THE ROD FOR THE REST OF US
Gentle On Ingrained Muscle Memory
as cheap as a bottom end modern rod
FUNNY NUMBERS ARE UNDER THE CLEAR PAINT - WE'LL SAND THEM OFF
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.. We're not much of a gear junkie. We fish anything that gets the job done. We're embarrassed when conversations turn to the latest and greatest. We have so little to add.
.. The fancy materials continue to proliferate. The weights and actions and lengths, and designs seem to fascinate so many folks today that we're plumb out of the loop when the conversations turn.
.. We dusted off this old piece of bamboo in front of one of the "wise ones" in the neighborhood. The reaction was a bit much. It seems that we should be impressed that this old stick has in it's genealogy some names that grab others deep in their ichthio-id.
.. This old whip hearkens back to the Cross Rod Company, by way of Wes Jordan and Paul H. Young. Golly - Gee - Whizz, all of that and it catches fish too.
.. It's a post-war model, (probably late 40's,) that we picked up cheap in Pocatello, Idaho during the transition to fiberglass, (about '64 or '65.) It's been fished ever since - fancy names be damned. It caught a lot of fish on the Portnueff River back then. The South Fork too.
.. The little 7 1/2' rod sings with a six or seven weight line and feels just fine to us, given the way we cast. Either from a boat or from the bank it hits the water most of the time. And catches fish too.
.. The wise-one was quite taken aback at the thought that we found the great hoary divot in the handle, (we've been told to say 'grip',) was a bit grotesque. He explained that the divot was in fact a bit of fly fishing controversy and that the great names had all claimed it at one time or another. Wow that too and it catches fish?
.. The tip-tops are blued like a cheap gun. It has a cute pinkish reel seat and the cork handle, (oops - again,) has nifty blood grooves carved into it every so often. Probably helps to catch fish.
.. This stick sold for $9 or $10, (as much as $16 later in it's production,) and was considered a mid-grade rod. We have since fished it in over 20 states: and will fish it in one more come Thanksgiving time. It'll catch some fish too.
.. In keeping with it's blue collar heritage we're going to paint it with some shoe polish to get rid of the very twinkly finish. Dark cordovan or black should do the trick. Maybe we'll use some flat green acrylic left over from the patio table. There's a smidgen left in a spray can around here somewhere. It should still catch fish.
.. We might just sand it down to get rid of the writing and the black spots that look like candle burns, and paint it with some brown and green and black splotches so it's camouflaged a mite better than it is now.
.. And, certainly adding a fancy red or blue rubber handle, (oops - grip,) will dress it up. And, for sure, get rid of the divot in the handle - that should make it look pretty snazzy too. It may catch more fish if it gets all fixed up.
.. Maybe after we get it all customized we can sell it on eBay for the same price that it fetched when new. We'll take it to the Firehole River on Opening Day in Yellowstone National Park next weekend. Perhaps there is an unsuspecting buyer to be found there.

South Bend History, ===> LINK
The 209, ===> LINK
Comficient Controversy, ===> LINK
Big and revered names, ===> LINK

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GODAWFUL DIVOT IN HANDLE - RED OR BLUE RUBBER HANDLE WILL FIX IT
 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Diversions & Plans

