A man can become so caught up in fishing that it actually becomes a grim business." Sparse Grey Hackle, Fishless Days 
"A Montana Bluegill" - Image by Neil Travis
This is one of my favorite books of 2012 as it deals with one of my favorite topics and that is fly fishing history. Now I knew of Roger Woolley long before I read this volume, however I learned much through reading this delightful volume.
Slough Creek is one of the most popular stream found in the Northeast section of Yellowstone National Park many anglers travel to Slough Creek to hike upstream to the first, second or third meadows of this famous fishery. The Creek is about twenty five miles in length and was named in 1867 by a group of prospectors who upon enter the lower end of the valley described the river as a slough; the name stuck and began to appear on early maps in 1872. Slough Creek is a very rich and mildly alkali river with excellent hatches.
Riffles in spring creeks are "food conveyors" for trout. Shallow structures let sunlight penetrate water column and cause photosynthesis with aquatic weed-beds. Tumbling water is oxygenated and typically cooler than calm/flat spots. Combining these two facts, riffles produce and host miscellaneous mayfly nymphs, larvae (midge, caddis, and crane fly), and aquatic foods (scuds, sowbugs, snails, and so forth). When stepping into choppy and tumbling surfaces of riffles, every angler must understand that the water column is not moving as fast or strong as the surface.
Slipping out into the current of the crystal clear, knee-deep water I eased towards mid-stream in order to put myself within casting distance of a small pod of sipping trout along the far bank. Any disturbance would put them down for at least 20 minutes and to make things more difficult my 10 year old son was in tow as well. It was his first day with new hip-boots and his virgin sojourn into "fishing in the water" versus from the bank.
It was a weird day. It had rained about two inches in the two previous days. It had been so long since this has been done that no one knew how to act. While at church I was asked how this would change the fishing. Would it make them bite more or less? Would the clarity of the water be changed?
Earl Madsen is no stranger to Michigan and to the Au Sable River. Back in the 1930s he was a guide on the river. He was Michigan's first commercial tyer, as well as a river boat builder. He established several very famous fly patterns for Michigan waters --- most of which are still used on the rivers! Today, I'd like to share with you one of his lesser known patterns, the Madsen Hex Spinner.
Another classic recipe from my dad's old book entitled, "Famous Sportsmen's Recipes," compiled by Jessie Marie DeBoth. The book by copyrighted in 1940.
Jessie wrote letters to famous people who were hunters, fishermen and conservationist. She asked them to respond by sending in their favorite wild game recipes.
So said Thomas Gray (well, actually, he said "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise";close enough). It makes perfect sense to me, and contrary to the saying's usual interpretation, I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it's just the overload of this Information Age, or whatever they call it, but do you ever wonder if knowing about everything is really such a good thing? Fashion, I guess, would be a corollary;
For the last several years it has become a cultural vogue in the fisheries departments across this country to eliminate so called "non-native" species in favor of historically native species. This policy has resulted in viable populations of fish being totally eradicated in favor of a species that were historically present.
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