Fall Newsletter

September 2009 - November 2009


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Be sure to check the current fishing report for frequent updates on our conditions and latest fishing excursions.

Massive crowds on the most popular hole in this stretch!

Another Fat Brown!

A Little Guy!

They Don't get Any Better!

Ugly Stockers are a Lot of Fun!

28" Rainbow to End the Day!

Getting Along

November 24th

After reading a column in last Saturday's Cody Enterprise about crowding, bad manners, and conflict between fishers of different persuasions on a popular piece of local water, I have to say, my take on the situation is very different. My friend Don Hicks and I fished the same water on Monday the 23rd and had a totally different experience.


We arrived around 9:30 and were the only people there.  We managed a couple nice browns of 20" or better in the first hour which, in my opinion, made for a fantastic day in itself. A few other anglers, an older gentleman and his wife fishing spinning tackle and a couple of duck hunters fishing flies arrived and we all had a nice conversation and were more than happy to give each other plenty of room. The older couple eagerly told us of the fantastic fishing they had experienced in this spot and we talked about tackle and technique. We found out the GAF had been stocking some massive brood fish and many people were enjoying catching these brutes. Most of these people were people who were unable to wade so had limited access or just wanted to have a little fun. I think it is great to see these people out there fishing.


Don and I decided to move to the other side of the river for a while since we had waders. Don is now 83 and still fishing strong but we have to be somewhat selective as to where we go as well. Don proceeded to catch his biggest fish of the year, a 24" brown. He was as happy with this fish as I have seen him all year.


The stocking truck arrived and dumped in about 200 big rainbows. It didn't take long for the guys on the other side to start hooking up. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. I saw no one keep any fish and as a matter of fact everyone was respectfully releasing the fish quickly and not dragging them up on shore. They had a ball! It is really a great thing for the GAF to put these big fish in an area that some not so mobile people can enjoy them.


As I fished my way down stream I did encounter a few other fly fisherman and everyone was cordial and polite. We also discussed flies and technique and went on our way. Sometimes a little socialization in fishing is not such a bad thing. If you want solitude there is about 22 miles of river less than a half mile down stream that you can have all to yourself.


The bottom line is this. You almost always make your situation what it is. Chances are if you are nice, respectful, and polite, that is what you will get in return. Yes, there are A-------, but in general most fisherman are pretty good guys and as long as you don't throw an attitude at them, you will get along fine. You might even learn a few things.

Anyway, Here's a few pictures from our day. Enjoy! There is plenty of water for everybody.

Can't Argue with a Beautiful Brown Like This!

More Crowds!

Don's Big Fish!

A Professional Looking Shot!

Pretty Wild Brown!

First fish!

Good rainbow!

Pretty Brown!

Big gapping Maw!



November 4th

I called my buddy Mark Sweat and let him know the bigger fish were biting. Mark has only been fly fishing since last November and had come out with his son Alex in June to learn some things. Unfortunately Alex couldn't make this trip because of school. Luckily Mark works for himself and is flexible enough to come fish on a moments notice. That's having your priorities in the right place!

We left town before sun up and headed to the river. I wanted to try a spot on the way to see if there were any fish around and also give Mark a chance to shake things out and get dialed in for the day. It was cold, windy and rough terrain. Mark cast for about 20 minutes and there was the first fish of the day. A fat 3 lb brown!

Now Mark was loosened up and ready to fish so we headed to another section of water to see if we could find a few more. The weather cleared off nicely. It started pretty slow. Mark picked up an ugly 5lb stocker but this isn't what we were looking for. Next hole we had two good takes but we missed them, then a nice wild rainbow. Things were looking up!

We hit a big riffle and we could see where some browns had been spawning. It was really bright and sunny so we swung some flies below in the faster deeper water and picked up several more nice fish. They were quality 17" to 18" fish but still not what we were looking for. We decided to break for lunch before heading to the holy land.

The terrain was tough and it took a while for the lunch kick in and get our energy levels back to the attack mode. We dropped into a pool and began to methodically work the water over, covering each likely spot with 5 or 6 nice drifts. After a few minutes Mark hooked a beautiful 19" brown. That was a good omen. We let the spot rest for a few minutes and Mark hooked a nice 20" rainbow! The sun was dropping fast and the fish were turning on!

By this time Marks casting was looking good, he was confident, and he knew what a good drift looked like and he was making them. Guess what, he started catching fish! For the last couple hours all I did was just sit back and hold the net! This is what you like to see when people are just getting started, The light bulb came on!

Mark caught fish out of every likely spot. He got a few small ones. I think the smallest was 15"or 16" with the biggest being a long snakey brown of about 25". They were all nice fish. He ended the day with a beautiful rainbow of about 22" that jumped several times and fought like a lunatic! We made it back to the car just in time to look up and see the big dipper coming out as the sun faded away. A perfect day! Enjoy the pictures!



