Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Deepens (A Bit Too Quickly.......)

This September is interesting....... It's definitely the fall for sure but day-to-day weather varies a lot. Visitors to our area seemed decline after Labor Day then it looks like backing up!! What remains constant seems actually fishing.......

Just a 5-minute of heavy hail storm dirtied up the river right in front of me........

Yellowstone River in Montana has been producing tremendous insect hatches this year!! With this cool (even cold!!) weather, terrestrial fishing/actions tend to be slightly less effective than we wish. Instead fishing for hatches is the name of the game this summer/fall!! Just the other day, with clients in my boat, we have encountered hatches of several insects in several different sizes pretty much all day!!
Correct me if I'm wrong but I shouldn't be way too wrong either.
Heptagenia (click).
Timpanoga hecuba = Hecuba or Western Red Quill (click)
 Cutty love to rise!!

And then here it comes............ This is not from last October or November but on Sep 11, 2014!!
I was in all the winter clothes I own!! - again, in early September!!

Brown trout has started moving..........


Summer may have been short this year instead we have a long fall!!??
Just as I predicted earlier in the season, it will be an epic Fall fishing!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fall Gears & Flies

It's just the saga of where I live. Once September rolls in, all the visitors to our Greater Yellowstone dwindles. Yet serious fishermen know the change and time this season on purpose. My guiding schedule slows down, compared to past 3 months, but I'm always keen and ready to go. I still scout as well as I enjoy for my own sake. For this post, I'd like to review a couple of gears I have just acquired and Fall-Flies that will be used any time soon.

So my old watch died. I again went shopping to the nation-wide "Super Center" in my area. I don't really need a fancy watch. Reason 1 is: I don't like to wear one on my wrist anyway. Reason 2 is: All I need is TIME but no extra frills. Reason 3 is: any product will eventually break down or, in the worst case, get lost!! That's extremely true for a hard-working guide like myself. This one cost me $12.88 and is supposed to be water-proof. I have attached on my vest in a spot and a position which is not going to interfere my fishing moves. Let me see how long this one can endure my activities and Montana weathers. As I wrote, the last one survived for the remarkable 7 years!!
This is such a great purchase from Patagonia!! (click here) It keeps me warm and comfortable!!

I'm busy at my tying bench too. Somehow I have a hunch and a gut-feeling that I will be fishing with streamers a lot this fall. Some are as long as 5 inches and other are as small as an inch. I've been looking for an alternative or a substitute for the concrete-like adhesives. I do like them but most of times, those products require serious cleaning efforts afterwards on my fingers and my tying bench..... I finally seem to find my match at a local hardware store.
It's been a while that I tied a Double Bunny.
No...........I didn't tie all of these in the past few days.......... I have just reinforced heads of these small patterns.
These are ones that I actually have tied recently.
All of these are variations of what's called "Micro Zonkers" in fly-shop bins.


Then I'm tying large soft-hackles for the Fall fishing. Not much explanation needed, is there?....... My own COYOTE (on the right) and Mr. O-O.
All of these flies are my go-to patters for both Rivers and spring-creeks. Hope I'm tying enough!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

End of August YNP

July and August had been off and on, slow and busy. Either way August has officially ended and summer is practically ending. However there are still plenty of my guiding and own fishing days left. It's way too early to summarize the season.

I can't help but restating that we are having a really good water year. Most area waters remain cool all through. It's been a while that I went out for my own time. I wasn't a "Dawn Treader" any more but still I was the first one at the water. I cruised through infamous "Buffalo Jam" and stood at the lovely stretch of Soda Butte Creek. The second cast of the day...........Cutty and the early morning Sun!!

It seemed "flying ants mating swarm" had happened the evening before.......

Indeed trout seemed regurgitating...... Though I had netted some more, I had many more "short-strikes" or "hit & miss".
However, trout acted totally different as "that hatch" started to occur..........
YES!! Fall Green Drake!!

At one particular spot, I observed one particular trout was doing somewhat different from the others. It was feeding without breaking the surface.......
Then it happened to be some of the nicest Cutty in the creek as well as in my record!!
In the afternoon I moved to Lamar River. Just at one spot, I had simultaneous bites, which ended with another nice Cutty for the day. That was more than enough. I enjoyed very well. So I stopped fishing.......
Always checking.....
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Then I was scheduled to take two anglers to the same destination. Again, my intention above was for my own enjoyment, NOT scouting. Honestly I was not concerning fishing. What concerned me was........how the weather would hold........

We had a good start.

Just as predicted...........

Even larger!!

Our expectation for the hatch & surface activities went high!! But also....precipitation went higher & higher toward noon........ Indeed entire area got poured.  Only at the end of the day, we found this picture marked several hours before Lamar & Soda Butte turned into the stream of Chocolate........

However in the middle of afternoon (we were at Slough Creek below campground), weather decided to give us some break!!
Then (almost miraculously), insect hatches started!! With this screwy & unpredictable weather patterns, insect activities have also been unpredictable and even weird.

Definitely a bit too early, but Fall Baetis (Blue Winged Olive) were hatching in plenty of numbers!
Then sporadically and much later than anticipated, Green Drakes were hatching too!!
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As for fly patterns, most of my go-to patterns were taken with great success!!
Dry-flies (click)
Emerging Nymphs (click)
Soft Hackle (click)

I'm very anxious for what this fall will bring!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Late August Float

It's still been a great summer. Fishing remains some of the best in most area rivers. That's mostly because we are experiencing a really cool summer (eventually cold.........follow below).

Since the first two weeks of "iffy & muddy" conditions, Yellowstone River seems to have changed its mood. My first choice is still dry-flies but when the situation calls for I go deep. Whities are getting aggressive!!
River crossing..... They were smart enough to know the power of the River.

