Summer Newsletter

June- August 2008

09/27/2008

 
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Summer has been tough for fishing rivers.

 {Click on pictures to enlarge!}

Spring dumped more snow and rain than we have seen for a number of years in Cody Country.  Wet conditions has made fishing rivers almost impossible.  As the wife of a fisherman the poor conditions has meant Scott has accomplished more work around the house than in years past, which isn't a bad thing.  However, when the opportunity presents itself, Eastgate Anglers is there! Enjoy the fish tales my husband, Scott, reels in. 

     
 

First clear water!

Two guys trying to figure out what is going on!

Dawn with nice cutt!

Fish, dog, clear water!

Nice cutt on bamboo!

June 16th

 

The search for clear water is on and tough I might add. The local stillwaters are fishing good on most days but the sound of running water is now what we all crave. With the cooler evening temps we headed to the higher mountain streams and found some gin clear water! The wild flowers have just begun their emergence and the weather was perfect.

We hit the stream with high expectations and after many fruitless casts, nothing!  Not a nibble, look, touch, or even a snag on the bottom! I saw one small brookie hiding behind a clump of brush but even he was spooky. Oh well, still a beautiful day in some of the most beautiful country in the lower 48!

My good friend Fred Thranhardt came for a visit on the 15th. He had been showing relatives from Europe around and was in the need of some R and R himself. My wife Dawn and I had some recon to do for an upcoming trip so we invited him along. No promises!

When we got to the river it was apparent we had hit the jack pot! The water was high but clear and the first cast produced a nice fish! Again the weather was perfect and we proceeded to have the best day of river fishing since April when they raised the water for irrigation!

Every run held large #'s of hungry fish and we had the secret fly! The surroundings are unbelievable up here. Moose and elk everywhere! We never saw another foot print all day!

Fred started his fishing season off with a bang. Once he settled down and got over the initial excitement of seeing so many willing fish, he hammered them. The fish aren't big here but the tight spaces and surrounding willows mean you have to pay attention to your casting. We would say this is the short game in golf. Short accurate casting is the name of the game! Needless to say, many flies were lost!

Luckily, we had plenty and also had the best day of fishing so far this summer! I can't say we will find clear water every day from now on or even fish for that matter but you can be assured we will be out there hard at it! Sometimes you just get lucky!

I also checked some of our other private lakes and they are still not ready to fish. The water is still to cold and the fish are lethargic. Everything is way behind schedule this year. I posted a couple pictures anyway that give you an idea of things to come!                                                                          

 

Having a good day!

Spring fun!

Fish are looking good!

Fred with a nice fish!

Fly fishing is easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 18th

Vaughn and Matt Allen fished on the 17th and 18th of June. Vaughn is in charge of putting up the steel on the new hospital in Cody so will be in and out of town for a couple of months. His son Matt came out to spend a couple days fishing with his dad.

Matt is an experienced fly fisherman. He used to guide on the Little Red River where the world record brown trout was caught. He is an excellent caster and fisherman. Vaughn is just starting to fly fish but he is a "fishy kind of guy" meaning he has fished with conventional tackle all his life and he catches fish no matter what!.

I had found a river to fish but the flows really came up with the hot weather so I decided to play it safe and fish some lakes on the first day. We took Vaughn to a private pond to get warmed up. Heads were everywhere when we arrived! The fish were on midges and callibaetis spinners and were not pushovers by any means. A good cast and the proper retrieve got a bite. It wasn't long before both guys were catching plenty of the 17" to 18" rainbows.

Next we headed to Luce and Hogan. It was bright and sunny so while I set up lunch the guys hit the deep hole by the drain. We saw fish but they were going to take some thought so we ate a nice lunch in the shade while we came up with a plan of attack.

After several fly changes and after trying many different retrieves we hit the nail on the head and started catching fish! The cutts were fat and beautiful! Both guys caught several fish before we went over to Luce to play with the big boys.

Matt immediately saw some cruisers. Vaughn and I walked the bank putting different flies in front of a couple of fish until we got the desired reaction. Damsel nymphs! Matt broke one off. The Vaughn broke off a huge rainbow that came out of the water 100 ft down from us with his flies still in his mouth!  Then Matt hooked a pig on the edge and almost had him and the hook pulled out.

Finally Matt landed a real nice fish. It wasn't as big as the ones that got away but just a beautiful rainbow! We broke off a couple more. All in all a great 1st day effort!

Day 2 was not as exciting. We brought Wayne with us today and it was his very first day of fly fishing. We decided to try the river even with the high flows. The Mountain was beautiful, still 6 ft of snow in places, and we saw 5 moose in less than 1 hr. When we arrived it was high and off color so we decided to bite the bullet and head back for Cody.

