Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rise Above, Bite Below

I'm taking a day-break from 3 days of intense fishing since Winter Pass started at DePuy's Spring Creek ( Have I already caught "THE ONE"? How's fall hatches? So far, this fall is somewhat different from the past seasons. Of course in a good way. Let's review!!

October 15th, many "regulars" showed up for our own "opening" and fished at their favorite spots. From my scouting, I had noticed that not so many browns hadn't migrated into the creek yet. I tested each spot and searched. This OK brown was my "opener"!! It took the improved version of one of my original patterns. More later!
It was a very windy day. Even for Livingston locals, it was discouraging. I stayed late and hoped wind would subside....... Not really. I managed to catch this beautiful fall-colored Cutty!!
 Rainbow is also getting fatty & sassy!! Also this was the first "selfie" with my new camera. Not too bad?
Oct 16, Day 2 started with a not-so-huge-but-definitely-river-run Rainbow.
Then from experience & observation of the previous day,  I had a solid plan for this day. It was Midge Hatch for the first thing in the morning!!
At one particular spot of the creek, hatch was amazing!! Among all the hatches of all the seasons at the creek, this was some of the best I've ever fished for!!
 Different 'Bow from above!!
Then I observed a nice fish cruising. It was another great sight-fishing experience!!
Gotcha!! Must be a River-Run Rainbow!!
Midge adults were flying all over & all day but what trout were actually taking was...........
A fall-color Cut-Bow!!
I caught one nice brown too!
October 17th, Day 3 was much colder than past several days. Consequently hatch & rise actions started a bit later than Day 2. Well, Day 2 was phenomenal & exceptional! Here's the morning-shadowy brown!
Checking their dinner and breakfast.
Midges were having too much fun!?
Hefty & dynamic 'Bow!
Another nice brown in the afternoon!
I played some......thank you for your cooperation.
Last one for the hatch was another massive submarine-like Rainbow!!
So, was I fishing & catching with dry-flies or what? Yes, I did catch with midge-dry-flies on the surface. However, 95% of my catches were taken by slightly-below-the-surface Emerger/Pupa patters. Especially one & only.........
I did see lots of rises and I cast for them. Yet, trout were taking ascending pupae or emerger struggling in the film. This is where the title comes from........

There are some anglers reporting fall baetis (BWO) hatches at different spot/sections of the creek. I believe them. How about Big Spawning phase browns? Just waiting........ My best guess is: this year, Yellowstone River has been flowing with above-average waters. Plus, weather has been nice through October. Trout must be still comfortable in the river. It's gonna be soon anyway. How soon? It can be tomorrow or even this evening!! That's why I visit DePuy's a lot in October!!

To be continued............

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Deepens & New Camera

October is rolling just fine & steady so far. As I usually mention this time of year, "October is the Looongest month of the year" for me. And it historically seems lots of things can happen each year. Say, last year, I had a bad cold all through the month........yet I fished & guided all through. Also some of readers might recall "THE ONE" (no link needed). So far it's been quiet this year. Nothing wrong with that...... Let me see what's gonna happen in this October.

Right after the "Dawn Treader", I took two clients to Firehole. Fishing was excellent with aforementioned hatches. Here's a typical shot, regarding why Firehole is called "strangest river on the earth". We were fishing for afternoon baetis hatch in a pretty much spring-creek situation, surrounded by wildlife (buffalo), steams of geysers, and sightseers...........
Some projects at DePuy's Spring Creek............hopefully more to come eventually.

Then the last but not the least, I have just made relatively a big decision/investment for my work and life. Remember this picture from summer of 2011? It was new at that time..........
That was still in early July so this camera = TG-310 = has gone & worked through 4 abusive fishing seasons of mine!! This time I haven't broken or dropped in the river but I have had to notice it's getting tired & worn recently......... I'm not going to throw it away. It can still be ready any time!! even diving into the river with trout!!

