Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yellowstone Trip - Part 4

On Sep 3rd, my last day, I tried Pine Butte again and finally unleashed nymphs. I changed my strategy a bit and stepped into the river and fished anywhere fishy, which I noticed I haven't done with dry flies. I think when I use dry flies, I seem to focus or limit to obvious spots to make trout rise. But now with nymphs, I can go deep to the bottom. Considering what I got on that day as written below, this was the last lesson of this trip. Next time, I will cast dry flies anywhere fishy with my best observation and casting.

These two nymph patterns were all I needed. It is interesting when I tandem-rig these two and observe what trout is on which. At least on this day, rainbow trout took only brown thread $3 Serendipity.

Brown and Whitefish took only this bead-head Crystal Serendipity.

Here are good problems about these flies. These two hook way too many fish (whether I net or not) and trout really chew them. In spite of ribbing with wire, these flies become a "rag" after a few catch. But even when I don't notice that, most likely Whitefish would keep biting on it. And I knew I have to deal with Whitefish that I don't want to touch much. I de-barbed the hooks so my flies came out quickly without touching them!
Anyway, I caught a lot. First trout that looks like I fished the Madison was this 14-incher.

A bit later, I caught a 16-inch Cut-bow. I am not sure if there exists Cutthroat and Cut-bow hybrids in Madison but I think this one has orange slashes and its gills and belly were pink/orange. Pardon my self-timer pic. Trout was held under the water till count 3 and I took only twice. I believe trout was released safely and happily (I hope!).

I had two mysterious fish that pulled my line way out and got away. Also I had a really big and heavy bite and as I set the hook it snapped my bead-head Crystal Serendipity in a moment. Could be a huge brown?? Maybe. I didn't see even shadow of them. Just the actions and feelings that make me feel something big. These experience in Madison always make me want to come back.
All morning I didn't see anybody at Pine Butte except for the opposite bank. In the afternoon I went to Slide Inn for the first time. It is a pretty wild section. Yet 12-inch rainbow rose and bit on a hopper fly!
So why didn't I use nymphs from the beginning? Was this trip good?
My trip never ends bad. I always enjoy the process to make the trip, what I get during the trip, and what I will do for the next trip (= homework). During this trip my Pinocchio's nose and cocky attitude broke off and I really pushed myself hard to fish on purpose, especially with dry-flies and insect hatches. That does not mean I don't like using nymphs or streamers. As this day at Pine Butte, I used nymphs with observation and reading waters rahter than casting blindly.
And most of all, I saved my fishing luck for the fall. That's how I conclude!
I can't wait till I get back to West Yellowstone in late October. But then again, I will enjoy the process by then. I have some flies to tie and get ready for cold weather. I will have a perfect reason to eat some huge breakfast to get against the cold weather!


  1. Good luck with your new blog. Very nice. Yellowstone NP is one of my favorite places in the world for flyfishing. You seem to catching on very quickly. btw Gallatin Canyon can be very good in the fall. I often camp and fish near Swan Creek.

  2. I'd like to fish Gallatin again and more both in and out of the Park. My plan for fall is to get some streathces all by myself while most of people are concentrating at Madison in the Park!