Friday, November 25, 2011

Bright Friday

Everyone was supposed to go shopping so I wanted to go fishing. With some "turkey-ish" feeling in my gut, I somehow woke up early and didn't hear winds gusting. It wasn't at the hazardous level still dangerous enough to go outside. But "if you don't like Montana weather, wait 5 minutes". So I waited. Snow shower picked up and winds kept on. I waited just about one hour and suddenly everything calmed down.........Creek Time!!
It turned out so quiet that I though I can expect some dry-fly actions. There were still baetis hatch on right days, though not as strong as a month before and I saw only one pod of rising trout. Just one little one is enough for me.

Hatch ended about 2:30pm (at least it got quite slow down). Till darkness, more exploration and experimentation need be done!! I went through a certain section without any actions. In that case, that would be what I would learn and find today then. I really didn't care if I catch trout or not. But I marked another juicy spot on my map!! You don't believe this until you experience this situation. Again 3 in a row at one spot!! Started with a nice rainbow (they are getting well-colored too!!),

then a nice brown, which made me feel "I'm full for today".

But trout didn't let me go!! Another one in a few casts!! Scar on his mouth was not from my fly by the way.

What a nice day it was!! All trout fought very hard as if they were totally ambushed by me (which I did by Shotgunning).
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More Shotgun Blasted

I woke up and started to regret & wonder why I had to go fishing on this kind of day........Well at least there was no hazardous wind all day......... Yet it was like this at 9am.

I also found another reason why. I must be infected....... (One can see this in Angler's Hut = Middle Hut at DePuy).

Jokes aside, I fished very hard. Now fishing is my serious job as I want to be the top guide soon, but this was beyond training or practice but a freezing torture to myself. Furthermore, I selected a less popular and hard-to-fish section though I was the only one customer. What was I thinking? I wanted to perfect what I learned & found yesterday. And I think I did.
With the "Shotgunning", my own Royal Ray Charles received more than one approvals from DePuy's trout!!!

In the middle of upper jaw!!

I was not the only one brave heart. Look at this little fella in the middle of freezing 'Stone. I hope she decides to come back to the bank.

Lunch & thawing time!!

I kept trying Shotgunning. I hooked then netted or lost lots of them. I caught a feisty rainbow on the egg!!

Right after that within a few minutes, like yesterday afternoon, pretty much the same spot, I hooked a nice & handsome brown!!

From yesterdays experience, "grip-&-grin" is actually better to keep my sleeves dry rather than trying to lay them still for entire body pictures. So I just braved my hands and I thought this would be it for today.

Wrong!! At a totally overlooked spot, I hooked the best one for the day. It was also totally impossible to get to him without Shotgunning, really!!

This happened right in front of the hut, so I rushed in and warmed up one more time for the last chance. As the Sun setting west, sort of steam was coming up from the creek!!

I could pretty much cover the section and intention that I planned for today. This was the last catch!!

I'd say today was one of the BEST fishing days. It's so satisfying. I pushed myself into the wilderness and survived without falling in, that's one. Then I decoded the myth and rumor of the section I fished. I ended up catching lots of fish and mastering & perfecting new techniques and theories. I figured out why Shotgunning is so deadly. "Because" will make me write three more posts so I can't but you can figure out by watching YouTube clip on my last post!!

Wind is going to blow for next several days. I don't know when I can go back to the creek!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shotgunning @ DePuy

No sir, no mam, I didn't do any duck or muskrat killings at the creek.
I head to DePuy's this afternoon as I booked for tomorrow. Reason? Because it was not windy!! And it's supposed to be be not windy again tomorrow. Either way it's getting colder every day.
My agenda for today and tomorrow is "Shotgunning". Here's the video featuring Gary Borger (from yonder years). Watch around 3:00 minutes in. If you want to go through all 6 of clips, you may suspect, like I do, part of it would definitely be filmed in Armstrong's.

 Also for readers, click this article by Jason Borger.

 I trailed "egg" and Sparkle Scud.

As I was getting into the position, I started casting. I'd say I wasn't quite ready for the action. WHAM!! Something huge started to run and leap!! Massive rainbow!!

On Sparkle Scud!!

Looks like I got some water splash or moist on the lens but it's OK as other picture shows my nose was dripping!!

I felt enough already. Now I wanted to get to the position and started casting on the way. Within a few minutes, just about the same spot, I felt another huge bite!! This time on egg!!

My hands, sleeves, and handkerchief were not dried yet!!

Catching-wise, I was ready to go home but I hadn't even tested that stretch and my tactics yet. Now I wanted to get in position. Started casting........within a few minutes, I felt much bigger bite!!  

20-incher, give or take, 3 in a row!!!! I thought this 3rd one might get close to my record but was ONLY 21-inch......

I had two 18-inch browns also and hooked/lost a few more so-so ones. I could go through that stretch just before my fingers frozen off and made another notes. Quite a surprise for a quick afternoon outing. Then I proved Shotgunning is deadly at riffles of spring creeks. It's an aggressive nymphing, not just watching bobber and cursing at whitefish!!
Tomorrow's gonna be colder.........Do I need to dip my sleeves again!?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Many Eggs Cracked?

