Spring Newsletter  May 2005 Update

 

 

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The Adventures of May Fishing    

Current Fishing Report at bottom of this page

May in Wyoming is a time for intense and sudden weather changes.  One day it may be 70 degree’s and the next day 30 with blowing snow.  My wife and I have come to expect these changes but it makes for interesting fishing adventures! 

Keith and Randy Richardson and Eldon Hongo have a annual trip scheduled in mid-May and, as my wife says, we should mark snow on the calendar for those days.  This year there trip proved to be more extreme than usual!

Planning their annual trip was difficult as the rivers were muddy with early run off.  I decided to head to some private lakes in Meeteetse.  However, on day one of their trip It was spitting snail (snow mixed with hail) as we left Cody, but the roads were clear and my comrades were demonstrating an “adventurous” spirit.   As we started up the Meeteetse bench the snow got deeper and by the time we hit the top of the bench the snow was 8 inches deep and rising!  The wind was blowing the snow side ways.  The situation gave me pause.  My wife was amazed that I had the good sense not to start down the dirt road which led to our destination.  I guess I am getting old.  The Richardson group agreed, so we turned around and headed back to Cody.

On the way back we dropped the truck into 4-wheel drive as the slush began to freeze on the road.  We made back to Cody safely and decided to try our luck at Newton Lake.  Newton is close enough to town that we could walk back if the weather got worse (I’m not that old after all!). 

 The wind was howling and blowing hail into our eyes as we looked for fish in the surf.  Randy began picking up fish on a bugger as we made our way to the “sheltered” side of the lake.  As the wind began to slow down Keith caught fish on a purple San Juan worm.  Things were looking up!

On this, the “sheltered” side of the lake, the callibaetis started coming off resulting in some dry fly action.  Keith, Randy and Eldon began catching fish on a 16 CDC Sparkle Dun.  Big heads gulping drys!  We ate a late lunch which revived us enough to continue our adventure till 7:00 pm.  By days end Keith had his biggest day ever on Newton Lake. 

Randy Richardson

Eldon Hongo

Keith Richardson

Day 2 the weather was more cooperative. It was still cold but there was less wind and snow. For us, the “Extreme Team,” it was like a spring day. Newton was our only option so we let it warm a bit before starting to fish around 10:00 am. The fish were up on drys immediately. Eldon began scoring right off the bat, as did Keith. The fish were midging and were much tougher to catch. We picked up a few here and there but you really had to work for them. The highlight of the day was Eldon stalking the Browns with a small dry. He hunted for over an hour and finally nailed the 22 inch Brown shown at left on a 22 dry! This doesn’t’ happen every day! What a beautiful fish.

Day 3 was a totally different story.  There was no wind and it was sunny, so we headed back to Meeteetse.  The roads were muddy but passable.  As soon as we got the lines wet we began catching fish- I mean really catching!   The waters are clear on this lake so you can see all the action.  The Cutthroats were pre-spawn and stacked, so the guys had fun watching them chase big woolly buggers in the shallows.  At one point we even had a triple. 

We eventually got in the boats and found that the bright sun had put the fish down deep.  We located fish in two main areas and picked up enough to keep us interested.  We soon realized the fish did not like the sun.  Even a good callibaetis hatch wouldn’t bring them up.  Randy finally broke the code with a soft Hackle Sow on the back of a Bugger with a slow six inch strip.  He landed the nice rainbow pictured at right. 

After a killer lunch the clouds came in and the fish began to rise.  It appeared to be caddis as the rises were very splashy.  We fiddled around and picked up a few on the this and that and finally noticed hundreds of callibaetis nymphs swimming in the shallows.  The inlet flow was blowing them into the lake and every time the clouds covered the sun the fish began to rise.  We put on a Bead Head Pheasant Tail and the fishing was on!  Keith and Eldon “killed’em!”   Now that is the way to end a trip. 

Keith, Randy and Eldon had three days with a full range of weather and emotion.  Hats off to the Richardson “Extreme Fishing Team!”

Keith Richardson

Eldon Hongo

Randy Richardson

 

Sue Owen with Mike

Sue Souch with Fat Rainbow

Sue Owen

 

A friend of mine who is also a local independent guide called to request I take a couple of his clients on the Meeteetse private waters.  That is how the Two Sue's adventure got started. 

Sue Owen and Sue Souch are from the United Kingdom.  They come to Wyoming to fish with Mike Mufich every year.  So we loaded them up to assure they have a good trip even though the rivers were blown out. 

After 4 days of extremely challenging fishing conditions a clear lake with big fish and beautiful scenery was exactly what they needed.  We began by fishing from the bank teaching them the chunk and duck technique.     They enjoyed watching the big Cutts and Rainbows chasing the big streamers and mastered the technique quickly as you can see from the pictures at left.

