September 2005 Update
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Fall is on the way and the fishing is picking up. The irrigation season is over, the water is looking good, and the fish in the rivers are starting to chase streamers. We have been nailing some beautiful fish on the Lower Shoshone. The vegetation is the lakes is starting to break up releasing thousands of scuds into the water. The site fishing has been phenomenal. There is nothing like seeing a large trout take a small nymph right in front of you.
Bob Bergstrom on the Shoshone River
|Bob Berkstrom of St. Vrain Manufacturing came in early
September for a couple of days of fishing bliss. Bob lives in Colorado
and had been used to fishing light tippet. We hit the river with 20 lb
mono leaders using 0X on our droppers. The fish were chasing the
streamers big time! Bob caught a lot of fish! The great thing
about this kind of fishing is that even though he landed 30 or more fish,
that was only 20% of the fish that chased his fly! The visual makes
for a really exciting day. Viewing the picture at left of Bob on the
lower Shoshone, you can see why we use the heavy tippet. There is a
fishing story behind this picture, but you'll have to ask Bob to hear it.
On the second day we went for lakes. First we hit East Newton Lake. There was a sparse Callebaetis hatch at 8:00 AM and heads were popping up everywhere. Big Heads! We tried our luck on some huge Browns that had just started staging for the spawn. It was a "No Go;" they were just too wary. As we stalked around the lake the big bows were chasing and ready to participate. The first fish Bob hooked was 2 feet from out legs. It is awesome to see the white of its mouth as it took the fly. Bob also caught many nice Rainbows as we worked our way around the lake. Then we spotted a Brookie who readily ate a Zebra midge presented with style. What a Beautiful fish (pictured at left)!
Bob wanted to see a little more of the country-side so we left the city limits and headed for Luce Lake and the Clarksfork. The site fishing at Luce was a little more challenging as we had lost our sunshine, but Bob was able to hook the fish we were able to see. The fish began to rise and for a while we couldn't tell what they were eating. We finely settled on a small Black Beetle and that did the trick. It was "Beetle-mania" with fat fish on the line! We finished the day on a small stretch of the Clarksfork. Not many trout were caught, but a ton of whitefish on dry's were counted in our daily tally. It was a fun end to a great day. Thanks Bob for a great time.
|The week of September 12th I had the pleasure of fishing
with Mike and Bob Koether for 5 days. They wanted to get a taste of
the Cody area so we decided on the river, lake, river, lake, river strategy.
The first day of the trip we were hit with a cold front. We started chunking
streamers and the fish were fairly cooperative as you can tell from the
picture at right. Just after lunch it began to pour rain. The
fishing shut down and the river blew out.
It cleared up the next morning and we proceeded to do some sight fishing. Mike hooked up on the second cast and Bob wasn't far behind. We stalked around the lake like the Great Blue Herons that visit our lakes, catching lots of Big Bows.
The browns were a different story. They were still too guarded to get a good shot at. About mid-day, we lost our sun and the wind came up, so we changed our strategy and went after some fish on Hoppers in different spot. The Koether brothers murdered'em- lots of nice rainbows on big dry's.
On the third day we headed for the Greybull River. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful place. However, the bright sun made the fishing tough by Greybull standards. The Koether brothers weren't dissuaded and began picking up fish on dry's when the sun warmed the water. Bob nailed a nice 18" un-stocked Cutt on a Zebra dropper. Mike began picking them off on a Trude. We experimented with flies and settled on the Trude and the X Caddis, catching a few fish in every nice pool. After we worked the runs with dry's we came back with a nymph rig and picked up a couple more in each spot. Challenging fishing in a beautiful place with un-stocked fish, now that is what I call a great day!
Since we had been running full bore for 3 days, we decided we needed a relaxing day of catching big fish for the fourth day. And that is exactly what we did! We hit a private lake in Meeteetse, where the fish greeted us rising to a hatch of flying red ants. They were fairly spooky since the sun was bright and it was dead calm. Bob made some nice casts and caught 5 or 6 beautiful Cutts on a Black Beetle. Black Beetles in a red ant hatch...go figure. A slight breeze put the fish down so that is where we went...down! Mike took off in a pontoon boast and Bob and I stayed with the raft.
Mike is an experienced lake guy and it was evident. Every time we looked up Mike had another fish. At one point Mike yelled out he had a huge Rainbow. We rowed over to get a picture and when we got close enough to net the fish discovered he had 2 huge Rainbows on the line at the same time. two 20" Bows on one cast, a feat never seen before by this guide. As the afternoon progressed Bob began closing the gap. We estimated that we landed 100 pounds of trout this day. Unbelievable!
On our last day together, we opted for some more streamer fishing. The sun was out and we had big hopes. The fishing was steady and the guys made huge progress with learning the craft of Bugger Chunking. Check out the beautiful water and the the fish this river produces (at right). These two guys really know how to have fun. I can't express how much I enjoyed the 5 days with them. Next year we'll go after the big Brown's.
"Cooperating with Streamers"
Bob and Mike Koether
|September 17th, I had the opportunity to fish again with
Robin Jahnke from Sierra Trading Post. We met and fished together last
year and I had hoped to turn Robin on to some even better fishing this trip.
The folks at Sierra Trading work hard and Robin is a Big Fish kind of guy,
so we opted for a day of big fish in a relaxing setting at the foot of
Over night another front came in. When we hit the lake it looked as if we might even get a little snow. We rigged up and began deep and slow. We anchored the boat at both ends and got the flies down and retrieved with a low 3" strip. The fish took it just as it started the vertical assent 30-40 feet beneath the surface. The bite was slow but we picked up some nice Cutts every 15 to 20 minutes. these are some of the best Yellowstone Cutts I have seen. The weather started to clear, the wind died and we noticed some fish that appeared o be taking flies just under the surface. At this point we began to troll a couple of big nymphs. The hits were much more aggressive. When the feeding activity slowed we broke from lunch and relaxed while we watched the sun pass through the clouds on the mountain . The feeding began again just as we finished lunch and out we went.
On the first pass Robin hooked something "with some serious weight." When we finally brought the fish to the surface it was a huge male Rainbow measuring about 25 inches. It was a WOW fish!
In summary the bite came and went. We think we caught about 20 fish with the smallest fish measuring about 18" and the largest 25". The fishing was great, the conversation was awesome, the surroundings beautiful, and the trout were nice. And once again, "WOW, what a huge Rainbow!"
Fall Brown's are on the way. The fish are already starting to stage in the lakes. The river flows are coming down. The trout are beginning to gorge themselves for the winter. Don't miss some of the best fishing for the biggest fish of the season. And the best part is, you are the only one on the water most days!
Johnny Stafford, from Cody
The phone rings, I pick it up to hear a slow, relaxed voice say, "Hi, Dawn, this is Johnny Stafford from Cody." For 5 years now it is always the same greeting, like I might have forgotten who he is or where he is from. How can one forget the calming voice of this master fisherman!
Johnny and Scott met while fishing the rivers of Cody Wyoming. From Scott's perspective, Johnny is the premier fisherman. It is a spiritual experience to fish with Johnny. His focus isn't on the numbers and the size of the fish as much as it is experiencing the day and the thrill of the catch. As long as you are on the river it is a masterful day!
Now one may wonder why I, Scott's wife, is writing this piece rather than Scott . There is a simple explanation. Scott asked that we profile Johnny this time and handed me the diagram below. Scott said, "this is what I want to say about Johnny. Translation: Johnny has taught Scott that fishing comes from the heart rather than the hand.
Dawn & Scott
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