ABOUT ONE WEEK TO GO
Indy 500
yellowstone opens for fishing
BEST WITH BUDS - OF BOTH KINDS
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.. It's that time of year. Hoards of visitors are already arriving in the neighborhood. They bemoan the gentle drizzle as if they would melt. We're loving it to death.
.. The Firehole River is cooling with the overcast and the manna from above. The runoff event, in the other neighborhood rivers, is slowly building to the supposedly "unfishable" stage.
PHEASANT AND BLUE
.. We've got some very large dark flies that cast both a shadow and produce a fine silhouette. It's not a secret. It takes fish. It takes time, patience, covering lots of water and lowered expectations in the numbers department. Size of fish is no problem.
.. The lowland Madison River is coloring up nicely and it takes a sage fisher and/or savvy guide to gather in the trout.
.. Right this instant there is about 3/4 mile of perfect conditions on the Gallatin River. It snuggles in between the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and the Taylor Fork. This is that section that the gentleman fishers in the region call too cold to fish. So be it.
Gift From Da Kids
.. The neighbors have migrated from the lake edge to the weed beds of the estuaries and the prominent points along the periphery of Horse Butte. Leeches and midges may seem to be a pair of strange bedfellows - works though!
.. We visited the relatives and caught a few fish on the Madison River below the dam at Ennis Reservoir. Burned up some high dollar beef, fortified ourselves with some vitamin "B", and soaked a bit in the drizzle. Not your typical tourist attraction day in the neighborhood.
.. We're planning for the exuberance of next weekend. A bit of couch time, some more grilled beef, additional vitamin enhancement, fish a little, watch the parade of automotive sameness, fish a bit more, and snooze some.
.. A blindingly strenuous weekend looms. We'll use this one to relax: fish a bit more and rest up for the foray into the social fishing scene on opening day in Yellowstone National Park.
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STILL MOTHER'S DAY ??

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Z Fish Report (5/16/13)

Brian O'Hara on the Gitana
As I predicted in my last report, things are getting back to normal this week. The 80° blue water is only 10 miles off the beach; with 84° water still pushing northward. The 84° warm water is now out in front of Vicente Guerrero. It was in front of Acapulco last week, which means it is moving about 50 miles a week. It will be here next week.

The offshore fishing this last week has seen a decent improvement also. There are several boats going out and getting 8-9 strikes on sailfish a day. Dorado are again in the counts, and lots of football size yellowfin tuna are also showing from 40 miles on a 240° heading on down to 30 miles on a 180° heading.
Brian with one of his four sailfish released
Early in the week, Dennis Baily and Greg Taylor from Ohio went out 30 miles with Francisco on the super panga Huntress. They had a nice double on sailfish, which they released, and lost a couple of others.

Brian O’Hara of Washington DC fished with Santiago on the super panga Gitana on Wednesday and released 4 sailfish the first day. The second day they went to the beaches down by Valentine for jack crevalle and black skipjack on the fly rod. The third day they went out 45 miles getting 4 small yellowfin tuna on the fly rod and a 35 pound tuna on live bait.

Francisco on the super panga Huntress also fished on Thursday, and saw the conditions improving for his Canadianclient over what they experienced with Dennis and Greg last Sunday. They got 8 strikes on sailfish between 19 and 20 miles, and a strike on a huge blue marlin at 13 miles. They caught and released 4 sails, with 2 getting off. They had a triple, a double, a single hookup and another double.
As Abel is about to release this rooster, note the foam from
the heavy surf, and how far off the beach we encountered
the school of roosterfish.
Inshore action has also improved as the water is warming up and getting clear again. Dennis and Greg spent a day with me down at Puerto Vicente Guerrero for roosters.  We got there and encountered huge surf, which proved to be non-productive factor when we started fishing a couple of miles to the north of the port. We then made the move to around the point and a couple of miles south. Because the surf was high, the roosters had moved off the beach. We got into a huge school of roosterfish that had over 200 large fish in it. They were breaking on the surface like tuna, with the exception the huge namesake dorsal fin was raised and slashing the water as they chased their prey.
They were swimming and crashing on bait only a few feet
 from the  boat
The first frenzy was the largest, but the birds told us where they were for the next two hours. We ended up hooking 5 roosters. And, you ask “where are the photos of this incredible experience?” Well, Dennis and Greg were either trying to catch a rooster or fighting one. The captain was busy with maneuvering the boat position, and I had a damned pelican on the lure end of a spin rod. The pelican flew into the line and got wrapped around the wing and across the back. The frenzy was over in just a couple of minutes, and it took me that much time to get the pelican close to the boat to be released unharmed.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Another of Ed’s theories: We seem to only experience large schools of roosters in November and December. They are fairly much gone from Christmas through May, with June being one of our best months for roosters. Normally, from June and on into December we catch them in shallow water off the back side of the waves as they are loosely scattered along stretches of the beach.  The smaller roosters do cluster in groups of 5 or 6, but the larger fish seem to be alone or as mating pairs.

