Waking up this morning to a frozen earth and barely a trace of snow, I decided to bag elk hunting and head for the rivers in YNP. The reports from yesterday were: “best day in four or five years”, “epic streamer fishing”, “stupid cold and wet, but worth every penny” and “it was so good that the two of us only needed one rod”. Today had to be an exact mold of yesterday…..except it was much dryer with no rain and a little bit snow and wind which kept me reaching for mittens inbetween fishing holes. The Madison in YNP is finally slowing down a bit (with angling pressure) and with only 12 days left, there is still time to get in a some fine fishing for large trout. I prefer to fish streamers, mostly olive and black sculpin patterns, but our best fly hands down is Coffee’s Sparkle Minnow in light olive. This fly is also known in some circles as “Ramp to Ramp” or “bling”. We fished floating lines, but a Rio Outbound Short F/I woule be a great compliment this time of the year.
Some folks think there are lots of tricky things going on when fishing streamers, like there is some kind of magic bullshit on the end of their lines. Streamer fishing is not hard, line management can be frustrating for new anglers, but honestly, streamer fishing takes me back to my days casting spinning rod for large mouth bass. If it looks fishy, then just throw it in there and see what happens…….just fish the deep dark holes near the tackle thieving log jams and vary the retrieval. Trust me, if you are doing it right, you are probably gonna loose a few flies and hook some nice fish. 10 lb Maxima works, use it. Cast into the riffles, I have seen some large browns holding near the bottem of fastest runs in the Park, ready smack a streamer when swung overhead. Fish black or olive flies and on some days try the real flasky stuff like the Skiddish Smolt.
A word to two about angling in YNP in the Fall…………
1. Play them fast, release them in calm moving water.
2. Don’t fish to trout on redds….dumbass. When was the last time you liked being snagged with a size 2 hook while having sex?
3. Fish barbless. If you are supposed to land the fish, you will, otherwise, cast again and strip your line quicker next time.
4. Find out what a redd is, BEFORE you go fishing.
5. Don’t walk through the shallow water with a gravel bottom and then ask, “Why are these trout so spooky?”
6. Strip set your flies, rod sets are for those who don’t want to catch fish.