Spring Newsletter

March 2007


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{Click on pictures to enlarge!}

March has been an incredible month for fishing as this newsletter will attest.







Christmas and I were in "Hog" heaven, March 5th!  We hit the canyon in Thermopolis by ourselves to do some serious fishing. The weather warmed considerably and the only thing not in our favor was a full moon. The terrain was pretty rough in some places. Lots of ups and downs and big boulders to traverse. The wind was up in the morning and the fish were feeding, but you had to work for them.

The first fish of the day schooled me in the fast water, wrapping on a boulder and breaking me off. I regrouped and got the beautiful cutthroat pictured at left.  Shortly after, I caught the brown pictured at right. Both were only 18" but weighed 3  lbs!  Both were great quality fish.

They were eating the bugger on a dead drift or taking the sow bug on the swing. The water was still a little cold. The bite was slow in the middle of the afternoon. Fish could be caught, but you had to be persistent. I floated a nymph rig through one hole about 15 times before a huge brown took it. He took off down stream at high speed and broke me off!

There were quite a few rainbows starting to spawn. I saw several areas with males already on the reds. I attempted to be as kind as possible to the spawners. 

We got a fish here and there till around 3:30p.m. when they really started biting well [as evidenced by the a nice bow (left) and really long brown (right)]. As the sun went down I hooked several whoppers that I could not land (Must have been the rod)!  I did land a 12lb carp which made my day (left)! Spring in Wyoming.

Oh yea, one other great point about this day-I was the only one fishing the canyon. It doesn't get any better!











The Lower Shoshone was fishing well in March.  As the temperatures warmed the hatches became more consistent. You could begin to depend on catching fish with dries from 10 till 4- Midges in the morning and BWO'S in the afternoon.

The midge fishing was very challenging at times. One had to pay close attention to the rise forms. Presentation was the key. I noticed that the mayflies were hatching later in the afternoon this year than in the past years. The hatch started around 1 p.m. As soon as the fish stopped taking your BWO imitation I went back to a tan midge on the surface. I saw a few mayflies but the fish went back to the midge at the latter part of the rise. In the lower sections of the river fish became more active and were aggressively chasing streamers in the afternoon. This was a good indication that the water is warming up. 

Willwood was muddy for a good part of March . Then sediment behind the dam began to settle out.  Thaws made the river off color and will do so until all the snow is gone.

The canyon section below the dam warmed and started to produce some good hatches. Midges were coming off all day with BWO's in the afternoons. The mayflies really liked the cloudy days.

By March 13th Newton lake began to ice off!. Ice off is always fun out because it means some big browns and rainbows will be hungry!  We usually start off the season with Steve Payne's' Green Meany.  Pulling streamers off the ice is a technique we find to be very effective.  As the water warms we switch to midges and scuds, but we never overlook back swimmers.

The North Fork was starting to see the fish move out of the reservoir and head up stream. As the lower snow melts and flows begin to rise we look for some killer fishing. We use the same stuff as always- big ,ugly, and deep! Viva los Juevoes!









When Willwood was chocolate with run off from the peaks, I would head to the Shoshone close to Corbitt.  Even if this stretch was slightly off color, I figured "what the heck" and tried bugger fishing.  I was usually rewarded with nice browns like the ones pictured here.

Although the water clarity was poor it often seemed worked to my advantage as the fish would come out in the open even with the bright sun.  I fished the bugger down and across. Once it was down and swinging I would retrieve it with long strips with a pause. The fish would take it on the pause every time. The pictures here of the a few beautiful cutts I caught are evidence the technique was working. After catching many nice fish and a few at 20" (right) that got away before I could get a shot of them (sure), I found the source of the muddy water (left). When I reached the run above the mud I found a few BWO's were coming off and the fish were looking up. There were just enough bugs to get the fish going, but not so many that they got full. In short they would take any dry that went by! 

On this day, I had 2 hours of glorious dry dropper fishing. Half took a #16 parachute sparkle dun in tan and the rest took the red ribbed zebra on the dropper. What a kick! It was March and I was dressed in just a tee shirt for the first time this year.

Here it was March, and I was already enjoying some great days of unexpectedly good fishing, fantastic weather and great company. I got fish on the bugger, bugger with a dropper, a single dry, and a dry dropper! The lower Shoshone never ceases to amaze!

I want to include a few pictures of my favorite fishing partner (besides my wife) doing what she does best. This dog, Christmas,  is 16 and still fishing hard just like her dad.














Anthony Aguirre and I fished the Big Horn river in Ft Smith for a couple days on March 20th and 21st. We stayed at Polly's, which is right down town and almost within walking distance of the put in. You shouldn't go there expecting a large Hilton type room, but the if you want a place that is adequate, clean and has great service Polly's is your place. The staff were very nice and helpful and the food was very good (a huge benefit to Ft Smith). The owner even opened up the kitchen and personally cooked us some dinner when we got off the river at 10 P. M. the first night! You can't beat that for service!

The river was not crowded at all. There were a few boats on the upper 3 miles but we had the B section all to our selves. The water is still a little cold, but we found fish from the start rising to midges. The dry fly action was very good. Almost every slick had fish slowly sipping #22 midges. We both started with nymph rigs, which is the norm for the Horn, but soon found that the fish that weren't rising wanted a deep fast moving streamer. This was fine with us as we are both streamer fiends! We found that in the deeper runs, if you got the flies down and moving, Fish On!

The first day was spent experimenting with different set ups and flies so we didn't catch as many fish as we did on day 2. We came to the conclusion that there were fish everywhere and that by matching a technique with a certain type of water you could catch fish . We fished dries when we saw risers and then stuck with the streamers because we were covering a lot of water quickly.

On the second day some BWO's  came off. Just enough to get some fish looking at a bigger fly but not the big spring hatches that will come later. One thing I did notice was that the average size of the fish was much smaller this year. It could have just been us, but the average size was 14" as compared to 17" a couple years ago.

Another big plus for me was that Anthony wanted to learn to row! I don't get an opportunity to fish out of the front of my boat very much so our partnership is very good. Anthony has only been fly fishing since last June. He did an excellent job of reading the water, adjusting his technique and flies, and showed great patience with the fish sipping dries. Anthony did an excellent job of rowing as well as fishing and we will be doing as much of these trips as we can in the future. It was a great trip! Enjoy the pictures.









March 30-31, 2007

We have had snow for the past 3 days.  I have fished straight through the weather even with the 18 inches of snow that was laying on the ground this morning.  I am inserting a slide presentation my wife made about the weather.  I hope you enjoy it.                          

Storm of 2007


Tight Lines!


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