Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label brown trout

Another Day, Another Spring Creek....

With the valley rivers blown, and several days off, I needed an alternative if I wanted to fish.  I'd originally planned to fish the Missouri, but it doesn't offer much to the wading angler when it's flowing near 9000 c.f.s.  Given my soft spot for spring creeks, I booked a day on Nelson's Spring Creek.  It was a first for me, as I've spent my spring creek fishing career across the Yellowstone at Depuy's.








Nelson's is regarded as being the most difficult of the Paradise Valley spring creeks. Now tell me, who doesn't appreciate a little challenge?  Surely I could manage a fish or two.  Well the first piece of water that I looked into contained hundreds, maybe thousands of trout.  Did I mention that they also raise fish commercially for local restaurants?  Oh well, these fish weren't nearly as standoffish as their  spring creek brethren.





I spent the morning exploring while waiting for some sort of a hatch to come off. There were plenty of fish.  The c…

One Colossal Brown Trout

I noticed this big dead brown trout on DePuy Spring Creek a week ago.  It was longer than two of my size 12 wading boots, and would have been the fish of a lifetime for most any fly fisher.  I concluded that the likelihood of landing such a fish on a three weight, small fly and light tippet was virtually zero.  At least I got my hands on a big one, even if it was dead!
I encounter a few such big browns each fall.  They're covered with a white fuzzy fungal growth known as Saprolegnia, which attacks fish that are stressed and weakened.  Spawning takes a toll as fish jostle on redds, chasing and biting each other, removing protective mucus and thus opening the door for the fungus to take hold.  

Madison Brown

Here is a bank sipper from a recent foray to the Madison.  A few caddis were drifting on the surface when I arrived in mid-afternoon.  Not a huge hatch, but enough to get my attention, and that of some fish too.  This fish showed itself.  I missed it, put it down, rested it for a while.  When I returned, it was back, rising, picking off the occasional caddis.  A few drifts later it exploded on my fly.  I might not get a better one this year, at least not on a dry.    
So, what was the fly du jour?  Lately I've taken to tying a variety of parachute type caddis. Anything that might be more visible is just fine for my aging eyes.  They are ties of Mike Lawson's EZ Caddis. You can see him tie the fly here. I've tied pink posted ones, some with white posts, some with a combo of pink and fluorescent yellow, black too.   A tan hackled, orange posted one got this brown.  














And, since a brown trout from the Madison River was the star of this post, I thought it appropriate to includ…

Watching, Waiting, Hoping......

Watching, waiting, hoping.  That's what I've been doing for the last month or so.  A few bugs, drifting aimlessly on the surface of the water would make my day.  Patience is a necessity.  At the mercy of bugs with no schedule, I'm on Baetis standard time, whatever that is.  So, I wait.
The days start earlier now, last longer too.  It makes no difference to the bugs, or the fish.  I leave home earlier, thinking maybe, just maybe this will be the day.  A fish feeding frenzy, right from the get go.  Heaven forbid I should miss it.  No worries, I don't.  Nothing doing.  All quiet on the stream front.
But there is activity.  Rainbows are in the creek now.  They chase each other, jockeying for position on the gravels.  Across the creek, a fisherman ambles through the grass, working upstream, alternately in and out of the water.  It's a mink.  Stealthy.  Doesn't seem to bother the spawning rainbows.  They continue their business, the mink continues hiking and swimmin…

Bink, bink, bink.....

