It's early morning Saturday, windless and about 45 degrees with low, thin clouds blanketing the Madison River valley. Enough sunlight manages to get through the haze to cast shadows on the landscape, but I wouldn't say it's a bright day. We have spent the last three days fishing the river hard; me primarily with dries, and the others mostly with nymphs. Today is our last day on this 50 mile riffle, and we will soon be walking its banks and casting our flies to likely holding spots along the banks. It going to be a good day on my favorite river.
Two nights ago, Jim, caught this beautiful brown down near the West Fork, on a #16 Brown serendipity.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
And here Jim captures the grandeur of the mountains that protect the wide Madison Valley.
Finally, here's a great shot Steve Ohman took of a thunderstorm moving through the valley.
I'll have more stories and photos for you next week, after my return to reality and a real computer. Writing on a Kindle is not the way to go, this post took much longer to write than I would have liked.
The Big Horn is on fire right now and the dry fly fishing here has been spectacular! Throughout the day the trout have been rising to the Black Caddis that are hatching in waves. A well placed cast and drag free drift over a feeding fish usually elicits a take, then the rest is up to the angler. We have had 4 days of great dry fly fishing. The sunset last night wasn't too shabby either.
Today we are headed to DePuy's spring creek and then on to the Madison River tonight for the rest of the trip.
The annual mayfly hatch along the Mississippi River is in full swing, and on Sunday evening the event was large enough to appear on radar in the western Wisconsin area. According to the National Weather Service, parts of the swarm flew as high as 2,500 feet above the ground in the La Crosse, Wisconsin, area: See it, read it HERE.
This weekend was a bust as far as fly fishing around here. Despite the cool evening temperatures, the rivers near here got a little too warm by late morning, and by the time I wanted to fish, water temperatures were over 70 degrees. So I didn't fish, but I did put some fish in the pond and plant a bunch of aquatic plants that hopefully the deer won't have for breakfast, dinner or a snack. Those fish are not for casting to, they are pets of a sort, that I sit and watch from my perch along the edge as they swim gracefully among the rocks, plants and frogs. The water in the pond was 52 degrees Saturday evening - the South Branch was 73! I think I've mentioned here that the pond does not freeze in winter, even when the temps hit zero, because the springs that feed it emerge from deep down in the rocks below at temperatures that rarely stray from their range of 45 - 55 degrees.
Mornings bring hummingbirds to the feeders hanging out back of my home, and I love to watch them come and go lit only by the thin rays of the rising sun peeking through the canopy above. This year I have identified 8 different birds, and each is fascinating to watch as they come and go, fight for position in the food line, and feed. Hummingbirds definitely have a pecking order among themselves, and when one comes to feed and sees another already there, they battle in the air like tiny, squeaking fighter planes until one gives way to the other. Most of these contests only last seconds, some a little longer, and in the end it only pride gets hurt.
Above we have H.R.H. (His Royal Highness), who never has to fight when he comes to feed due to his apparent alpha status in the clan. When H.R.H. comes to one of the feeders, if any one of the others is in attendance, they will leave immediately - no questions asked and no squeaky protests.
Here's another female - you'll notice the white band around her neck is somewhat wider than the one at the top. I use these differences in coloration to tell each apart.
So there are three of of the bunch, the others were not so cooperative or brave, as I stood nearby with camera in hand. I'll work on getting the others on "film" so I can see if any of these birds return next summer.
In the meantime, hope you all are having a good summer. I'll be tying flies the next few days in anticipation of my trip Saturday to Montana with the boys. There are 7 of us going for 9 days, and I'll do my best to record the adventure - and you can bet it will be an adventure. We fish alot, eat, drink beer, bust chops, sleep a little, tie flies, and bust chops some more. Since I'm not bringing my computer, I may attempt to communicate with any one that may care to check on Twitter: @Mattgrobert I'm not much of a social media user, and I can't guarantee anything, but I'll give it a shot.
Since I'm still up to no good and not posting regularly here, here's a cool video of some folks fishing for rainbows with surface mouse patterns.
The other evening I was admonished by a young lady for having too many large "gaps" between posts here over the last couple of months, and that getting a new job was not an excuse. I didn't argue, after all, what is a new job? Isn't it the same thing you were doing before, only that its being done somewhere else? Not by a long shot.......
Anyway, we'll see what we can do to up the post count with original material. Hopefully, I can start by getting out on the water this weeknd and casting a line and maybe even landing a few fish. There's plenty of water in the streams and the Tricos should be out and about in the mornings, and evenings should bring out the usual summer fare of caddis, light cahills, drakes and Isonychias. Of course, this is the time of the year to take water temps if you fish in the afternoon into dark. Carry a thermometer, use it, and don't fish for trout if the water is at 70 degrees or higher.
This has been a public service announcement from trout central.
Here's the latest tying video from Tightline Productions; a real good one by Tim Flagler, on how to tie a simple but effective caddis emerger. Give it a look and see for yourself. Make sure you have your sound on, as Tim has some important comments on how to complete the fly properly.
And if that wasn't enough for you, my son is celebrating his 26th birthday today.
Happy Birthday, Matt! Here he is on the 4th with his old man wearing the jersey of the team he chose to win the World Cup, Germany. Good call.