The Underground's Friday Fishing & Footwear Links

Category:
Underground Entertainment
Added Date:
Friday, 15 Jun, 2007
Summary
We'll get right to it. Why waste time on a beautiful Friday -- especially when more fly fishing might await me at the end of the day?
 
Content

We'll get right to it. Why waste time on a beautiful Friday -- especially when more fly fishing might await me at the end of the day?

The Fishing's Good... For Now

The "always-dripping-with-information" Fly Fishing in Yellowstone blog (Caddis gone wild!) echoes a Sierra Times fishing report about the Truckee River -- and both sound eerily similar to the Upper Sacramento reports I've been providing.

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The dry fly fishing has been great because the water's so low, and good-sized fish are being caught -- probably due to the mild winter.

That's the good news. The bad news is the we're probably going to pay for all this dry fly fishing success later in the summer in fall. Let's hope the cost isn't too high.

The Future of Fly Fishing Footwear? (Let's Hope Not.)
Five Finger Shoes via Spluch

"Five Finger" Shoes now available for $70 - $100. Add a little felt, and...

It's no secret I spend most of my wading life on the knife edge of disaster, clinging to underwater rocks by the skin of my toenails. That's why the Five Finger footwear (found on Spluch) seemed like a natural fit for a wading shoe.

Five Finger Shoes

Alas, no felt-bottomed version is available (the things are made from a thin, flexible Vibram rubber), so my hopes of being the first fly fisher on the Upper Sacramento to wear these things have been dashed. Damn.

Then, the TVA Angler highlights some Tabi "marine wading socks he bought in Hawaii. They're essentially wading socks attached to rubber and felt soles.

Tennessee Valley Angler Tabi wading socks

Interestingly, he suggests they fish well on small streams, but are pretty hard on the ankles in deeper water with bigger rocks. The cost? $10. Sure, they look dorky as hell (Ninja Angler, anyone), but I caught myself wondering if they wouldn't be a smart alternative to my four-pound wading boots on one of my backpack trips.

So what's the verdict of the Undergrounders: Five Finger and Tabi boots -- dorky or dude-like?

fly fishing, fishing, five finger shoes, tabi boots

 
Reading Time:
5minutes
Featured:
No
Author
Destinations
 (1)
A uniquely western mix of quaint and kitsch, West Yellowstone is a gateway to one of three, Montana based, national park entrances. While tourist shops and nature attractions threaten ... moreto distort the town’s true character, serious fly fishers should not be put off. In 2009, Forbes Magazine rated West Yellowstone as one of the top ten fly fishing destinations in America, describing it as the trout epicenter of the world. If that weren’t enough, in 2010, Forbes went on to list Firehole Ranch, located on Hebgen Lake, as the 5th best fly fishing destination in the world, one of only two cited in the US.

Epicenter is in fact an accurate way to describe this town. Top rated trout streams surround West Yellowstone such as the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone and Henry’s Fork of the Snake. The Upper Madison, Gibbons and Firehole Rivers are a stone’s throw away. For those partial to float and deep-water fishing, Hebgen Lake, Earthquake Lake, Henry’s Lake and Island Park Reservoir provide a large roster of fishing options. Heartier souls can go ice fishing during winter months while for those inclined to participate, the region hosts several, competitive, ice fishing tournaments. 

Lodging choices are abundant, ranging from rustic campsites to absolute luxury. Year round sports opportunities are available including horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. 
Fishing Waters
 (2)
Scenic, beautiful and rich in history, this northeasterly flowing river is thought to have acquired its name from the Minnetaree Indians whom were struck by the unique, yellow-colored ... moresandstone lining the river’s lower bluffs. Translated by early French trappers as Roche Jaune, {Yellow Rock} the river kept this moniker until Lewis and Clark recorded their translation into Yellow Stone, a name that took hold and remains today. The river may be better known in history as an escape route after General Custer and his 7thCalvary, were soundly defeated by the Lakota Indians at the Battle of Bighorn. The few remaining survivors were ferried down the Yellowstone to Fort Abraham Lincoln along the Missouri River.

//

Today, the awe-inspiring river is closely associated with the Wyoming based Yellowstone National Park and the other great recreational fishing rivers that cluster within the southwestern corner of Montana. The Yellowstone itself is officially classed as a Blue Ribbon stream in Montana, from the Park to its confluence with the Boulder River east of Livingston and from the Rosebud Creek to the North Dakota border, and is the longest undammed river in the lower 48. The absence of dams along the river results in favorable habitat for trout from high inside the Park, downstream to Gardiner, the Paradise Valley, Livingston and to Big Timber, a length of nearly 200 miles.

