Sunday, October 31, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Well, my little trip to West Yellowstone really ended shortly. I stayed there only one night for some reason. I love to visit West Yellowstone and Park waters but somehow I really felt weird all the way.

From Livingston, I passed Bozeman to Norris, then drove HWY 287 to Ennis and HWY 191 junction above West Yellowstone all along Madison River. I stopped by Three Dollar Bridge and Between Lakes also. Madison below Quake Lake and below were somehow murky for this time of the year, probably not good dry fly actions for baetis and midge. I fished below HWY 191 bridge, which is above Hebgen Lake, but I just saw one fish chased my streamer, spooked a few trout, saw lots of schooling whitefish.

Then I checked into a motel to fish next day as I'd been doing from WA State. Suddenly it was clarified why I'd been feeling weird and skeptical about what I was doing.
  • Now I live in Livingston, not in eastern WA
  • Why I'm paying for motels in Montana?
  • To fish waters in the Park even for a day or a few, I have to pay the entrance fee every time, even if I have an annual fishing permit.

I realized all of these different views since I've just become a MT resident. Of course, I believe even for Bozeman residents, West Yellowstone and Park waters are worth spending for a short period intensely.

But these are ideas that came up to my mind for near future.

  • There are more sections of Madison available for a day trip from Livingston.
  • Lower Madison and Ennis area are very good and easy to visit.
  • Above Hebgen and Between Lake can be done (= Park permit not required).
  • Last but not least, look at more waters to fish!!

Over all I felt I was like Tom Cruise's character in The Last Samurai. When he started learning sword fighting, he was beaten easily and quickly and he wasn't sure how to get better. Then one of Japanese samurais told him "you have too many minds". Exactly, I had too many minds just to have fun fishing and ended up no fish.

I am not saying that I wasted my money for the motel, the Park entrance fee, or all about this little trip. I just recognized that I should change my view and planning to fish around and I noticed I can!!

So last night I planned what I would do next day = today. I really planned about strategy, sections, flies, options, and everything based on my experience for the past four years.

I really did and came home. I will post my intense day with pictures.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cold Weather & Warm Welcome

Today, I finally got the internet access in my place in Livingston!!
Moving-in wasn't bad at all. Driving was OK and road & weather were cooperative too but I again left at night. 9:30pm PST, I recall. This time I was towing a U-haul trailer so I was a bit nervous + slow + over careful = tired..........With gas purchase and some naps, it took me about 14 hours. Of course first thing I set up was my fly-tying bench and some trophy shots on the wall!!
I had to do some other moving-in errands in town that kept me busy. Then suddenly I realized that I live right by Yellowstone River!! Only a few miles away to several spots and accesses along town!! Now entire region is in a beautiful fall color. We actually had some snow storm already.
Trout came to say hi to me too!! My first catch as a Montana resident was a nice 17-inch browny!!

On what fly.......

It was on again my own idea of T&A White. Now I got an approval from brown trout and Yellowstone River then.
Next day I fished again in the evening for a couple of hours. It was foul-hooked on Conehead JJ. Nice little 16-incher but I first thought it might be really a big one judging from the way it tugged. Little did I know it was a foul-hook, you know.........

Today I got done another concern. It was to look for reasonable firewood and stock them for winter. I visited an old gent in town and he gave me a smoked rainbow trout. It was actually pretty darn good!! With that bite, I hauled one load then I hauled three more like this. I originally paid for five loads but it had been a while that I did this kind of labor and I thought this should be enough so I got my money back for another load.

See if I can make a fire. Uuuu-hooooo it's warm now. Cheers!! Actually it's too hot for now. In other words, it's not that cold yet. I just wanted to test and see.

Right after I got the internet access, I will be gone again. Well, I'm still in time for the very last week of Yellowstone National Park season. Tomorrow I drive to West Yellowstone and fish a couple of days. I will stay in a motel. This time I don't do on-the-road posts as I will concentrate only for fishing!! I kind of doubt if motels in West Yellowstone have free wireless. Some must do but I bet not all of them!! Then I have one day at Armstrong's that I didn't cancel.

Now the famous Paradise Valley spring creeks are only several miles south away!! What a busy guy I am!! It's not dream any more!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hello Goodbye

Hello - Montana,
Goodbye - Washington.
After almost four years of life here in eastern WA, I decided to go back to Montana.
  1. It just seemed to be the time. Something made me feel so.
  2. My job = cattle breeding & passion = fly-fishing. Dairy industry has been hit by bad economy in general and low milk price. Things should get better, because it's all about the cycle, but who knows when. And then I am not sure how much I will push myself into steelhead fishing around here in Pacific Northwest.
  3. One thing for sure, I have accumulated lots of experience for both breeding and fly-fishing over last several years.
After all, I had always wanted to go back to Montana one more time if there would be a second chance. I want to breed beef cows in ranches under Big Sky. I also get to the point that I want to tie and sell my own flies at shops in the area. Eventually I want to be a guide, at least going to a guide school should not hurt my fishing experience. Especially as for fly-fishing, it's limited at here either for business or just fun.
This does not mean that I didn't have any fun in eastern WA or it had been boring around here (fishing around here was boring every now and then, I admit). In fact, even if all of my wish would be accomplished in Montana, I would still make less money than the job I had here in Yakima Valley. But then again, it's the timing. I have to move on. This ended up the last trout caught here in eastern WA.
I already have a place to live in Livingston. I don't have to explain what Livingston offers. A bit nervous and even risky to be self-employed and try to develop my own business. But I want to try it. And there are always kind people who can support me. Of course, I don't see any problems for fishing around!! This will probably be the last trout caught as an out-of-state angler in Montana. I was fishing Lower Madison while looking for a place to move in in Livingston the other day. Now you see what was all about my secret trip and on-the-road posts.
This coming weekend, I say goodbye to Yakima Valley and move into Livingston.
Things in eastern WA that I will surely miss:

  • Good Mexican restaurants
  • Seafood such as sushi
  • Native Westslope cutthroat
  • Unseen steelhead
But I already know there are too many attractions in Livingston that compensate those losses. I feel nervous and insecure every 10 minute or so but I am ready to hit the road. I have to send back the internet modem soon so this will the last post from Yakima Valley.

