Summer Newsletter

June/July 2007


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Don Hicks, Christmas and I fished the North Tongue on the 19th of June. The water was high but gin clear. There's not much snow left up there so it will be coming down fast. The wild flowers are just getting started. There was a lot of moisture so in a few weeks they will be phenomenal!  We saw several moose with calves so be cautious in the willows.

The fish are still spawning in places so watch the reds, but they appear to be about done. I found lots of caddis and mayfly nymphs on the rocks but saw nothing hatching with the exception of some small black and tan midges. The midge larva that I found were olive. The fishing was slow early. A few fish could be had on copper johns, hares ears, and a olive scud fished deep. I tried some dries and had a few lookers but no takers. Even egg patterns were refused.

The secret fly was an original pattern called the Wal-Mart wiggler. This fly dominated the Olympic fly fishing trials and is still taking fish by storm where ever it is fished. Later in the afternoon there were areas that you could find fish rising to midges. They took a black #22 CDC thread midge fish behind a #20 Para Adams. All in all it was a great day of fishing in one of the most beautiful places in Wyoming!






July 2 & 3, 2007

Jeremiah Mackmiller and I fished together for two days on the 2nd and 3rd of July. It was a blast! It had been a while since we last fished and we picked up right where we left off. Killen them!

On the second of July, we fished the lower stretch just above Buffalo Bill reservoir. There are already plenty of fish in the lower stretch. Our hands were blistered from rowing in the fast water and our arms were sore from fighting all the fish! I know everyone feels sorry for us. Ha! There was only one other boat on the river and we never saw them.

 On the third of July we floated from Newton creek to Sweetwater creek. The fishing was great in the morning and the last two hours it got slow. They just shut off for us. I couldn't believe how many lake trout we caught ! I'd say we got 15 or so over the course of the float. All were healthy and fighting great. Some were pushing 20 inches.

The fish in the upper stretches have yet to put their weight back on from the spawn. Many are skinny and lethargic. The farther down stream you go the nicer the fish get. We had several fish come 3 feet out of the water in the lower stretch. All in all the North Fork is one of the best freestone streams in the U.S. Quality wild fish. Enjoy the pictures.




July 6, 2007

Jim Keller and Dijinn Harris from Ft Collins came by to fish the North Fork on July 6th. Everything looked perfect. The flows were prime, the fish where there. When we got to the river that morning a thunderstorm had muddied the water and I just didn't want to take a chance that the fishing would be off due to water clarity. We checked up stream but the mud wasn't just a tributary, the whole river was dirty. We decided to look at the lower Shoshone but it to was muddy. After 3 hours of looking for clear water we made the decision not to take another chance and headed to a private lake where we knew the water would be good.

When we got to the lake the air temps where pushing 100 degrees with little wind. We began fishing and picked up a few beautiful fish but the heat was almost unbearable. Then our luck took a turn for the better. Some clouds came in dropping the temperature 20 degrees! The little front also seemed to turn the fish on. At around 1 p.m. we began to catch fish and with just a few short lulls continued to catch fish until 6:30! Jim and Dijinn had 7 doubles by the end of the day. just 2 short of the all time record and  a record for this lake!

What started out to be a very disappointing day had turned into something we will all remember for a while. Patience and persistence had prevailed once again. Maybe next year we can Fish the North Fork together but until then remember " Fly Fishing is EASY!" Enjoy the pictures!


July 9, 2007

Steve Gale came back for a second go at Cody fishing on the 9th of July. Everybody has been fishing the North Fork and it has been fishing great, but Steve wanted to fish for some more challenging fish and on water with a lot less people.

We decided to hit the Lower Shoshone. The Lower Shoshone flows right through down town, has 3000 fish per mile averaging 15" and no one has been fishing it! On top of that the water clarity is the best it has been in 4 or 5 years. It turned out to be the right thing to do.

Steve hooked up on the first hole with a 19" cutt and from there things just got better. All morning long we really worked the water and every hole produced quality fish!  I don't think we landed a fish under 16" all morning. It was unbelievable! Take a look at some of these beautiful fish (at left and right).

We ate lunch around 2:30 and hadn't even gone 3 miles, so after lunch we decided to row for a while to get down to where we thought some of the better evening fishing might be. With an incoming front the fishing slowed but we still managed a fish every 15 minutes or so. I think it just seemed slow because the action was so good in the morning.