Many consider the area around Paradise Valley to be the most favorable in Montana, especially near Livingston. Here you can expect to lure brown trout, rainbow trout and native yellowstone cutthroat trout as well as rocky mountain whitefish. Further along, from Billings to the North Dakota border, burbot, channel catfish, paddlefish, sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and the occasional pallid sturgeon can be found. The section of the river from Mallard’s Rest to Carter’s Bridge is known both for its magnificent scenery and abundant fishing. Here you will find yourself in the midst of snow-capped mountains, the Absaroka to the east and the Gallatin to the west, and a landscape dotted with elk, fox and other wildlife. You’ll also discover meandering streams and creeks that flow into the Yellowstone. Many, such as the DePuy Spring Creek, are highly ranked, and like the main river, are full of rainbow and brown trout.
 (1)
Maclean’s famous story, A River Runs Through It, is set on the now famous Blackfoot River. Despite this, Robert Redford’s 1992 movie version was largely filmed on the Gallatin as he ... morefelt the scenery and fishing were more cinematic. The river originates high in the mountains of the Gallatin Range inside Yellowstone National Park and flows for 115 miles until it intersects with the beginning of the Missouri River at Three Forks. Inside the Park, where it runs for more than 25 miles, floating is not allowed and there are restrictions on fishing. Once it exits the park, it crosses a forty-mile expanse of mostly public lands, and runs parallel to a highway that makes it quite accessible. Because the river is narrow for much of its run, float fishing is restricted from Yellowstone Park to the confluence with the East Gallatin River. No wonder this river has a great reputation for wade fishing!

Unimpeded by dams, the river provides consistent, easily waded flows from mid-summer through mid-spring. Rainbows predominate with an estimated 1400, 8+ inch, fish per mile from the West Fork confluence at Big Sky to the mouth of the canyon. Browns are abundant accompanied by occasional cutthroats, brook trout, white fish and graylings. New to the lower most band of the river are northern pike. Never known for trophy trout, the river offers excellent dry fly fishing and beautiful surroundings. Since the fish are recognized as indiscriminate eaters, the Gallatin has come to be known as an excellent river for those learning to fly fish.

Like much of Montana, the River played a significant role in the state’s history. First explored by Native American hunters, by the early 1900’s, the area eventually became known to fur-trappers and gold prospectors. By the turn of the twentieth century logging rose in importance to the local economy as loggers famously rode the logs down river to prevent them from jamming. The towns of Bozeman and Three Forks are most closely associated with the River although given the importance of Maclean’s legacy, Livingston should also be considered as part of its history and heritage.
Game Fish Opportunities:
 (4)
If fly wranglers were gossips, the “Blue Ribbon” Madison River would likely be their primary object of attention. Arguably it’s the most talked over, written up and frequented river ... morein the entire state of Montana – and that’s saying something. What’s more, no one has anything bad to say about it and that’s for a good reason. There’s nothing bad to say. Its scenic journey begins in Yellowstone National Park at the convergence of the Gibbon and Firehole rivers and continues for 19 miles through parkland.

//

Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and sorry to disappoint, but it’s catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters the Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Trips
$
525
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
The Gallatin River is one of the closest, in proximity to Bozeman. As it makes its course from Yellowstone National Park to the Headwaters of the Missouri River, the Gallatin River ... moreflows through a diverse topography. High mountain meadows near Yellowstone Park, robust pocket water through the Gallatin Canyon, and the wide open spaces of the Gallatin Valley offer three distinct environments in which to fish and explore this fine river. Since it is smaller than many of our other rivers, the Gallatin offers a good opportunity for fishing on foot. Consistent hatches of caddis, mayflies and stoneflies throughout the season make the Gallatin an easy choice on any day.
$
550
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
Join us on the Yellowstone for a great day of fishing. With over 20 years experience floating the Yellowstone, Water's Edge Outfitting knows every riffle and pocket of water to help ... moretailor your trip to meet your expecations and skill level. Whether a first time angler or and expert, we will help you create great moments for a lifetime of memories.
$
1,075
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
3 days
Experience the Madison River Like Never Before Learn the best spots on the Madison River with 3 great fishing days with Red Mountain Adventures. Eric Shores, with over 35 years of ... moreexperiencing guiding on the Madison River will take you down a journey of the best places to fish.

The journey starts on the Upper Madison River on a guided float trip covering about 8-11 miles of premier fly fishing water. The following day includes a recipe (location flies, and technique) on a do it yourself wade location near the fly fishing town of Ennis. The third day moves you on to where the Madison River dumps into Ennis Lake for a full float day stalking the giants.

