Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stone Again

I woke up this morning, heard NO GUSTS, and saw about 2 inches of snow all over. I felt "WOW!! Perfect baetis weather!!" even before washing my face. Today there would probably have been better hatches at spring creeks than I had seen on Tuesday. But I was late to enjoy a day at either one of creeks (missed the morning streamer action) and I can't afford so often. So I decided to hit Yellowstone River even before my line gets dried from Tuesday fishing. My destination was one of upper sections Link showed me (two posts below). I chose a "Madison-look-like" section. When Link guided me last week, I saw a potential in this section when baetis would be on. And since it's Madison-like, I figured the hatch would start at 1pm and end around 3pm. When I dressed up my wader and walked down to river, it was 1pm. Perfect. But.......didn't see any hatches or rises as in my imagination. But, I myself did a year-worth of nymphing at Bighorn last month, I wanted to stick with dry-flies. Besides, I have to test and experiment the spots, reading water, flies, etc. rather than catching fish. My choice of the day was ICU Baetis. This black post makes a very visible parachute during increment weather under which baetis love to hatch. A couple of fish were looking up!! I am a happy-go-lucky guy regardless of trout size!
Then, just about heading back to where I started, about 2:30pm, I finally saw hatches and rises. Now really "I SEE YOU", baetis. Size 20.

And midges were abundant too. Size 24. Both photos were taken after trout stopped rising.

Perfect rise and hook set!!...............whitefish?? Believe me these guys (yes, I caught more later on) were rising like trout. Usually whities rise form is "kissing the surface", but this afternoon, these guys were "slicing the surface" with "dorsal fin to tail" rise forms. Anyway, the moment was exciting enough so I should feel better. But this one sucked my fly deep in its mouth......impossible to recover. As I noticed a wind-knot on a tippet, I let it go with the fly on and piece of tippet.

I kept on. Now is the time to experiment a new pattern I just designed myself. I forgot to use this on Tuesday at Nelson's. It's basically a mix of cripple patterns. I haven't named yet.

Gotcha!!...............Again!? I wasn't sure if I had to feel happy and if my fly was looking good.

Then I got a little rainbow!!......but does this count?

I caught a few more whitefish with my pattern till about 4pm. Regardless of size and species, it was fun and I did see a couple of huge flashes that came to the surface. I just couldn't get to them as whities were snacking on my fly ahead of them! That's how I interpret this afternoon.

Light snow was falling pretty much all day. There were lots of wildlife around Corwin Springs. Groups of buffalo, elk, and this bighorn sheep seemed to take turns who got close to the steam. I haven't seen these sheep in the Park yet.

It was quite fan and meaningful get out. For those of you who are reading this from other than Montana, Yellowstone River has similar insect hatches as in spring creeks in Livingston. So far, I confirmed midges, baetis, and sculpin!!

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