Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Fish & Fires

FRIENDLY FISH ALL GONE
Less Friendly Fires Arrive
and so it goes in our neighborhood
HDR Wallpaper: 'TWO TOP' fire, 4 miles south of West Yellowstone
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.. We took a little ride up the road and fished for a spell on the Gallatin River.
LOVELY GRAYLING CREEK: devoid of fish & bugs.
.. On the way home we stopped and grabbed a snapshot of our favorite stretch of a little stream that has favored us with many hours of fine escape and solitude.
.. It's still a pretty place but all the fish are dead. Most of the bugs too.
..Low water, high temperatures and a liberal dose of Rotenone have removed the fish and most of the bugs.
..This is part of the native fish conservation plan of Yellowstone National Park.
.. There will be another dose of Rotenone - maybe two. Then Grayling Creek will be the recipient of some grayling and some cutthroat.
.. We should be able to return to fish our neglected bits of water in 5 or 6 years - if we live that long.
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.. The Gallatin River is coughing up some nice fish to the local favorite technique; a double hopper rig.
.. There were hoards of hoppers along Grayling Creek. There were no fish on the surface.
.. We await, (but not with held-breath,) the return of friendly fish to Grayling Creek.
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.. The "TWO TOP" fire is just a smidgen more than four miles south of West Yellowstone. It's burning in heavy and dry timber along the state line.
.. Since the prevailing winds are toward our little village the Interagency Fire Center has called in resources above the normal for a fire of this size, (about 90 acres.) Smoke jumpers based here were quick to the fire.  The Leland Snow "Air Tractors" are bombing the fire with retardant. There is also a siphon helicopter and a couple of fire crews. Local and State, and Federal manpower is on the scene.
.. The fire is "burning in heavy fuels" - the official jargon for a hot one with lots to eat. Fires are a fact of life in our neighborhood. They rejuvenate the forest and maintain a healthy stand of trees. Of course the burned areas don't usually make for postcard views of the neighborhood.
.. It should be rapidly contained. We'll keep you posted.
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B & W Wallpaper:  Watching the "TWO TOP" fire from the edge of town.
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Wallpaper: Leland Snow Air Tractor Tanker,  Modified For Fire Fighting.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Z Fish Report (8/29/13)


I am finally launching the Roosterfish Foundation. Please read below for more information.


This last week was mostly about rain. From Sunday evening until Tuesday afternoon, we got 5.5 inches of rain, with a lot of it coming during daylight hours. Even though we had very little wind, this made for tough conditions and we did not go out fishing those days. On Wednesday, the skies cleared again and gave us a day to settle things down. The boats are fishing again today (Thursday).
We get some incredible sunrises after the rains
Surprisingly, the blue water was not pushed out too far, going out to 7 miles, instead of the several weeks long 5 miles. Sometimes, with huge outflows of fresh water coming out of the rivers, the blue water can be pushed out 15 miles or more. Plus, I was at Playa Blanca this morning and saw the inshore waters were fairly clean and not discolored from the runoff. This tells me we have a strong blue water current, able to cleanse things quickly.
On Thursday, John Lorenz' French client,  Aurelien Lagarrosseat Bahia de
Tortuga Fishing Lodge  in PuertoVicente Guerrero,  fished with captain
Rody for a nice sailfish
Offshore the boats should still average about 1 to 2 sailfish a day, with an occasional nice dorado thrown in.
Marv Armendinger with a nice rooster the day after the rains

The
inshore action has really picked up for roosters, and is probably the best bet for fishing here. Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, is about the only boat who fished every day during the rain. He finished yesterday with a client from Spain, who fished 10 days straight with him. Adolfo told me there are a lot of roosters, and actually outnumber the jack crevalle caught. Plus, he is getting dorado and sierras just a couple of hundreds off the beach.

 
  Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)
And a nice pargo also



Launching the Roosterfish Foundation

Shown above is the logo for the wallet sized laminated card for membership in the Roosterfish Foundation. Please contact me at edkunze@gmail.com if you are interested in becoming a Founding Member. Founding Member status will be accepted until the end of December of this year. 