Note: The order or location may change based on where the best spots are at the time.
Outfitters
Welcome to Zach Neville Outfitters. With over 10 years experience, we are one of Bozeman, Montana's premiere fly fishing guide services. We offer float and walk/wade fly fishing trips ... moreon southwest Montana's finest trout waters. Here in Bozeman we are centrally located among The Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, Missouri and Bighorn rivers. In addition to this, we have access to some of the best private water in the region. At Zach Neville Outfitters it is our mission to provide you with a fun, safe and educational day on the water regardless of your background or level of experience.
Type:
Fishing
18 comments
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die
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Hi Tom, As far as rods? No, nothing new. Just trying to stay up with orders and squeeze in a little fishing time when allowed. Not much time for actually making things in me noggin'. As far as gadgets...yes! I built an impregnator for my reel seats. I had fun doing it, finding all the crap to make it, and to top it off...it actually seems to work! LOL It was a wonderful diversion from the day to day ... more stuff of rodmaking. The contraption involves both pulling a vacuum and applying pressure. Now, if I can just keep it running! Sorry, don't want to hijack a fine thread! I thought I was the only guy buying three gloves? Now I know why those sets weren't as hard to find as you might think? Do you have as hard a time as I do finding sets with a thumb on both sides? Mike
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Mike -- you built anything new and interesting lately? We're just asking.
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Thanks Mike, for speaking up for the largely ignored "mutant" crowd (not that there's anything wrong with that), from which the Trout Underground surely counts many readers. There's really very little explanation for a lot of this stuff. Thanks! Tom (buys gloves three at a time) Chandler
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OK...I know better than to post here but what the hey... It seems to me that there are ONLY five spaces to place one digits into. Shirley (yes, I just called youse guys Shirley), the group who read and post here require at least 6 or 7? I'm thinking they'll never fly! luv ya'll, 6 toed Mike
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Tom: Wait a minute!!! A protective cup insert - better shop that one to Simms.... With the zipper, it would be possible to have it in or out as needed. Unfortunately, it may only be needed if the rivers get any more crowded, not less. Or if you get pretty agressive about your favorite stretch.
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Nate: Yeah, when it comes to coral, I think I'd go for something stronger. Taku: Everybody keeps talking about my getting freebies, as if the fly fishing industry is even aware of my existence. I'm waiting for the rods, reels, drift boats and waders to start falling from the heavens, and yet every day the UPS truck drives blithely by. ... more

As for yapper dogs, they don't stand a chance in the face of Wally the Wonderdog -- the 85 pound Lab/Basset mix who does a fair imitation of an unstoppable force once he decides the slaw dog you're holding is in fact his.

Kevlar wouldn't help; a protective cup might.
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Patagonia had some similar footwear out some years back, called Reefwalkers I think. I do think they were felt soled. Protecting the ankles from the rocks and boulders in the rivers is tough with these, plus all those sharp little teeth of the yapper dogs as they go after your slaw dog will go right thru that fabric. Maybe you could get a Kevlar pair comped to you Tom?
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Tabi's suck. Used them extensively fishing reefs in Kauai. Sand gets in there and rubs you raw. Plus the lack of ankle padding leads to cuts and bruises. They do grip well on coral but are definitely not ideal. Nate
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Vibram's going it alone, eh? Wouldn't be the first time the conventional "wisdom" of the outdoor industry was dead wrong about a product. You're now officially our "Separate Toe Outdoor Footwear Correspondent" so keep us posted on the things.
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Okay-- a moment to erase THAT visual from my brain... all better. *sigh* As The marketing genius that you are, you may be interested to know that Vibram (who licenses out their rubber and soles to manufacturers-- much like Gore-tex does with their fabric) approached all of their partners with this idea and nobody would bite. They believe in the product so much they took it on to manufacture the line ... more themselves. It will be interesting to see what they put out there from a sales amp; marketing perspective.
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There's a picture; the Slaw Dog Fest, only with Five Finger shoes on all the feet. And why don't they call them Five Toes?
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I don't know Tom, those things are growing on me. They were FLYING out the door at Canoecopia this year. (A paddlesports extravaganza attended by roughly 23,000!) I know, I know. Us paddlers are a strange lot anyway. In fact, I even asked them if they needed a rep! If I get the job, I'll see if I can comp you a pair. There's a shot-- Tom, slaw dog and Five Fingers.
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While the Vibram logo is a small setback, to be fixed with a generous dose of rubber cement and a belt sander.. With my overhanging gut, and having not showered all weekend, most of them campers wont be lingering long enough to get a really good look.. My plan is to assualt their food first, and if they don't scream and run, I'm going for their women next...
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Tom, Maybe we should pitch that idea to Simms. Naturally, we'd need to ratchet the price up to $350 or so. We could even justify the price increase, you know, due to high tech mods like a waterproof zipper that allows you to scratch your big toe with ease, all without removing the tabi. hawgdaddy
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kbarton: don't you think the "Vibram" logo on the bottom will tend to kill the Yeti effect a little? hawgdaddy: Given fly fishing's proclivity for labels, I think sewing a SIMMS label into the Tabis would transform you from dorky to extremely hip dude -- and drive droves of fly fishers to the stores in search of their own pair...
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AWESOME! I have a pair of "5 Finger" (Size 20)shoes headed my way on Next Day UPS. I picked up an old Chewbacca costume at the local flea market last week, and these shoes will complete the ensemble! Tourists will be fleeing the woods in droves this season, as their will be many, MANY Sasquatch sightings this season, and many more footprints. Alone at last, with the entire river, mine...(cackle)
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Dorky to the extreme, but isn't that part of their appeal? It takes a real man to don those things on a trout stream. Another benefit I've found is that if you appear eccentric/crazy enough, fewer people are likely to bother you on the stream. Take care, hawgdaddy
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