The Blacktail Ponds turnout hasn’t been plowed yet, so instead I went to the other side of the river and walked upstream from Moose. I started out nymphing and only managed a single whitefish. Later I found some nice risers in a big, slow back-eddy, but I only ever managed to spook them. For the walk back, I tied on a white streamer and caught four and lost one. The ones landed were in the 14-18″ range. Minus the post-holing, it was a nice day. The water was up and slightly off-color, but flows out of the dam have not been increased, so it must have been the Buffalo Fork.
Hard to beat that view while fishing.
The biggest of the day and possibly a Yellowstone cutty.
I’m not sure why I haven’t fished it before, but I hit up a new stretch of the Snake today at the Visitor Center. I started out nymphing and lost three. Found some risers after that and caught two and lost one on midge patterns. Around 2PM the fish seemed to stop rising, so I switched back to nymphs and caught three more. Most landed were in the 16-18″ range, though one was 14″. Lots of midges on the water, some of the biggest I’ve ever seen, and quite a few little black stoneflies as well, the first I’ve seen of the year.
A fine day with the occasional snow squall.
The biggest of the day caught on a dry fly.
The biggest of the day fell for a BH pheasant tail.
The weather Sunday was a lot more conducive to fishing, with only intermittent gusts of wind and warmer temps. With that said the fishing was still tough. There were plenty of risers early in the morning, but they were easily spooked, and we didn’t fool any. We did manage to catch some further upriver on tiny midge dries. I netted 16″ and 18″ browns, and my friend landed a 16″ brownie. A few blue-winged olives started showing up mid-afternoon. We found a big fish rising in a tiny eddy, which I managed to fool on a sparkle dun, but didn’t get a good hook set. That was the extent of the action. The river is amazing with fish everywhere that see a ton of pressure.
A common site on the Green River.
Rising to a tiny midge.
Likely the darkest brown trout I’ve seen.
This brown fell for a #20 Matt’s midge.
Saturday was tough. The winds were blowing a sustained 30mph, which made casting very tough and sighting fish almost impossible. For most of the day nymphing was the game. I managed a 16″ brown on a #20 zebra midge. My friend caught a 16″ rainbow and hooked a couple of others on small midges as well. I briefly used a white streamer and managed to catch a scrawny 14″ rainbow. Walking back we came across a pod of roughly 50 fish slurping in a big back eddy. My friend landed a 14″ football of a rainbow, and I briefly hooked a good fish, but that was it. Picky bastards.
Desert tailwaters are something else.
My friend working a seam loaded with fish.
Me landing the brown trout.
I hit up the usual Wilson Bridge stretch today and caught six. Those landed were in the 12-16″ range. I also lost two donkeys after they made big runs. Most of the action was on either a Higa’s SOS or the zebra midge trailer. I found a couple of risers later in the afternoon and managed to fool one on a Griffith’s gnat variation. 17° when I started, 29° when I got back to the car. The snow had a nice hard crust, so no post-holing which made for easy walking.
Deep snow along a side channel.
Biggest of the day.
Took the #20 zebra midge trailer.
The Wilson Bridge stretch was the destination again this weekend. I started out nymphing and caught two and lost three. The two landed were the biggest of the day. About a mile upstream I found some risers and caught five more on a Griffith’s gnat. The biggest on a dry was 16″. There was a lot more floating ice than last week.
Another fine January day on the water.
Fell for a #16 copper John.
Landed on the second cast of the day.