Tag Archives: Fall Field Campaign

Campaign Update from Yellowstone

No, not that campaign…  The Fall Field Campaign!

_dsc6523-1280x695It’s officially been 350 days since Katie and I were last fishing for migratory Rainbow and Brown Trout in our “secret spot” in Yellowstone.  It’s really hard to have that kind of air bubble in the calendar but man, was yesterday worth the wait.  The weather was setting up to be bad, really bad (high winds, snow and rain) but mother nature gave us a 12 hour window that was nearly perfect – well, perfect for fishing that is.  We started out with overcast skies, a low ceiling of fog, spitting rain, 35 degrees, and absolutely no wind.  That might not sound like a sunny day on the beach but it is actually ideal for catching really big trout.  By the time we left, the temperature had gradually risen to 47 and the dark weather conditions held steady from 9:30 AM till 5:30 PM.

We put over 20 fish into the net but probably hooked 60.  We fooled them with every fly pattern in our box (Streamers, CDC Betas Emergers, Egg patterns, soft hackle wet flies etc.).  The water level is higher than we’ve seen in many years but that’s because of the increased rainfall as of late.  This is really good news for the migratory fish and they are very big, healthy and strong.  The first 4 fish that I hooked were 20” and I managed to land three (a hook to land percentage that would gradually plummet during the course of the day).  In the back of my mind, I could hear Dan Larson’s voice screaming for most of the day as I lost several great fish… “AAAAUUGGGGGAAUU!” Continue reading »

Final Day Three in the Bayou

Final Day Three in the BayouThe final day of the 2015 Fall Field Campaign ended well with 6 impressive fish from the Bayou Marshes of LA.  We started out the day with 40 degree temps and 20 MPH winds which made the wind chill be in the high 20’s. We were each wearing 7 layers of clothing and we couldn’t help but notice that we were the only game fisherman in the entire Marsh.  Bunch of whimps! Continue reading »

Day Two In The Bayou

It was a fast and furious day in the Bayou with Captain Marty as we dodged multiple showers and thunderstorms.  All things considered, we had a great day before being driven off the water by lightning strikes just after noon.  We landed 7 fish between 10 and 30 Lbs. with the fish of the day being a monster Black Drum that actually chased down Billy’s Purple raider fly – TWICE before being hooked.

The Ambush Red

The Ambush Red

We caught multiple fish on every technique today (Fly, Jig, and Crab).  What we’ve been able to conclude thus far about the redfish in LA is that their behavior is radically different than those landed in Mosquito Lagoon.  The fish between 15 and 30 pounds here are as aggressive as Continue reading »

The Hunt for Redzilla in LA

The first day of the LA Fall Field Campaign was challenging but still rewarding for Captain Billy and I as we landed 7 very respectable fish with Captain Marty.

T.O. with 28 Lb Redfish

T.O. with 28 Lb Redfish

The weather was in the mid 60’s with Cobalt Blue Skies and light winds out of the Northeast.  The highlight of the day for me Continue reading »

Last Day In New York

The Fall Field Campaign wrapped up operations in Hamlin NY this weekend with another outstanding day on Jim’s backyard playground.

The weather cooperated far better than expected on this trip but the region could really use some serious rain to pull in another big pod of fish.

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I still have some processing to do over the next few days but the overall portfolio of fish portraits now includes a whole new inventory of great close up shots of really big Brown Trout (up to 18 Lbs.).

Billy Rotne and I will be off to LA in two weeks to hunt for Redzilla with Captain Marty.


2015 Fall Field Campaign – Update

It was a spectacular final two weeks in Yellowstone this year as we closed out the Fall Field Campaign in MT.  Dan Larson and I have now fished the upper Madison River in the Park for 16 straight seasons.

Once again I said to Dan… “I believe that this year could well have been the best season ever.”  His response was typical… “hard to tell, but “It’s hard to imagine it being much better.”

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Given that we now have to go through “PYD” for another 350 days, it’s hard to imagine trout fishing for wild fish to be much better than this.  PYD = Post Yellowstone depression. Continue reading »

A Few More Shots From Yellowstone National Park Last Week

Finally getting around to working of a few pictures from last week’s Fall Field Campaign in Yellowstone.

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Katie as the true the Packer fan.  Burnside on the run from Tonka.  The sh*t show parade (video buffalo while driving).  Mr. Two heat. And, a few close ups.

More to follow as we return to find the really big browns this week.


Special Days in Yellowstone National Park

I’m not sure it can get much better than this…

Katie Olivo - Sunrise in the Rain

Katie Olivo – Sunrise in the Rain

Tony Thompson - With Monster Brown Trout

Tony Thompson – With Monster Brown Trout

We have now hit year 16 for our consecutive annual fishing trips into Yellowstone NP hunting the migratory spawning trout in the Madison River.

What was unanticipated was not the spectacular fish (they are always there) but this year, the “Abby-Normal” weather.  We just had three record high temperature days with the mercury climbing into the 70’s with no wind and cobalt blue skies.  Continue reading »

Gender Contrasts

Today was a “slower” day for the Fall Field Campaign.  Dan and I landed some fine 12 Lb. fish but the unstable weather shut down the afternoon session.

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The photos from today illustrate the incredible contrast between Male and Female Brown trout that migrate out of lake Ontario.  The males are a deep burnt orange/pumpkin color with massive heads and lower jaws while the females support a golden yellow/spotted black glow with small heads and amazing “mid-section” girth (see shots).

More to follow tomorrow as we search for steelhead.


“THE FISH” of the Fall Field Campaign

What’s it like to catch THE FISH of the Fall Field campaign?

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I wouldn’t know but ask Dan Larson.

After telling Dan for three years that he was missing out on catching Monster Brown trout, he took me up on the challenge.  I promised him that he could land a 15 pounder and how long did it take him???  How about 15 minutes!

After landing a magnificent 15 pound fish at my favorite “barn hole” on Sandy Creek, Dan said…  I guess I can go home early.

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Never satisfied, after another 10 minutes to reflect he continued to hunt for “just one more fish” until he hooked and landed the most impressive fish of the Campaign – 17 pounder.  A spectacular male that had a massive head and deep pumpkin/burnt orange colors. Continue reading »