Eye of the Guide


Tom Travis - Nov 5, 2012

Sysadmin Note
Part eighteen can be found here

July 17th was a windy day with the winds coming out of the SSW which is a downstream wind on the Spring Creeks of Paradise Valley and is the one that causes the most problem for anglers. By the time I had arrived on spring creek at 5:00 p.m. all the other anglers had left so I had my choice of the water I wanted to fish and therefore I decided to fish the extreme lower ended of the creek. Due to the high water of the Yellowstone blocking the outflow culvert, DePuy's Spring Creek from the river to the breached dam had been backed up and to deep to wade and for many weeks and the only way to fish the water had been to use a float tube.

Therefore, this water had seen only a few anglers, but now that the water was dropping I would be able to cover some of the water. Also by going below the breached dam area I was able to get out of the wind. When I reached the water in question, I noticed but one set of foot prints in the mud on the trail and there was a real mix of insect still hatching on the water with PMD's, sulphurs and lite olive Baetis and caddis all hatching at the same time.

I slide into the water at the base of the riffle where it began to flatten out, and I could see several trout that were activity feeding and as I watched some of them were taking the largest PMD emergers right at the surface however I could also see some of them feeding six to eight inches beneath the surface. I rigged up with a parachute nymph emerger PMD and dropped a PMD nymph ten inches behind the emerger. The first trout took the emerger, and when I used the stomach pump I found several half emerged nymphs which made sense, however all of the true nymphs were either the Baetis or sulphur nymphs. Both nymphs were size twenty so I quickly switch from the PMD nymph to Baetis nymph. The next trout was taken on the small Baetis nymph and the stomach sample had the same insects as the first trout.

EOTG Nov 5 2012
Para-nymph emerger

EOTG Nov 5 2012
Unweighted Baetis nymph

It was a warm evening and for the next hour and forty minutes the fishing was excellent, I might mention that the para-nymph emerger was on 4x tippet and the nymph dropper was on 5x. The trout continued to take one or the other of the two imitations and there was no need to do further stomach samples. As often happens at 7 p.m. it was like someone threw a switch and the insects stopped hatching and the trout stopped feeding. I walked back to the breached dam where my truck was park for a bottle of Green Tea and a short rest as I scanned the flat glide upstream from the breached dam.

At 7:15 P.M. the wind suddenly dropped and quickly the air was filled with PMD spinners, and my first thought "Wow, look at all the spinners. This is going to be good." Then the sun dropped below the ridge and the spinners dropped to the grass like the Red Baron was catching them. I had seen this happen before, so I move up the creek above the head of the house pond, which was still in the sunlight and the spinners were still flying. As a matter of fact I barely had time to grab my rod and get on the water before the spinners started falling on the water.

From 7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. the spinner fall was very heavy and the trout were eating like a hungry man at a sandwich cart, but even now the trout were not going to make it easy, some were taking flush spinners and some were taking drowned spinners just beneath the surface film and once I figure this out I went with a sparsely tied parachute spinner and a wet spinner dropped eight inches behind the dry.

EOTG Nov 5 2012
Good things come to those who wait

When I started above the culvert fishing the spinner the air temperature was 84 degrees and when the spinner fall stopped and I left the creek at 9:45 p.m. the air temperature was down to 68 degrees and the insect activity was over as was the feeding activity of the trout. It turned out to be delightful evening, however I had the creek to myself I guess that I am always amaze that on many of the evenings on the creek there are few anglers left to share the fishing. There are a few anglers that will stay until it's too dark to continue fishing, but increasingly they are the exception rather than the rule.

There is always something to catch your attention besides the fishing, like the whitetail doe leading her young fawn across the creek, the last flight of the osprey, the incoming flight of a pair of sandhill cranes or the sunset. One evening Neil and I watched a red fox kit and a baby skunk come nose to nose and play until mother fox called the young fox away, possibly explaining the dangers of playing with skunks!

Enjoy & Good Fishin'

Sysadmin Note
Part twenty can be found here


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