Fall Newsletter

September- October 2008


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After a late runoff summer fishing was great in Cody Wyoming.  Now fall it upon us and it's time for the really GOOD fishing!  Be sure to check the current fishing report for frequent updates on our conditions and latest fishing excursions.


Can they get any fatter than this!

What have they been eating at Luce?

Fat Hogan Cutt!

Luce Rainbow!

Obese Wind river brown!

September 5th       Some people celebrate Earth Day.  We celebrate Girth Day!

Christmas and I went out to Luce and Hogan on the 5th of Sept. to exercise the 8 1/2' Phillipson Dry Fly Special. Man, did it ever get a work out! These are some of the fattest fish of the year! I'm pretty sure the big fish are eating the 8" stockers. Both reservoirs now have plenty of water and the temperature is just right.

We hit the water about 8 a. m. and the fish were already cruising the shallows looking for food. The first cast produced this obese specimen. We saw lots of fish and if a nice cast was made they did not hesitate to take the fly.

I used a #16 zebra midge with a bead to take a #16 olive scud down to the fish. Most fish were on the scud. If the fish saw the fly descending, they would go right to it and eat. If they didn't see the fly, a slight twitch just as they approached got them going.

The old Phillipson was in its element. Big fish and long accurate casts are what this 8 1/2' 6wt is all about!  Some will say it is a little heavy and stiff but if you fish for the big boys in wind and big water, this is the best rod for the job that I have come across yet! A 70' cast is a breeze and there were no signs of a set even though I was getting taken into the backing several times and landing fish up to 5 lbs!

The other thing I love about the Phillipson impregnated rods is that they look Funky!  The copper nose cone and reel seat are so 70's that you have to love them! This particular rod has a custom grip that, believe it or not, is even more unusual than the original!  It is very functional, however, and more comfortable than the stock piece once you get used to it.

After we had our fill of Luce, Christmas and I headed to Hogan for an hour or so. The Snake river cutts are girthy here as well. Very pretty fish! All that was needed was a prince nymph and the right retrieve and they were on it!  We got a dozen in about an hour!

I highly recommend the Phillipson impregnated rods. They are durable and require very little maintenance. The tapers are perfect for the types of water I fish in Cody and I can't tell you how much enjoyment they have brought me this year!  Ricks Rods in Denver owns the Phillipson name and has a bunch of nice rods for sale. Rick and Marilyn are great people to deal with and I highly recommend them as well. One more thing.  Fly Fishing is E...!




Hogan Cutt!

Large obese Luce rainbow!

Two Phunky Phillipsons!


Nice fish!

Dry fly heaven!

Perfect water!

September 9th

Don Hicks and I fished the Greybull and had a great time on September 9th. The flows are great and there are bugs hatching in the afternoon. The river channel has changed a bunch from the heavy run off this year so the fish have moved into some different lies.

The morning was pretty slow. We tried a hopper with no results. I saw a few caddis so I dropped a prince nymph and a zebra midge off the hopper and started picking up fish about 10:00 or so.

The fish have moved into the deepest slowest water they can find and are concentrated at the head of the runs. There is a lot of unproductive water so we kept moving until it looked good and caught fish in most every likely spot.

I saw a couple fish look at the hopper and reject it so I put on a couple of beetles and they readily took them.

Around 12:30 the Flavs started and we switched to a CDC sparkle dun and it was on!  If there was a fish in the hole, it took the sparkle dun. We tried several other mayfly patterns but the CDC was with out a doubt the best.

I wouldn't say it was a stellar day but we caught quite a few nice healthy Yellowstone cutthroats and got into a good hatch so it was a day well spent. I guess we are pretty spoiled out here in Wyoming. Never saw another soul all day!  Enjoy the pictures.

Healthy wild fish!

Nice color!



First fish on the Winston!


Another good brown!

Nice rainbow on the dropper!

Bear pooh!


September 18th

Christmas and I fished the lower Clarks Fork for about a half day today and broke in my new Winston Bamboo rod. My wife gave me the rod for our 14th anniversary! Now that's an anniversary present! We were hoping to see some of the bigger browns starting to move but no such luck.  The fishing was very fun though!

The rod is a 1941 8 footer that weighs 3 3/4 oz.  A very light rod even by today's standards. I was made by Lew Stoner, who started the Winston company with Robert Winther in 1929 in San Francisco. Stoners rods broke many casting records and were some of the first bamboo rods to be hollowed and fluted. I was very pleasantly surprised by the way this rod cast and fished. It is already one of my favorites.

I fished a Chaos hopper on the edges of the faster deeper runs and got a nice 17" rainbow right off the bat. I got lots of smaller trout with a couple nice ones and managed to avoid the white fish by staying with a big hopper in the fast deep water. The white fish were eating tricos in the slower tail outs.

Some of the browns are starting to show some color but most were very bright. I think it will be a while before the big boys make their move.