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Cherry Pickin'

JUST A COUPLE FISH
Enjoy The Sights
like visitors from new zealand

WALLPAPER: Hot Pot And Visiting Gawker.
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.. During these last days of the summer doldrums we occasionally visit Yellowstone National Park for the wonders that other folks come to see.
.. We generally enter the park early, drive to a place where there will be a fish or two. Catch the fish and then tour. The neighbors call it ""Cherry Pickin'"
.. We all have our favorite spots. We gather up some snapshots. We enjoy the gawkers, the traffic jams, the stupid driving, the elbows from around the world, and the chaos that is summer in Yellowstone.
.. We get some ice cream at Old Faithful. Sometimes we wait the 90 minutes or so for the next eruption. We revel in the fact that we live where so many others want to visit.
.. When it's time to leave wonderland we stop on the way out for another fish or two and call it a day. Usually we get home in time for a late lunch - or - early dinner and visit a place where the visitors have abandoned. It's an occasional ritual that we indulge in a few times each summer. Crowds and elbows grow old very quickly. That's just us. 3,000,000+ folks seem to enjoy it every year.
.. Is it October yet?
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Wallpaper: View from above Canyon Village.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sorry We Missed This

NPS PRESS RELEASE



Date: August 19, 2013

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2013 13-066

Al Nash or Dan Hottle
(307) 344-2015
YELL_Public_Affairs@nps.gov

------------------------------------------------------------------
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
------------------------------------------------------------------

Yellowstone Begins Native Fish Restoration in Grayling Creek

Yellowstone is taking another step forward this week in efforts to restore native westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling in park waters.

Grayling Creek and its tributaries are located north of West Yellowstone in the Madison River drainage.

Decades ago, the streams were invaded by non-native brown and rainbow trout. Their presence has contributed to a decline in native cutthroat trout in park lakes, rivers and streams.

This week an interagency team of biologists will introduce a fish toxin into the streams to remove the non-native trout as part of Yellowstone's Native Fish Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment, which was approved in May 2011. Only waters within Yellowstone National Park will be treated. The project will not impact downstream reaches.

While the chemical Rotenone will be introduced in small quantities, visitors are advised not to swim in or drink from the streams now through August 30. Warning signs will be posted at all treated areas.

This year's treatment is the first in a series that is expected to continue over the next two to three years. Treatments will be conducted until nonnative trout have been completely removed from the streams. The park will then reintroduce genetically pure native Arctic grayling and westslope cutthroat trout to the streams. The long term plan is not only to support native species restoration, but also for these streams to provide a brood stock population for future restoration efforts in the region.

More information on the park's Native Fish Conservation Plan can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=30504.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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GRAYLING CREEK  =  SOON TO BE FISHLESS

Monday, August 26, 2013

Green Up High

SELDOM SEEN
At Least By Us
probably worth the walk
It's not a real big lake. It has fish. It has scuds. It's worth the walk.
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.. It takes just a bit of time and a bit of effort to reach Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. It's not far for most folks. We take it slow and get there by-'n'-by.
.. We've not been there in quite a few years. We took the walk over the weekend. We caught a fish or three.  May never get back there - our loss.
A Bit Of Trout Candy - Sort Of Like M&M's.
.. The grass is still green, (not yellow like in the river valleys.) The trout are active and eager. Fishers are well rewarded for their efforts. We suggest that you get there quickly. We also suggest that you fish early.
.. This is where you can hunt the trout. Little nymphs on long leaders, cast from a crouch or when lying down, to fish that can see you, is great fun.
.. Sometimes you'll catch a fish rather than scare the poop out of them. You can do this all day and into the evening. Come down the trail while it's still light out - there are bears.
.. There are surface feeding fish near the shore in the calm of early morning. Hoppers, beetles, moths,  butterflies, ants, and other sundry stuff plops into the water and fish will eat it. Sneaky is the word.
.. The fishers who visit the lake frequently cast way, way, way, out into the lake. They then wait and move the line only a little bit. There are scuds in the lake. Cruising fish eat scuds. The scuds are pregnant now: will be for a few more weeks. You may get lucky. You need patience.
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Bridge is nicer than we remember.   In fact we don't remember a bridge.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Downturn ?

