Sunday, October 29, 2006

Madison Ho! Day Two

Madison River in the Park

Karl is always the first one awake, he gets the fire going. Ken is the java man, I don't get up until he does. An hour later the rest of us are awake and hungry for breakfast.
Soon enough I've got food on the griddle. Bacon, eggs, Kraft singles, buns, catsup and Tobasco. Yup we're having WT's Infamous Breakfast Sandwiches. Everyone thanks me for cooking. "How were they?" I ask. "Good enough," and "It'll make a turd" are the answers I get. Those guys love it when I cook.
Ken and Karl went to their favorite riffle down by Riverside Drive. Karl caught a few nice fish. Ken got himself the "fattest brown ever." After that they drove up the Firehole and picked off risers the rest of the day. "Caddis when the sun's out, baetis when it's cloudy," Karl later reported.
Chet, Sven and I started out in a run below Riverside Drive. Chet caught a 14 inch brown, not bad for his first fish in the Park. Sven landed a few "decent" browns. I landed one "decent" brown. Can't speak for Sven but for me "decent" translates to "not nearly as big as I'd hoped for but better than a whitey."
After lunch (beer and peanuts) we three drove down to the Geezer Hole near the park boundary. Sven elected to go upstream, Chet and I walked downstream.
I swung through a few runs without touching a single fish. Chet had missed a big one and was still shaking his head about it. Then he told me that was going to head back. "Good idea," I said, "see you back at camp."
As soon as he was out of sight I began to fish his water. I worked my way down the pool never wading in deeper than my ankles. I cast my big streamer out to the main toungue of current and let it swing back across the gravel bar I was standing on. I took two big fish before I had to walk back to the truck. One rainbow and one a brown both of them well fed and measuring about 18 inches. The rainbow took the fly when I was stripping it in. The brown took the fly on the swing. Using the Scientific Method I extrapolated that sometimes I should strip the fly and other times I should just let it swing. Brilliant eh?
On the way out I walked by the Barns Hole where who else but 'ol Sven is in the buffet line with a couple other geezers.
"How's it going out there?" I ask him.
"Good! I'm swinging soft hackles. Picked up three or four browns."
"Any size to 'em?" I ask.
"They were decent."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trout Underground is on the take!

Hosting fees, time, coffee, food and shelter shouldn't detract the ardent blogger from his craft. I like to think that good blogs like TUG are impervious to the financial demands of the real world.
For better or worse nobody cares what I think. I guess that's why Tom had to do it, he just couln't hack it in my imaginary world. That and the swag, he probably gets lots of swag from those guys.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Are the Bikini Wars over?!

The end of the war? Moldy Chum may have just delivered the final salvo.

Madison Ho!

Sparse Muddler Minnow

October 2, 2006
The Corps now stands with six men; Thee Sven, Ken, Karl, Chet, Ray and myself. That translates to 4 rigs, six tents, 22 rods, two messes (with 5 gal propane, one stove, one grill and various sundries per mess), 5 coolers of food and basic provisions, 4 big bottles of brownsauce, 1 bottle of greensauce, 108 beers, 1 chainsaw and a trailer full of fire wood. Readiness is our watch word, mobility our motto we are six men on a fishin' mission.
We laager among the trees at Madison Junction. Our tents are pitched and a tarp strung over the mess area. The tarp is a thing of beauty. It covers the entire cooking area and enough ground for the six of us to wait out a storm under cover.
The business at hand is fishin so we each string our rods and walk down to differnt sections of the camp water. I have a hope for rising fish so I take the 4wt. The risers are small so I tie on a yellow soft hackle and commence to swinging. I works an entire run and have nothing to show for it. I walk up to a different run, Ken had already fished it but he's back in camp so the water is vacant. Sven and I are the only ones on the river as the rain starts to fall.
I opt for a streamer. I'm still casting the light rod so I tie on a sparsely tied, unweighted muddler. My cast is down and across . At the end of each swing the fly hangs for a moment before I strip it in and cast again. Step, cast, swing, hang, strip, that's how it goes.
The fish takes on the strip. The rod bends fully. This 'bow is strong and bright, up from the lake. He jumps and runs, my reel sings as the fly is taken downstream. I bring him back and recover some line. I've got him good now and call out "Woot Woot!" the tradtional cry for "fish on" in our troupe. Its raining now so they don't hear my signal back in camp. This fish wants an audience and senses that he doesn't have one so he spits the hook. I cuss and I slap my rod down on the water, "Shit! Fuck! IhadhimIhadhimIhadhim!"
Back in camp I ask the boys if they had any better luck. Karl landed a couple little guys, Ken and Sven each had a couple of bumps. I tell them all about my leviathin. Every detail, the play by play. At the end of my story I look up from my hands that are spread apart at least twenty four inches. They're unimpressed, my mates seem indifferent, "Aye Wally thats a lot of story for a small whitefish. We're after trout boyo!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Technical Difficulty

