Tick Toc, The Times They Are A’ Changing

Mr. Dylan was right, the time are changing if we are talking about the local fishing conditions. Actually, they should have already changed about two weeks ago and we should currently be in the mist of run off. But it’s been chilly and wet, like really chilly and very wet and the hell of it is, no one is complaining. As of the 24th of May, the leaves on our trees and bushes have still not popped ….. not sure I’ve every seen leaf flush so late ….. but no one is complaining. In fact, our local farmers and ranchers are damn near giddy with delight and this Memorial Day weekend promises more chilly and wet. Bring it! After last year’s summer from hell, no one is complaining.

So given the lack of run off, we’ve definitely been fishing and generally speaking, it’s been pretty good. It has ben mostly a Mother’s Day caddis thing since the early part of the month. Some days have been outstanding and other days have been good and one day was ….. well just put it this way, it was a nice day for a float. Bugs everywhere on the Stillwater but the fish were flipping us the middle fin. Actually, in thinking about it, I figure that the fish eat like crazy for the first two or three days, and then, they’re just too full to eat anything else until they digest that which they have eaten. At least that my story…. saw it on both the Stillwater and Rock Creek. But the time have changed. There are not currently as many caddis as there previously were ….. just enough to feed the fish, but not so many that they gorge themselves.

The rainbows, browns, and occasional whitefish have absolutely be stuffed with food and therefore, the fish are all very chunky and healthy. Many of them have distended bellies which are rock hard and full. It’s been really good to see so many large, happy, and well feed fish going into the run off.

Given that we have a well above average snow pack and the cool weather is anticipated to continue, we should be in good shape for water this upcoming summer. That would be a nice change of pace. But it all depends on how fast the melt takes place. Hopefully we will not experience the 100+ degree days as we did in June last year. Fingers crossed!

Looking at the hydrograph this morning, we have today and maybe tomorrow and then, run off and yard work.

One of many
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Check In, Late April: Earth Day Edition

Well so far, the earth is still here. That’s a good thing although by all accounts our home needs some fixing up and maintenance work.

I and the guy who used to be the staff photographer celebrated earth/water day by fishing at one of our local neighboring ranches. Beautiful location. Outstanding people.

So you would have thought the fishing would be pretty darn good since this section of water is rarely fished. Truth be told, for one of us it was pretty good. For yours truly, the fish kicked my butt in rare fashion. Oh well, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. Suffice it to say some nice fish were caught and fine times were had.

And now the bug report: Slim to few with no risers. A couple of spring stoneflies and a hand full of baetis and that was about it. The big winner for flies were definitely down and low double nymph rigs, big stonefly nymphs followed by your favorite bead head whatever.

A quick look to the future: We have received a lot of the white stuff and for that, we are thankful. The rivers will be bouncing around depending on the amount and timing of melt and additional precipitation. It’s getting to be that time of the year when conditions change rapidly, consult the web for those changes. We have about 2 or maybe 3 weeks and then, our pre-runoff season will be in the books and fishing will take a dive. Get r when you can.

Pretty Fish
One for the Former Staff Photographer
And a Biggie

Told you I got my butt kicked.

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March Madness Indeed

Yep, it’s the ides of March, beware if your names is Julies Caesar, if not …. fret not because the fishing season is here. A friend and I crept around on the ice shelves lining Rock Creek yesterday. And a gloriously warm day it was, in fact one of us got rather sun burnt. The water is low and of course darn cold. Recorded temperatures of 38 and 39 degrees. The leak in my waders’ right foot confirmed what the thermometer was telling me. Rather nippy.

This would be the spot to tell you that the fishing was hot. Well it wasn’t red hot, but maybe at least luke warm, maybe better than luke warm. It was pretty damn good and better than anticipated. Fishing was a down low and slow affair with nymphs or near nymphs (pink nuclear worms). The fish, while active, were not aggressive and neither would you be if you were swimming in 39 degree water. Truth be told, it was difficult at times to discern between hooking the bottom and hooking a fish. A number of fish were half ass hooked and quickly lost. Unfortunately the two largest fish of the day kicked my butt in just such a fashion and yes, there were others …. funky feels out there yesterday, fishing via braille of sorts.

First of 2022
Happy and healthy after the winter
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