Archive for February, 2011

February 25th 2011-Despite the snow my thoughts turn to Spring

Posted in Uncategorized on February 25th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Afternoon Folks,

Even though there is more snow on the ground than anyone can remember, I find my thoughts are mired in visions of spring. Only 3 days left in this month, and soon what is left of winter will begin to loosen its grip. Now I will be the first to admit this loosened grip is very light in the month of March. Many times it is hardly noticeable. But it is there in subtle ways. The days are longer, with sunrise and sunset further apart, and more sunlight that seeps into our frosty bones. Standing in icy cold water, chipping ice from the guides, and wiggling stiff, frozen fingers, this tiny bit of warmth is just the boost to keep an angler casting a little longer. With this added daylight, there is a few more moments of bug activity every day. A few more midges, a few more winter stones, and the highlight of spring fishing for me, the first Baetis mayflies. Oh, it is not far off now. Less than a few weeks really. You can bet I will be heralding in the first Baetis on the Yellowstone, Ruby, and Madison rivers with baited breath. That extra few degrees of warmth, a few more minutes of every day lengthened by the suns growing arc across the sky, and the fish begin to stir from their winter lies. Spring is on my mind, and I can see those trout moving into the shallows to look for an easy meal. Winter is all around us, and by the looks of it this year, it will be here for awhile, but in the next few weeks spring will push into its grip and begin to make its presence known, and the fish and I will respond.

Tight lines everyone,

Rowan

February 8th 2011-Old Man Winter

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment


Good Morning Firehole Junkies,

I would like to say we are knee deep in snow, but in fact we are waist deep in snow, and it just keeps coming. Good news for summer streamflows, but regardless the fish are in the rivers and they will be hungry, and it is our humble duty to joyfully participate in the regulation of their diets.

As I sit behind vise and lamp, tying up bugs for the summer, my thoughts drift from the snow that is flying, to days warmer where water is flowing and fish are rising. One of the pure joys of tying for me is the memories that a particular fly pattern evokes as I tie it up. Take this #14 Royal Wullf Cripple that I am whipping up right now. A brown zelon tail-and my mind immediately goes to the third week of June on the Firehole and PMD mayflies pepper the geyser soaked currents of the Firehole, and 10 inch browns and rainbows sip this tempting pattern with early season gullability. Two humps of peacock herl and red floss to form the body-and my mind shifts to a day on the Soda Butte as Green Drakes rolled off, and Yellowstone Cutties moved into the shallows to eat the emerging duns.  A white wing of poly and a couple turns of brown hackle and my mind drifts to mid September and fish on the Fork sipping down baeits on a cloudy day, taking this same fly with an eager and reckless abandon. Each fly goes into its properly marked container to end up in the bins and boxes of Firehole Ranch guides and guests. I can only hope that each fly brings as much joy this summer as they hopefully have in the past.

A great thing about flyfishing is that you can flyfish in your mind even when you are days, weeks, or miles from a blue ribbon trout stream.

Good fish dreams!

Rowan