July 9, 2018


I love headwaters. They are beautiful in and of their own right, but fishing them is what draws me to them.  They are cleansing for me, as they wash away the worries and burdens of daily life. I love headwaters.

Still, they are not always trophy fishing destinations. I have found that my Yellowstone ecosystem headwaters, being high altitude freestones, are relatively nutrient poor and don't sustain as much aquatic life as lower elevation secondary or teriary waters. Thus the fish in my headwaters are usually smaller and further between. Most trout are in the 6-8 inch range, but an occasional 12-14 incher will hold over from the spring spawn.

For example, I can fish lower elevation mountain streams and take my usual 12 trout in under an hour. The trout are usually larger and I only have to cover less than 300 meters. As opposed to my headwaters, where I usually have to cover a lot more water while taking half as many fish.

Don't get me wrong, as I said earlier, I love my headwaters. I can't hike as fast or as far as I used to, but I still fish them as often as I can. They are cleansing. They are healing.

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