By encountering this large school of roosters this week, was it a migrating school of returning fish? Are the schooled fish of November and December being pushed down from the north by cold water and migrating to points south? Basically what I am asking is if large roosters are more solitary or mating paired fish, but the schools we have seen all have huge fish in them, do roosterfish school up when they migrate, then disperse into loose groups after they arrive to the area they call their summer  (or winter)home? There is some precedence to his. In the animal and bird kingdoms, this does happen with several species. I hope to explore this question a bit more….Especially this coming November and December.

Or, is it just because the high surf creates a situation where the roosters have a hard time trapping the bait against the beach, and they have to school up to trap them in open water?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Outside Chance

AND SO IT GOES
Rivers On The Upswing
all eyes on the firehole

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.. As all of our neighborhood rivers and streams begin their diurnal / nocturnal sinusoidal runoff phase, we're keeping a close eye on the Firehole River data. Not so much the discharge numbers but rather the temperature numbers.
.. The river has already topped 65°F two days in a row. This is not alarming in itself. It is, on the other hand, a bit early for those temperatures.
.. Just sayin'.
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Festival reminder...

The closing date for entry to the Irish Bass Festival 2013 is fast approaching (1st of June). You can register by calling the shop 00353 51 393559 on or online here

You will find all the information you need here on the official Irish Bass Festival webpage.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Mom's Hatch

TO THE LOWLANDS
Caddis Scarce
congestion abounds
MOM, HER DAY, TRAFFIC, ENNIS.
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.. We have heard about the prolific Mother's Day Caddis Hatch erupting on the lowland Madison River and, over the weekend, consumed some valuable petrol to investigate.
.. There were many fishers, (boats, tubes, wading.) Some caught fish. We caught fish. Saw a half dozen caddis flies in five hours. They are avoiding us.
.. Stopped to visit the feather merchants in Ennis. Elbows and knees punctuated the tight quarters and musty aisles. Information, conversation, and ambiance was dispensed freely. It was good.
.. Flows are picking up in the lowlands. Color is creeping into the water on the lowland Madison River. The silt load of the West Fork is beginning to make itself noticed. It brigs with it some fresh nutrients and bits of food. Fish figure it out about a week before the fishers. Flows have remained at seasonal levels.
.. It was one of our few excursions down below. It has it's rewards. It has it's drawbacks. The scenery is nice.
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.. Two weeks from today will have seen the hoards of fishers descend on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.
.. The west side rivers in the park are just beginning to rise. Flows are up a bit and we are entering a runoff event. The Firehole River has spiked in the last two days to about 250 cfs above seasonal norms. It's still relatively clear and could be fished with success.
.. The Gibbon River has been running just above seasonal norms and just now is beginning to climb out of it's torpor. It is surprisingly clear, at the moment.
.. The Madison River has responded to the increase in flow by coming to the bank full stage. It's color is still on the light side and could be fished if it was open.
.. The next 15 days will find temperatures in the mid to high 60's and flows should increase on a daily basis. The warm weather will be accented by rain and even some overnight snows - all of which should contribute to the lovely colors in the rivers.
.. Over the last week the Gallatin River has gone from about 500 cfs to over 2,000 cfs. It will also climb over the next 15 days as well. It's upper reaches in Yellowstone National Park, and down to the Taylor Fork should remain clear enough to fish on opening day.
.. So far the rains have been scattered, ephemeral, light, and accompanied by scenic clouds and pleasant sunsets. We're enjoying it - for now.
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SPRING STORM OVER THE MADISON RIVER