MORNING POSSIBILITIES
Watch The  River And Weather
some foolish folks greet the sun
When The Thin Fog Burns Off The River; Fishing And Catching Is Done.
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.. There are those fishers that understand the morning. They understand about the false dawn. They understand about hatching and dying. They can function with very little coffee or sleep. Bless them all.
Yellowstone Morning Glory
..By nature, nurture, tradition, and training, we usually arise long after the sun has broken the day. Infrequently we see the sun rise.
.. The neighborhood kids don't need coffee. They beat on my window and destroy a perfectly deep slumber. They bring coffee. They watch the river far more closely than the village pros. They explain that it's time to get gone and get on the river.
.. There was rain last night. Real rain, not the piddly drizzle of the last few days; it cooled the rivers. The clouds were thick and persistent. The clouds would shield the rivers from the early morning sun. It was time to get along to the river. The coffee was cold, (bought at a gas station while they had a breakfast of Mountain Dew and chocolate doughnuts - they saved me one.)
Mid Day Catching - Gibbon River
.. There was indeed a heavy spinner fall. There was indeed an early hatch of wondrously small and mysterious bugs. We caught fish in the thin fog of the early morning.  The kids dragged me to the good spots.
.. It's an interesting sensation when one comes fully awake to the thrashing of a bit of silver and rose on the end of a line that you don't remember casting. Works better than cold coffee.
.. There's no frost on the pumpkin yet. The top leaves of the potato plants have withered a bit from some near frosty conditions. It's not Fall by a good stretch - the fires have just hit their stride. But there are signs " . . . for them that knows."  And, the neighborhood kids know - school is about to start.
.. The rivers are finally approaching seasonal, (low,) flows. The Firehole River has shown three days of less than 80° F, and is cooling. The grass in the meadows is as yellow as it is green. The sun is lower in the sky and the color of the sky has changed from it's milky teal color of high Summer.
.. There are even, not too surprising really, reports of visitors taking fish in the Gibbon River at Madison Junction. One truism that soothsayers often forget is that fish gotta' eat. Even in high summer.
.. We're not going to abandon the cool waters of the upper Gallatin River quite yet. We're not ready to give up precious sleep for dalliances in the scant morning fogs of the Madison River - not yet!
.. But, rest assured, that we're going to pay close attention to night time temperatures, cloud cover, rain, and river temperatures. We're going to tie up some Yellowstone Morning Glory flies to go with our bead head Feather Duster flies.
.. We'll keep you informed. Now it's time for a restful nap. We'll be awake in time for the evening caddis on the Gallatin River. Yawn!
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Evening On The Gallatin River Comes Early This Time Of Year - So Too The Caddis

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Z Fish Report (8/22/13)


 The Offshore conditions and fishing haven’t changed much in the last several weeks The 87° blue water is still hugging the 100 fathom curve at 5 miles. The boats are averaging about 1 to 2 sailfish a day, with an occasional nice dorado thrown in.

It is the summer doldrums for us, with very few fishing clients, and not much to report because of very few boats on the water to really give us a proper sampling of what is really going on out there. We almost have to depend on the commercial pangas and what they are catching.

