Eye of the Guide


Satoshi Yamamoto - Jul 14, 2014

Sysadmin Note
Part 2 can be found here

Case #2: PMD on Lamar River & Soda Butte Creek – Part 2

At Soda Butte:

Soda Butte Creek is one of major tributaries to Lamar River. Indeed its junction to the Lamar is as popular and crowded as "Junction Pool" on Madison River (where Firehole and Gibbon Rivers merge). Food sources, effective flies, holding waters, and trout actions are very much the same as for the Lamar. The only one difference is the volume is far smaller. Yet this doesn't mean the sizes of the cutthroat are smaller than those in the Lamar. Indeed one can be surprised by the sizes and quality of cutthroat on the Soda Butte.

Another PMD Memory:

Introductions to cutthroat behavior and PMD hatches are the same as stated in Part 1. In this part, I'd like to share another fond memory while fishing the hatch. In the middle of August last year, I guided a group of two gentlemen. One angler was really skilled and his own flies in his boxes were really good. We didn't see many other anglers on that day along the creek so we could fish anywhere we wanted. I suggested to start with hopper or foam attractors (not gigantic ones) plus a bead head nymph trailed below. Considering the clients' skillsets and situation, I thought we would have a good start and trout would even rise on hoppers! I was wrong. It was really slow for us at the beginning. However, I wasn't worried at all. I knew we would see good PMD hatches. So I encouraged my clients to hang in there. Just around 10:00 to 10:30 a.m., we started to see rises. Also we started to see trout actively feeding in the deep pools. "Suddenly they became visible! Where had they been?" That's the typical response from visiting anglers. I set each of client a bit apart and I left a more skilled angler with good supply of flies alone and worked with the other client at the beginning of hatch. Eventually we regrouped. The skilled angler was doing well as we caught up. He was enjoying dry-fly action, but also I noticed several trout were feeding in the water column of the pool where he was fishing. The scene was very familiar to me. It was just like trout feeding on ascending nymphs during PMD hatches on the Livingston spring creeks. My client and I had generic flies, which working well, but I knew I could do better. I quickly went back to my truck and picked up my "spring creek" flies (the best part when fishing road-side streams!!). I tied on my own Pheasant Tail Mayfly Cripple (covered in the previous chapter) trailed with the must-have Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph (Master Angler version).

Pheasant Tail Nymph – Master Angler Version

He went on fishing and indeed hooked into the nice cutthroat feeding in the water column with PT. It wasn't surprising to me considering the client's skill and my observation but very satisfying, of course!!

Nice one!

Bigger ones' lunch menu: more nymphs than duns.

After lunch we had good fishing with hoppers, ants, and beetles, and my clients caught even larger ones.

Sweet Little Creek:
The Soda Butte can be as popular and crowded as the Lamar and any other road-side streams within Yellowstone Park can be. So it's the same story as at the Lamar. Most visiting anglers fish with large attractor dry-flies. They even seem to spend such short periods as if the Soda Butte is just a quick stop with the easy catching of little cutthroat. However, I can't emphasize the quality of this sweet stream as "match-the-hatch" water. Soda Butte offers high quality dry-fly fishing with respectable sizes of cutthroat.  

Satoshi Yamamoto, http://leftyangler.blogspot.com, is a guide and a professional fly-tyer in Livingston, MT.

Sysadmin Note
Part 4 can be found here


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