October 16th—A Couple of Beautiful Days

Posted in Fishing on October 16th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Day to Everybody,

The weekend is shaping into a beautiful classic October couple of days. Highs in the upper 50’s are forecasted and you can bet there will be a few fisherman out soaking in the nice weather. October has been a very snow filled month so far, and all the clouds have made the fish happy. Baetis should continue throughout the month on all the area rivers, with the best action occurring on cloudy afternoons. Streamer fishing continues to produce aggressive fish from the Lower Madison up through and into the Park stretch. Somedays its all about color-white? yellow? black? Other days its is all about retrieve rates-fast? slow? erratic? And other days it is a combination-fast, deep and erratic? slow, shallow, and seductive? Experimentation can be the key to successful streamer fishing in the Fall. Nymphing will always be good this time of year with small Shop Vacs, Crystal Serendipities, and SJW’s being a good lead fly. But I wouldn’t nymph without a #18-#20 pheasant tail this time of year. So my rig usually consists of a shop vac with a PT dropper, both on 5x. Time to get out there and fish!


Posted in Fishing on October 10th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Morning Fly Fishing Fans,

It is cold in the Yellowstone area. How cold is it, cold enough for snow, ice, and all the trappings of winter. Our weather took a serious turn towards a winter like state this past week, and many local fishers discovered they had a seasonal case of Baetisitis. How do you know that you have this affliction? A couple of signs to look for: First, you have little to no feeling in your hands, possibly your feet, and you might be questioning whether you have ears. Second, your shaking and it is not from the extreme cold, but rather from the sheer number of small insects that are floating down the river in front of you. Third, that said river your standing in (freezing your you know what’s off) is the Madison, Firehole, or Henry’s Fork. Fourth, you have a silly smile on your face, because despite the suffering, you are actually having more fun than really should be legal. Baetisitis. I have it bad! The winter weather has brought out this diminutive drab olive colored mayfly in droves, and the fish staring at a long cold winter diet of the occasional midge or nymph, are gorging in spades. All the local rivers will see hatches of this mayfly for the next couple of weeks. Don’t be in too much of a rush to hit the water, usually 11:00am is the earliest you need to be there to capitalize on this awesome fishing. The Baetis at this time of the year are small, 22’s or even 24’s, so visibility becomes a huge issue. When snow is pelting you in the face, and your imitation is lost in a sea of naturals, you know you have the disease too! I love black winged cripples this time of year. If the water has that oily gray colored slickness to it, try the black wing, and I think you will be amazed at how easy a size 22 can be to see. If the sun is shining, and yes Baetis do emerge on sunny days, try a gray winged Epix Sparkle Dun or Cripple. I also usually go right to long and fine, meaning, 12 foot leaders down to 6x tippet. Small flies in micro currents get a more natural like drift on lighter tippet and leaders. I also like to cut the distance that I am casting down to as a short as possible (this is actually always true), so taking the time to carefully approach your rising target can be essential for good drifts, being able to see your fly, and setting the hook properly with such a small offering. Anyway I can feel the need to freeze, so my case of baetisitis is still going on strong. I think the Firehole is calling my name.
See you on the river.

The Beginning of Fall in Full

Posted in Fishing on October 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Afternoon,

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!

Thanks to All for a great Summer

Posted in Fishing on September 30th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Morning Folks,

First and Foremost I wanted to say thanks to everyone who came to fish at the Firehole Ranch this summer. It was a fantastic season, filled with new and old friends, lots of fish, and great weather. I am already looking forward to seeing and fishing with all of you again next summer. It is never to early to look forward to good fishing! There were many highlights this past summer and I plan on touching on a few of them in the upcoming weeks via this blog. But for the moment anyway we are going to talk about September. What a glorious month this turned out to be. Everyday was in the 70’s and sunny. No clouds, no rain, just beautiful Indian Summer. No one in the area can remember a September this amazing. Each day was truly an honor to be able to be standing in a river, waving a stick, and soaking in the sun. Everyone here has been basking in our good fortune,…..BUT….this morning the other face of September has roared to life. Rain and Snow are in our future, and while I am getting ready to head into the Park to shoot photos of elk this morning, I can hear the rain and wind pelting the side of the cabin. With rain and snow, you can bet the little commando’s will emerge today on all the area’s waters. Baetis, Baetis and more Baetis are on tap for the next couple of days. You can bank on the fact that after dancing with elk, I will be plying the currents of the Firehole River with a #22 Baetis Cripple. The sun is due up in minutes so it is time to go, but stay tuned this fall and winter, as we attempt to keep you in touch with the Firehole Ranch, and the greater Yellowstone area.

Sept 9th-It has been awhile

Posted in Fishing on September 9th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Day Everyone,

I always complain about websites that don’t keep their fishing reports current, well…it is time I stop complaining and start writing. Sorry for the delay on the blog, the fishing has been keeping us busy. So lets get to it—-how has the fishing been? Well it has been a real mixed bag lately. We are transitioning into our fall season and the transition from season to season (spring to summer and summer to fall) is always a bit finicky. The Madison has taken the brunt of the off and on nature of this transition time. Today it was on, and the Rainbows were stalking the hapless hopper in a big way, big time. But just last week there were guides on the River (myself included) that were swearing (literally) that all the big trout in the river had been abducted by aliens and flown to a distant planet. But that is the nature of fishing, and one of the great mysteries of the sport that keep it enchanting and incredibly interesting. One day they are there, the next nothin’, and “there is jus no splaining it”. The Gallatin has also been a mixture of hot and cold, but this has been a reaction of this water to the weather more than anything. The never go away Spruce Moth, is still providing lots of action on the warm days, but the colder days are seeing a slow down in the action. If it does cloud up, I would wait until late afternoon and then hit the Park stretch for Mahogany Duns and baetis. Pay attention to the slow margins and undercut banks for risers looking for the season’s last mayfly emergences. The Henry’s Fork has been very good and has been an exception to the turbulent nature of the fishing lately. Warm River to Ashton has been rock steady, especially with nymphs. The Shop Vac rules this land, but the Woolly Bugger wants its throne back and it has brought along a few reinforcements in the name of Mr Rubberlegs, and Miss Leech. The larger fish in this stretch are on the prowl for these larger morsels. The Box has also been a producer as the lower flows have been a boon to the dedicated nympher. Grass will keep you busy messing with your rig, but so will big rainbows, mid size rainbows, and tiny rainbows. Dips and Vacs are a deadly one-two punch here. Look for the Firehole River to hit our radar this week as the caddis begin their fall emergence, especially on the warm mornings and evenings. Cloudy days will bring out baetis in droves on this river, but they are a bit on the small side at this time of year. Be prepared , for these Baetis are small, and I mean small, 22’s to 24’s are common. The fishing is in its fall phase, and as the willows and aspens begin to turn color, the elk begin to bugle, and the ducks begin to fill up Hebgen, the fishing will continue to compete for our attention.
Fish On everybody!!!