This reminds me of several years back when I went up the East Cape of Baja to help out Gary Graham of Baja on the Fly as a fly fishing guide. I went up in June and came back to in September, which is the high season for Baja. After arriving in Zihuatanejo, it was obvious to me some sort of contagious disease had hit the captains and deckhands, with all of them thinner than when I left in June. Cali was the hardest hit, having lost at least 20 pounds. I asked him “what happened?” He told me “it was the low season for us, with no clients. With no clients we get no tips. The family gets the wages, but the tips are for beer and good food with the guys when we are done fishing”…So there you go, we are in the middle of another weight loss epidemic. 
One of 10 cookie cutter small roosters Marv Armendinger caught while
tossing Mega Baits and surface poppers on spin gear.
The inshore action has picked up again for roosters and the jack crevalle. I went down to Puerto Vicente this week just to check on the boat and take care of a few things. Abel, my captain, told me “mucho gallos” right now. But, I have no clients either. Maybe I will be in on the weight loss program too.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

“A game fish is too valuable to catch only once” – Lee Wulff made this famous quote in 1939.


CURRENT MOON














Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Secluded Nooks

NEIGHBOR'S HIDEOUTS
Just Good Food
a relaxed atmosphere - sigh
Atypical Airport Restaurant - Quiet, Good Food, Secluded.
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.. Summer is a hectic time in our little village. Crowds from all over the world invade the town on their way to Yellowstone National Park.
Shop 'Til You Drop - YEE HAW!
.. This little hamlet is built on service, (the Chamber of Commerce calls it World Tourism.)
.. Our local population is comprised of a congenial bunch of folks - it has to be.
.. At times the physical and psychological turmoil and the demands of constant congeniality can wear a person down.
.. Save for a brief sleep at night there is very little time to pause and escape the hectic rush of the season. When it's time to escape to a gentle lunch we have our hideouts.
.. One such hideout is the SmokeJumper Cafe.  It's in a secluded nook of our airport terminal. The neighbors are more than happy to drive the quick 2 miles to this little restaurant.
Correct Temp. + Clean Oil = Perfect Gold
.. They get away from the madness of summer tourism. They can carry on a conversation in normal tones.
.. There is an excellent menu to choose from. The chef, (correct word,) is also a great cook. And the food is always delivered with a smile. Reasonably priced too!
.. This is not an invitation; just a mention of a place you've driven past and not even thought about. Fantastic rib-eye sandwich, perfectly palatable burgers, and great French Fries too!
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.. Most restaurants in town are crowded at dinner time. Lines and long waits are the norm.
.. When the neighbors are fishing they leave the river early and have an early supper, (call it a real late lunch if you like!) They then return to the river: perfect timing for the neighborhood bugs.
.. Bullwinkle's Saloon & Eatery caters to this peculiar schedule and opens for dinner at 4:00 PM. It gets busy around 6:00 PM and the lines run out the front door.
.. Hidden in the back of the dining room is a little known pub with an ancient horseshoe bar.
.. It's quiet. The booths are spacious. The booths are comfortable.
.. On Friday's and Saturday's the prime rib is ready to go when the doors open.
.. The secret to this bit of solitude is to arrive early on Friday afternoon. Seek out the quiet booths in the little pub.
.. Order the prime rib. Indulge yourself with sumptuous food, salubrious surroundings, relaxed quietude, and gird thy loins for some exceptional fishing when the rivers empty of those fishers with a conventional dinner schedule.
.. Why, you may ask, on Friday? Many visitors are traveling and are dashing to their next destination on Friday afternoon. They are gone and you are here.
.. More importantly, the special prime rib is prepared just for the neighbors, and only on Friday's. There is a secret marinade and rub that is applied, (yes, the night before.)
.. The specially selected roasts are treated very lovingly and, one of the secret ingredients is a rare, specially ground coffee. Sounds strange. Just a hint. Hardly noticeable unless you enjoy great beef. Perfection.
.. We like it with some butter, a little pepper, and some of the real drippings, (call it Au Jus if you like.) Rare or medium rare.
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Cut with a fork, dip in drippings, melt in your mouth.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Commercial Ploy ?

