This weekend looks very nice and we have guides and a couple cottages available. Fishing hasn’t changed to our delight. Streamers and persistence equals big fish. The nymphing game has been fun with fish sliding to different portions of the run during different parts of the baetis or midge hatch. Targeting fish where they are actively feeding based on what is happening with the hatch is really fun and educational. Light/short emerger rigs in some pretty eye opening locations during the peak. We are also getting some limited dry fly.
The pinned bead thing is getting heated and there are all kinds of ways to justify it for those who are doing it. The fact remains that per Wyoming Game and Fish regulations the practice is considered snagging if the fish isn’t willingly taking the hook into its mouth. A bead pinned 2″ from the hook means the fish is willingly taking the bead and not the hook. This practice is illegal.
Here is our take on pinned beads:
1. The practice requires no skill or knowledge of the river. We hold ourselves(guides) to a standard that mandates understanding what the fish do during any given day, hatch, season, weather pattern etc. Their behavior changes significantly. We want to let our guests experience this. Do you hire a guide to have an intimate knowledge of his river and have the river’s well being as a priority?
2. The pinned bead rigs that we find are brutal. They will have a bead then 6″ below a Wicked Impaler (red worm tied on a larger English bait hook or a naked Eagle Claw hook…of course with barbs) this will repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 beads and 3 worms on a rig that 2 – 2.5′ just for the terminal portion. This year we heard “I hooked another one in the eye many times” from guide boats due to the snagging. This happens rarely with a traditional rig.
3. No matter how you justify it or if it is being actively enforced, it is still a Wyoming Game & Fish violation. Again, snagging is illegal and if the fish doesn’t willingly take the hook into its mouth it is snagging. The language is clear. Pick up a copy of the regulations and see for yourself.
4. Why? Why on earth would you want to drag plastic beads around when there is no spawning going on? The middle of summer is littered with hatches and creates such a fun opportunity to target them during those events. Some days are broken up into several hatch events that require a different approach for each. Match the hatch and inject some skill or insight. Fishing isn’t always about the end result it is about a journey and often that journey is much more memorable if you have taken some licks. We encourage you to pinch your barbs and resist tying on worms and eggs when the going seems like it is getting tough…it really isn’t…they want your bugs in a different location because they are following the naturals in their hatch progression. Wait, watch, learn. As guides we feel we are responsible for not only helping our guest to many fish (often we overindulge) but to try to enlighten them about what is going on under the surface. We don’t see the surface of the water as we are fishing, we are constantly imagining the depth changes, the bugs in whatever stage. the redds if they can’t seen etc.
We have an amazing fishery and we would like it to stay that way. We feel pinned beads are not good for the future of the resource, nor are barbs.
Here is a shot of Mark S. a long time guest, streamer fanatic and latest member of the NPL 25″ Club. His success isn’t dictated by how many or even the size but these moments keep him ticking!