Winter Newsletter

February 2007


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Saturday, January 20th, Mike Muffich, Nate Simmons and I had enough of indoor activities like tying flies and cleaning equipment and decided to go fishing no matter what the weather may bring. Mike owns Yellowstone Valley Anglers, a local fly shop, and Nate is a photographer for Eastman's Hunting Journal. When we got to the spot the thermometer read 10. It was beautiful with a blue sky and no wind which made things bearable. A golden eagle sat in the tree next to us as we geared up. It wasn't long before our determination paid off. Check these fish! They don't get any prettier than these babies!


We all started with different set ups. Nate had the nymph rig, Mike a streamer with a dropper, and I stuck with the legendary Bah Behr. Small tan midges were hatching and we did see an occasional rise but not enough to warrant a dry. The fish readily ate a soft hackle presented on or close to the bottom. As the day progressed, the most effective method was to get the flies down and then let them swing to the surface to imitate an emerger. Sunday, January 28th, Nate's wife Dana joined Nate and I for a day on the water. Not many wives would have braved the 10 degree temps with wind to fish with these two lunatics! Dana's efforts were rewarded with a couple of beautiful fish! Check out the pictures of her success below. Nate also upped his personal best rainbow with this hog! It taped out at 23" with a 17" girth! What a beautiful Wyoming rainbow!

The fish were holding in just about all the places you would expect on a cold sunny day in clear water. As the sun warmed things up the bite got better. We had been fishing for about 3 hours and had all caught plenty of fish so we went back to the trucks to warm up a bit. A couple pieces of Mike's dad's home made elk jerky and we were set to continue. A small front came in with a few clouds and things slowed down. Mike had a previous engagement with some reps up in Livingston and had to leave early. Nate and I continued to fish until the sun left us. Nat immediately started catching a bunch of smaller fish up high in a riffle. I was fishing below just being persistent with the Bah Behr. Finally a bite which produced this behemoth! We guestimated it at 27" and 8 pounds. I quit for the day! Nate fished on and hooked another screamer which took him across the river and came un buttoned with a wild set of jumps! That fish looked to be 23"or 24". I think his reel froze up when the sun went down. We'll be back. Here's a couple more from our day. 


Click on pictures to enlarge!


The lower Shoshone is fishing very good as of January 26th. Kirk Bollinger and I floated the section from Belfrey bridge to Corbett bridge from 10 till 4 . We caught fish from the start but they were still cold and the hits were sluggish. Kirk was fishing a brown bugger with a soft hackle dropper. As the sun rose the fish became more active. There are still quite a few browns in pods and in the spawning mode. If you find one there are usually several more in the same area. Lots of browns on the tops of riffels and in the tail outs. As the sun came up the cutts and rainbows seemed to move into the slow, shallow edges . I guess they were just trying to stay warm and take advantage of the midges hatching and clumping in these areas. I was fishing a dropper rig. It was more effective in the slow riffels about 2 feet deep and on the edges. The bugger nailed the more aggressive fish on the fast seams where they had to react quickly. We did come across some areas of rising fish that took dry midges and emergers but most of these fish were in the shady canyon areas and it was cold in there so we didn't stay long! {wimp} The last 3 or 4 miles was killer with the dry dropper. It was fish after fish on the sow bug. All you could here was the two of us yelling Bah Behr!  All the way to the take out. We didn't get anything over 17" or 18" and most were smaller but we caught a lot of fish! If you can figure out a way to stay warm it is definitely worth your while to give it a shot.

Febuary1!  Pat Shelladay  and I walked in to the Paul Stock trail today and the fishing was phenominal! We didn't get a lot of pictures of fish because we were to busy catching. We fished from 12 to 3 and it was non stop. Pat used a nymph rig and I used the Bah Behr. All the fish came to the soft hackle sow bug. The seams and pour overs held most of the fish. A few nice fish were picked up along the edges. Most of the fish were 15" to 18" and very fat! I'll say it again, the lower Shoshone is one of the most under rated rivers in the west. I haven't seen another angler while fishing all winter. It's pretty amazing that you can fish under the bridge down town and catch 12 to 15 wild fish 13" to 18" in a couple hours every day and not see another fisherman. I'm glad I live here. Here's the few pictures I took today.

Well, the holidays are over and the weather has been sometimes to cold to fish. These are the days we try to get some specialty flies tied for next year. I am 50 years old this year and as is common with most of us old guys, I suffer from lower back pain. For this reason, tying a bunch of flies at one time has been a real chore. This year I took the moneys all my kind relatives gave me for my birthday and Christmas and did some upgrading on my tying station trying to get some relief from the back. Man , was it ever worth every penny!

My tying desk is an old sewing table with a small tying station from Cabela's that I received  back when I first started tying.  The chair I was using I got at a yard sale for .50 cents. It was to low, rock hard, and had no back support. My light was one of those big clamp on's with a built in magnifier  that was very difficult to use. {not that my old eyes need one} The thing looked good sitting in the living room but was very uncomfortable, especially after sitting for a couple of hours tying 5 or 6 dozen flies.
Here are the changes I made. 1 The econo clamp vise extension $25. This inexpensive clamp allows you to position the vise out over your lap away from the desk at just about any position that you need to get comfortable. It then swings to the side when you are not using it or you need to get up. Well worth every penny!

2 The Mackenzie light with magnifier $139. This is a very pricey light that works very well. It is easy to work around once you get it adjusted. It has a good halogen light. The magnifier can be adjusted for the perfect position so when you are tying, you don't even realize you are looking through one at all. It is also very attractive to look at if you are privileged  enough to be allowed to tie in the living room.
3 The ergonomic computer chair  $99.99. This chair is the Cats Derriere! This thing has it all!  Height adjustment. Adjustable back rest position and lumbar support. Adjustable armrests {in or out , up or down} Ergonomic cushions to ease back fatigue. Can't say enough about this chair! I tied 6 dozen flies this morning and feel fine!

Conclusion! Don't be tight when it comes to being comfortable when you tie! My enjoyment soared and my back feels fine! I should have done something about this years ago. I think I'll go twist up a few more!

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