Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Touch of Winter

Dec 1 Update: Some updates for the upcoming 2017 season, including one big one! Click the new page above "Montana Spring Hatch Tour"!!

It seems "finally" winter is coming here in Paradise Valley. Days are getting shorter and we have started to have snow flurries so often (not giant heavy packs yet).
On Sunday 27th, it was one of those days "just between" sunny and stormy weathers. It was mostly cloudy but NO winds at all, just a very light snow shower from 9-10am. Renee and I picked a perfect day to fish DePuy's Spring Creek.
We got one stretch to ourselves. Just as we strung our lines through rod-guides, we noticed something.
Ohhhh the bull moose from late October!!! He's been hanging along the creek!!
Actually we noticed him by first spotting people looking at the creek from highway..........
Yes, moose is rarer to see, compared to other ungulates, however, do we need to remind these people that they were randomly pulling over and standing unsafely on HIGHWAY 89 !!??  This is not an Yellowstone Park road!! Vehicles are legally driving 70MPH on one lane US Highway!!!!
I set Renee upstream and I started fishing upstream toward her from where we were close to moose. Originally it was other way around but it worked OK. While I was not even spooking trout, she started getting good actions!!
A good starter!!
She went on.

I finally started to catch up with her!
These were nice rainbows in one spot!!
She has mastered the "Shotgunning" or Shotgun Nymphing"!!
Nice brown after I stole a spot from her😁

Lunch break was in Anglers' Hut. Warming up with the woodstove, we greatly appreciated what DePuy's offers other than fishing!

In the afternoon, we encountered hatches and rises. It was almost all identical to Bighorn the other day = midges then baetis. We were at Annie's Run, which is a never-easy stretch. We hooked a few but they got off before net or camera. It was good experience for Renee.

We started nymphing again.

Every spot/stretch we fished was productive!!

Our good friend and neighborhood fisher Lester snapped some great pictures for us!!

Thank you!!

We fished late as actions went on.
Nice browns!!

Followed by nice rainbows!!

Indeed this was a very impressive specimen!!

Time flew by quickly!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Fishing is HOT!!

This November has been warmer than I remember. It's not even as windy as usual years (there are brutally windy days but feels much less than usual years). Fishing has been good!!

One of the best options around here is nowhere but DePuy's Spring Creek (www.depuyspringcreek.com). I guided a family I have known for the past several years. They fish hard! It was very good to see them this late in the year!!

There are still lots of browns and rainbows coming into the creek from Yellowstone River. Insects activities may vary day to day but I'm sure one can find a pod of rising fish to challenge a while.

After a long road trip (indeed a long story😄), we were back to fish!
Just one of town-spots on Yellowstone River.
 Then we drove to............. Can you guess where this is?
The early mist on Bighorn River.
We walked from the access point and wade-fished.
As always, we started with nymphing. Fair Advise if you head that way: aquatic weeds are starting to die for the season. Loosened weeds are floating on the surface in various sizes. I don't mind saying those can be nuisance oftentimes.
............We first spotted so many midges already hatching that we saw on snow and on the river surface!! We did spot rises here and there. But not quite convincing to focus with dry-flies. Yet we didn't have any bites on nymphs and weeds were annoying........ Getting enough.......... Then we started to spot more doable and constant rises.
Learning and decoding.
 This was the trophy for me!!
As you can see, baetis were hatching in good numbers!!

I never meant to be the "minimalist" however considering the condition, I didn't carry many midge patterns, just two Lefty Angler Boxes, and certainly NO baetis patterns with me. It was far away to get back to my truck. However I somehow felt I could get by with patterns I had. A couple of my midge patterns do look like small mayfly patterns. I never meant them to be multi-purpose patterns. But when trout think so, I don't mind!! One of the most efficient patterns was my Split Shuck Floater with Hi-Vis Post.
Along with Coming Out APE.

It's exactly 8 months since Renee first fished this magnificent river. She has grown up as a fly angler. She's willing to challenge on selectively feeding trout with tiny dry-flies.
Her first one was actually a nice brown, which got away right in front of my net - of course she blamed her incompetent guide😅. Finally she made a solid hook-up!! Ahhhhh......Whitie😆!!
 I had another memorable one. Not so long but surprisingly plump for this time of year.
Renee kept working hard!!
And rewarded!!
Indeed we were on the road trip through Idaho, Nevada, and a part California, talking about fishing and our lives together.........
It was good and enjoyable.........then back to our home state, we enjoy fly-fishing on our great rivers even more!!

Enjoy great winter fishing!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Yellowstone National Park - End of Fishing Season Weekend

On Sunday Nov 6th, Yellowstone National Park fishing season was over for 2016. It's been another productive season. Renee has fished the opening day this year, now finishing up her first season. For me it's been a while that I was fishing on the closing weekend.

On Saturday 5th we started from perhaps the least occupied section of Madison River, and that's one of my favorite and consistent sections as well. We fished till noon and it was somehow very slow. We observed handful of fishers and this magnificent bird.
With the bright sunny super nice November weather, we changed the spots and tactics. On this day, I was a die-hard fisher. I fished hard as much as I helped Renee every now and then. Another least crowded spot seemed not producing again however, I spotted a structure that I like............ I finally got a tug of the day. I noticed it would be a good size. As I chased and netted it, it turned out to be the biggest and one of most impressive trout from Madison in YNP!! = 21-inch rainbow!!

 On this day, I had better luck than she did....... I guess once in a while my accumulated experience pay off. At another secret & minute spot of mine, she didn't fish enough as I suggested......so I showed her how it was supposed to be.......... I was very happy to feel a classic Madison fall-run brown!!
   It was a photo session training day for her..........

 We slipped into Junction Pool (somehow it was vacated.....very rare for this time of year!). Finally Renee nailed her own too!!
  I had another colorful one!!
  In my notes, this was the most productive and successful day to get into fall-runners in Madison.

On Sunday, 6th we chose to go to the other side of YNP to finish up our 2016 season on and around Gardner River. Besides fishing, we observed some wildlife activities..........

On this day, I focused more on guiding her than my own fishing. I introduced her some good looking spots and cover effectively. This was a good brown!
With another bright, even hotter than day before, sunny day, actions were not continuous but we picked up fair amounts.
Another good brown!!
Time-change did affect our schedule and life style. We fished till late. During the last lights, Renee got a big tug!! Even I could see the head of fish!!.............A big one to end the season!?............Came loose.............It didn't go as dramatic as we would write a screenplay.................
But that's the fly-fishing. She wasn't disappointed either because we knew we'll be back for the next season and beyond.

Over all it was a good weekend to wrap our YNP Expedition this year.
I hope all of you YNP fly-fishers have had a good season with memories.
See you next year!