We had a lot of fun, caught many fish and in general had a great day! Steve will be back in the fall to look for some big browns!




Week of July 11-18, 2007

My sister, Erika Blackwell, her husband Dan and my nephew Andrew came to visit us in Wyoming for the first time. Dan is a general contractor, and Erika is a world class horse breeder and trainer in Maiden, North Carolina. They hadn't had a vacation in years so we really wanted them to relax and have a great time. Andrew arrived with a desire "to fish." After some quick casting lessons we headed to my little pond out back to try and catch his first fish. He hooked a couple and lost them, but it wasn't long before he landed a nice 16" brown! His first fish on a fly rod at 9 years old!

We took a drive out to Meeteetsee to a lake where we all could fish for large, beautiful cutts and rainbows. The fish were deep with the bright sun, so we put on some sinking lines and began dredging them up. Everyone hooked fish within the first hour, resulting in two more first fish on a fly rod for Dan and Erika!

We ate lunch and went to look for some wild animals. We saw deer, antelope, prairie dogs, some hawks and a golden eagle. We even saw a lone elk on the way back to Cody.

They really wanted to see Yellowstone so for the next 2 days they toured and got to see lots of neat stuff. The animals were cooperating- grizzly bear, black bear, antelope, moose, bald eagle and coyotes to name a few.

On our return Andrew decided he had to tie his first fly before we continued fishing. He is a fast learner!  It only took about 30 minutes to have his first fly ready. Notice that intent look on his face (right) as he is tying his first fly.

A big thunderstorm muddied the waters around Cody, so we hit another of our leased lakes. It was on fire! I think Andrew had a fish on almost every cast! We got some nice ones but we lost the really big one which looked to be 24" on a break off. It was great fun watching him do some catching for a couple of hours before we headed to the shoot out in town.

They left July 17th (this afternoon) and I miss them already. It was great to have family visit. Now, back to the grindstone for another month of great fishing!



July 12 & 13, 2007

Kim and Jodie Keeller came on their first vacation since they had kids years ago. It was also Jodie's first time fly fishing. Kim was really hoping Jodie would get into it even though she was a self proclaimed "indoor person."

We started on a pond in the morning while it was still cool. The fish were eating midge emergers and were willing. Jodie began working on her casting. We worked on technique knowing that once we got it right, the fish would come. It wasn't long before she had her first fish on a fly! Congratulations!

Kim, being more experienced was having his way with them. The fish changed from midges to Callibaetis spinners then Callibaetis emergers and then to dry damsels. It was pretty interesting fishing even though it was a small private pond. The pictures at left and right show this husband and wife team with some nice fish.

Since Jodie was doing so well we headed to try our luck on some moving water. When we got down on the river we spotted fish rising to midges right away. Now things got interesting. Jodie had to make a cast to a specific spot with a #22 dry fly that she couldn't see. Again, we concentrated on technique and it wasn't long before she had a fish on. We finished the day with husband and wife alternating on rising fish with little tiny dries. It was a great way to end their first day.

The next day we went for broke by putting Jodie in a boat chunking heavy buggers. No guts, no glory!  On the first stop Kim had a couple of chasers and then landed a nice cutt. Jodie also caught a nice cutt as you can see at right. She then landed a 19" rainbow. Then things got a little tough for her. She had many fish on that just came off and she missed a few bites. Then sun came out and it got hot. Kim, mean while, steadily  picked up a fish here and a fish there.

Husband and wife both fished hard all day and did a great job. Jodie gave an "A+" effort and had a great time even though I think she was a bit disappointed that she didn't land more fish. Jodie had nothing to be disappointed in, however, as she progressed from kindergarten to college in one day and, in my opinion, she did a fabulous job. Thanks for a great day!

July 19, 2007

David and Mark Kalish came  to fish from Georgia on the 19th. It is always a pleasure to fish with Georgia Boys because they are usually good fisherman and have a great appreciation for the fishing we have here in the west. These guys were great!

We hit the Greybull as they had just spent 2 days fishing muddy water on the North Fork and wanted to do something different. The Greybull turned out to be the right choice.