3 Medium ones in the morning,

Then 3 EXTRA EXTRA LARGE ONES in the afternoon!!

We didn't mess with redds and all trout were released without any damage.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More at DePuy's

Past two days were hazardously windy. So was this early morning and that made it hard for me to get out the bed. But by the time I leave my house, winds died down and it was lightly snowing.......!! Baetis, midges, and streamers weather!! We head to DePuy.
Breakfast was egg, not sardines. I pulled out a nice 19-incher that didn't react to streamers with my egg!!
After warmed up in the hut, I started to see some rise rings and baetis were on!! Oh boy, I have to share here that this "CDC DUN" that I tied last night was an absolute KILLER!!

Something was sipping just under the water film. It looked super technical to cast and set the hook but I did it with the very first cast!!...............17-inch whitefish on size 22 CDC Dun tied on 6X tippet.......Can you believe it? Should I be happy?

I consoled myself with a nice Yellowstone Cutty. I had one more giant whitie and many more rises/bites that I lost. Wonderful baetis time!!
Koichi and I fished with an angler from Japan who didn't mind throwing junks streamers and eggs. Look at the bend of his rod!!

He was rewarded with two nice browns (this is the smaller one...why didn't I take a pic of big one?)

Good looking anyway.

Tomorrow seems to be calling a similar weather. I'll do my best to break my record. I mean with brown trout, not whitefish please!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Spring Creeks with Japan's Master Angler

Koichi Kawai (, who's been the original Japanese guide in Livingston and working for Dean, is visiting town now. We've been fishing spring creeks (a day off today). Click on his blog for more pictures in great quality (I'm featured too!). This post is about our visit to Nelson's with pictures from my camera........
First thing in the morning, trout were so aggressive!! We did "sight-streamer" in gin-clear spring water! Here Koichi is working on a nice cutbow!

I got a lucky one too!

All the fish were this much aggressive!!??

We encountered sporadic baetis hatch and rising trout. With continuous wind from south, casting and presentation were tricky and fish were rising in a tight spot. But Koichi managed all and hooked a rise that he singled out (though it was whitefish......). He caught some more while I hooked and lost two.

Toward end of the day, streamer time again. Trout were aggressive again. I broke my record at Nelson's!!
(Thank you Koichi-san for taking great pictures!)
Back in DePuy yesterday, it was a tough day with stiff winds. We didn't see much insect hatches and rising trout........ We noticed some brown trout were making redds at certain sections of the creek. We left them alone. But there were some shadows following behind those redds area. I couldn't resist especially day was slow. I did the new & advanced technique "sight-egg" and caught a nice rainbow with a single bow-&-arrow cast.......... I caught a rainbow sucking brown's eggs, not browns actually spawning, so I think it's legal & ethical enough and don't blame me!!
Here in Livingston, wind is not cooperating this month. Hopefully we can get out again this weekend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter Fly Shop is Back

My winter fly-shop is back for the season.
This time, I can show all of you my flies with much bigger confident than when I started last winter. I caught lots of fish with my flies when I was guiding or fishing myself. And now I have "title" as a fly-designer for Montana Fly Company. Then again my COYOTE made to the magazine!! I stand behind every fly I tie.
My Regal Vise is ready to work hard for you!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Spring Creek is Never Ending!!

The end of Yellowstone Park fishing season is sentimental every year. I had my own fun on the second last day so I call it "I enjoyed the Park waters again this year". But fortunately or unfortunately, fishing in SW Montana goes on all year. I bet people from West Yellowstone, Ennis, Bozeman, and anyone in between try to sneak around Madison any time, and here in Livingston, we are still looking for a right day to float the mighty Yellowstone, hoping to catch the biggest trout of the year. And then, spring creek fishing never ends.
Today, I went fishing to DePuy again. Believe or not, NO WINDS at all in Paradise Valley!! That's good enough to be outdoors. The hazy Sun was warm enough all day though temperature was just around 30s. Then fishing was good enough too!! We saw very good baetis hatch and rising trout after lunch. I hooked and lost some trout with my own Pheasant Tail Mayfly Cripple,

With some more effort, I hooked something solidly. It leaped and I noticed it was a nice size rainbow (not whitefish!!). After more than several tug-of-wars, I could finally net it......

It was a fine & wide rainbow!! This is one of my best rainbows ever caught in three Paradise Valley Spring Creeks. With the fact that it was caught on a tiny dry-fly with 5X tippet, my PT MF Cripple can prove its point (my intention) of the design. So happy!!

By the way, these girls are much harder to stalk around than trout.........anyway they are cute!!

Brown trout are still coming up to DePuy and look hungry!! And baetis hatch seems to continue for a few more weeks. Then we can expect to fish with midges later....... I wish I had time to read books and tie flies in my house in front of wood-stove with hot coffee. Livingston's winter is rough but I still have to get out!!