                     Yeah!           Fly Fishing is EASY!    Sweet Rainbow!     Big Fish of the Day!

Big ugly stocker!

Good Color!

Fish on!



October 17th

My friend Fran Lunney gave me this 9 1/2' Canadian Trademark bamboo rod for big water fishing a couple months ago. He got it from Bob Summers and Bob though it might be some kind of South Bend trade rod. The rod had good nickel silver ferrules with water stops and was in good shape except for a varnish melt down and a broken reel seat. The cork was cross cut and initially appeared to be good but later started coming apart so I added a nice half wells grip. I was able to preserve and the original writing and guide wraps under a new coat of varnish.


I took the rod for a spin today and it did great. It cast a 7wt line very nicely and was able to land big fish with no problem at all. It has a smooth medium action and mends like a dream being 9 1/2' long. I probably got 20 fish ranging from 15" to 24". It also has some pretty strong mojo! I fished dry droppers, nymph rigs and tossed some heavy streamers with no problem. Fighting the fish felt great and the tips are soft enough to handle some fairly light tippet. All in all a very useable rod. The new grip was very comfortable and I experienced no fatigue casting the big rod all day. Very fun to fish.


Here's just another example of a fairly inexpensive rod that looks great and fishes great as well. Price does not necessarily reflect fishability with bamboo. Have fun fixing them up and fishing them and then pass them down to your kids for another 50 years of enjoyment! Enjoy the pictures.



Nice clean complete rod!

Torpedo Grip!

8'6" in action!

7'6" Peerless "63"!


October 12th

I just scored a very nice Abercrombie and Fitch Firehole bamboo rod. Sweet! It is an 8' for a 5 line and is impregnated. These rods were made by Phillipson for A and F and are the same as the Peerless. They were Phillipsons last rods before the company closed in the 70's. The Firehole is said to be one of the rarest Phillipsons.

I can't say enough about the Phillipson impregnated rods as fishing tools and I think the 8' rods are the smoothest of all the impregnated tapers. They are perfect dry fly rods for most of the streams in the greater Yellowstone system. The 7'6" is a little cannon, good for smaller water but very capable of handling our Wyoming winds if necessary. The 8'6" is a real nice big fish rod but still has soft enough tips to handle 5 and 6X tippet. A great lake rod. All have a nice smooth casting taper and seem to be one of the easiest rods for graphite guys to transition to when they go to bamboo. They all handle 40' to 50' casts with ease.

The rods just look retro with the big copper nose cone and flashy spiral wraps. Some people hate them but I think they are kind of cool. Takes you back to the 60's. The impregnation makes them virtually maintenance free and indestructible. A true fisherman's rod.

Phillipson's attitude was a no nonsense approach with nothing fancy about the rods. They are casting machines made to fish. A man after my own heart. One unfortunate thing about bamboo is it has always been a rich mans rod. These rods were $75 when they came out in the 60's which was a bunch for a fishing rod but still somewhat affordable. Leonard's and Paynes at that time were $350 to $500. Phillipson wanted to put rods in the hands of real fisherman who would enjoy and appreciate them, not just a bunch of rich guys that went fishing occasionally. These rods are still very affordable today, costing much less than most high end graphites.

If you want to get into vintage bamboo at an affordable price and you do most of your fishing out west, these are the rods for you. They were made with our kind  of water in mind. They are great fishing tools and still one of the best deals in bamboo. They will only appreciate in value in the future.


Made with the Firehole in mind!

Best of the Phillipson impregnated tapers!

Dry Fly Special!

Custom Grips!



Sept 25th

Richard and Sharon Golden wanted to fish Pickett Creek for some nice wild cutts. Sharon had recently tweaked her back and considered a float through town but luckily decided to tuff it out and take the short hike instead. It was worth it! Much nicer than chunking streamers in off color water all day.

When we got to the first hole we decided to just relax and take turns with each getting a shot at a couple fish. Sharon's second and third cast nailed a couple nice cutts. Richard had about the same success. It was unbelievable! At one time there were 3 or 4 chasing Sharon's flies while she had a fish on! I think they each got 4 or 5 from the first spot!

We didn't have any holes that good for the rest of the day but we pulled at least a couple fish from every likely spot. It was great fun. As the day warmed up the fish became somewhat wary with the bright sun and crystal clear water. We had to sneak up on them. At one place Sharon spotted a fish, dropped into position, and on the first cast nailed a real nice cutt. We planned it that way! The fish began to reject our original set up and we had to get creative. We switched to a small dry mayfly emerger and up they came again. Richard got his big fish of the day on the little emerger.

