Winter Newsletter

February 2006


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       Greetings from Cody, Wyoming!

Greeting’s from the great warm north. We have been blessed with unseasonably warm temps. It has been in the mid 40’s for over a month. This has given us no excuses and we have been fishing hard. Take a look at this beautiful Lower Shoshone brown taken earlier this month. Really a nice fish!

This was Rhonda’s first time fishing moving water. I know it won’t be the last.  Congrats to a great fish!



Kirk “the doctor” Bollinger, Mike Muffich of the Yellowstone Valley angler and I decided to float the Lower Shoshone here in town one sunny warm afternoon. We all fished different stuff just to see what they would bite. Mike chose a sinking line, short leader and a streamer since the water was clear and we had bright sun. Kirk opted for a floating line with a woolly bugger and a soft hackle trailer. I went with a #6 dry with a soft hackle dropper.

The guys began to hook fish immediately. The sun had the fish on the bottom of the deeper holes. As the sun began to warm things up the fish moved up and became more active. We stopped to fish some riffles and both guys began catching. I think they both caught 5 or 6 a piece with 3 or 4 doubles. When we resumed the float it was my turn to fish.  I started tossing the big dry on the seam at the top of the run and fish came up and ate it. A #6 dry in January! Everyone caught fish!  Here are some pictures of our fun.

For a view of the full days activities click here.

We are starting to see an increase in surface activity on the Shoshone in town. There is a fair midge hatch on most mornings. Griffith gnats and thread flies are working. The mayflies usually show up around 12 o’clock and continue till around 2:30. It is a sparse hatch. Just enough bugs to keep the fish looking up and it continues for 2 hours or more. The flies are small 20 to 22’s.  Fun!  The windy days {we’ve had our share} make the fish less wary so good success can be had with a streamer.

I’ve been hitting the Big Horn in Thermopolis with friends from Cody. The wind is never as bad there.  We found fish sitting in front of warm tributaries from the spring. The water is very clear and the fish are spooky. I have been wading to the middle of the river and casting down and across to the banks in front of the warm water with good success.  Nice rainbows and browns 17 to 18 inches. The river below the dam has been the hot spot. The fish are in the deeper runs and have been taking the cone head bugger with a soft hackle trailer.  We have been catching 10 or 12 fish a day up to 25 or 26 inches! We find lots of crayfish under the rocks as well as sow bugs and scuds. Flies must get down!

Steve Payne and I hit the river in Thermopolis the Saturday before the super bowl.  It was cold when we got there. As we were rigging up a couple of car loads of bait fisherman showed up and jumped in the water right in front of us. We shook our heads and proceeded down stream a ways.  We waded in and started casting and to our surprise a spin fisherman waded in right next to us and started casting. I began to feel resentful. It was a 7 or 8 year old kid. He started asking questions and casting right in the spots we were fishing so I kind of gave him the cold shoulder. Yes, No, etc. We ended up driving to the other side of the river where Steve began to catch fish after fish.

The kid, watching from the opposite bank, was excited.  He was saying stuff like “I can’t believe it, he’s got another one.” His dad just looked at us and smiled. We fished our way down stream and we did catch a lot that afternoon.  

On the way home listening to a little Bob Dylan it hit me:  I acted like one of those stuck up fly fisherman that I don’t like very much. There was a little kid, all bundled up, full of enthusiasm, and I blew him off. I could have shown him how to cast, given him a few flies and even hooked a couple of fish for him to reel in. I was to busy being resentful to see what I was really supposed to be doing. Fly fishing tries to teach us something every day. I hope I can learn it.

For the rest of the story, click here.



Super bowl Sunday I spent with my wife Dawn. She just had knee surgery and is recovering nicely.  We exercised in the morning and then hit the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon. It is a really beautiful place this time of year. Crisp cool air, crystal clear water and quiet. The canyon was formed by a glacier so the entire Clarks Fork basin is littered with big round granite boulders. You can see this looking at this picture of Heart Mountain.


Last year before run off I caught the two biggest trout of my life right here {Somewhere}. The river still looks a little cold but it won’t be long. We drove around taking pictures and marveling at the place we live. How did I end up here doing this? How did we get this lucky? In the immortal words of Dylan,” It’s a simple twist of fate.”


Fisherman's Profile: Paulette Porter


Earlier this week my wife entered into a dialog on the internet with another fly fisherman that enjoys fishing the Thermopolis, Wyoming area.  We (my wife and I) have never met the Paulette or Steve Porter, but in the course of the emails back and forth we recognized that there a lot of great fishermen and women in Wyoming who have the same great passion for this sport that we do.  Steve sent us some pictures of Paulette's big fish, so we thought we would share them with you as this months profile.  There is nothing more sexy than a woman holding a big fish.  Well, Paulette, this is sexy as hell!  We are extremely proud to see these fantastic fish!  Thanks for sharing them with us.

We hope to meet you face to face on the waters one day.  As you have already surmised we are the folks driving the gray Honda Element.

We have experienced some great fishing this year. Looks like the start of good things to come.  



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