Thursday, June 7, 2018

YNP Hatch Bonanza

WOW, it's been a while that I make a blog post in such a short interval😲
In between schedules and plans, I decided to get out to pry West side of YNP. I like this early season in this part of YNP as the season is still young, insect hatches are in mass and predictable, and trout rise with delights.

Firehole, as it usually does, has been cleared for the opening day. However, as in any other rivers around here, it has such a huge volume. As I heard in reports from here and there, I bet it would not have much going on in terms of rising trout.

Now water has dropped considerably for our favor. As I walked to my favorite spot, as much as I could foresee hatch & rise soon, I couldn't help but doing something "un-Firehole-ish"😏 It works when time is right and I admit this was the biggest of the day😎

Then it started😮 Tan caddis started to fly and trout responded accordingly at just where I predicted they would be😏
 All stages😏
 I think mayflies I saw were baetis rather than PMD.

Caught on a dark-olive caddis (that hatched next in a wave😮) this rainbow was some of the hardest-fighting and as large as the brown above. 
 This hatch stage really intrigued me😮😎
 I'm coming up with a new pattern😏
More species hatching😆
On the way out to West Gate, I stopped by one particular stretch of Madison River that no other people wouldn't care. One particular spot looked interesting and as I stepped in closer, yeah, trout were rising😏 This situation was much harder to decode than above, though rosters of insects were almost identical as above in Firehole. After several fly changes, I finally hooked one, the biggest one I'd been seeing among the group😎 As I set the hook, it pulled my line, leaped twice, and gone👋👋😲Somewhere in my mind, I admit that I was underestimating trout here😓 Next time.......😉

June is the period BEFORE Tsunami🌊of fishers and tourists hit Montana and YNP. Immediately after these streams, one by one, streams in the area start to clear and we may be able to sample "practical opening" of these. Definitely worth planning a trip for near future❗

Monday, June 4, 2018

YNP Our Opening Day

This year, Yellowstone National Park fishing season has been opened since May 26th.
We were anticipating something🤰but not really happening😶, neither was this weekend so we hit a road for a quick trip on US 89 to Yellowstone National Park.
Upon my wifey's request🙋, we had our opening day of YNP fishing😁
Either well-planned or spontaneously, we always like to fish somewhat minor water-bodies or spots for our opening day. And as always, she out-fishes me😅😓😘

I'm hearing good and likely reports from west side of YNP. North to northeast sides are behind. As the weather consistently warms up, I bet lakes and ponds will produce well. Also that helps to push the runoff. I'd say Gardner River would be fishable, at least would make us feel doable, in two weeks 😗. Rest of Yellowstone River systems, I'll keep good eyes and ears from Livingston to YNP.

Speaking of YNP fishing, from this season, Lefty Angler & Flies has acquired own guide permission (Commercial Use Authorization = CUA). Now is the time to start planning your trips and book guide service with me!! Not just YNP, Livingston's spring creek are always great to be, and float trips on Yellowstone, Madison, and Bighorn Rivers will be very enjoyable and productive all summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Trout Alternative

This spring feels cut short as April remained cold until middle of the month. At the end of the month, area rivers started to rise and colored up with annual runoffs (and in between, we were on the road, as I've reported). Mother's Day Caddis wasn't much talked along Yellowstone River. Perhaps some on Lower Madison. I wouldn't recommend to float Yellowstone River when it's transforming. Look for and fish the hatch from the bank, which are plenty. Lakes and ponds are great options, indeed their prime time, at this time of year (public or within private lands). If you are still craving for fishing on the streams, try, as always, Livingston's spring creeks and then look for dam-managed streams, which are none to very little effect of runoff.

I had a good tip from a good friend of mine😏and wifey 🤰 was willing to go, so we went fishing for something different from usual. I strongly believe trout is NOT the only species that can be caught with flies and fly-rods. Warm-water species in Montana DO offer us great actions, and most importantly they are fun to catch😁❗❗
Huge bass are active right now as they are just in and out of spawning phases😏
Renee did some of her best tricks and won a trophy🏆😲👏

We are "imprinting" the inside junior👶for his fishing sense. We are sure he's feeling and listening😁
 I didn't have good opportunities but finally I did it right
This was the very satisfying bluegill😎
 Actions went into later afternoon, until storms hit the area.

During East Idaho Fly Tying Expo the other day, I was able to visit some tyers who were demonstrating bass flies and pike flies. Whether I fish those species a lot or not, I can definitely use some techniques I learned.

I strongly encourage people to look for and fish for different species when opportunities arise. That will hone us to fish anytime and anywhere. Learning fly patterns for those species will definitely improve your trout flies too. Over all, it's super fun😄

Friday, May 11, 2018

Whoopie Ti Yi Yo - Wyoming's Bighorn

Spring runoff is in full-swing in area rivers. We all know most of Western states have had severe winter with lots of snow accumulations. This is the frustrating period in terms of fishing options under gorgeous spring/early summer weathers, but over all this is an important event for rivers' health and our fishing through summer.