LET'S TRY THIS
It'll Make A Lot Of Money
who knows the difference ?
Size 14 hook. Same pattern? Three sizes? Sell 'em, who cares?
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.. Fly patterns are funny things. Depending on the tyer and the fisher and the fish - some are just right and others are all wrong.
Light Color Variety -  Original Pattern
.. Through time, (and for various reasons,) the recipe for any pattern can change: the skill of the tyer, the available materials, the experience with fishing different patterns, and countless other factors enter into the equation.
.. In time the resulting flies can come to be so divergent from the originals that they are, in fact, something entirely different.
Yellow Variety by Jeff Kennedy
.. One variable, in this pecuniary and avaricious time, is the economic factor. "Let's sell it and we'll get rich."
.. Profit is a common reason for innovation and change among feather merchants. After all, they are in "business" to make "money."
.. 'Latest and Greatest' is a surefire appeal to fly fishers of the affluent and egotistical sort. 'New and Different' comes in a very close second.
.. Well, sports fans, you can now get the "Newest and Latest, and Greatest, and Most Different Feather Duster of all time!"
Original by Wally Eagle
.. It's being tied by hungry folks and sold in local feather merchant bins.
.. It has a bead head, (WOWIE!,) is tied with orange thread, (YIPPEE SHIT!,) the ribbing is obscured by the dense plumage, (SUBTLE, DONTCHYAKNOW!,) it's silhouette is highly variable, (IF AT FIRST . . .,) the pheasant tail caripace, (thorax cover, pronotum, mesonotum, or whatever,) is of just three or four fibres, (ECONOMY FOR SURE!,) various size flies occur on the same size hook in the bins, (EXPEDITIOUS CAPRICE!,) and the seasonal help has told us that they are "Killer Flies." They then asked us what pattern they were!
Yellow Variety. By The Neighbor Kids.
.. This is not a rant against innovation. In fact we think that a Bead Head Feather Duster is a good idea. Wish we'd thought of it first.
.. But the idea that putting a bead head on a highly variable, nondescript, (fluffy and fuzzy,) fly, no matter what the recipe, (if poorly tied, and sold as a killer fly,) borders on the criminal. Ah America.
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
.. We've fished feather duster patterns for decades. The ones that work the best are the ones that are shaped like the original.
.. The rule of thirds seems to hold here. Forward third a bit greater in diameter and  fuzzy. Middle third smaller in diameter and less fuzzy, (clearly segmented.) Final third a substantial tail that can be individuated if necessary
Lovely Thirds
.. The size, shape, proportions, and general appearance of successful Feather Duster flies is very similar to the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear fly, (which has made a successful transformation to bead heads.)
.. In fact most nymphoidal imitations seem to follow the proportions of insects - by-and-large. Whether this is a function of tradition or considered imitation is open to debate - but there you have it.

½ & ½  Good Idea. What is it?

.. We're usually not too anal about exactitude in fly patterns; yet, if there is so much difference that the patterns in a single bin don't seem to be the same we get a bit antsy.
.. Some color varieties work better at some times and not at others. The key factors for this particular pattern to gall fish with regularity seem to be size, proportions, silhouette, and presentation.
At least a dozen fish lurk here - probably more.
.. Nothing too scientific here but: over the weekend, (on the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park,) we fished some commercial bead heads in tandem with the traditional ones.
.. In about an hour and a half we caught one fish on the bead head fly and better than 12 on the traditional one. We broke-off and re-tied twice; who knows which fly was taken, (damn knots.)
Madison Mauler
.. Now, heaven knows that we fish some pretty nondescript patterns that don't follow many rules. They are sometimes strange or wierd looking - certainly not like any bug that we know of.
.. The Madison Mauler is one that is a consistent winner.  It's recognizable as what it is, and the kid that ties them is particular that they look the same and work the same.
.. It would seem that the folks selling and tying the bead head feather duster should have them resemble their namesake.
.. They may eventually fish pretty good and catch some fish but they need a bit more pattern consistency for them to carry a  name as recognized as the feather duster for it to stick.
Ought To Work - Right?  Sell It!
.. We're going to tie up some of the bead head variety with the appropriate materials.
.. We're going to adhere to the original proportions and fibre lengths.
.. We're going to try some colors with the bead head too. We think the whole innovation is a good idea.
.. Right now, however, we think it's a very poor idea for visitors to expect the locally available, commercial renditions to measure up to the original pattern.
.. Maybe some professionals will pick up the idea and bring us a consistent pattern that we can count on, (conditions being conducive to it's use.) Money will surely be made and the fly will be the inheritor of a grand tradition.
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Multiple fly type testing facility

