Sunday, October 1, 2017

9/27/17 - Madison River, plus the last two days


Today turned out to be the last good day of fishing on our trip - at least for me.  We decided to try a spot we've never fished: the Madison River just above Earthquake Lake, but below Hebgen Lake.  I rigged up my 10 foot four weight and tied on a huge stone fly with a tungsten dropper.  I worked
upstream and missed a few fish. I wanted to cover some water, so I worked downstream and got into a few fish.  I then worked a little further down river to some relatively non-descript water and hooked into a really nice Brown.  I had a 15 foot leader, a 4 weight rod, and 6x tippet off the stone fly.  The Brown was on the bottom fly.  I played him for a while - it was fast water and I was on the bank.  I walked downstream along the bank trying to get him into slower water near the bank.  I got him close a few times - close enough to see that it was a really big brown, but I couldn't get him close enough to get a shot at netting him.  After a few minutes, I jumped in the water, and tried to tire him out.  I worked him back and forth, and let him run when he wanted.  I waded down river, which turned out to be a mistake.  He got to a spot in the river with a bucket.  The fish hit the bucket, and bolted down stream.  SNAP!  I was about as mad as I have ever been losing a fish. I figured that was my best shot at a huge Madison River Brown.  I went and sat down for about five minutes and debated on going back to the car.  I gathered my spirits, rigged back up with 5x, and crossed the river to a little island.  From there, I proceeded to catch fish.  They were not browns, and they weren't huge, but they were all very nice fish.  I ended up with 10 in about an hour that were in the 16-18 inch range.
After two hours of fishing, the rest of the crew was ready to head downriver.  We went back to $3 Bridge.  I caught four, with one decent bow, but it was hard fishing. The highlight was watching 81 year old Jimmy catch a beautiful rainbow.
We also fished on 9/28 and 9/29, but the fishing was pretty bad. We tried the Lamar Valley, including Soda Butte, Lamar, and Slough on 9/29.  We caught 3 fish the entire day between the five of us fishing.  The next day was not much better.  We fished the Gibbon and Duck Creek.  We caught less than 10 fish the entire day between the five of us. That being said, 9/30 happened to be Jimmy's 82nd birthday.  While the rest of us fished up and down Duck Creek without so much as a nibble, Jimmy caught and landed a wonderful 18 inch rainbow.  Somehow, that made up for the otherwise lackluster fishing.  I hope I'm still alive and well enough to fish Yellowstone when I'm 82!
Till next time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

9/26/2017: Yellowstone River, Slough, and a big hook in the finger!

My dad and I decided to spend the day after our Guide trip mostly site-seeing.  I wanted to fish for an hour or two at most. There was still plenty of snow on the ground.  First we went to the canyon and Yellowstone Falls.  Just amazing, and not very crowded. 

We then made our way up to Tower, and hiked down to fish. I got to a spot I really like and rigged up a huge hopper that Kory gave me, and dropped a few small nymphs off the back. Within 15 minutes of fishing, I had caught three decent Yellowstone Cutthroat.  None were big, but they were beautiful fish.  I was thinking I would be able to get a dozen or so in an hour.  I went to take the huge hopper out of the 3rd cuttie's mouth, and somehow it lodged into my finger.  I had forgotten to debarb the hook, and it was a big one. I tried for about five minutes to pull it out, but it just wouldn't budge.   I crossed the river and met up with my dad. We decided we needed to push it through.  After a good amount of profanity, and some help from my dad, we were able to get it through, mash the barb, and then back it out. Surprisingly, very little blood was shed. I figured the fishing was over.

We went to Slough Creek to explore.  We saw fish rising so we fished for about 30 minutes. I had a few hits, but couldn't land anything. We then went over to Mammoth.  Throughout the day, we saw a plethora of wildlife, including hundreds of buffalo, Elk in the rut, a fox, a coyote, antelope, a grizzly bear, and a big racked mule deer.  We had a great time, and arrived back to West Yellowstone quite late.  This was the last day of the trip for my dad - we had a great time! 



