Thursday, May 30, 2013

No limit

The limit on non-native fish in Yellowstone National Park has been quashed in an advanced effort to preserve native fish. This applies to all park waters, except the Madison and Firehole rivers, the Gibbon below the falls, and Lewis and Shoshone lakes. Additionally, rainbows and brookies in the Lamar Drainage (including Slough and Soda Butte creeks) must be harvested, similar to the mandatory-kill-of-lake-trout rule in Yellowstone Lake. Bring your lemon juice.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Runoff Fly Tournament: Round 3

The Hare's Ear, a prognosticator favorite, is out, and the Morrish Hopper has made the final four in the Cinderella story...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just one fish

For my mentee's 7th and most recent birthday, he acquired the tried and true Zebco 220 rod/reel combo, so we've been fishin'.
When the focus is there, it's strong. When it's gone, it's gone.
But with his 7-year-old attention span, we need to catch fish. Any kind or size of fish. We are currently at about a code red with lack of fishing interest - we haven't caught anything in almost four total hours of fishing. This does not compete with Plants vs Zombies.
We attended the annual Bozeman Kids' Fishing Day at the East Gallatin Recreation Area on Saturday. Despite some serious combat fishing with rambunctious youths whipping their worms a various angles into the pond, it was fun. And folks were catching fish - yellow perch, largemouth bass, and the recently stocked 12-inch rainbow trout. Just not us.
Worm whippin'.
"Another one!" could be heard from time to time down the elbow-to-elbow shore, and our frustration level grew. While it was a good opportunity to teach patience, that you cannot win them all, and that fishing isn't always about catching, it also makes fishing seem like a futile waste of time to a young man who hasn't had the experience of a good fishing day.
So hopefully the fishing gods will bless us with something - anything - soon. Lest we cultivate another kid who would rather sit in front of a glowing rectangle than a river.
I'm sure there's good advice out there - let me know how you keep your kids interesting in fishing. Please.

Runoff Fly Tournament: Round 2

Monday, May 13, 2013

Runoff Fly Tournament: Round 1

I thought I'd make a little "fly tournament" to assist my fellow angler in getting through runoff. I apologize for it's schmaltziness - it's what I could find. Each Monday through June 3 a new round will be up for voting, with the winner being announced June 10. Please help me have a little fun and cast a vote!

In case you're wondering:
Clouser Minnow
Woolly Bugger
Elk Hair Caddis
Hare's Ear
Prince Nymph

Morrish Hopper
Chernobyl Ant
Pink Scud
Zebra Midge
Purple Haze
Brindle 'Chute
Sex Dungeon
Zoo Cougar

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Life in Riparia

I snapped out of a recent pense remembering that in nearby Riparia, some fellow creatures are morphing into flyers. This invertebrate maturation gives the trout-smitten a chance to focus on good drifts and hook sets,  for which we are grateful.

These creatures are brachycentrus (if you know what I mean). The adults flutter erratically, simply hoping for a mate so they can send their genes downstream. They live fast, trying to avoid the ubiquitous perils, and it's over as quickly as it began. We humans are left with photos, memories, and the hope that we will someday see their descendants and do it all again, over and over until we ourselves get caught in one of our own perils.

It’s hard to maintain perspective on our wonderful lives day-in and day-out. If only I had some sort of David Foster Wallace speech everyday. And fishing helps.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Asterisk Fisheries

There are certain places where 20-inch trout do not impress. Not many, but they're out there. For some advanced anglers, they're the only thing maintaining their interest in the sport. I, for one, am always looking them.

Most are secret – some more than others. Sometimes you find that a fishery is not as secret as you thought, but no one talks about it so it only seems unknown. You could reveal to an in-the-know angler that you know, only to receive a blank stare and and a shrug. You're pretty sure he/she knows, but he/she doesn't seem to so you shut up. So the cycle goes...

An example. And another. And another.

A big fish from these fisheries always gets an asterisk, in my diary. It's cool, it's fun, but it's not the accomplishment it'd be from standard-biomass water. You have to add that caveat when showing photos if you believe in honesty, which few do. Incidentally, the monster cutthroat and behemoth brown sometimes in my blog header – both asterisk fish.

One more. Two more.

But be careful – such trouteries can ruin a fledging angler. After a day of catching 20-plus-inchers, 12-inch trout from the Gallatin or Bitterroot can be downright lame. Think of playing Chutes and Ladders after you've played Mortal Combat.

And there’s danger in going back, and back, and back... more folks are likely to see you, or find clues as to where you’ve been. It’s best to go once a year, to keep it special, to the let the river breathe, and to keep the fish healthy and catchable.

 Montana is the ideal place for seeking such fisheries, with access to zillions of cubic feet of water...
Who says the fishing ain't what it used to be?