Newton was closest but it was already after 12:00 and bright and sunny. The fish were very spooky. Wayne landed one beautiful brown as did Matt.  Vaughn managed a nice rainbow and a smaller brown. Very respectable considering the conditions. We ate lunch and headed back to Luce and Hogan.

The fishing was just slow. We caught several  (4 or 5 ) nice cutts in Hogan and went back to Luce. We just didn't get near the opportunities we had the day before. We only saw a couple fish and Matt hooked one screamer which broke him off and that was it. Those guys all worked very hard under adverse conditions all day. What more can a guide ask for. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.

We all had fun anyway and I'm sure these guys will return to fish the Cody waters again soon. They were great guys and a pleasure to fish with!  Thanks for a fun 2 days.

Bear track at Luce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Fountain Flats

Dawn above the dead buffalo

Rainbow on bamboo

June 22nd

My wife Dawn and I fished the Firehole on June 22nd. The water was still high but fishable. It really needs to be at 150 to 175 cfs below Old Faithful before the fishing is what we like. It was at 230cfs. It was a sunny day and there were no consistent risers on the 2 spots we fished. All fish were caught subsurface.

Hatches were very sparse. BWO's and PMD's would occasionally bring a fish up but not enough to get a good shot at them. Black caddis and the larger #12 beige caddis were seen in the bushes and laying eggs in the evening. Swinging a soft hackle was the ticket as usual.

There is a dead buffalo in the river just above fountain flats. There is also one in the trees that has been consumed by a bear so be careful in that area!

The season in Yellowstone is really just beginning. I know some people have had good days on occasion, but the water is still very high just about everywhere. Be patient. It looks very good for in a week or 2.

Here's some pictures from our day! I am currently fixing an old Phillipson Firehole  8' for a #5 to take back and enjoy the dry fly in a couple of weeks! Can't wait to take that rod home!

                      Here comes spring down in the valley!

Strange plant growing by hot spring

Nice little brown

Wild flowers on the North Fork

First fish!

 

Nice rainbow!

 

Fat brown!

 

Another fat brown!

 

Sucker got suckered!

 

22" brown!

 

Porker brown!

July 2, 2008

Christmas and I decided to play hooky from painting the house today July 2nd. Painting is not one of my favorite things so it didn't take much to lead me astray. It turned out to be even a better idea than we expected! I called several friends but everyone was busy getting ready for the 4th of July so we had the day to ourselves, which isn't a bad thing.

I was looking forward to some challenging fishing due to a bright sunny day but it was not to be. There was a huge TRICO spinner fall on the Bighorn river in Thermopolis at 8 a.m. and the fish were slurping them down. There were rises all over the place! We watched them from the Buffalo creek bridge for a while but when we hit the put in there where 4 boats floating and we decide that was 4 to many for us and we headed up into the Canyon. We had the entire river to ourselves!

I wanted to see just how big a sow bug the fish would be willing to eat so I had tied up some #8's the night before. I set up a nymph rig with a copper john and the #8 and let her rip! About 2 casts later I was into a 20" brown! I began working up the run and low and behold the fish seemed to love the big sow bug even better than the original!  4 nice trout between 17" and 20" and a couple LDR's in less than an hour.

There were some caddis in the bushes along with a few yellow sallies and I noticed that the fish were up higher in the runs than they were last Saturday. An emerging insect had pulled them into the riffels. The rainbows were really moving and I picked up 4 or 5 more nice fish on the other side of the river at the tops of the holes. A nice sucker even sucked up that mongo sow bug!

The day couldn't have been any better! Nice weather, no other people, and large hungry fish behind every rock. These fish are hot! I had one rainbow jump 9 times and I was into my backing several times during the day as well. I had at least as many LDR's as fish landed over the course of the day! I just couldn't stop them if they got into the current and the hook would pull out.

I moved to the next hole at 11:30 and the browns really started biting! I couldn't believe the browns feeding that hard in bright sun! Very unusual for the Canyon. These fish are usually very wary and can spook at the slightest movement but not today. All I can say is that on July 2nd, Fly Fishing is EASY in the Canyon! I fished some fast deep runs in the middle of the day and every likely looking spot held fish!

 I dropped into one of my favorite places after lunch and was immediately into some real nice fish! I lost a couple of hum dingers in this hole and landed a couple as well. As I made my way up stream I began to see some risers and some fish feeding just below the surface. The risers would come up and take a Turks and by adjusting the weight on some soft hackles I was able to sight fish the rest of the fish I could see. Every one ate the fly. Some were landed, some not.