The Winston was faster than I expected and handled a hopper dropper with no problem even in a little wind. Very smooth with a ton of feel. The rod is in exceptional shape for being 70 years old. Lots of good fishing MOJO on this beauty. Fishing a piece of fly fishing history!

The fishing was better than I expected and it was just a real nice day for me and the old dog! Enjoy the pictures!

Second fish on the Winston!

Nice little brown!

Showing a little color!

Chaos Hopper!


September 23rd.

Don Hicks and I fished the Lower Shoshone on the 23rd and it was pretty good! We started about 10:30 and caught fish from the get go but it really didn't get started until around noon. We were off the water by 4:00

The fish look like they have had a hard time finding food with the high off color summer flows but they are not dangerously thin. Some actually looked good.

The bugger and a sow bug combination worked well. The fish took it on the swing early and at 12:00 started chasing the bugger. We caught some nice ones on a prince nymph as well.

We did see a few fish rise to some little BWO's but not enough to go to a dry. Most fish were right on the edge.

The water clarity is about 2 feet now and plenty clear enough to fish streamers. I will only get better in the next couple weeks. The river really got a good flushing flow and the bottom looks great! We should get some good natural reproduction in the next couple years.

Only a few browns today but it won't be long before they start to think about spawning. I can't wait!  Enjoy the pictures!


Stones in Sept?

Cutts still in spawning colors!


Setting sun!


September 26th.

Mike Muffich owner of the Humble Fly shop and I played hooky today and fished the Yellowstone in the Park. I stopped in the shop this morning and Mike had been stood up on a trip so we took the clients lunch and headed for the park to look for some big cutts.

We hit the river and there were golden stone shucks on every rock! Big stones still hatching in late September? Must be global warming. There were no other people fishing the stone!

Mike picked up a couple nice fish right away on a small BWO dry. I went deep on the other rod with a bugger and a sow bug. Both setups proved to be effective.

We would spot fish rising and Mike would hit it with the dry, then I would work the area over with the streamer. Double teaming them.

Mike nailed what to most would have been a fish of a lifetime on a #22 dry. A beautiful female cutt which we believe to be a resident fish. Perfect 22" 4 1/2 pounder!  Life doesn't get any better!

I ended up nailing a real nice cutt on the sow bug. The fish came charging off the bank and took the fly very aggressively on the strip. What a beautiful fish!

We spotted a few more fish rising to spinners just as the sun was setting but they were very wary so we opted to just end the day on a high note and call it good. Enjoy the pictures!

Nice cutt!

Perfect Yellowstone cutt!

Bigger happiness!

Fish of a life time!


Dans big fish!

Nice Male Rainbow!

This one took Dan way into the backing!

Mike with a real healthy cutt!

They don't get any prettier!

October 1st



Dan Breck and Mike Fuerth came back to Cody for some fall fishing. Both these guys have become regulars and good friends but had never tried the lakes so we decided to try some sight fishing at Luce to start the day.

The bright sun and lack of wind makes it perfect for seeing the fish but the fish can see you and your line as well. It requires pin point accuracy and a delicate presentation to keep from spooking the fish. Both of these guys were on their game!

The key to getting these fish is the hook set. The fish will accelerate on the fly when they see it. Then stop and inhale the fly and in just a split second, spit it back out and zoom away. When the fish stops, count to 1000 and set! Very challenging and exciting!

Dan and Mike both figured it out and got some real nice ones as you can see. In this type of fishing, the fish have at least a 50/50 chance of winning and in my opinion , it is the ultimate in lake fishing.

After some great success at Luce, we proceeded to Hogan to try for some gulpers. these are some of the healthiest cutts in Cody. They rise readily to dries when the wind is down and pound for pound are some of the hardest fighting lake fish around.

We got some real beauties and some were pushing 18" or 19" and very fat. The color on these guys is phenomenal! Both guys did a great job and reaped the benefits of some nice casting. Congratulations and enjoy the pictures!

Mike with a football!

Hard fighters!

Hogan Cutt!

Another beautiful fish!


Joe with a good rainbow!

Fly Fishing is E...y!

Fat and Healthy!

Nice cutthroat!


What's that hanging from his lip?

October 2nd and 3rd



Mike and Joe Pendegrass from Gainesville Georgia came to Cody to learn to fly fish for a couple days. The fishing was tough for beginners due to the bright sun and crystal clear water.

On the first day of fly fishing, just getting your line out there can be very challenging. To make a 25' cast with any accuracy is a miracle! That's just what these guys had to do!

The sun was bright and there was no wind. Very tough conditions on a lake for beginners. Joe and Mike both managed to get some nice rainbows under these conditions!

