Twenty years ago I started a tradition while running the Jack Dennis Fly Shop. The annual event was an end of the season bash with my shop and guide staff. We put at least six boats on the South Fork and fished to Heise Hot Springs. There we had a huge celebratory dinner and stayed in the cabins they rent. It was one of the “funest” events of the year, and best of all, every ounce of the event was paid for by the company.
All fly fishing business folks that work together rarely get to fish together during the season. Its work work work to make hay while the sun shines. As manager I felt it was important to get everyone together at the end. The Jack Dennis Fly Shop is now gone but I’m pleased to say a few of the guys that worked for me, Scott Smith, Trey Scharp and Mark Fuller bought out the JD guiding permits and started their own new guide service called Grand Teton Fly Fishing. The guys are continuing the end of the year party and best of all, they invite me along.
October 20, 2013
Instead of going to the South Fork we headed to central Wyoming to the same place we fished together last year. It’s Indian summer with temperatures in the 60ºs. If a late season trip has been on your mind, do it. Any one of us on this trip will tell you the best time to fish the Yellowstone Country is October.
We had eight of us along and so we towed three boats. I rode up with Tom Montgomery, a regular on the blog. Tom and I are the oldest in the group and although most of the guys arrived Saturday and Sunday and got on the water quick, we casually strolled into town at sunset Sunday night and smoked stogies while watching fish rise till darkness.
October 21, 2013
Monday was a different story. Regardless of a rowdy night, this morning we got serious. We put the boats in around 10 AM to acres of rising rainbows, browns and cutthroats. There was a baetis hatch that rivaled the best I’ve seen and we arrived just as the tiny mayflies emerged.
For nine hours we had rising fish feeding on baetis. It was the never ending hatch which you can expect this time of year. Because the insects are small however these fish weren’t easy. First of all the trout are selective and you must present your minute fly perfectly. Seeing my fly is getting harder these days due to aging eyes and managing the drag-free drift took an hour to fine-tune. Then the fact that there are so many naturals makes it hard to actually get the fish to eat your fly. Nonetheless, when you spot a big head feeding, you lock in and fish till you get him.
I’ll bet we caught hundred fish amongst the eight of us Monday. Honestly we could’ve caught more but the festivities consisted of many gravel bar stops with beer and food. It’s great to get together with friends and often times the hanging together is as good as the fishing.
October 22, 2013
On Tuesday the group split up and we all fished on foot. Tom and I stuck together and waded to an area where we saw hundreds of rising fish Monday. We didn’t do so well at this place yesterday so we both had ideas of redemption. Once again we got started at 10 as this is the time the hatch starts. Sure enough the fish were up everywhere.
I’m a much better finesse dry fly angler on foot. In fact most of us are. Boats often spook fish as fish not only see the boat coming but they can feel the vibration and hear the oar strokes. If you don’t think the biggest fish drop and hide you’re crazy. Even on foot these swirling trout weren’t easy to catch. But once focused I got one of my sneaky yet simple as can be CDC-Euro-Vladi dry fly patterns tied on and got the trout to cooperate.
Tom and I had intentions of beginning our four hour drive home before dark but that didn’t happen. With less than a five minute break for a beer and a wrap, Tom and I head hunted aggressively feeding bows and cutts for another full day. Fishing was spectacular!
What a party and annual get together with friends. I’m thrilled my boys have kept the tradition of working hard all summer and making a point to get everyone together in the fall. October fishing here is as good as it gets.
Be sure to mark your calendar for November 8th. You may remember my trip for golden mahseer this past May. I was the angler in India for Confluence Films latest movie, “Waypoints”. On November 8th “Waypoints” premiers worldwide. This is the night to see the spectacular film as all ticket proceeds will go to fish conservation. To see the nearest location for you to see “Waypoints” on November 8th visit Confluence Films Website.