I found a 22" brown casually sipping spent bugs in an eddy. The fish was cruising the eddy moving maybe 15' or so. I waited till he had his back to me and slipped into position. I dropped a 35' cast just up stream and he went right over and took the fly! I decided to end the outing on that note. A perfect  end to a perfect day!

This was the absolute best day of fishing I have ever had in the Canyon. I hate to say how many but it was a bunch. I had a lot more pictures but you get the idea!  22 miles of big fish water and not another soul on the water! My own private Idaho!  Enjoy the pictures!

Nice spots!

 

What's that in his mouth?

 

 

Can't get my hand around them!

 

 

That darn sow bug!

 

Tricos in the morning

That darn sow bug!

 

Fat cutthroat!

 

Nice old brown!

 

21" brown

 

Protein!

 

Fish on!

Big brown on!

Big Brown!

Couple of moose!

Nice cutt!

Fly Fishing is easy!

Perfect creek for bamboo!

 

July 5th and 6th

 

My wife, Dawn, and I decided to take a road trip and camp in our Honda Element (van) down by the river. We headed over to Thermopolis to try for some big fish in the Bighorn.

The river through town was a ZOO! The fish were eating Tricos and are very selective and spooky. No less than 15 boats and many tubers were floating through the middle of these wary fish flailing away with reckless abandon.

Dawn and I headed into the Wind River Canyon. There are usually less people there because a special permit which cost $25 per day. As expected there wasn't another person fishing the entire length on the drive up. The weather was very hot (100 degrees). The first run was slower than it had been a couple days ago. We saw a 22" Cutt sipping something in an eddy. Dawn made a nice cast, gave the fly a twitch and fish on! After a lengthy battle, the fish came off out in some fast current. I did manage one more Cutt on a Turks but that was it for that run.

The next hole was much more productive. The fast deep water gives those fish cover, cooler water, and more oxygen. Dawn hooked a small rainbow right off. Then a bigger rainbow that got in the current and came off. I explained that you have to go down stream with them if they get into the current and next fish it paid off.

It was a big brown. We both saw the big gold flash!  It held for a minute, shaking its head and then took off down stream. Trying to run down rip rap, stripping and reeling, and at the same time not killing yourself is hard! The fish took Dawn maybe 150 yds down before we finally got it over and landed it. Her biggest Wind river brown ever! I'd say around 5 lbs! Great Job!

We picked up several more nice ones and I had one take me a couple hundred yds down stream before it finally came off. It was a typical big fish day. Not a lot of fish, hard work, but the pay off was worth it!

We drove over to the North Tongue for some small stream action that afternoon. We woke up Sunday morning and after a nice breakfast headed to the water. The wild flowers have not quite peaked but they are spectacular! There were a couple moose eating their breakfast by the water when we arrived.

The water is still very high but clear and the fish are eager!  They have just finished spawning and are feeding like crazy. We walked in a mile or so and started fishing. No people and some of the prettiest country around!

We stayed sub-surface all day. I saw some midges and just a few PMD's but very few risers. We had no problem catching fish with nymphs!. It was all sight fishing without an indicator. If you spotted a fish, put your fly in front of it without it seeing you, Fish On!

We had 2 great days of quality time together catching fish and enjoying the great state we live in. It doesn't get any better than this! Congratulations to my wife on her big fish! Enjoy the pictures of the trip!

Nice cutt on a Turks!

Nice brown!

Nice rainbow!

These are some beautiful fish!

Wild Flowers!

Fat healthy fish!

Doesn't get any prettier!

Buffalo in Lamar valley!

Eyes were bigger than his mouth!

Sow bug!

Chips cutt!

Fire starting!

Pretty river!

July 30th

Chip Clouse and I took a road trip to Lamar valley on the 30th. The valley is in prime shape right now. There was a steady 20mph wind which kept the bugs down. I hadn't fished Soda Butte in a couple years so I was really looking forward to it. I also had a Phillipson Peerless "5" that I had restored and was dying to fish. This rod was also known as the Firehole Special so it was like taking it home after 60 years. What an honor!

 

We began fishing, catching fish on a variety of flies. They seemed to be on caddis to me. Splashy rises on moving subsurface dries. With no hatch and the wind, the fish were not on fire and the majority of the fish we saw were 12" or less. Maybe the bigger fish were hiding under the banks or still spawning somewhere (I hope).

 

The Phillipson was great!  I cast everything from dries to buggers in a very stiff wind and it was a lot of fun. Bill Phillipson designed these rods for fishing western waters and 60years later they still do the job wonderfully.

