December 10, 2008

Julie Eaton’s Winter Fishing Report

I haven’t fished the last ten days but the next two days will be devoted to getting an elk in the freezer. However, this weekend’s weather forecast should provide us with a few hours of fishing. We have a couple midge patterns to try and I’ll report on their effectiveness.The nights have seen temperatures in the 20’s and the snow that’s in the high country will stay and build up for the rest of the winter. I’m already hoping for another good snow pack and a replay of last spring and summer’s healthy river flowsNovember 14, 2008Chris, our son Josh and I fished the Gallatin River this afternoon. The sun was out but the temperatures were only in the high 30’s. There were midges hatching but I only saw one rise and our various nymphs found no willing participants. Two guides and a ten year old that has been fly fishing since he was two years old didn’t bring in a single fish. But our collective addiction will have us back out on the river as soon as we find time to pull on our waders and boots. Winter fishing season 2008 – 2009 is here and with that comes lots of nymphing and a few truly fun times fishing tiny midge dries. Winter fishing provides a different pace to our fishing. It’s a 180 from the continuous stroke of the oars and the sometimes frenetic casting to exciting summertime browns and rainbows.October 15thIt was cold and windy with a light snow but some outstanding fishing made for a well deserved day on the river. Hebgen dam has been repaired and the Madison between the dam and Quake Lake was reopened to fishing. Strong thick bodied browns and rainbows eagerly ate small prince nymphs. Numerous white fish congregated around my feet and it was entertaining to watch them feed on midges but the trout were out in the swift water feeding subsurface. After a few hours of fun my father and I called it a day, a very good day.