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

9/25/17: Henry's Fork and South Fork of Snake River


September 25, 2017:  We met up with Kory from Blue Ridge, Georgia, in Ashton, Idaho around 10:00 a.m..  Kory said The Henry's Fork was not looking good - it was a blue sky day, and nothing hatching.  I asked if we could give it a go, because I've always wanted to fish the Henry's Fork.  We ended up fishing for about 2 hours, and realized it was time to try something else.  I landed 7 fish, including one nice rainbow at about 16 inches (see above).
I met Kory years ago in Blue Ridge - he's a great guy and an outstanding Guide.  We packed up and he took us to the South Fork of the Snake.  We put in late, but he had a plan. We immediately started getting fish. My dad landed around a dozen, and had some nice fish that broke him off.  I landed a good number of fish. Towards the end of the float, as it was getting dark, Kory asked me to chuck my articulated streamer.  I started pounding the bank, and after about 20 minutes, it hit!  My rod and line went tight - I strip set, and then the fish launched out of the water. It launched two more times, and I figured it was a rainbow.  Turned out to be a 20 inch brown - a beautiful fish! It was dark, and the boat was rocking, so we didn't get any good pictures, but it was absolutely awesome catching that big brown throwing the meat.

I have to say, Kory Chastain is the best guide I have ever had the pleasure of fishing with.  He worked extremely hard to put us on fish, and he is about as patient and friendly as they come.  I really enjoyed the trip, and my dad did as well.  If you ever get the chance to fish with him in Idaho or in Blue Ridge, Georgia, I highly recommend him.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Yellowstone 9/24/17: Firehole and the Gibbon

 

September 24, 2017: We went back to the Firehole Sunday morning.  I worked my way down to my favorite spot near Muleshoe, and did really well.  After lunch, I wanted to check out Gibbon Falls, so we hiked up the stream to the falls.  It was beautiful.  I broke off a large brown below the falls, and landed another batch of fish euro nyphing the fast pocket water.  After we fished the Falls and below for a few hours, I had my dad drop me off above Gibbon Meadows while he went and took some photographs.  I told him to pick me up in two hours while I worked my way through the meadows to the junction.  I rigged up my 6 weight with sinking line and an articulated streamer.  Within 20 minutes I stuck a nice 20 inch bow.  I then landed a 16 incher, and an 18 incher.  I was ecstatic - three nice bows in the park on articulated streamers - it doesn't get much better.  I had landed 43 fish on the day. One of the best days I've had fishing.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yellowstone - 9/23/17

September 23, 2017: After breakfast with the group, my dad and I headed up to the Firehole.  We started just below Fountain Flats. I caught 5-10 small bows and browns high sticking through the fast water.  We then headed up to Ferry Falls and I showed my dad a really good spot. The fish were rising like crazy, and a hatch of caddis hit the water.  My dad was able to get a nice brown to hand
on a caddis, plus a nice rainbow.  I caught a good bunch of fish. We then drove down to $3 bridge. We stopped at Slide Inn on the way, and were warned of tough fishing conditions.  It proved true. The wind was bad, no bugs, and we left after about an hour.  We headed to the Grizzly for a beer, and went back to West Yellowstone for dinner.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Yellowstone 2017 - 9/22

The following posts are journal entries for me to use in the future.   Brad, LL, John, Jimmy, and my Dad all arrived on September 22, 2017.  The following posts offer a brief recount of the trip.

September 22, 2017:  My dad and I drove to West Yellowstone and arrived around 3 p.m..  We unpacked and went to the fly shop.  None of the other guys wanted to fish. My dad and I decided to hit the Madison for an hour before dark at Mile marker 2 on the park boundary, just upriver from Baker's Hole.  The fishing was slow.  Lots of other anglers, and nobody catching fish.  Still, was nice to wet a line.  Best part was seeing 3 Moose up close and personal while hiking out.  Pretty awesome!