Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby Tarpon Day

Spent a good day on the lower Yellowstone again. Had some good hopper fishing in the afternoon and good/sporadic nymphing in the morning. The black and orange rubberlegs has been working a little better for me the last couple of days for some reason. Lightning bug droppers.

The lower Yellowstone is a diverse fluvial ecosystem. As the longest undamned river in the lower 48, it has a special place in the hearts of both anglers and all lovers of the outdoors. There has been a lot of talk and publicity the last year on the threats on invasive species to our waterways. NZ mud snails, zebra mussels, exotic plants, and even other invasive fish species. A lot of this concern has been "hyped" up by wader manufacturers looking to boost sales through the introduction on rubber soled wading boots. Today, everything came together for me though and I am now on the "band wagon."

I read, a couple of weeks ago, that there is great concern in the Great Lakes region regarding the impending arrival of asiatic carp which have moved up the Mississippi River system. Apparently a few...maybe more have gotten through a series of electric barriers and now may be in Lake Michigan. We have a similar threat here in MT. that has been completely ignored by government agencies, environmental groups, and sadly...sportsman's groups as well.

While our state fish and game agency, FWP, has been fishing the good fight by poisoning Cherry Ck for the last  several years. The intention is to rid this relatively inaccessible trout stream of wild trout and create an isolated population of native cutthroat trout. They recently overdid the deal though and managed to kill pretty much everything in the entire creek, even the fish well below the experimental region. I haven't been following the issue that closely, but reports in the paper indicated that FWP was not to blame, they simply were misguided by the direction on the poison bottle. I'm not one to cast blame...oh wait...I am that guy.

Anyway...so we caught a Baby Tarpon on the lower Yellowstone today. It was more out of a hunch than anything. We saw some fish rolling, I thought they looked like Tarpon. So I rigged up leader with some shock tippet and a Bimini, and had my guys throw some Deceivers into the daisy chain. We ripped this bad boy right out of the pack, in the middle of the Yellowstone River!

That got me thinking about the absence or rare reports of Tarpon in Louisiana. Maybe they headed west in St. Louis and the Carp headed east? That seems logical to me.

Tarpon trips in MT for only $450 a day and the guide provides lunch! Where in the world can you catch rainbows, browns, whitefish, the odd cutt, channel cats, stone cats, smallies, and Tarpon! It's here for the taking.

Down low again tomorrow and then to the Bighorn Thur and Fri. It's a Gold Eye, it's native, and this was a big one. All the rest(except the Cherry Ck  and carp thing) is pretty much bullshit that rolls around in my head as I drive home every night.

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