One of my favorite seasons, elk time! Not the hunting kind, but the photography kind. The rut is in full swing in Yellowstone National Park, bugles echoing off the peaks surrounding Mammoth, Madison Junction, and the high slopes of the Lamar Valley. Love it!
Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Cool mornings, and evenings are a great time to hit the Madison in the Park. Grab a few streamers, large soft hackles, or some large nymphs (such as SJW's, rubber leg stones, or prince nymphs) and hit the water between Madison Junction to Baker's Hole.
21 degrees this morning and the leaves of the aspens and the undergrowth are starting to turn a brilliant yellow, orange and red. Lots of frost this morning, time to bundle up in the mornings. The forecast looks absolutely outstanding the next few days. The best of fall is here!
Looks like some beautiful fall weather for the rest of the week-mostly sunny and highs in the upper 60's to low 70's. Toss in a few flying ants and we have a recipe for a fantastic September fishing day!
August started soggy and it ended soggy. I cannot remember ever having this month be so wet in Yellowstone country. All the rain made for some interesting fishing this past month. I am hoping for a long Fall!
Gotta Love Fishing Dogs!
It has been a very wet August! I cannot remember and August that has had so much precipitation from stalled out storm fronts. Yesterday we had snow on some of the peaks surrounding Yellowstone country. I am hoping this a prelude to a long and intense Indian Summer, but it might be indicative of a long and cold winter instead. However, the weather pattern looks like the latter part of this week will bring back our more typical August weather-70 and sunny!
Brown Trout can make people happy, I know they do me. My favorite of the trout species we get to fish to here in Yellowstone country, the Brown Trout loves to haunt the grassy banks of the Madison. This one fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book, dead drifting the woolly bugger. Can be deadly at times!
It has been raining in the Yellowstone region for most of the last 3 days. I cannot remember an August that has started out with this wet of a weather pattern. It looks (and feels) and little more like mid September right now. The weather always keeps you on your toes in Yellowstone, and plays a critical role in your fishing decisions every day. Trying to play the chess game of figuring out the best water to fish based on the that days weather is always one of the greatest challenges, but usually our weather is a bit more predictable this time of year. August is usually 80+ degrees, abundant sunshine, and maybe a stray afternoon thunderstorm. The velocity of the wind is usually the only variable to consider. But with all the moisture, cool days in the 50's and 60's, and lots of cloud cover, the factors are a little bit more considerable this past week. The forecast is for a few more days of this weather pattern, so once again todays decision is a bit more complex and a bit different than years past.
A few awesome Cutthroat from the past week of fishing in the greater Yellowstone area.
Only one day left in July, and the Madison's month of evening caddis is nearing the end. Every night, if conditions are right, hydropsyche caddis emerge from the riffles and rocks of the Madison river. The emergence of this prolific aquatic insect, provides some of the best dry fly fishing of the year on the Madison. A nice bonus to this activity is it often coincides with some classic Montana sunsets!
I have had the pleasure to spend a few days in the Lamar Valley (in Yellowstone National Park) this past couple of weeks, fishing for native yellowstone Cutthroat trout. I cannot think of too many places that I get to spend time on in the summer that are as special as this valley and its many fishable rivers. Yesterday we started fishing on the Lamar and were able to fool a few gorgeous trout on chernobyl ant style patterns (specifically a size 8 Chilly Dawg). After lunch we moved up the valley a few miles and joined a few other of our closest fishing friends on the much smaller Soda Butte Creek. A brief Green Drake and PMD hatch brought a few more fish to hand, and as the afternoon came to a close, the overall experience of fishing in this beautiful valley in Yellowstone settled over us. Thousands of bison roam the banks of the Lamar river along with us,as well as pronghorn, the occasional grizzly, bald eagles, spotted sandpipers, yellow warblers, common yellowthroats, otters, coyotes, badgers, whistle pigs, and much, much more. Sometimes seen, often heard, and occasionally only felt. The Lamar Valley is a special place to spend a day fishing!
It is Cutty time in the greater Yellowstone region. The Yellowstone River below the Lake opened to fishing on July 15th. Slough Creek, Soda Butte, and Lamar Rivers have all settled out of run-off and are clear and cold. The backcountry is in prime summer shape, and the weather is blue bird perfect. It is time to go hunting the native trout that resides in many of the waters in the greater Yellowstone country. There may be no prettier trout to cast a high riding dry fly to!
Summer in Montana is brief. Our season of green quickly transitions to the season of yellow as the intense dryness of the summer heat kicks in full gear through the months of July and August. This shot of the Madison winding its way through the Madison Valley shows the valley drying out and turning yellow. I love both color phases of our summer, but a part of me is always just a little sad to see vibrant greens of early summer fade away.
As the summer light quickly fades an angler is wating on the appearnace of the evenings mayflies to emerge in the ranch section of the Henry's Fork.
2014 has shaped up to be an incredible flower season in the greater Yellowstone area. It has been a number of years since I can recall the depth, abundance, and variety of flowers exploding across the landscape to this great of a degree. A visual feast for the senses.
Evening light reflecting off the mountains surrounding Quake Lake. The shapes, patterns, and textures of Quake lake with its 50 year old dead trees can be endless, and provide hours of photographic exploration.
A beautiful Brown Trout caught on the Madison River last week. Salmonflies, golden stones, caddis, green drakes, PMD's, and even more caddis, were on on the menu last week as the Madison was displaying all its summer glory. Fishing a river when it is in its prime season is a key to success in the Yellowstone region, and the first two weeks of July just might be the best the Madison has to offer all year