.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

01/31/09

I am calling this series Yellowstone Journals and Additional Information. It is a collection of a
rambling mixture of experiences on the streams with some notes, tips and additional
information thrown in. Some of this comes from my video tape logs (record of video shot)
and  notes made on my daily note books.

Firehole River - Part 7:

I'll continue with pressured trout fishing, hoping I don't bore you and get back to
the Firehole River, a highly pressured trout stream. I mentioned bass
tournament fish that were released and caught again. That happened to BASS
(Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) in the early years. A couple thousand pounds
of bass put in holding tanks would be released after the weigh-in in a certain
area of the lake. If anglers found out where, they would go there the next day
and easily catch a heavy bag of bass. The bass don't remember they had been
caught the previous day. Some tournaments were won that way before BASS
caught on to what was happening. Now they are released at many locations.

Now I know a bass isn't a trout, but I have not had the opportunity to fish for
trout in a large pool or aquarium like I have bass. Tom Mann, famous bass
angler, founder of Mann's Bait Company, Southern Plastics, Humminbird
Electronics, etc. and a life long, close friend of mine, allowed me to fish in his
famous aquarium several times. It was about the size of a small house. Windows
on the first level of the building let "Fish World" visitors see the huge bass in the
tank. Upstairs, where Tom fed the fish and no one was allowed, I could fish for
them just like fishing in a swimming pool. I was one of a few who ever did that.
That is where Tom tested his lures. Over a Billion has been sold, by the way.
That is "B" as in Bailout Billion.

You could cast almost any lure in the tank and within the first two or three cast
catch a huge bass. Then you could cast your arm off and not catch another
one. An hour latter, you could return, slip up, out of sight of them, and cast
again (the same lure) and catch another one, often the same one you had
released an hour earlier. You could repeat this over and over each hour or
longer. It was obvious the bass could not remember they were fooled by the
lure. (no one but LeRoy, Tom's famous male bass, but that is another story).

If they spotted me, even a day later, they were very alert and very difficult or
impossible to catch. If I stayed out of sight, I could return hourly and continue to
catch them, even the same fish, over and over
on the same lure.

A fish being able to remember the details of how a fly (or lure) looks is one
thing. Seeing something as large as a human, and then getting jerked out of the
water is another. What if a creature from out of space jerked you under water in
the Firehole River, showed you to the other fish, took a picture of you, and
threw you back on the bank. Don't laugh. The Firehole is a strange place. That
could happen there.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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