  • I wouldn't predict anything for Yellowstone River at this point. Still lots of snow in Yellowstone National Park, of which weather can be unpredictable. I usually have some ideas by the end of June as I commute to guide at Livingston's spring creeks. Keep your eyes on the changes on USGS website = Not only Yellowstone River but also Soda Butte Creek, Lamar River, and Gardner River. For visual observations, I keep you posted from here.
  • Looks like we can be optimistic for Bighorn River this year, after some turmoils and unusual conditions of last year (again, fishing was excellent for those who had accurate info and who did show up). This year, Bureau of Reclamation's management seems working for every party's interest at this point. Actually I wish the spring flow would have been somewhat smaller for excellent dry-fly fishing but it was alright (I reported last month). And thanks to fore-thinking reservoir release early in the year, there is plenty of room to accommodate runoff water from both Montana and Wyoming. Keep checking this website and click Bighorn Lake, in which Inflow = runoff basically & Outflow = Bighorn flow that we fish. I would expect we still see some high flows during the peak of runoff = June, perhaps = but we can anticipate summer flows wouldn't be as crazy as last year, so now is the time start booking guide trips for July, August, and September!! 

Then here comes our story along Wyoming's Bighorn from the other day............

Immediately after a trip to Idaho Falls, we headed to Laramie, WY for some other businesses. I have passed Wyoming many times, just like the route we took on the way, but on the way back, I was able to see and feel more of Wyoming intimately for the first time.
Over all Wyoming is still cold, dry, and full of desolated lands😂, we were able to visit and see some of landmarks and special features that have been on our "someday" list.

We headed to Thermopolis. Along the way, we passed Boysen Reservoir, Wind River Canyon, and Wedding of The River = all the upper sources of Bighorn River. We stopped by Hot Spring State Park. It rivals to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park😲. We saw something very particular and "fishy"😏 Seeing is believing, folks😉

We then reached to Lovell. At just outskirt of this small cozy town, we can see the upper portion of Bighorn Lake/Reservoir.
We also knew that we were close to Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge. After we collected information from a nice lady at the visitor center, also in Lovell, we might as well have made a detour. Now we were in the middle of Bighorn Canyon - we have not been from Montana side yet. It was immense😲😎

Then just as the lady told us, we spotted wild horses🐎🐎😲

And this is the level, as of our visit 4/26, at Horseshoe Marina. 

Perhaps our last trip while we are still two of us🤰👫⇨👪

We enjoyed another road trip to our neighbor state. We hope to explore more😉

Monday, April 30, 2018

East Idaho Fly Tying Expo 2018

Can't believe it was over a week ago -------- good times came and went quickly..............
I have had another great times at East Idaho Fly Tying Expo. The 25th Anniversary event was a lot busier than usual with lots of superb tyers and eager audience. I really think organizers/committees of this event do great jobs to run and to keep it going year after year.

We headed to Idaho Falls via easy 3.5-hour drive from Livingston on Thursday. As we checked in our hotel and then the venue, we started to catch up with participating tyers.
In Thursday evening, I took a tying workshop with Steven Fernandez. Long story short........... I learned a lot................😏😲
This year wifey had her own booth for aquatic invasive species & fish-water conservation. Audience kept her really busy👏
 My cue😬 Tying demo table day 1❗
Just as I planned I started  working on an Atlantic salmon fly😏
 Catching up with my mentor over my winter works🙇
We were both busy😅
This time, I was able to visit tyers who were tying patterns/genres I'm not familiar with all the time. I want to try this type for my own gain and fun.
That was lots of 🐍🐛 😂

On Day 2, I first did a Destination Program. I talked about Livingston's spring creeks, covering various topics.
Then I immediately performed at Tying Theater - another salmon fly completed😬👏
As it has been, Day 2 Saturday was busier than ever. I worked on another & third salmon fly for this Expo. I had a few eager audience who sat with me for a few hours just to see one fly was completed. I really appreciated🙏
Then here's a Kate🙌👏

 The finale banquette was good and fun as always.
 Good food😋

As always we enjoyed Idaho Falls hospitality😗
I brought back some techniques and inspirations. Demonstrating to others is one thing then learning from others is equally important. To me this is all about what this kind of event is for😃😉
I want to try new techniques and patterns right now😬.......... but the fact is I have to tie and stock up flies for fishing & guiding for the upcoming season first😓

See you in Idaho Falls next year, if I don't see you on Montana streams this summer👋😉😎

Saturday, April 14, 2018

EIFTE & Fishing Report

Boy, it feels like spring never arrives😟As some put it on social media, it's not "winter keeps coming back" rather "winter never left😰"................ I agree. It's cold, wet, unpleasant, discouraging, certainly annoying and frustrating😡 However life has to go on.........