We proceeded into the lake fishing heavy sinking lines as the sun was bright and the fish deep.  the middle of the day was tough, but they still managed to catch fish here and there.

After a nice relaxing lunch, we hit the lake again.  Clouds began to form and the fish began to bite.  Sue Souch hooked into this beautiful Rainbow you see at left.  None of us had ever seen a fish this fat!  Sue Owen hooked what we thought was the big fish of the day.  After a 10 minute battle and having played the fish perfectly, the big one got away.  We never had the opportunity to actually see it.  That's fishing!

Both ladies did a great job of fishing and we had a wonderful day.  Thanks for a great day.

 

Sue Owen with Scott

Sue Souch

Two Sue's at Lunch

Sue Owen

 

 

 

Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to fish myself.  Jeremiah who now works in Cheyenne came up for the weekend, as did Keith and Randy Richardson.  You might be surprised to here this but we decided to take a fishing holiday.

                                     

Specializing in “out of the box thinking,” our holiday crew headed for Lamar Valley instead of the warm waters of the Firehole on opening day.  It turned out to be a good decision as we were the only people fishing Soda Butte.   As a matter of fact there were no other human tracks in the sand!  Lamar Valley was absolutely beautiful.  Plenty of moisture had the valley as green as I have ever seen it for this time of year.  Elk and Buffalo were everywhere. 

The water was high and off color as we had hoped.  We started throwing brown Buggers and I immediately hooked a fish from the side of the road.  This, however, was not an omen.  The water was still very cold and the fish weren’t quite as active as they will be in a couple of weeks.  We headed up stream fishing slowly and as the temp rose we began to pick up fish.  They were hiding in the calmer deeper areas right on the bottom.  The Cutts were unmarked and beautiful (12” to 18”). 

 

 

The fishing wasn’t the only treat of the day, however.  We saw eagles, osprey and even an elk calf.  Please look at the pictures from this miraculous day.  The pictures can’t do justice to the beauty of this place, but you can get the feel of its splendor. 

Everyone caught fish.  My friend Jeremiah caught the first fish of the year on a dry, a Royal Trude.  It was an excellent day with good friends.  For Memorial Day Jeremiah and I will try the Firehole.

 

Current Fishing Report (May 29, 2005):

After the snows and then rain in Cody the rivers were blown out!  Waters on the North Fork of the Shoshone, the Clarks Fork rose to over 6000 CFS during the week of May 22nd.  The Greybull hit 1300 CFS on Friday (May 27th).  Everything is slowly receding, however, which will make for some good fishing around the Middle of June.  Newton Lake and Splake Lake are the highlights at this time.  Fishing with Scuds, Midges and Damsels with a sporadic Callibaetis hatch are selected flys for the moment.  Luce Lake is still high but fish are being caught on the edges with these same flys. There are also some fish rising to beetles and ants.  Remember that bright days make the fish wary. 

The canyon is starting to go off color due to run off in the lake, but fish are being caught on Buggers, Bead Heads with some Baetis activity on top.  Look for the golden stones to start soon.  The fish are starting to spawn so be kind to the reds.   Our private lakes are in great shape as you can tell from the story above.  We are catching some beautiful Cutts and Bows. 

Memorial Day is upon us so look for us in the Park at the Fire Hole, Madison, Sough Creek and Soda Butte; also the Greyling at Grebe Lake.  Looks like an early run off so get set for some great fishing on the Clarks Fork during the Salmon Fly Hatch.  Hope I can get my house painted before the really good fishing gets here!  Wish me luck.

 

The 2005 summer season looks promising.

Come and enjoy some of this great fishing!

 
Fisherman's Profile: Jeremiah Mackmiller

 

Jeremiah has been like a brother to me since we moved to Cody six years ago.  He has taught me more about casting mechanics than anyone in my life.  He one of the prettiest casts I have ever seen.  He was instrumental in getting this business started, encouraging me to go for it and referring folks to me all along the way.

Before he got out of college and had to get a real job, we spent months on end trout bumming around western Wyoming.  Time was never an issue and in most cases we didn't even think about food- especially if the fish were biting.   But he and his trout bum buddies, who are all 20 years younger than me, helped my mind as well as my body to stay young.  We have ventured into countless out of the way places in pursuit of fish; many of which required extreme physical exertion.

Jeremiah works in Cheyenne and lives with his wife, Darci, in Colorado so we don't have the opportunities to fish together as often.  However, the time we do have together is spent in serious pursuit of the cunning and baffling trout .

Thanks "J" for your friendship.

 

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