We had a nice lunch (around 2 p.m.) while watching fish rise in a foam line right next to us and then caught them when we finished. Pretty good stuff! The wind came up a little in the afternoon which gave us a little cover and Richard finished off the day getting 4 or 5 more out of a nice run with the help of the 2 good fishing dogs. The dogs have been going with us almost every day and are getting pretty good at the fishing thing. I'm proud of their progress and everyone agrees they add to the experience.

I really enjoyed fishing with Richard and Sharon. They fish at the same pace as my wife and I. Taking turns on each hole and just relaxing and enjoying life. It doesn't get any better. Enjoy the pictures!




Mid Sept

September has been very busy! That is great for me and I want to thank everyone for choosing Eastgate Anglers. It has been a blast fishing with you all! I hope you all will come back and fish with me and the two fishing dogs again real soon.


Ingrid and her dad Tom wanted to start fly fishing so we took a half day to go over the basics and get them started on the right foot. It was very hot and the fishing was tough. The good thing about that was it gave us plenty on time to work on casting which is the key to having fun when you first get started. Practice, practice, practice! They both learned a lot and even caught some nice rainbows in the process. Tom is an experienced fisherman but had never fly fished so I think this opened up a whole new world of fishing for him. He took to casting quickly and I could see the wheels turning, thinking about trying to catch fish at home on a fly! It was Great fun!


Russ Skelton and Bob White Came up for a couple days of fishing. They picked a couple days in September that set records for heat and still managed to catch a bunch of nice fish! We fished a local stream in the morning and a reservoir on the way home on the first day. The fish were biting pretty darn good at both spots and they did very well as you can see by the pictures. Days two we site fished big fish on light tippet in some local lakes. This was new to both of them and seeing big fish take a fly right at your knees was a lot of fun! Later in the day we made long casts for cruising fish at Luce. It is like bone fishing and is very fun when everything comes together. Bob almost got a huge rainbow but a smaller fish grabbed the fly at the last second. The small fish was 22". We sweat like pigs but had a ball!


My good friend Randy Richardson came up and stayed with me for 3 days. He is about to under go shoulder surgery and wanted to get in some fishing before he went under the knife. It was still very hot and we expected the fishing to be slow. We hit the canyon and the water was to hot. We got a couple but for the most part the fish were shut down. Sunshine produced a couple as well but it was just to darn hot for much action. We site fished Luce and it was a little better but still very hot. Site fishing big fish on light tippet. We broke off a lot! Hogan was more forgiving and we had fun with the nice cutts. The temperature finally dropped about 30 degrees the next day and we hit Newton. The fish were adjusting to the new weather but we still managed some nice ones. I guess were just spoiled because when I look at the pictures we got a lot of nice fish. All in all we had a nice relaxing couple days. Good friends, good food, good fishing. What else is there? Enjoy the picts.


September 8th and 9th

Miles Mcfall came over from Seattle to get away from the hoards and fish in peace for a couple days in Cody. We hit Pickett Creek the first day and it was spectacular! The fish were biting from the start. We had to use a dropper in the morning but fish were coming to the surface fly about 50% of the time. We saw very few bugs hatching all day. Just a few PMD's in the afternoon. Hoppers were on the banks.

The first hole Miles picked up 4 or 5 nice fish. We new the day was going to be good. With crystal clear low water, it was a blast to see the fish come to the flies. The cutts blend in with the bottom so well that you can't see them until they move on the fly.

The fishing dogs are really starting to learn the drill. They were perfect all day and didn't kill anything. Miles got a few fish out of each hole and managed a few out of some less obvious spots just out of curiosity. It was a fun relaxing day.

The next day we did the hike into the canyon. The weather was perfect and I was expecting the fishing to be great. There were fresh golden stone shucks on the rocks and everything looked good. It was not to be.

The only thing I can figure by seeing all the footprints is that a lot of people fished the canyon on Labor day and had the fish down. We caught fish, mind you, but nothing like the canyon can be. Maybe it was just the day.

Still, it is one of the most beautiful places around and not a bad place to spend a nice day in the Wyoming wilderness. Miles landed 15 or so and all in all had a fun first experience in the canyon. When we got back to the car we had the complete package. We fished in a great place in solitude, caught some nice fish in good company, had a nice meal, and got a little exercise. A day not wasted!

Enjoy the pictures!


September 5th

A man's first fish on a fly rod is a once in a lifetime opportunity and can be a land mark in ones life. My friend Ken called and want to have this day with his son Collin. Collin is 8 and had caught some fish on conventional tackle but this would be his first experience with fly fishing.

We wanted him to have fun and not make the day a marathon of frustration, which we all know goes with the territory your first day of fly fishing. We hit a little pond to try for some rainbows on dries.

Collin got his first fish and a couple more. (I think he had more fun playing with the fishing dogs) He was very patient and I hope he will come back and fish with me some more in the future. Congratulations on your first fish on a fly and keep up the good work!

See you again soon I hope!  Scott


Tight Lines!


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