The Beginning of Fall in Full
A little sunshine is gracing the Yellowstone Basin today, highlighting the snow that draped the area from the past 2 days storm. Our days of sunny and 70 are over until next year, but the excitement of true fall is riding the crisp mountain air, like the bugle of elk, the gaggeling of Mallards, and the swish of Spey lines. Snow is forecasted for our near future and it is time to break out the baetis cripples, sparkle duns, emergers, and Sawyer PT’s. Unless your chasing spawners in the Madison, there is no need for the dry fly fisher to hit the water before 10am, or even noon, if it is really cold. Baetis love this cloudy weather, so layer up with fleece and gore-tex, and tie on 24″ of 6x tippet, and brave those elements that make fishing this time of year so rewarding. Now if dry fly fishing is not your game, streamers have got to be. October provides some of the best chances to chase big fish with big flies. The Madison through its entire length, gives us one of the best opportunities to drag feathery bait in attempt to evoke the wrath of Salmo trutta. There may not be anything quite as exciting as stripping a Yellow Zonker off the banks of the Madison, from a drift boat, and watching a Brown Trout lose its mind in greed and anger. I personally keep it pretty simple this time of year-Zonkers and Woolly Buggers in Black White, and Yellow—size #6 please—and I am a happy fisher. Time to strip or rise, whatever your game might be!