So I switched over to new and improved version of Blogger, "Blogger beta." Turns out that the "beta" gimmick is all about Google consolidating their internet empire and not a lot about making Blogger any better. During the transfer most of the links on the sidebar were lost. I'll get those links back up there and maybe even post some new stuff in the next couple of days.
Thanks for your patience,

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sun and Moon On Yellowstone Lake

Sunset Over Yellowstone Lake

Moon Over Yellowstone

Every fisherman knows the importance of spousal maintenance so I took a few days off from fishing and toured the region with The Wife. Mrs. Flytimes flew into Billings Thursday afternoon. We spent one night in Red Lodge, one night at the Lake Hotel on Yellowstone Lake and one night in Cody, WY.
Sunday afternoon I dropped her off at the airport and drove over the Beartooth Pass for the third time in three days. Back in camp Karl had a steelhead cooking over the fire, Ken had a tent set up for me and good 'ol Sven had just mixed up a Manhattan with my name on it.

Shoshone River

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dozens of Trouts

Lamar River Valley Above Soda Butte Creek

At noon Thee Sven and I stood at the parking lot end of the 3.3 mile trail into Cache creek. Not exactly an alpine start so we had to go fast and light; rod, reel, small box with assortment of dries, tippet, coat, boots, waders, one water bottle and a chocolate bar.
Half way into the hike we started up the only hill on the trail. It didn't appear to be much of a grade so I kept the pace up as if we were still on flat ground. Seven false summits later it became apparent that I should slow down a little, save some for the hike out. 'ol Sven caught up with me just before the top. From there it was a short downhill to the creek where we dropped our rucks had quick snack and strung up our rods.
Sven got into fish right away. He was using a parachute hopper so I tied on my Jimmy Legs Hopper. When those cutts get selective you better have something, anything, big and hairy on the end of your line.
A couple of hours later there was an actual hatch, complete with big mayflies and rising fish. I always get into the spirit of things like this. I tied on the one fly that loosely resembles a mayfly yet maintains the strict "big and hairy" protocol one tries to follow in cutthroat country, the Parachute Hare's Ear.
I caught my two biggest fish of the day on that parachute, 14 and 15 inches, both Yellowstone Cutts. I landed a few rainbows too but most of the dozens of fish that Sven and I caught were cutts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Six minutes, twelve and two tenths seconds! That's the time Thee Trouthole and I put up when we broke the tent raising world record for two six man tents. Strong work if I've ever seen it.

Money Creek

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lower Meadows

Slough Creek

The sign at the turnoff told us that the campground was full but we drove the two extra miles to check for ourselves, had too.
Yup full. Plan B, head out the NE Entrance and get a motel room. Half way there we drove past a perfectly good campground that, for some reason, the Park Service closed that very day. Brilliant.
Booked a room in Siver Gate. Down the road in Cooke City we got into our cups.
The next morning found Me and Sven canvasing the Sough Creek Campground. "Are you leaving today? No?! Okay." Repeat as necessary.
We ended up next to the site we stayed in last year, not so bad. Set up our camp in near record time. Rodded up, wadered up and surrounded by great trout water Sven and I went downstream to work the big pools.
Those trouts in Slough Creek are notoriously finicky about dry flies yet have few (if any) reservations about big streamers. "Would you like some bunny with that fly Mr. Cuttbow? Okay here you go. Nggh nghh nghhh!"

I needed that.

Soda Butte Creek

Three weeks, six streams, and several trouts later I feel, for the first time this year, like I got out there and did some fishin'.