 

Chip and I decided to try the Yellowstone. When we got there we noticed a small plume of smoke and in a matter of minutes a fire was coming down the river! Rangers were evacuating everyone. The golden stones were hatching as were the sallies, caddis and several types of mayflies. Hoppers were everywhere! Reluctantly, we went down stream to a spot and in about 10 minutes I landed 4 nice cutts! Again a ranger came and told us we had to move so we went down to just above Hadden valley and dropped in again. We managed several more beautiful Yellowstone cutts and called it a day.

 

The road to Cody was closed so we had to drive an extra 100 miles to get out of the park but it was well worth it. I was very pleased to be able to get a few nice fish on one of the most beautiful trout streams in the world! 

 

I hope they get the fire out quickly. They had planes on it in less than an hour but it was really moving. There is also a fire behind the Abasorka Lodge on the North Fork that had the entire valley full of smoke last night. It was a long day but we had fun. Enjoy the pictures!

                                                                                                                   

 

Soda Butte cutthroat!

Wolf track!

Cutt with fire!

Big cutt!

Beautiful Yellowstone cutty!

Nice fish!

Scott just lost one "this big!"

Bill doing some bugger chunking!

Rea was killing them!

Another nice one!

Real big cutt!

Jenns first fish on the Greybull!

Alex got a big laker!

August 15th

I am behind with my trip reports due to the fact that I have been fishing like a man possessed! All the places we have been have been producing great results. This report will be a collage of recent trips.

Scott Cook and his Father-in law Bill floated the North Fork during the Fire. The fishing was good after we went to the secret weapon. We saw smoke and flames all day but the rain shortly after helped to slow the fire a bit. P.S. They caught a lot of fish.

Mike and Rea Fuerth floated the lower North Fork and did very well. Again the secret fly was the ticket! The river was still a bit high and a lot of the holes not quite defined yet. When we did find a good spot, Fly Fishing Was EASY! And they caught a lot of fish!

Matt and Jenn Thompson  floated the lower North Fork and fished the Greybull. Jenn only gets to fish about once a year so she really took advantage of the days by catching a lot of fish! Matt did well also and we just had a blast everywhere we went. P.S.  Lots of fish!

Alex Aguirre sent me some picture of a trip he and his dad Anthony took on the North Fork. Alex has been a self sufficient fly fisherman for a couple of years now. He does all his own rigging and ties all his own flies. He may put me out of business in a year or so when he starts his own guiding business! Again, Lots of fish!

Here are some assorted pictures from these trips and I will try to do better if and when things slow down a bit.  Hope you enjoy them!

            

                                                                                                                 

             

 

             

Fish on!

Sweet old fiberglass rod!

Secret Fly does it again!

Big Cuttbow!

Matt does it again!

Greybull is fishing good!

Fly Fishing is E...!

Roderick meets Canyon!

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Stone shucks!

 

August 26th

The flows are finally down in the Clarks Fork canyon!  The mosquitoes are down to a reasonable level! The fish are up on Green Drakes! What more can we ask for!

There were quite a few trees down from a recent wind storm but that is no deterrent when the drakes are coming off in the canyon. The fishing started off a little slow with an incoming front. A few drakes were still bringing the larger fish to the surface. Man, this is a beautiful place! Not a sound other than a few Clarks nutcrackers and some squirrels that were voicing some disapproval at an intrusion.

The first thing I notice is that there are golden stone shucks everywhere and a few bugs flying so I start there. The fish come and take a look and some even take the big dry but not with the normal carelessness that goes along with a stone hatch.

Then I see a Green Drake hatch out of a shallow riffel and a good size fish takes it immediately! I switch to a big sparkle dun and the fish take with much more enthusiasum.

The fish were all up out of the more obvious deeper pools in very shallow water on the edges and in the riffeles.

The fishing actually slowed a bit and a small front brought some wind and 45 minutes of very cool rain. I took cover and ate my bag of tuna and crackers. The squirrels were making some racket in the trees so I ate with my back to the river to keep an eye out for our brethren of the forest. I didn't see any and there were only some older track but they were mountain lion and a sow black bear with a cub. Glad I brought my rain gear!

After the rain the BWO's came off heavily for about an hour. I never changed flies and man was the bite on! Almost every cast produced a fish at the tops of the runs and all the way up the edges! Lots of dragon flies picking off the little bugs over head during the hatch!

The BWO's quit coming and then the Big mayflies started! Just about a dozen a minute but the fish new the drill and I got some real nice ones. It was a blast!

 I took my old Phillipson down and it was the perfect rod for the river. Very accurate at all distances and when you felt like booming one across to the edge on the other side, no problem! That guy must have been a fisherman to design such a great taper. These rods are still one of the best deals on a vintage fishing rod out there!

When the sun left the water about 4:30 the fishing slowed and I made the steep hike out with a big smile. I Love this canyon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
     
                                                                                                    
 

Tight Lines!

 
     

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