Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Surprise in Different Color (Taimen from Yellowstone?)

I first apologize for a naughty title before I go on.......... There is no Taimen in Yellowstone River (unless you count some great pictures of Taimen at Sweetwater Travel which stands along Yellowstone). But, but, but, even before I'm sobered up from (stop bragging) my experience with that humongous rainbow, I was struck by another surprise of the year. Again it's January!!

It snowed relatively heavy yesterday. Only these guys were fishing ahead of me at DePuy's (

I wanted to catch fish but also I wanted to test a new pattern of mine at spots with a certain structure. I hooked two but lost them. My indicator responded for the third time and I set the hook. Suddenly "IT" started to pull my line, breaking all frosts on my rod-guides!! I was taken by surprise for a second then was back into fighting mode!! I secretly wished it would be a 16-incher foul-hooked on its tail. Well, unfortunately "this thing" was definitely heavy. It changed the direction and headed downstream. I chased, reeling my line. Almost there! There is a deep hole below. I couldn't let it slip there. I had to get him in the riffle before. I slipped off a glove from my right hand in case I had to dip my sleeve. Also I was ready in my mind in case of accidental "bath"!! I got it before the hole without falling in!!

Once netted, it wasn't so dangerous. I guess we were both exhausted........

Vermiculation is vivider than ever!!

I didn't really tape it but for the reference my palm is about 3.5" to 4"........

It wasn't as heavy as the rainbow from only 3 days before but probably longer.........

Afterwards..........this in normal........

Today it turned out to be another nice winter day. A couple of little ones kept me busy......

Here's the premier of my new fly......I go on more details later on.......Just guess what for now.

I still can't swallow this experience in January....... Considering our waters around here, these must be counted as some of largest. That is, did I already caught the best for each rainbow and brown for 2013? And both of them are among BEST in my life!!?? I'm afraid I'm using up my "fishing charm" for 2013. But in other words, all I need to focus from now on is GUIDING other anglers!!
Let's see what's gonna happen next month!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Very Early Season Surprise!!

MEDIA UPDATE: From tomorrow, a series of columns I wrote for Fly Anglers OnLine ( will start. It's a deep insight of spring creek fishing: creek analysis, trout there, methods, flies, and so on...... Whole site is usually updated every two weeks. So everyone, keep your eyes on and follow new chapter of my series besides this blog!!

It's an extreme bi-polar weekend. Yesterday, we had over 50F sunny day. Apparently I went fishing to DePuy's Spring Creek ( To be honest, fishing was slow for some reasons. Today, it turned out to be snow!! Temperature was down to around 30F and it wasn't windy at all. So it wasn't so cold in Montana standard. I went back to creek. I was expecting midge hatches but I didn't see any even at most likely spots.

So I started experimenting another brandnew "underwater" pattern. Suddenly I saw a few to several active rainbows....... Uh......happy!! NOTE: it's not something coming down from my nose!! but it's the snow flake just passing down in front of my nose!!

Next one was much bigger handsome buck 'Bow!!!

Some cute gangs.......
I thought it was good enough. I got some pictures for this post and probably I would take a pic or two of my new fly once I got home...........

It was almost 5:00pm and finally getting somewhat cold. But something told me I should check one more spot. It was "gut instinct" but I knew why I felt so. There was only a few more anglers other than me today (on the contrary to yesterday) and I bet they went home already without fishing hard. Then this some spawning actions........... I had to check one more spot..... I was expecting I might catch one or two like the first one.... I set the hook for my indicator...........WHAT??

It was indeed football shape in "SUPER BOWL" size!!

Several Pounder, A.K.A Yellowstone Steelhead!!
Pardon me for one more self-timered pic..........
 Well, only a couple of posts before, I caught a nice "year-opener" brown but this Buck 'Bow is THE BIGGEST Rainbow I ever caught in Montana rivers (one I caught last year in a local private pond would tie). I'm afraid I'm using up my "fish charm & luck" for this year this early!! But I feel this event was deducted from my "learning & observation". So I will keep fishing!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

40 & 41

It's been a mix of things all through this month. I seemed to have worked on one by one. For example, I have submitted a series of columns to Fly Anglers OnLine ( From next Monday update, my article will be posted every other week. Anyways, though I went fishing to DePuy's (, I had to do some photo-sessions rather than catching and enjoying....... Then, it's time to get ready for this year's guiding!! That sort......

I finally went back to "full-time fishing" yesterday!! That made 40TH visit with Winter Pass. It will definitely be a record-breaking by the end of Pass!!
But yesterday and today's first couple of hours had been like this........... I did hook some and luckily netted a few, but trout were too feisty to sit tight for pictures or stomach-pump! This was snapped (out of consciousness) as I tried to grab him back........

Today, 41st visit, I finally managed to take some appropriate pictures.

Also, let me report to you that trout have changed their habitats and feeding habits. It's not browns' spawning time any more. Early rainbows' spawning seems done also. I had to figure out spots and flies.

Here you go!! This is what I found!

Right, midge larvae seem main-dish........

 though I found these also......

I also figured out "winter habitats" one by one......... Good one!! was infested like this on the belly!!

 Hope she will get over and gain some weight soon.......

This is the little larva that worked until gap-opened. One of my clients from last summer, Mark from NJ, sent me his flies.

