Trip Report Breaking The Ice - So To Speak

mikemac1

Active Member
#1
The long, cold and snowy winter here in Bozeman finally came to an end as I made my first trip of the 2019 season. Despite overnight lows in the teens, mid-morning temps hit the mid-40s and would hit the low-50s by mid-afternoon. The Yellowstone at Point of Rocks was low (1000 CFS) and clear but shelf ice still dominated the shoreline. Six to eight weeks from now, after creeping up slowly every few days, the river will skyrocket to 30000 CFS as the snowpack in the Absarokas and Beartooths breaks loose.
P4020098.JPG The first trip of the season is always problematic. Everything you tucked away (not always neatly or where you remember it) has to be dug out and loaded in the vehicle. Wrappers, trash and empty water bottles that should have been thrown away last year have to be policed up. Inevitably you probably forget something or can’t find it. This year I converted all my fly boxes to barbless Firehole Sticks and headed out to the river with two new rods--a 2 piece 5 wt XP, a rod I’ve been trying to get my hands on for years [thanks @Anil] and a Scott G2 4 wt that I picked up at this years TU banquet. Both proved exceptional instruments for fly casting.
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With some new patterns in the fly boxes, the XP with a 150 gr sink tip was the streamer rod and the G2 the nymph rod. Stonefly nymphs and black lighting bugs dredged up dozens of decent sized whitefish and enough browns and cutthroats to keep it interesting. Big Pine Squirrel buggers brought home a couple of browns, but the low, cold water wasn’t ideal for a streamer presentation. After 4 hours working upstream with the kayak, I was tuckered out and headed back to the ramp, dry and in one piece. It was a good day to be alone on the river


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#2
Thanks for the report. That’s one of my favorite sections of the river. But, I’ve never rowed up the river from there and I bet you had a good workout in your kayak.
 

mikemac1

Active Member
#3
But, I’ve never rowed up the river from there and I bet you had a good workout in your kayak.
Starting just opposite the ramp the first 1/4 mile upriver on the East side to the big riffle rarely gets fished. Boats taking out at POR fish the deep west side and even those floating further down then to fish the deeper, rocky west side as they pass POR. Yet on the east side there a prominent ledge visible at low water about 30-40 feet from the shore and a good deep seam where tons of fish hold. Easy to wade up or down that side and fish the ledge. The kayak just gets me across the river. This is my favorite pre-runoff section of the river because it always produces.
 
#5
Starting just opposite the ramp the first 1/4 mile upriver on the East side to the big riffle rarely gets fished. Boats taking out at POR fish the deep west side and even those floating further down then to fish the deeper, rocky west side as they pass POR. Yet on the east side there a prominent ledge visible at low water about 30-40 feet from the shore and a good deep seam where tons of fish hold. Easy to wade up or down that side and fish the ledge. The kayak just gets me across the river. This is my favorite pre-runoff section of the river because it always produces.
I’ve probably fished that section from Carbella to POR over a 100 times the past few years, mostly in the evening when get out at POR right at dark, and more often than not are the last boat to get off the river. We almost always come down the east side, and fish streamers there. A brown, or two, right at the end of the float is always a nice way to end the day. (I seem to recall that Dan Bailey once recorded that the largest brown trout on the Y’Stone that year was caught there.)
 

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