Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 2: Yellowstone Float - 50 MPH Gust, Yellowstone Grand Slam, & State Record...???

April 8th, I booked a float trip with a guide Marcus from George Anderson's Yellowstone Angler. Our original plan was to float lower section, way below from Livingston, to pitch some streamers prospecting bigger individuals. But weather turned out to be very mean, if nasty is not a right term. Winds from south were gusting 50mph through Livingston to Big Timber and it was easy to guess that it would get stronger as the day goes by. Doug and Marcus checked on extensive weather forecast and it sounded upper river around Emigrant would be potentially less windy. Not exactly my aim to be in Livingston but I agreed to the condition. But also new sections are always appeal to me and I've heard upper section generally holds more number of trout than lower, especially Yellowstone Cutthroat that I hadn't seen yet. So it was really fine with me. We floated 12 miles south from Carbella.
But it was just windy anyway and anywhere we were on that day. Winds were gusting from south as the river flows. So it was tough for Marcus to slow down his boat and for me to cast at ideal angles and aims. At one spot I got off the boat and wade-fished. I could barely stand in the river. We didn't have any action at all on streamers in the morning. Ornery winds sulked our lunch a bit but we switched into nymphs for a while and we finally got started with some fish. We switched back to streamer. This is my tie of Sculpzilla.

I hooked one big tug. I soon noticed it was a whitefish. I have caught more than enough whitefish in Madison River, up to 17 inches. But this one was huge...... we lost our words. We measured with my tape-measure and it was 21-inch long!! Marcus says it was a biggest whitie caught on streamer. Here are our "grip-&-grin"!! We were not sure if we were supposed to be happy and proud.

Please feel free to enlarge and kiss her in your discretion.........

Later on, I hooked into Yellowstone Cutthroat for the first time. What a gorgeous species!! One and only true native of Yellowstone River and its tributaries.

Here's really happy me. I'd like see them more and will try at Yellowstone National Park rivers in near future.

At the end of the day, storm seemed moving in. Indeed just around Livingston was snow-storm with almost all no visibility.

I caught some rainbow and brown (nothing big so no pictures) so it made a "Grand Slam" to catch all 4 trout species in Yellowstone in one day. I believe this is one of a few opportunities one can experience. Madison and Gallatin might offer also but in that case either one or two are scarce from the rest and live way far away between.
Also, according to 2010 Montana Fishing Regulations (turn page 88, folks!!), state record for Mountain Whitefish is 23-inch caught in reservoir. It doesn't say the fishing method. So my catch might be a state record (or close) whitie caught by a streamer in a river??? Probably who cares?
It wasn't a happy day to get out for any outdoors activities and not the best fishing day in my experience but will certainly be remembered as one of the special days.

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