So here comes the new comrade. It's TG-850 (click).  Over all performance is much higher and sophisticated than the predecessor. Honestly my biggest attraction was.................well, Flipping LCD Screen for my solo fishing scenes!! Guess what I did? I just set a mirror in front of it.
 Now, with the new editing software, I flipped the entire picture. Pardon my cozy (if not messy) tying bench.....
Of course it inherited the "Bobber-Floating Strap"!!!
I gotta learn many more useful and beautiful features of this new gizmo!! Especially before Winter Pass starts at DePuy's ( on October 15th!!!
Like or dislike, expect sophisticated "selfies" from now on............

Thursday, October 2, 2014

YNP Dawn Traeder (Gotta be the last one) - West Side

West Yellowstone and waters in that side of Yellowstone Park have been my favorite. Especially in the fall. Since I settled in Livingston, it became a little far away to make a day-trip. Furthermore, once I became a regular at DePuy's Spring Creek ( with Winter Pass, it became hard for me to push myself drive long as great fishing is right here. It's been so for the last couple of years. So if I want to fish "West" in the fall, it had to be early October. I finally made a plan, set the date, and hit the road. It became the hardest (craziest for non-fishers) and definitely the last (for the season) "YNP Dawn Treader".

My first destination was "Oh-so-famous-glorious Hole" of Madison River, just inside of West entrance. I pulled in way before dawn. Following YNP Regulation, I waited for the dawn (no artificial lights are allowed while fishing). Yes, this Hole is great as long as.............. By just after 7AM, I was surrounded by people & cars!! You may wonder why a savvy angler like myself choose such a spot. There are plenty of other places and trout to fish but it's certainly some of the best sections to swing large soft-hackles and expect some results with large fall-run trout. That's the solo reason for me to fish there and to get there so early. But....... no more discussion about that.
Anyway, I stepped out the congested area. I walked away while my truck was still there. I like there anyway for my sanity and purpose. I started casting some line out and swinging large soft hackles. In a distance, I felt a tug but it didn't become a solid hook up. Another swing, and this time I saw a huge tail waving at me (literally!!). I did nail it!! Yet I felt too light......lost again.......then I felt something strong as I retrieved my line very close to me!! I guess this "submarine" charged toward me!! Real fight commenced!! It was quite heavy but finally fell in my net!!
YES it was on my COYOTE (no picture needed, right!?)!!!
Guessing from its shape and weight, I believe it was a fall-run rainbow from the lake below!
Mission accomplished!
My next destination was Firehole River. I had been hearing good reports with hatches and trout actions. White Miller (Nectopsyche) were hatching and trout were after them!!

This First & Feisty browny was actually before hatch while swinging generic soft-hackle.
As the hatch progressed, I switched into more specific patterns.
This is my best brown in the system so far, while fishing for hatches!!
More evidence.......

Here's White Miller X Caddis.
And my own Double Soft-Hackled Caddis - White Miller.

Then in the afternoon, it was the BWO Show!! Fall Blue-Winged-Olive (baetis) was emerging in great numbers under cloudy sky. Now these guys were acting like their "spring creek cousins in Livingston". I had to work on individual fish one at a time. Yet I took a liberty to experiment my new pattern........
Here's a premier of my new & pending pattern. I would go more details after further trials at Livingston's spring creeks.
Then they forced me to use some of my spring creek specialty flies!! This is No Hackle Gnat in BWO.
It meant more than exercise before Winter Pass as I had to fish seriously!! Also it was a great opportunity to inspect my flies for further improvement.

Great start of the Longest & Best-Fishing Month of the year!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Classroom of Fly-Fishing

September is often referred as the month of transition. As summer wanes, our life-styles change, including fishing......... This year, Sep is also very unpredictable!! Earlier in the month, as I posted, we had snow. Three days ago = 25th, we had almost 90F sunny day!! Now as of this typing, cold rain and wind are dominating and I'm tossing firewood to my stove!!