When we got down to the river there were mayfly spinners everywhere! A good sign. We walked up to fish a hole together just to see what they wanted. On the first cast David hooked this nice Yellowstone cutt {upper left}! Mark was up next and after a couple of refusals from a fish in a tough lie, {a fish we tried all day and couldn't get} began to hammer fish in another run with a sparkle dun. He later commented that the fly was like crack to the fish!

To make a long story short, the guys murdered them! I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

On the 20th we floated the lower Shoshone. The other floatable rivers had been hammered by fisherman and guides alike and so we just went where no one else was fishing. Again this turned out to be a good thing.

We have a running contest to see who can catch a fish closest to the hot spring as the hot mineral water stops the fish from going all the way to the dam. David now holds the all time record! the early part of the day was phenomenal! I don't think we got a fish under 16" all morning. Check these beauties.

 Both guys had never fished streamers before and I think that now they are believers! As the sun got hotter the fishing slowed and we had to work a little harder. {Got 1 every 15 to 20 minutes)

As the sun went down we decided to pull out all the stops and fish a #10 Royal Wulff. It had been years since I had fished one and we just wanted to catch a fish on one for nostalgias sake. To our surprise up they came! Mark even got a white fish and a brookie on one completing the lower Shoshone grand slam! What a day! I am really looking forward to their return! Enjoy the pictures.



July 23rd, 2007

Matt Thompson, a sales rep for DPC Experts in Denver booked a trip for my friend Joel Debruyeker and his buddy Johnny Schneider who work in Lovell at the bentonite plant. Joel just bought a raft from me last year and was wanting to learn some little tricks about fishing the lower Shoshone so that's what we did.

Joel has been fly fishing a while as has Matt but this was Johns first day. John is an experienced spin fisherman, however, and after all fishing is fishing. On the first hole John nailed 4 or 5 nice trout between 16" and 19"! Not bad for the first hour of fly fishing!

The morning was great! Everyone caught quite a few beautiful fish and it seemed they were all pretty big! Check the pictures of these beauties!

We worked hard and got many fish until about 2:00 when a storm came in. The fishing slowed a bit but we continued to pick up a fish here and a fish there. I think the fish have just become conditioned to slow down in the afternoon because of the heat.

We switched from dries to streamers for a while and began to catch fish for about an hour and then it pretty much quit. We fished from 8 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. A respectable days effort. I was there for Johns first fish on a fly rod which is a huge honor! It was great to fish with Joel again. Let's not wait so long next time. It was great to meet Matt as well and I hope he and his wife will come fish with me again soon!  Thanks for a great day!

Remember, "FLY FISHING is EASY!"




July 26th and 27th

Keith Richardson and his buddy John Lunseth from Minneapolis Mn. Fished on the 26th and 27th. Recent heavy rains and mud slides had the water in the Cody area thick enough to plow. Our only option was to pack it up and head for the Big Horns and fish the North Tongue. It was overcast and drizzling when we got up on top and the temperature was a refreshing 51 degrees.

The water was perfect and with in a few minutes John was hooked up with a dry to a North Tongue fish. Keith was right behind swinging nymphs and landed a dozen fish from the first hole. We fished some dry droppers with a zebra dropper and the world famous Wal-mart wiggler!

Around 11:00 the PMD's began to hatch and it was some excellent dry fly action for a couple hours. The fish were a bit picky and we had to change things up on them every so often but we finally settled on the parachute sparkle dun.

After the mayfly hatch we went back to the Wal-mart wiggler and just had our way with them till it was time to go back to Cody. Some of the fish would move 10 feet to take the fly. It is truly a secret fly!

The next day we had planned to float a section of the lower Shoshone but the dam was running sediment out the bottom  and ruined the entire river for fishing. Hard rains were the culprit.

We had no choice but to fish lakes. We tried Newton very early to beat the heat and had limited success. We got some nice brookies and John landed a beautiful brown but the water was just to warm.

We hit Luce lake and had a good time sight fishing for some very challenging fish. Both Keith and John managed a couple of nice fish under extremely difficult conditions.

 Hogan even produced a couple of beautiful Snake river cutts. In short, the water temps were just to warm and it was a tough day. Both guys fished very hard and when opportunity presented itself, had good results.  Thanks for hanging in there under adverse conditions. We are praying for cooler temps and clear water.




Tight Lines!


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