They learned the forward cast, a roll cast, knots, fly selection, setting the hook and playing the fish on light tippet and a bunch of other stuff on their first day! Everything is an obstacle that we have to learn to overcome. They both had good positive attitudes and showed great patience. On top of that, they just enjoyed the day! A job well done!

For our second day we hit the North tongue up in the Bighorns. The weather was bright and sunny again but beautiful!

This stream is the short game in fly fishing. Short accurate casts in tight conditions and good drifts are the name of the game. Lots to learn here as well!

The fish were biting. The leaves have already peaked up here and the fish are feeling the urge to eat as much as they can for the winter is on the way. Midges were the main bug with some caddis and PMD activity. The olive scud was the best fly on a dry dropper.

Make an accurate cast, get a good drag free drift and fish on! A very fun day in beautiful surroundings! Good work guys! Enjoy the pictures.


Mike's first fish!

Getting the hang of it!

Wal-mart Wiggler strikes again!

Big fish of the day!

Snake river cutthroat!

Last fish of the day!

Average rainbow!

Nice healthy bow!

Good fishing weather!

Brown showing color!

Beautiful Brown!

The best fishing partner!

18 years young!

October 4th


Kirk Bollinger and I floated the Lower Shoshone on the 4th. The flows are dropping from the dam and the water is finally clear from run off. The forecast was for clouds and rain which is great for throwing streamers. The only thing that could have made it better is if it was colder and spitting snow!

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to cast streamers from the boat with an expert guy rowing all year and it was a blast! We got a lot of real small fish for the first couple holes and about the time it started to rain the bigger fish came out to play.

Most of the fish were rainbows from 16" to 18". All looked healthy and some were fat. We got a few of the Bear river cutts, which I think are the prettiest of the cutthroats. I know there are some real big ones in there but we didn't get any on this day. they were 17' as well. Only a few browns with just one showing any sign of spawning color. One WHOPPER!

The set up was a cone-head bugger on 20lb test mono with a #8 sow bug on 0X as a dropper. Kirk got most of his fish on the swing and I got mine with an aggressive 2 foot strip with a pause. Latter in the afternoon the fish really started to chase and it is exciting seeing them run down your fly right next to the boat!

The water was very clear until Alkali creek which was perfect for us because we now have a take out just below that makes this a very doable float. I you want to go for some really big fish, give me a call in a week or so and we'll give it a try! (307) 587 3059

All I can say is it was a lot of fun and the river looks better than it has in years due to the big flushing flow that we got this summer. Lots of small fish and plenty of big ones. It will only get better as the flow stabilize and the fish start to feed for the winter! Enjoy.


Bear river cutt!

Fat boy!

Cookie cutter rainbows!

Bear River!


Huge Lower Shoshone Brown!










October 19th              Notes on fishing with women

I had the pleasure of fishing with Cindy Jahnke this weekend and it just reinforced the notion that women are a blast to fish with! It was Cindy's first time to fly fish and she was an excellent student. She fished Newton lake, which can be a tough place for anybody, and did very well.

Women in general seem to just be better at learning how to fly fish than men. They are better listeners. This may be due to the fact that most women have much smaller egos and don't have to act like they know everything (unlike most of us guys). This is a huge plus when learning how to fly fish. They pick up even the smallest pieces of advice and implement them which makes the learning stages of fly fishing much less aggravating.

Women also operate with much more feel than most men. When it comes to casting, this is a huge benefit. Men have been taught that most obstacles can be overcome by using power and strength. We know in casting that when we sacrifice technique for power and strength the result is not good. A softer approach is always a better place to start until we find just the right amount of power to apply. It is rare to see a woman jerk her fly out of a tree. Most, softly pull and many times get the fly back instead of loosing everything, getting tangled and maybe even breaking a tip.

Another nice thing about fishing with women is that their expectations are much more in line with reality. Many times they don't expect to even catch a fish on the first day. When asked, most guys expect to catch lots and lots of very big fish. They don't consider that catching is directly related to a number of variables: Your fishing ability, Blind luck, and most important, The fish are actually biting. With women, just getting off a good cast, getting a bite, or just spending time with their spouse in the outdoors can be more than enough to satisfy! It seems that their main objective is to just enjoy the day.

I have witnessed one negative (just kidding) aspect of fishing with women and to illustrate I'll tell you a short story of some friends of mine (no names). The father, who had been fishing all his adult life, brought his daughter to me a couple years ago so I could teach her how to fish. The daughter was very cool and laid back and an excellent student. She did very well from the start and practiced year round. In a couple years the father would point to his daughter while we fished and say, " Look at what a beautiful cast she has," beaming with pride. The daughter began to catch a lot of fish. This year when we were walking up a stream watching the daughter catch fish after fish as the father went  fishless, the father said, "What am I doing wrong?" Moral: Be careful what you wish for.

Here's some pictures of some very cool ladies I've had the pleasure of fishing with. It was great fun fishing with each and everyone!













Tight Lines!


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