Handling Fish in Hot Water
Water temps are on the rise and Hoot Owl Restrictions are in place on several of our local rivers. It's only the second week of July. We've got a lot of summer ahead of us. There is still some really great fishing to be had, but you do have to keep a couple things in mind.
Use enough rod and a strong enough tippet to fight the fish quickly and easily. If you play a fish for too long in the warm water, it can't recover from the build up of lactic acid in its muscles. There also isn't as much oxygen in the warm water. Get them in quickly.
Leave them in the water as long as possible. If you have to get a picture, frame it out and have everything ready before you pull the fish out of the water. LIft the fish up, get your picture, and put them right back in. Minimize the time they aren't wet.
We have been seeing a lot of big, healthy, beautiful brown trout coming out of the Yellowstone this year. Our guides have been crushing it over there. With water levels and temps doing what they're doing, might as well make the most of it while you can. Here's a couple of examples of what we're talking about:
Farewell to the Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead have reunited for one final time this weekend in Chicago to celebrate 50 years of their music. The Dead have been a big part of shop owner's Rod King's life for many years. It seems like they are pretty ingrained in the fly fishing culture as well. Their music and their logo are everywhere. We've even got a Bozeman Angler sticker in their honor.
To celebrate the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary, anyone who reads this post, stops by the shop and tells us they read it will get a free sticker.
Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July from all of us at The Bozeman Angler! We hope all of you have a great day on the river, on the trail, or just in the backyard. This is a great holiday for being outside, and it looks like it'll be a beautiful day out there today. We appreciate you all and have a safe and happy weekend!
Beating the Heat
Southwest Montana is in the middle of the first big heat wave of the summer. Currently it’s 98 degrees here in Downtown Bozeman and it feels much hotter. Water flows are low and river temps are on the rise.
A rise in water temperature is bad for fishing in a couple of ways. Trout don’t like warm water and they won’t eat as readily as the temp climbs. If they aren’t comfortable they just don’t want to be messed with. They may sink down to the lowest holes or cluster around springs in an attempt to stay cool.
Water temps over 72 or so degrees can be dangerous to the fish. They can barely survive at that temp, and when they get caught, played, handled out of water and then released the odds are very good they won’t make it. Trout mortality rates go through the roof once the water hits a certain point.
It also reaches a point where FWP starts mandating closures. If water temps hit a certain point and stay there or higher for a set period, they will either close a river altogether or institute a “Hoot Owl Closure”. Generally, a Hoot Owl Closure shuts a river down to fishing from 2pm to midnight. These aren’t too bad since they still allow you fish in the cool of the morning.
Yellowstone River Update
One of the rivers in the area that we have been asked most about in the past few weeks is the Yellowstone. It certainly has the reputation and it lives up to it's name most days. In the past two weeks it has gone from high and super dirty to clear and fishing really well. Like all the rivers in the Bozeman area it has been dropping pretty steadily every day, it hasn't stabilized yet. This steep drop of flows isn't really great for the fish, as they are constantly being forced to find new homes and cover. Once the flows are level for a couple days they'll feel more at home.
The Salmonfly hatch is pretty much over this year, but you still might find a few big bugs crawling around the willows and bushes along the banks from Yankee Jim upstream. Going up into the Park could be a really good option if you want to throw big dries to hungry fish. Right on the tail of the Salmonflies are the Golden Stones, and there were a lot on the water last week up high.
Pic of the Day: Boats on Main
Summer is here! You can tell by the parade of guide boats up and down Main Street every morning. It's gerat to be able to park a truck and trailer without dealing with the traffic we get later in the day. With this nice weather and great fishing we have had a lot of trips going out lately. This morning we had 14 boats leave the shop!
Yellowstone River 6/21
Update on Yellowstone River
The Yellowstone Is Fishing
The Yellowstone is fishing again. After what seemed like a pretty long while, everything is good once again. It was just a few days ago that it really started to clear up and fish well. The caddis and PMDs are starting to really pop, and the salmonflies are out in full force. The big bugs are the big news over here, and they are moving up river at a rapid pace. Like everywhere else this year, they won't be around too long!
If nothing is happening on top then nymphing and streamer fishing is really good. Ladd got his clients onto this nice brown with sparkle minnows and McCune's sculpins dead drifted under a strike indicator:
Salmonfly season is upon us here in the Greater Yellowstone area. The shop has been buzzing with anticipation for quite some time now. Hero stories of trout eating big dryflies with reckless abandon on the local waters have finally started to be the main topic of conversation. It’s very exciting, but as a shop guy in the middle of his nine-day workweek, it can make you start to go crazy. I knew I wasn’t going to survive another day in the shop without getting out myself for at least a couple hours.