Sorry for the gloomy introduction..............
It's time of the year. I'm heading to Idaho Falls for East Idaho Fly Tying Expo for the four consecutive years😁 It has become one of my favorite annual schedules. It's a great time to catch up with some of the greatest tyers in the West. And this year marks the 25th Anniversary. I bet it will be a good one☝
And I will keep myself super busy😬

  • For the first time ever, I will dress Atlantic salmon fly at the floor; Friday 20th 3-6pm & Saturday 21st Noon-4pm
  • Friday 8am to 12pm, I will do a workshop: New Flies for Livingston's Spring Creeks Volume 2👏Come and sign up!!
  • Saturday morning will be equally busy😬 I am assigned one slot for Fly Tying Theater for an hour (TBA). I will show an Atlantic salmon fly here as well. 
  • Also during Saturday morning, 10am to 11:15am, I will do a Destination Program presentation; How to Fish Paradise Valley Spring Creeks😲It will be a great introduction of spring creeks, filled with guide tips. Come and join!!

Also my lovely wifey will don an educational booth about Aquatic Invasive Species😘
Then we like our neighborhood community of Idaho Falls and surrounding area. It'll be another great time❗❗

As mentioned in the introduction, weather is not ideal for pleasant fishing days, but some of us have urges that we have to go fishing before runoff start. Runoff = no fishing, Winter/cold spring = brave some inclement weather and fishing is doable😅
I hit the spring creek with my good friend & neighborhood spring-creek fisher, Lester.
While Lester chose tough spots with challenging trout, I chose much more friendly spots😅
Either way midge hatch was great enough to bring up some nice trout on our dry-flies👏

This was a really high-shoulder and good-colored brown😲

Then we hit the road to Bighorn River. Les updated his blog with more details, please refer over there. Here I introduce a few pics from my camera, then go over a short overview.

We were able to hit some major spots!!
So the Bighorn is anticipating another big water, following the last year. However, this year, dam flows are managed differently from last year. Reservoir = Bighorn Lake is much more emptied than last year this time to accommodate anticipated runoff waters from Wyoming. Will this work? It's a sensitive issue as this river involves two states and Bureau, then after all, even though it's a tailwater system, mother nature = snowpack & weather patterns are unpredictable and oftentimes beyond our reach. All we can do is just wait and see how it unfolds🙏, then adjust our attitudes and methods😬

With 7500 cfs as of Wednesday, water is running big but clear. Nymphing is very doable and productive. Also, if anglers are observant, midge & baetis hatches plus rising trout can be found, like we did😏See more details at Lester's report.

Again, it's hard to say or guess from now, however considering the similar amount of snowpacks in Wyoming ranges as the last year, I could say flow is managed far............ then again let's see how it rolls🙏  I'm sure it'll be a good summer over there again. Time to plan your trips and booking lodges and guide trips😀

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Montana Spring Fishing Begins!!

The long and cold winter finally receded. Our surprise was February. Usually the month is easier to get by than December or January, however this one became colder, even brutal. We did get more than enough snowpacks all the headwaters of major rivers. It will be another big water years. How it unfolds will be totally up to spring weather patterns, starting from now.......

Instead I was able to focus on Atlantic salmon flies plus a few other tying & framing projects since last fall. I've been posting on Instagram and Facebook (occasionally on YouTube). If you haven't, find and follow me at those social medias. Sometimes I feel redundant to post here again. I will post at my sales page soon.

Immediately after salmon fly projects, I switched to work on trout flies. I need to supply my own and fill out boxes for upcoming season. Three huge categories are: freestone-general flies, Bighorn flies, and spring creek flies. I've been knocking down the list one by one. Then some new projects are coming up for spring. I will keep you posted!!

Once I start trout flies, I can't help but planning and going actual fishing!!
We hit our local Yellowstone River section around town.
Pregnant wifey 🤰 needs some exercise as well as starting the junior👦. She had a good start but trout slipped away before netting. "Their" first trout of the season had to be waited until next weekend.
I had a good start too😁👏
Here's an Instagram version.
And the next one😏
Then just yesterday on St. Patrick's Day, we made our annual spring Bighorn trip!!
Weather had been nice all over Montana, but the day turned out to be colder than we expected. It also remained cloudy most of the day. However that didn't turn us or our fishing down on the Bighorn!! Renee and inside junior got their first catch😁👏❗❗
 A typical Bighorn brown to get us started👌

When we stopped my boat, I rigged up mine as well and wade-fished. I felt something and it was fighting heavy❗❓OMG😓
 Then we saw a flock of them, big ones!............ I had to say these ones must have bullied out trout from the spot (which is usually very good).
 We were able to hit some of our favorite spots. Renee got another bite!
 Really hard-fighting good one👏🙌
 In the afternoon, I found us a jackpot🎉🎊💰 Note: the sun showed up a while and afternoon was slightly mild.
 I moved her to the spot on the boat.
She also had several bites in succession and this was a wrap👏😁

Hopefully you readers are enjoying some spring fishing!!
We try to get out as much as we can this spring. We may go back to Bighorn again😏