Last week, on those two very last Summer days I had another visiting angler from Japan. I took him to DePuy's Spring Creek ( It was another classic case file of spring creek fishing, which would be somewhat too much for the first timer..........  This angler experienced two of most technical and mysterious situations on the same day!! 
Tiny midge hatches all day (click here for the past report).
Mystery Spinner falls (click here for the past report).
As the day went by, one was more prevalent than the other and then most frustratingly & challengingly, two got mixed up!! So trout looked keying on one action over the other or both!! 
To add more flavors, I observed 5 different colors of spinners (sizes were pretty much uniform = size 20 hook size)!! They were, in my note, clear abdomen, rusty, gray, dark olive, and black. Confused? If you were there or if you actually experience this in the near future, you will get confused more!! I was busy switching flies and directing the client so didn't have time to take pictures of culprits. 

I guided him till we couldn't see our flies any more yet I could still vaguely see trout rises!!
It must have been too much an initiation for him but I hope he took this experience as the lesson. 

Next day I took him to Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Soda Butte and many other waters within YNP have their own characters and quirkiness. But my angler was progressed due to lessons from the previous day. He started hooking trout right off the bat!

Congrats for the first ever Yellowstone Cutthroat!
I was again reminded the "mantra" I often quote "spring creek is the classroom of fly-fishing". That applies not only to clients but also to guides as well. Not to mention "Learning & observation will never end". I could get by the other day but now I have started to re-organize and re-stock the spinner and midge boxes. Soon Fall beatis = Fly-Fishing Supremacy is coming!!
I'm ready for it!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Learning & Guiding

I have had a couple of great trips in which clients were willing to learn and I was able to assist them. Besides knowing good spots (or stretches), parking, and trails, guiding also contain aspects of teaching and coaching clients. I really appreciate when clients are willing to work hard with me to achieve their goals and objectives. At the end of trips, if clients are happy with their achievements, I'm happy too. As a Teaching Guide, I take the responsibility seriously. Also, at the same time, I learn things from clients and situations. It could be clients' skills: what he can do, what kind of improvement she need, that sort. Or it could be one particular spot that calls for careful water-reading and different fly presentation (including mending) from normal situation. All of these bits of experience on the water help me attain more knowledge and more methods for next trips with different clients. Hey, majority of my clients are "Righty"!! I've been working/showing how to cast with my right arm and to handle fly-line with the left!! Now I'm pretty much an accomplished ambidextrous fly caster!!

So this client wanted to catch Yellowstone Cutthroat. We hiked hard and fast and got to one of my favorite stretches. He wasn't quite new to the sport. He could've done fairly if he had come here on his own with some supply of good flies. I was able to show him how to break down a big water into pieces, how to present our flies in certain angles and different angles, etc., etc. Result was that we had constant actions all afternoon and we moved (or covered) only & barely 50 yard from where we stepped in. This Cutty was the bonus for him as well as for me. I spotted a cruising riser just along the bank. He made an excellent cast to it and set the hook perfectly. I literally felt and saw as if I was doing myself!!

Another good 'un!!

Then I had an angler from Japan. We had discussed a couple of options about where to fish then we finally decided to visit Nelson's Spring Creek (
Location, creek, trout, hatch, everything was brandnew experience for him!! I assisted him with casting and presentation of flies. He adjusted one by one and as he progressed, he got bites!!
Showing clients how to handle/hoist trout (especially big one like this) is important......THANK YOU for a great shot, Mr. Kitagawa!!

In the afternoon and evening, midges were still prevalent. My client had good and exciting actions with powerful Rainbows but also I wanted him to experience hefty Browns, both of which are typical of Nelson's!!
One more & last effort at dusk...........
Size 20 midge pattern with 6X tippet........
Good work, Mr. Kitagawa!! Hope to see you next time!!

So the "FLYZ"......... Most of my patterns in my boxes work (generic & original). But also here are two brandnew designs that have graduated "test phases" into "rosters = my fly boxes".

Pupaerger 4 (Umbrella Pupaerger)
Fall has just begun (with some warm days left?.....maybe)!!