Found dead at the boat ramp......
Inspiration for every streamer enthusiast on Yellowstone River!!
Another deep water result!!

He's going to grow wide & heavy as the fall approaches.......
Oh, Here's an RIP.......
My vest watch that I bought at "Wally Mally" seven years ago finally ended its life. It was something like $14.95, give or take. I replaced the vest twice (= 3 vests and now I'm on the third one) but this watch had been serving for me.

Dry-fly Double!!

As I keep mentioning through this summer, it's been a cool and nice summer. But even though another week of August left, weather went a bit too far........ Some rainy fronts have been sitting around here and, believe or not, air temperature has dropped to 50s!! As of this typing in my house, I'm wearing a pair of fleece top & bottom...... Apparently we need waders on the River!!

As weather and water got cold, these guys seem being aggressive!!
Of course this foul weather is affecting river condition and fishing. I thought we have some more Hopper actions left........ But also it's affecting aquatic insect activities. If you are observant and a learning student of Yellowstone River, you can spot Fall Baetis and couple of different Drakes are hatching and fish are rising at certain spots/sections of Yellowstone River!!
After a long fruitless fishing, I spotted a series of insect hatch and a pod of rising fish!!
I was finally able to get my client into a serious action with a pair of dry-flies!! Fish seemed large and taking his line into the heavy current. I advised him to follow along........
 Gotcha!!
It was a fine 'Stone 'Bow!!
On a tiny dry-fly. What was all of our effort of stripping and chucking heavy artillery for.....?
BTW, this was the clarity......... At least warm enough to stick our hands into......
Weather forecast is calling a return of summer next week.......I hope so........
Then we gotta learn the summer fishing again!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mid Summer Spring Creek Report

I've been off and on........fishing or guiding or totally off or tying flies, rivers or spring creeks or Yellowstone Park waters............. Plus we are seeing mud-plugs on Yellowstone River every now and then. Those brown waters are caused by the (thunder) storms hitting the headwaters of tributaries. Some times (or cases) they are predictable and others totally unexpected!

Livingston's spring creeks have been very popular this summer for right reasons. And they don't get affected by sudden mud-plugs. I can't guarantee that you are able to book rods in a last minute but you'd better keep in mind that creeks are great options.
So here's a brief and crisp fishing report/condition at spring creeks. This would be one of a few, perhaps the first time?, for me to post "fly-shop-like" report.

Two major matters:
Weather has been great through this summer (that applies to all the area waters and towns).
There are still lots of trout, particularly Yellowstone Cutthroat, hanging in creeks!!

When it's not windy in the morning, look for midge hatches. Trout are actively feeding at selected spots of creeks. If not, spot trout under gin-clear water, observe their behavior and actions, and approach them with sight-nymphing = very technical by the way. My choice of under-water patterns are: mayfly nymphs, midge larva, caddis larva, scud, sowbug, and so on.

Also depending on the previous day/night conditions, you may find PMD or Baetis spinners in the morning.

PMD hatch is still viable and strong and trout love them!! Hatches are observed from 10:30am to 1:30pm with emphasis on from 11:00am to 1pm. So plan your lunch break accordingly.
Both size 16 (ephemerella infrequence) and 18 (ephemerella inermis) are equally observed.

In the afternoon, terrestrial fishing at creeks can be as exciting as at big rivers!! Unlike hatch-fishing, you gotta cover one sport or one section thoroughly. Cast & take steps. It's the flock-shooting with purpose!! Look for grassy banks and moving waters. For hoppers and crickets, same fly patterns used for big rivers work but in smaller sizes (say 12 & 14). Beetle and ants are very important and enticing. You need to keep them from size 12 down to 20!!

Caddis also hatch and cause rises of trout but most anglers are not aware of..........

Sulpher mayfly is observed at selected spots in the early evening (around 6pm). What's meant by "selected spots" is these tiny yet beautiful mayflies are spotted here one evening and over there the next evening. You gotta look for them and feeding trout.

Depending on what happens in the morning, PMD spinner falls can be expected in the evening. Also Duns may hatch too!! So keep your eyes wide & open then OBSERVE!!

Don't underestimate evening midge hatch/rise either!!

For fly patterns and daily updates, check with Buzz's Spring Creek Specialists (www.springcreekspecialists.com).
Also, last but not the least, my own ties & patterns are gladly taken by trout too!!
http://leftytyer.blogspot.com.

Enjoy summer everyone!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dry Fly Guide (+ Something Underneath Every Now & Then)

Once August rolled, things got wild & busy. We are having just about right & comfortable summer days and water remains high & cold. What is HOT, as it has been, is FISHING!!

I have conducted several float trips for Montana Troutfitters (http://montanatroutfitters.com) with great actions!! Of course I guide with dry-flies first and foremost - Yellowstone River
 But also, when situation calls for, I don't mind "going down".......
When I do so,
result can be.......

I kinda like the contrast of fish on the shirt and in the hand.......

Happy Birthday!! (August 6th). I accidentally backed into the boat trailer hitch as I was backing toward the dawn...........
Here's the happy birthday boy!! - Madison River 
 Fish on!!
 Best birthday present!!
Big Trout and happy client!!
Young angler claimed he snagged the bottom, rock, or log...........
In a way, it might be....... Some of the finest Madison 'Bow!!
Good Hopper afternoons!!
So here's the "Fly of The Post" = Golden Chubby Chernobyl.
This simple, bright, and non-specific attractor is gladly taken this summer. We believe trout see this as Hopper and Nocturnal Stonefly.

Come and see for yourself!! Experince some of the greatest summer fly-fishing in SW Montana!!