Not too many bugs on the water yesterday.  A few clouds of Tricos midmorning.  Then, a brief sparse spinner fall brought fish to the surface in one run.  A half dozen fish cruised the run, lazily sucking in the tiny spinners.  On a quiet morning, you could hear the fish smacking their lips.  I just love the sound of a happily feeding fish.  They weren't easy though.  I continually reinforce the fact that fish in low clear water are exceptionally spooky.  The flash of a fly line is death. Make a cast and the fish stop feeding.  Guess what?  Game over.  Then the wait starts.  Maybe they'll come back and resume dining.  In a few minutes, or fifteen.   I got one real nice one, on of all things, a small parachute Adams. 
It was a great eat, followed by the usual anxious moments.  A small fly, attached to 6X, attached to a fish headed downstream, attached to an angler mired waist deep in midstream muck.  I wondered if the fish would stop.  Then, would I be able to get it back?  I d…

Desperately Seeking The PMD

They're called pale morning duns, not pale crack of dawn duns.  Standing in the water at 5:30 guarantees that not much will  happen until let's say, ten.  I learned that lesson a couple of weeks ago on the Missouri.  Yesterday, different river, they arrived later.  Much later.  Like in the afternoon.  I was starting to sweat it, literally.  No bugs, no fish activity, it was hot as hell too. Thankfully the bugs eventually showed.  It's impressive when the bugs start hatching and the fish get on them.  A lifeless stream surface can suddenly bustle with fish breaking the surface. 



While waiting for the vaunted hatch, I watched and tried in vain to catch one sizable brown trout. For hours.  It was content to sway in the current and grab bugs as they drifted by.  I attached some fine netting to my trout net, caught a few PMD nymphs.  Actually the screen job was unnecessary, the nymphs were clearly visible.  I thought, piece of cake. I'll get him lickity split.  I tied on a…

One Mo Day

It was a heavenly day on the Missouri.  Warm, comfy.  No wind.

It was a good day to watch geese too.  Adults and variously aged and sized goslings were out and about in abundance.  I stumbled onto a nest too.  Goose eggs are pretty big.
Fishing wise, it was slow going, at least as far as surface activity goes.  I sight nymphed a couple of fish early on.   After that, I bided time, waiting, hoping for some sort of hatch.  I was determined to catch fish on top.  
I watched one rainbow on and off throughout the morning.  It was positioned right up against shore, strategically hidden from view by brush.  Not well enough though, I was looking for him.  I could see other fish too, some close to shore, others farther out.  This particular rainbow fed actively.  I could see it move from side to side, its mouth opening and closing, obviously grabbing stuff in the current.  It would rise occasionally too.  
I got him a couple hours later.  It took a bunch of casts.  I put him down once. I left…

Never Enough

Another winter season on the spring is coming to a close.  This would be an all day trip.  I wanted to squeeze as much out of the day as possible.  The day got off to a frosty start.  No messing around today, I decided to forego usual fire starting ritual and dressed outside. Did I say that it was chilly?  And, the temp continued dropping while I was rigging.  The old fingers were a bit frozen and clubby by the time that I was ready to go.  Now,  I'd packed a bunch of those instant warming packets for years.  Yesterday, I finally gave one a try. Tucked into my wader hand warmer pouch, my fingers were at least comfortably thawed by the time I reached my chosen fishing spot.



I waited a bit for the sun to creep down the west facing slopes and into the valley.  Once it did, it didn't take long for the morning to warm.  Midges would be the main item on the fish menu. Well, at least that was what I was serving.  A nice cutthroat came to the net right off the bat. Then a nice rainbo…

A Few Casts

Twenty-six inside the fisherman's hut when I arrived yesterday (it was seven on the pass and icy as hell).  So, a few sticks in the barrel stove were in order.  There was no need to hurry, it would be awhile before the sun burned off the frost and the bugs got going.  No matter, I was rigged and ready for the anticipated midges.  Blue wings?  Well we'd have to see.
I heard a vehicle pull up.  It was Satoshi Yamamoto. Angler, guide, and all around nice guy.  Our paths had crossed over the past few years but we'd never had a chance to visit much.  This morning we caught up a bit.  I won't rehash the conversation, but he has a great blog with lots of useful fishing info (http://leftyangler.blogspot.com).  His personal bio is quite interesting too. And, I was most pleased when Satoshi graciously allowed me to take a few photos of him fishing.



Once it warmed, the morning turned into a stunner.  No wind, fish rising.  Just pinch me.
I walked back to the hut and retrieved my…