See you at ranches and/or rivers under Big Sky!!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I have become a great fan of Kelly Galloup; his theory, rigging, tactics, and fly patterns for streamer fishing. I have tied his patterns myself with my best. Some of those pictures have been posted every now and then along with big trout.

My recent favorite and attempts to tie was this T&A Rainbow. This is an amazing swimmer in the water. Shown is the one I bought from Kelly at his shop in this June.

This pattern seemed almost all impossible to tie myself but I found this website for instruction and gathered all the materials needed. Remember my old post? I went to an art/craft store because some materials are not found in fly-shops.

This is my tie of T&A. Not so bad, is it??

Once I learned how to tie, it became a real fan!! Though Kelly meant this fly specifically as a baby rainbow in one color, I couldn't help experimenting in other major colors for streamer. I tied in white with a touch of pink. My imagination and idea were it should look like any bait-fish available to be eaten by big trout.

Then it worked last weekend as I hoped it would be.

Another imagination and variation was all in black with a touch of brown/orange.

I knew it would work as posted 3 days ago!!!

Again grip-&-grin!! I can't express how happy I was because this was the only one bite of the day and I didn't lose it.

Another reason I felt so special is, truth be told, I was fishing Lower Madison.

Something going on in my life.........

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Day & Last Fish - On the Road

Today, another day on the road of this unknown trip. My secret mission was accomplished yesterday and early morning today. All I had to do was, with great imagination, to fish!!
I can't explain all for now typing from my motel room but on this not-fish-oriented trip, I was persistent, patient, and positive to end the day.
I don't go details since this post is meant for the trip not as a fishing report. Long story short, at the very end of the day and my effort, I finally felt a big hook!!!!

What fly is that? I will go more details once I get home.

It was a beautiful and powerful 19-inch rainbow (hen I guess).

One of the best rainbow in XXXXXXX River. Grip & grin as the Sun set in the back.

I made it through this uncertain trip. Some fishing and many other things. All accomplished which sounds pretty rare. Usually it's one way or another and one done and another failed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More on the Road

Another post from the road. Today's one turned out to be as I intended for this not-so-fishing oriented trip. For lunch, I dropped by one of the landmarks of this town.

I enjoyed their burger the day before yesterday, so I tried their simple a foot long hot dog along with fried mushroom.

Well, I actually went fishing after finishing my lunch but didn't have any actions at all. So this hot dog was the largest thing on my hand today.

Instead I settled my secret mission that I consider the biggest landing for this little trip.

I will post more and reveal what I'm up to soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On-the-Road Continues

Today I pursued my secret mission some more. And then I could do some fishing again. I again wish I would be talking more about the trip but I again ended up fishing somewhere. Guess where I was but what was I doing?

Is this steelhead? What's that fly??

It looks like a regular rainbow.
But it was really heavy and "humpy" for its size.

Hopefully I can finish this little trip successfully. But I came to like this on-the-go posts during the trip. If anyone can guess where I fished, I send you a local gift. Most likely bottles from local breweries??

Saturday, October 9, 2010

On the Road

Last night about 9:20pm or so, I left my house for a secret mission to an unmentioned destiny (just for now).

Originally, I was going to take pictures of scenes and fun stuff like foods and post them using free wireless internet service at a motel. But for some reason, it didn't happen till the end of the day. I thought about I would be saying "guess where I am" and that would be the end of the post and great enough success to post on the road with my laptop and free access in the motel room for the first time.
But I ended up catching a small but nice Cutthroat (which cutty in which river??) though I didn't mean to, really I swear (dirty liar!)
It was a sudden baetis hatch in a big back eddy, later on midge took over.
See if I'm posting again tomorrow night on the road. And see if I'm fishing or doing something else at somewhere.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fly-Fishing Magazine

Today, as I was looking around in a hastings in my area, I was reading several fly-fishing magazines along with CDs, DVDs, and books (mostly used ones!!). Never meant to buy them but to see if there were anything interesting to kill my time. I have read and subscribed a couple of magazines before and so far Northwest Fly fishing works the best for me.

But today, I bought one, called Fly Tyer. I have known this magazine specializing only fly-tying, but most of flies seems too fancy & only for human eyes = takes too long to tie.

But in this issue, I saw a mesmerising article that would help me tie better flies. So I bought it after a 30-minute of inspection as trout give on our flies for a few seconds.

You know I tie my own flies, select best materials maniacally, and even try to develop my own patterns. I've been catching nice trout and that's why I'd like to show my own tying here at my blog along with confidence. I have a few of my originals as of now.

Then according to this issue of Fly Tyer, they have developed an online communication/trade site, called I'd really like to try that.

Someone might order some of my flies and I might make a few bucks while I'm taking a nap??