Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/19/2019

Easter Weekend Update: The Smokies have been pounded with rain today and will feature high water through the holiday weekend. If you must get out and fish, wait until late in the weekend and be very cautious. Fish the edges and stay safe!

Otherwise...our early hatches are giving way to lighter colored bugs now. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Hendricksons have all been on the water at times. The huge Black Stoneflies are around now as well and providing some big bites for hungry trout. Sulfurs should be starting fairly soon, especially with all of the nice weather we are having. Little Yellow Stoneflies are just starting to show up now as well and will get much stronger as May approaches. The yearly pinnacle of spring dry fly fishing is quickly approaching!

Tailwaters are starting to fish well. The Caney Fork is still blowing a LOT of water. That should change fairly soon if we don't get too much rain. I'm thinking we might start seeing some opportunities in early May if things hold steady, maybe sooner. The Clinch has been fishing extremely well. Big hard fighting rainbow and brown trout are the target here on light tippets and tiny flies. Bring your A game or go home disappointed. Sulfurs should start to really take off shortly along with more caddis than we have already been seeing. On Tuesday's float, fish were taking a variety of bugs including midges, caddis, and the odd sulfur.

Warm water options are really taking off as well. That is assuming that flows cooperate. Big rain events will shut this down for a few days, but otherwise, everything is fishing very well right now!

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot and Cold Water: Yellowstone Part One

For fly fishermen, the lure of Yellowstone exists in the multitude of cold-water fisheries. From small streams, to lakes, to the mighty Yellowstone, the Park has waters to suit any taste. However, the original goal of the Park was more to preserve the natural beauty as seen in the hot springs, geysers, and other geothermal features as well as to preserve the native wildlife.
  
On my recent trip to Yellowstone, I was able to get in enough fishing to stay relatively content and yet at the same time enjoy the scenic beauty of the Park, often from behind the lens of my camera. During our stay, many hours were devoted to searching for wildlife and just soaking in the majestic views. 

The first full day in the Park involved hot water, perfect timing, and a nice hike that included some amazing wildflower viewing.  We had 8 days to enjoy the Park and planned a rather ambitious schedule that would cover all the things we wanted to do and see.  Old Faithful was high on the list and an obvious must.


Madison Campground would be our home for the first four nights and it is in relatively close proximity to Old Faithful.  We woke up and ate a hearty breakfast during which resident ground squirrels came by to see if they could get a handout. After cleaning up, we headed up the Firehole River.  Taking the Firehole River Drive allowed us to explore the Firehole River Canyon with its falls and cascade.  The scenery in this short stretch is so much better than on the main road.  After completing the drive, we continued on to Old Faithful.

Luck was with us and we found a parking spot relatively close to the viewing area.  Noticing large crowds watching expectantly, we hustled over and within 3-4 minutes Old Faithful erupted.  On previous trips, I have always arrived shortly after an eruption resulting in long and boring waits.  The hot water from Old Faithful provided the perfect opportunity to take pictures. 







My camera stayed busy the entire time and throughout the day, capturing incredible views of hot springs, steam vents, and beautifully colored runoff from the geothermal features along the Firehole River. 



One of my favorites is Grand Prismatic Hot Spring.  I could spend a whole day trying to capture all the moods and scenery around the hot spring which lies in the Midway Geyser Basin.  The colors range from a vivid deep blue to some of the richest oranges and reds I have ever seen.  Just the scale of the hot spring is mind boggling to me.



By this time the constant exposure to the sun, which was more intense than we were used to due to the elevation and dry air, was beginning to take a toll on everyone.  Some time in the air-conditioned car searching for wildlife seemed like a great solution.  After a quick consultation, it was unanimously agreed on to head for the Gallatin River and maybe find a good hike if the afternoon cooled off any. 

We drove down the Gallatin and eventually made it outside of the Park into Montana.  The beautiful Gallatin River canyon kept drawing us on but eventually we realized that this was a drive that could go on indefinitely and turned back towards the Park.  By now, clouds were blocking at least some of the sun's intensity.  The cooler temperatures drew us out of the car and up the Fan Creek Trail in a bid to finally discover some interesting wildlife. 




Up to this point, elk, pronghorn, and the ground squirrels were the only interesting animals discovered.  The wild flowers were absolutely gorgeous though and soon interrupted us from our main goal of finding wildlife.  At Fan Creek, I wet a line for a few minutes but soon decided to head back down the trail as everyone else was not too interested in watching me fish for hours. 

As we headed into an area of dense timber, a rustle quickly brought us to a halt.  With itchy trigger fingers searching for the bear spray, we soon discovered the culprit.  A mighty chipmunk was posing on a nearby log.  Soon my new zoom lens was on and being put to good use.  All too soon the little creature decided that enough was enough and headed for the safety of a hole in a rotten stump.  The remainder of the hike back was uneventful and we returned to our search for wildlife. 


Driving downstream again, we found nothing more in the way of wildlife but did find some more picture worthy wildflowers.  The late afternoon sun briefly lit up the whole valley for a stunning scene, but all too soon the light faded as the clouds returned.  Tired from such a packed day, we headed back to camp for a hot meal and bed.  The next day promised to be as busy as the first...



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