THANK YOU ALL READERS for hitting my blog!! and THANK YOU ALL ANGLERS & CLIENTS for spending days with me!!
June was more like a "learning & experimenting" month. I could visit DePuy's with my Guide Mentor Tom Travis (Montana's Master Angler). Yellowstone National Park fishing season opened on Memorial Day weekend with limited availability of fishable rivers. Meanwhile, Richard Parks (outfitter and owner of Parks' Fly Shop) took me an overview and review tour of rivers and accesses before guide season really kicked off. Madison, Gibbon, & Firehole Rivers are always good in this early season (and only fishable in YNP). White Miller Caddis hatch at Firehole is worth noting. My brandnew soft-hackle was greatly approved by Firehole's picky trout! Toward the end of the month, I had a cattle breeding job in Kansas. I missed the famous PMD actions at Livingston's spring creeks. Tom filled me in all the information.
|Grass getting greener at DePuy's......|
|My season opener for YNP - Gibbon River!|
|Massive Whitie from Madison Junction!|
|Beautiful yet picky Firehole rainbow.......|
Guide season kicked off!! Yellowstone River was in perfect condition. Salmonfly hatch was great!!, especially from town of Gardiner to above Yankee Jim Canyon. Black Canyon of Yellowstone (within YNP) was even better!! Salmonfly hatch continued till middle of July.
Yellowstone Cutthroat (of course rainbows and browns too) were eager to come up to our large flies. Among YNP waters around us, Gardner was the first for us to guide and fish. Dry fly pursuits with Salmonflies had success in lower section. In upper section, we all enjoyed numerous & eager brookies coming up to our dry-flies. My personal fishing and experiments were done in these two rivers.
|Paxton caught a nice rainbow on dry-fly from Gardner !|
|My buddy Link, right after "mini" runoff|
|At DePuy's. Terrestrial fishing brought this gorgeous Cutty!!|
The last week of July was hot and the first two weeks of August remained the same. We already noticed algae developing by the end of July, so in August, algae kept flourishing. Slow sections in Paradise Valley (Point of Rocks to Pine Creek) were particularly bad. Hot weather and lower water level caused high water temperature. Around Livingston, it measured 70F or higher in those hot & dry afternoons. Trout habitat changed too. When we tried to fish with nymphs and streamers in order to go deep, we ended up cleaning algae away from our flies every three cast.
|A day before my birthday at "No man's foot steps" in YNP.|
|My youngest client Mason was a great fisherman!|
|Two lady anglers from Minnesota|
|Parks' group trip with clients from NC|
|was great fun!!|
|Ants were very important!! I can't emphasize!!|
|Mr. Nishimura from Japan|
I started to wear my wader since late August. Though water and air were still warm, jumping into waist-deep water and holding my boat became cold. During the first half of the month, Yellowstone was mixed-bag of summer experience and fall expectation. Hopper-dropper or attractor dry-flies still worked. Nymphing became a must when not-much going on. Small streamers (Woolly Bugger variations) were fished in various methods (stripping or under indicators).
|Probably I won my own Whitefish Contest 2012 again!!|
|Link's nice fat 'Bow from Upper with black Woolly.|
|Dr. Vince had a great dry-fly fishing with Green Drake at Lamar!|
|Sight-fishing completed by his perfect hook-set!!|
|This was one of my best Cutty during Green Drake time!!|
|Lower Slough gave me lots of headaches and pleasures again this year!!|
|very experienced anglers from Vermont!|
Reason I decided to write about this little technique is because of my experience from late August to entire September. In July, right after the season kicked off, trout rose to our dry-flies as long as our flies represented certain insects (Salmonflies, PMD, Hoppers, etc.). Attractor dry-flies were very important such as Chubby Chernobyl, PMX, that sort. However, as August went by, we really had to think about our dry-fly selections. One that had worked yesterday didn't work next. I started to conduct stomach sampling with my stomach pump. I knew I'd better do every time but when fishing and our ideas were going just fine, I neglected. Oftentimes, my guess and information among Parks' guides served right but stomach sampling made sure that I was doing right. The best example was the presence of ants (flying or regular) in the stomach content. Terrestrials don't really hatch in the air or on the water so we need to know and guess right time and spots. Especially ants are hard to see due to their sizes and colors (so are beetles). By pumping stomachs, clients and I made sure we were on right tracks and fished with confidence. Even we had already known hatches and caught fish, in that case, stomach contents let us know what kind of hatching-stages fish were taking. Although I have done and will do stomach sampling every month, I want to position here to highlight its effectiveness to solve our puzzles during challenging periods.