I hope I can report the first dry-fly fishing of the year very soon!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Day Trip to Great Falls

Fishing has been off and on this month. That's due to cold weather and some other projects in life. A couple of days ago I could manage to visit DePuy's ( for one afternoon yet that was mainly for "photo-session" for my up-coming series of columns. Mission was successfully accomplished. Then I could fish........One was enough!
Today, I visit Great Falls, MT for Master Breeder purpose. Please refer for that industry!
Then I swung by another spiritual place for me in Montana, C.M. Russell Museum. It's been 12 YEARS since I last visited (when I was a student in Montana State - Bozeman).
I don't think any lengthy explanations are needed. To me, Charlie = COWBOY ARTIST is truly Montana's Legend & Pride. His art tells us and gives us virtual images of REAL AMERICAN WEST. I can't help feeling how I'm blessed to live in Montana and how hard I'm working to hang in there, just like those 19th Century cowboys did....... My mind is filled and boosted!! I will do my best to be a Cowboy-Artist-Angler!!
 Photographs are prohibited inside so I snapped just outside........

On my way back, I made super short & quick detour to take a look Missouri River. This is not my area, to be honest........ Surely I want to fish someday soon but guiding-wise, I don't claim to know.......
 And this is the town of Craig...........really...............Well, I definitely love to live-work-fish-guide-breed cows in & around Livingston........

 This is the new addition to my shot-glass collection!! Cheers!!
It's still depending on weather conditions (I can handle coldness but when combined with winds, it's physically impossible to be outside...), it seems I start to get out fishing actively again. If not, I will shoot more tying videos as more great patterns are coming up with.
Stay warm, everyone and have a good weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anybody wants to float? - Winter Update & New Flies for Trials

Howdy folks. The last (4th) part of my article about BWO hatch at DePuy's has just been updated at Fly Anglers OnLine ( And I'm THE COVER BOY!!
Anyway.....that's the climax of complicated hatch and how I solved it. Take a look at this very educational and sophisticated drawing by me!!!!
I hope you find this interesting...........
It's been a while that I haven't gone fishing over a week = no blog update over a week. It's COLD......even for me. There's just no sense of being a hardcore angler. Although DePuy's Spring Creek ( is open and NEVER frozen, my rod-line-reel and everything wet will be frozen in a second. I might visit tomorrow........It's been just 3 months since Winter Pass started = 1st half. So far I visited 38 DAYS!! That means I'm visiting about every 2.4 day!!

Today, just for a change, I drove along Yellowstone River. It's been a while that I did so. I wanted to see how low she could get during winter but I was amazed by ice!! I stopped by the top of Mallard Rest. Looking upstream at boat launch, do you want to float? Or do you want skate or bobsled?
Looking downstream, Main channel is totally frozen? I'm not sure if water is moving under ice or not. Anyway, whatever moving seems pushed and is flowing in the little channel which usual dries up in summer.....
At my tying bench, new fly designs and ideas are coming every now and then. This is March Brown nymph.
I modified my own Winged Victory-BWO into March Brown version.

This is a trial for this coming spring. But it really depends on weather and other Mother Nature. Warm enough for insect hatches but not too warm as run-off starts.........Let's see what's gonna happen this spring.

I confess I'm not much of a "hopper guy" though I know hopper patterns can be first eye-catchers in shops and catalogs. Walter at Parks' Fly Shop( ties wonderful & original patterns. Among Bloggers, Hopper Juan ( shows highly skilled patterns too. At least I know pink has been causing some craziness and popularity recently among both anglers and trout!! This one is for test....... Leg material is hinted by Hopper Juan's old post. It doesn't look really special but tying procedure is a bit different from others (my level = easy & quick!!). I'd like to call it LADY T. (T. = terrestrials = hopper, ant, beetle). Let's see how she flies and catches trout this summer!!
I've been posting a new video per week at YouTube. Check the side bar or click here.
Stay warm everyone!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year! New Flies! 2013 Begins!

Happy New Year!! Wish 2013 will be another great "FISHY" year for everyone!!

Year started as just another day......... But, I cooked ONE & ONLY deer tenderloin for celebration!! It was so tasty!! I literally inhaled like I was eating SASHIMI. I am boosted with truly wild & natural nutrition & other goodness. I'm sure I can fish, guide, and breed very hard this year!!

My fishing friend John from Omaha sent me his creations. I can't thank him enough. These beautiful potteries are ONE & ONLY in the world just for me. John, I owe you a full-day float trip on Yellowstone River this summer!!

I was doing some inside works such as this...........just drying cement of my brandnew streamers.

Then on 5th, I visited DePuy's spring Creek ( as the first fishing day of the year. Such a nice winter day!! Believe or not, sporadic BWOs are hatching on calm days along with midges.

Snow flakes........

Then the very first trout of 2013!!
It was on my brandnew nymph pattern, which specifically developed for spring creeks!!
Hello.....happy new year!?

Today 6th, I visited the creek again with other projects and objectives in mind. My brandnew streamer was catching trout right off the bat!! Although I already knew it would work, it was surprisingly quick!!

I checked what they'd been partying on............I thought my stomach pump got stuck........OMG it was this cranefly larva!! (now you see what's my new nymph above is.............)

Then next...........

New Year Surprise!!

 I like this water-effect............It must have been the very late mating buck brown.

So just two fishing days in, I caught potentially the biggest of the year!? Well, I bet there will be more & bigger ones waiting for me and my clients...........

Happy new year to all! See you along the river!