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Know Your Foe

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY
Callibaetis Notes
get thee to hebgen lake
Confused Female Callibaetis Ovipositing On A Rock.
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.. When the smoke from wildfires makes the moon red and the sun is a giant orange blob in the hazy sky, it's callibaetis time at the old homestead.
Art Deco Kodak
.. Take your camera along and celebrate photography. It seems that every fly fisher is a closet shutterbug. August 19, is World Photography Day, so unmask the Ansel Adams child inside of you, limber up the old Kodak, and take a few snaps.
.. Out on Hebgen Lake, (and a few other lesser known stillwaters,) the bugs have been popping for some time. Some of the neighbors have been on the reservoir for weeks. Most of them wait until it's just sheer masochism on the rivers before they migrate to the reservoir.
Wading for Gulpers
.. The migration is on. Drift boats, float tubes, rubber rafts, john boats, ski boats, and various other sundry craft have taken to the weed beds.
.. There are quite a few places along the shore of the reservoir where wading will  get you into the noses as well.
Gulper Getters
.. Out of tradition we refer to this part of the fishing calendar as 'Gulper Time.'  It's a truism for sure. But the bugs are the stars. The callibaetis mayfly goes through several hatches during the year, (mostly summer.)
.. Each successive hatch produces a smaller insect. There are always a few million bugs that are out of synch with the general population - so - there are bugs on the water all the time.
.. By this time of year the flies emerging, and on the surface, can be of different generations. This means different sizes.
.. Fishers often don't notice the difference. Fish always seem to notice the difference.
Visiting Male Callibaetis
.. As Matilda once said: "SIZE MATTERS."
.. The pattern of the fly is, in this instance, truly far less important than the size and silhouette of the pattern.
.. The season usually starts with a size 10 or 12. By this time of year the bugs can range from 10 to 16, (some bigger and some smaller.)
.. Frequently the scenario is confused by a massive Trico hatch as well. Fish, being what they are; and trout being what they are wont to be, this can be confounding to the fly fisher.
THE HERE AND NOW OF GULPERS
.. Occasionally the fish will bump floating fishers as they rise, (can you cast that short?)
.. Sometimes the noses surround the boat just a few feet away, (photo-op, anyone?)
.. Frequently a cast of 25' or so will place the fly in the right place, (good for the mere mortals among us.)
.. All too often it takes a perfectly placed fly at a distance of 50' or 60'. This requires that your shorts be ripped as you perform wild gyrating motions and strain to get your fly in position with that fancy new four weight rod that was so appealing in the catalog.
Gulpers In The Weeds
.. As Snagglepuss is often heard to exclaim: "Heavens to Mergatroid, the bug is the enemy - not the fish!"
.. So then, hie thee to thine own favorite stillwater. Start early when the breeze is just a whisper.
.. Use a stick and line combination that gets the fly to where it belongs and the noses are thick.
.. Pick a pattern that matches the size and shape of what you think the capricious fish are gulping.
.. Fling it in front of a 'patterned riser.' And hang on. The big fish ascend from the depths to enjoy the feast.
.. We're off to the fire.
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To Quote Sun Tzu:
故曰:知彼知己,百戰不殆;
不知彼而 知己,一勝一負;
不知彼,不知己,每 戰必殆。
--
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself,
 you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
--
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent,
 you may win or may lose.
--
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy,
 you will always endanger yourself.
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Good Calibaetis Stuff:
==> Ralph & Lisa Cutter,
==> Trout Nut,
==> Bug Guide,
==> Fly Fishing Traditions,
==> Dennis P. Collier,
==> Aquatic Insects, Gunnison County, Colorado.