Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall Trip 5 - Last Day at Madison with Streamers

Tuesday Nov 3rd was my last day at Madison. I was still prospecting some more big though not deperately as you read in my last post with soft hackles. By that day, I decided to make a detour and drop by either one of spring creeks in Livingston on 4th.

Weather forecast had been calling for sunny days since Sunday Nov 1st. On Monday, 2nd, I tried Between Lakes for the second time during the trip. But as I got on Oct 29th, it was just slow. Those two days ended up as "whitefish" days. It was bit sad and also mysterious because I caught lots of nice trout there last fall. Who really knows? My guess/speculation is there might be something to do with Hebgen dam failure last year???
Until this day, I couldn't fish with streamers as I like to do. Because of icicles and frosts on my rod guides, it was almost all impossible to cast long, strip & strip, and re-cast. But I figured if the weather would be warmer and brighter, I wouldn't have problems with icicles and frosts instead start early. I did my last effort to get up early and start before the Sun hit the river. I drove to Hwy 191 Bridge and took right to a parking lot. I walked upstream and the Sun resembled two egg yolks one in the cloud and the other in the river.
I started from here. It looks appropriate.

I cast Doug's Home Invader toward opposite cutbanks.
I started with a floating line and a long leader, mending it twice or so then stripping short and slow. The third cast before I got accumulation of frost and icicles on my rod guides and fly line, I felt a big tag. I set the hook and started to reel it in. I felt a typical fat brown trout action; to wallow rather than fight. Then this drawing-perfect fat one came out. Photo is not edited nor shot badly by me. This was exactly how he looked. Football like!! Very toothy too as I removed my fly, I got a puncture on my thumb. It measured only 17-inch but must have been some of the tops as for the weight among Hebgen Lakers.

Gotcha!! I hope he can use some exercise in the riffles of Madison in the Park or grow longer!!

After this, as the mornig went by, I didn't get any actions any more. I switched colors and pattern of streamers all the way but nothing. Now the Sun was high and getting warm and bright. I was fishing dowstream from Hwy 191 Bridge. I located a fish path/chute right underneath the cutbanks where I was standing. I saw lots of little fish, mostly whitefish. I figured if there were some run-up trout from Hebgen Lake, they would pass here also. Since the day was bright, fishing with nymphs might have been a better bet but I had no time to waste for those little whitefish. I had to do something to elicit the strike under this conditon with limited time. I switched into my spool with Kelly Galloup's full-sinking line and his unweighted or lightly weighted streamers. I tied on black Sex Dungeon.
By the way, this kind of fly takes almost an hour for me to tie. But instead, I can save $5 rather than buying at fly shops!!

I worked hard with jerk-strip, taking a step or two downstream. I noticed all the little fish in the path/chute were scared away from my fly. That was good. I was looking for one big individual who would fight back on my 5-6 inch long streamers.

Another Gotcha!!

Somehow it was bleeding heavily so after this quick shot, I released him quickly. It swam back quickly so I hope he was all right.

I could go on toward Hebgen Lake but I stopped around noon and went back to my truck and headed to $3 Bridge for Baetis hatch. As in my Baetis post, I didn't catch anything by that. So this 18-icnher was the last trout in Madison for this year......

Conclusion of this trip is: in the fall at Madison, I had great experience with dry flies, nymphs, soft hackles, and streamers, all kinds of methods that fly-fishing requires. Along with spots, crowds of people, and weathers, I give myself a credit that I did play well enough.

Sounds like I have to wait till next spring to visit Madison........I am already getting a cabin feaver........

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