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

02/01/09

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 8:

How do you go about catching pressured fish in the Firehole River? Just like at
the aquarium, the key is staying hidden from the trout. When I say hidden, I
mean mostly hidden movement. Standing dead still in view of a trout is one
thing. Moving in view of one is another. I don't want to get into the trout's window
of vision and how they see things in and out of the water. That will take a long
time. Let me just say that they cannot see very good. Concealing your
movement is very important. Now I know it is impossible to cast without moving.
Just keep in mind that they can detect the movement of your entire body easier.

On the Firehole River there is little timber that comes up to the water. There is
some a couple of miles below Biscuit Basin, but not in the meadow area to any
appreciable extent. You can usually stay back away from the water a few feet
and still make a cast to the right places. That is one big key. The other is
selecting the place you want your fly to land before hand. When you make a
bad cast, you are lowering your odds in that location big time. You want the first
cast to count.

If you must false cast to be accurate, make them over the meadows, not over
the water. If you do make them over the water, make them over an area of water
you have already fished and turn with your last cast to place the fly where you
want it to go. I often cast from my knees on the Firehole. I have even crawled up
to the banks and cast up the bank line - not far, but at least they didn't see me.
Also, remember, that they can hear you through their lateral line,  just as well or
better than they can see you. Walk softly and slowly.

Another thing that I think is important is to avoid flashy colors. Don't wear a white
hat. I even cover my white hair. Wear subdued shades of clothing, not bright
colors. Shades of light greens and browns are good colors. You want to blend in
with the background as much as possible. The trout want detect your movement
as well. I also want to point out that if you are fishing with a highly colored fly
line, especially those florescent colors, change your fly line. Use subdued
shades of colored line. I believe the fly line itself can spook the trout, even
though that is the purpose of the leader and tippet.

Another thought to consider is that when you spook some fish and they shoot
upstream, other fish see them. The other fish surely know that is a sign that a
predator is nearby. Could it alert other trout that haven't even seen you? I think
it can, at least to some extent. The point here is too spook as few trout as
possible, even those you are not fishing for, such as the small ones.

Yes, long light leaders and good flies make a big difference but if you let the
trout see you, it really doesn't matter what you throw at them.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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