Well it finally happened, Alice and I got the fever so bad the only cure was a float trip down Warm River to Ashton on the Henry’s Fork. Rumors that the big bugs had started their annual migration towards shore, and even that a few adults were flying around, caused late night, feverish dreams. After checking on the water below Box Canyon we headed down the Mesa Falls scenic Byway towards the Lower Fork. We weren’t the only ones with a bad case of the Salmonfly Shakes. But upon exiting the Subaru, a cure flew by, them another, and then a few more-there were salmonfly adults in the air. The high and off color water didn’t deter us and we were determined to catch the seasons first fish on Salmonfly Dries. A few fruitless hours later the fever was followed by a slight case of the blues, as neither Rainbow or Brown would help out with the cause. But then, as it often does, a few fish came to the fly, and this one nice Brown inhaled Alice’s Salmonfly with such gusto that it looked as if a small whirlpool had opened up along the H-Fork’s banks. A beautiful 70 degree day, Balsamroot blooming, our first sighting of a Western Tanager, and few nice fish, and Boy Oh Boy, the fever is even worse. I imagine this disease will last until at least mid July, when this fever might be overtaken by a contagious caddis condition.
Archive for May, 2008
A beautiful double rainbow popped out yesterday afternoon, as a passing afternoon rainshower headed east into Yellowstone. Everyone at the Ranch is excited for the opener in 9 days. Hebgen is quickly filling up, gaining a foot of new elevation every 3 to 4 days. There certainly will not be any low water issues this year. The Firehole continues to fish well, despite a small bump in the flows over the past 2 days. Pale Morning Duns (PMD’s) are increasing in numbers as this hatch really begins to get cranking. I imagine with some warmer weather we will begin to see some caddis as well. The Madison is high and it is hard to say what the water levels are going to be like for the next couple of weeks, but wade fishing around Reynold’s and the Slide has been decent. The Henry’s Fork is heating up and I expect those salmonflies to get rolling this week, the fever has hit Alice now too, and I expect Josh is starting to get the shakes, and breaking out into cold sweats late at night. The Fork ought to be in prime shape when we get up and rolling next weekend, maybe even a few slamonflies too, which just might pass that fever on to you all as well!
It was a great memorial Day weekend opener, as the Firehole fished as the Firehole often fishes. Good emergences of both Baetis and PMD’s for several hours each day. I expect this action to continue all week with the cloudy weather predictions. As we stumble into June the Baetis ought to begin to wane on the Firehole and be replaced with 4 different species of caddis. PMD’s will be the main ticket with both spinner falls and emergences. Look for the Madison in the Park to become a contender this week as Baetis make a strong appearance. This emergence usually happens later in the day after the action on the Firehole is over. There are rumors of a little Salmonfly action. For the next 8 weeks we will have the chance at Salmonfly on a variety of different rivers at different times. I can already fill the googly eyed insanity of salmonfly fever starting to chill my spine. I love salmonflies and the trout that eat them! There is no cure, Beware!
Another day on the Firehole River, but totally different than the day before. It always amazes me how different fishing is from day to day. Ever unpredictable, fishing is full of surprises, and it is one of the facets of this sport that is so enchanting to me. Despite rather good weather conditions, cloudy and cool, the Firehole struggled to produce much hatch activity. A few baetis and PMD’s showed up late, bringing a few fish to the surface, but limited opportunities were present. The river came up around 200cfs and cooled about 5 to 8 degrees which probably contributed to the change in fishing. However, it is another day and the outlook is always rosy just before heading out to the river to tangle with trout. Other local rivers such as the Madison and Gallatin have hit the tough to fish stage. The Gallatin is completely unfishable, and the Madison even in the wade stretches is becoming tough. The Henry’s Fork is fishing good, with high, slightly off colored water conditions in the Warm River stretches, and high, cold and clear condition below IP Resevoir. A few Baetis and March Browns paraded by the A-Bar, and a few noses could be found if you looked hard. A little warmer weather will help out this stretch tremendously. Anyway run-off is running, the Firehole and Fork are doing there thing, and the Firehole Ranch is shedding off its winter coat and flexing its summer dress for the upcoming season in less than 2 weeks. We are looking forward to opening day at the Firehole Ranch, it should be a great season.
Alice and I headed into Yellowstone yesterday to check out the Firehole River on opening day. After meeting a few friends at the running bear, and enjoying a tale of a greased pot belly pig wrestling match that took place earlier that morning (local lost pig gallantly saved by the D&D troop), we dashed in to the Park. Traffic was the usual sort for Memorial Day weekend, but the fishing traffic seemed a little lighter than usual. Maybe it has been all the cool weather and rain lately. That cool weather lowered the flows on the Firehole to around 550cfs yesterday morning. Rumors from the night before had the river in high, but clear shape. It was all lining up for a good day. Distracted by numerous photo opportunities, we didn’t hit the river until close to 2:00pm. While we missed the beginning of the hatch we didn’t miss all of it, and the Firehole aims to please. Just upstream of Midway Geyser we parked the Suby and hit the water. Fish were rising consistently in the drab weather, and little olive colored sailboats dotted the surface. Lo and behold mixed among the little olive sailboats were larger pale yellow colored sailboats, PMD’s! The first of the year and a wonderful sight for all involved. The fish were greedily inhaling everyone of these large beautiful mayflies, and seeing a size 16 mayfly is sure easy on the anglers eyes. A great afternoon of fishing the lasted until 5:00 pm or so. Dramatic light was calling , so we packed our waders and shot a few more photos as we exited the Park. What a great way to start the summer fishing season. **Update**Checked the flows this morning, and the Firehole bumped into the 700cfs range. We had steady rains last night that is probably the responsible factor. Will reupdate after another trip today! Rowan