11/23/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Great Brown Autumn Sedge
3.   Little Yellow Quills
4.   Needle Stoneflies
5.   Crane Flies
6.   Hellgrammite
7.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
8.   Midges

Stream and Lake Destinations - Yellowstone River, Montana
The next few days, we will link a few of the "Blue Ribbon" destination streams we
have completed in our "Perfect Fly" stream section so that you can either dream
about fishing them, or maybe actually plan a trip during next year's season. One of
the more famous ones that comes to mind is the Yellowstone River. This part of the
Yellowstone River begins outside of Yellowstone National Park near its North
Entrance at Gardner.

The local fly shops and outfitters give the impression that you need to fish this river
from a drift boat. That is always a good option, especially when the water is a little
high or off color, or when the salmonfly hatch is taking place and moving rapidly
from one area to another. The locals do that because that's how they make their
money. Few even realize that the river can also be fished from the bank in
numerous places along its many, many miles of shoreline. Angie and I have done
better from the banks than we have from a drift boat. We have probably stopped to
fish at various locations along the river at least thirty times over the past several
years and we have always been able to catch trout. If you fish a nymph, you will
usually hang a big whitefish within the first few cast. We like to sight fish from the
higher banks and cast hopper imitations to individual trout in the later part of the
summer and early fall. We have caught some very nice trout doing that.

The most beautiful part of the Yellowstone River outside the park is the Paradise
Valley area. What many anglers don't realize is that you can usually catch trout in
the valley just about anywhere you stop to fish the river, even when you are near
and even below the city of Livingston. Most of the time you will not see another
angler. Most anglers visiting the area are on their way to the park or they are
floating the river with a local outfitter.

Basics of Fly Fishing:
Drag Free Drift - Part 1

The subject of the basics of fly fishing has been leaders for the past several days.
We could go on and on with that same topic and describe which leader works best
for different situations. If we did, we would be getting away from the "basics" of
leaders.

The leader and its tippet is placed in a fly line to conceal the heavy fly line from the
fish. If you didn't have a leader and tied the fly (some kind of way) to the end of the
fly line, it would spook about every fish I can think of except maybe a bluefish. It may
even spook some of them. Unlike the last article jokingly said, you really can't hit a
trout over the head with a rope and expect it to be fooled into taking your fly.

Equal to the importance to the particular fly you are using, is the presentation of it.
It doesn't make any difference how effective a certain fly is, or how well it imitates
the food item it is supposed to imitate, if is isn't presented correctly, you're not
going to be successful. It also doesn't make any difference how perfect a leader
you are using, if the fly isn't presented correctly, you are not going to be successful.
That means presented to act like, or behave like, the natural food item it imitates.

When they become dislodged, nymphs don't drift downstream at a speed that is
different from the speed of the water. That means the speed of the water where the
nymphs happens to be. Remember that the speed of the current isn't always the
same from the surface to the bottom. It may flow fast on the surface and slow on the
bottom, for example.  Every rock in the stream has an effect on the speed of the
current. A nymph drifting along the bottom of a deep hole in the bottom of the
streambed wouldn't be drifting at the same speed as the water on the surface. Adult
insects such as mayfly duns, or adult caddisflies, that are floating on the surface
don't drift at speeds faster than the water is moving. You never see them skiing
across the surface of the water like they have their own little motors. They drift at
the same speed the water is flowing. When your fly drifts the same way as the real
bugs drift, be it a nymph or an adult imitation, your getting what is called a "drag
free drift". When your fly line, leader, or even the tippet "drags" the fly across the
water at a speed that's different from the current, you're not getting a drag free drift.

The trout see insects drifting at the same speed as the water throughout their life.
When they see something on the surface, or below the surface moving differently
from that, it gets their attention. They avoid it. Unless you are fishing for a recently
stocked trout, you better make sure you fly looks and acts like the real things the
trout eat, or your not going to fool many of them.

More about this tomorrow ............

Copyright 2009 James Marsh