Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Fishing

Though it's mid October, it still feels much like summer - haven't dusted off the neoprenes yet nor the fingerless gloves. Have had an unbelievable spell of bluebird days and warmth - not typical of October but we'll take it... I guess. While the weather had been comfortable, the bright days have found us working hard for our fish - they've been there but we've had to pull out some tricks to make it happen. One day it's been streamers, the next nymphs, the next hoppers. We've fished midges, baetis, psuedos and caddis as well. All in all, we've found good fishing from the Missouri to the Madison and Yellowstone but it's been random and unpredictable as have been the fish we've seen. Just last week we landed a large westslope Cutthroat from an unlikely spot as well as a walleye that ended up in the skillet. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Needless to say, given the weather pattern we've had, I have to think that some of our best fall fishing is still to come.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Fishing

Though we're still getting glimpses of summer, the leaves are starting to change and the blue winged olives are starting to outproduce the hoppers on many if not most days. Hard to believe but fall is in the air which seems impossible after what amounted to a short summer. Needless to say, fishing is good these days though entirely weather dependent. Hot sunny days have been followed but cool rainy ones and with the inconsistent weather comes unpredictable trout. One day it's a pink Morrish Hopper that's getting the job done, the next it's a parachute Adams, the next it's a tan Sculpin stripped slowly off the banks. So they're keeping us on our toes out there which, honestly, is the way it probably should be.

Options are widespread right now and water conditions are primo - in fact many of the area rivers have come up in the past few weeks with the frequent rain. Spent two days on the Missouri last week. Action has picked up there and depsite the nuisance of floating weeds, the fishing was terrific with both nymphs and dries. The Yellowstone has been better on cloudy, rainy days ( which tend to produce the best hatches) but I've still run into some good hopper fishing when the sun is out. Have also had some good fishing on the Gallatin and Madison lately as well as in a few other random places not fit to publish online.

This is shaping up to be a great fall on the water - crowds have been thin and with the rivers in the shape they're in, those who managed to find their way out here are likely going to be in for some great fishing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hopper Fishing is Prime

Though it took awhile to get here and it's hard to say how long it wil last, summer conditions are absolutely primo as we speak. River levels and temps are ideal and with the settled, stable sunny days we've been getting the fish are looking up consistently. Morning fishing has been unpredictable (sometimes great right out of the ramp, other times slow) but the afternoon action has been consistently good - typical August fishing on the Yellowstone. Today they were on the hoppers by 10:30. Yesterday they wouldn't touch a hopper until 2 but would move across the river for a spruce moth all morning long. Might be nothing tomorrow, could be the day of the season. It's this type of fishing that gets us excited to be out there each morning - one never knows exacty what to expect - where will the fish be, what fly will they want? I've devised at least a dozen new hopper patterns this summer and whike none of them have worked i'm pretty sure that tonights epiphony will spell trouble for those fish tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer is here

Just today it finally felt like summer has arrived and might actually be here to stay. It was about 85 degrees out there on the Yellowstone today and with just the right amount of wind, it couldn't have been more comfortable. As is always the case this time of year, the fish seem to feel the same way. water levels are starting to stabilize after runoff and water temps are prime for not only the trout but for the aquatic insects that are enormously active and prolific at the moment. Just today we encountered 4 different varieties of stoneflies, three separate caddis, and 4 mayflies. PMDs, Green Drakes, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, Salmonflies, Black Caddis, Brown Sedges....you name it. Unfortunately, the fish weren't looking up today but it seemed that anything dark olive pushed their button. So, the Yeloowstone is back and fishing well, as is the Madison, Gallatin and Missouri. The Jefferson and Lower Gallatin are also going to come into play soon though it's possible they're already in good shape. THough a week or so away, carp fishing is close and as soon as the water clears on the Missouri we'll be up there after them. Randomly, we landed a 30 pounder in an undisclosed location last week....in many years of freshwater fishign it was far and away the largest freshwater fish I have ever managed to land. Can't believe that hopper season is just around the corner!!! Feel free to call or email for an up to date report anytime.

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Shortage of Water This Year!

Long gone are the early season concerns of whether or not we'd have enough water to last us the season. It's been seemingly non-stop rain and high country snow since mid-April and at this point we have more water than we know what to do with. It's a good problem to have and the fish love it. And while it finds us scrambling to find fishable conditions, there are always a number of good options in spite of what most folks think. Though high and off-color, the Lower Madison is fishable and just today we had fantastic action with olive buggers, SJ Worms and some crayfish patterns. The Missouri, though enormous with flows @ 16,000 cfs, is clear and as long as flows remain somewhat consistent, the nymphing is excellent. With the caddis brewing in and Craig, the fishing is just going to get better though, after a few days with the Wire Worm earlier this week, I'm not sure if it really could improve. We have seen more big browns up there this year than I can remember. Of course, the spring creeks remain an option as well and PMDs have started - this is one of the best dry fly opportunities on the creeks of the season.
Though it's impossible to predict, I suspect it will be somewhere in early to mid July before we're on the Yellowstone again. For more currrent info feel free to contact us at any time. Tight lines!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Fishing

Though it shouldn't come as a surprise, it's been a wild spring in Montana this year. We've had it all from snow and rain to wind and sun and often all within the course of the day. Still, despite the elements the fishing this spring has been outstanding. March Brown hatches were steady and as prolific as I can remember. We encountered them on the Gallatin, Upper and Lower Madison, Yellowstone and the Missouri.

Of course the presence of March Browns has been recently overshadowed by the arrival of the infamous Mother's Day caddis hatch which, this year, was appropriately named. For the past week, we've had perfect conditions for fishing the hatch - temps have been slightly cooler than average and instead of the explosive emergence that often takes place, the hatch has been a bit more sparse but has drawn out over a longer period of time. As a result, because there haven't been the overwhelming carpets of bugs on the water, our caddis imitations have stood out and become an easy target for the fish. Trudes and the X-Caddis have been the tickets and for the past several days we've been able to fish dries from ramp to ramp. With warmer weather predicted to arrive by the weekend my guess is that we'll have a few more days of great dry fly fishing and by the end of the weekend or early in the week the Yellowstone will be blown out by runoff.

Of course the Madison is also fishing well and this river along with the Missouri will probably be our most reliable options for the next month or so. Of course the spring creeks will continue to offer an excellent option, particularly when the PMD hatch arrives later this month or in early June, as will some of the tributaries that will be open to fishing soon. Good luck and keep in touch.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great April Fishing

Montana's spring weather is something to behold - snow, rain, wind, clouds, sun... sometimes all in one day. We've been all over the place with the weather lately but in spite of it all the fishing has remained suprisingly consistent and resiliant to the seemingly constant changes. We've spent most of our time on the Madison as of late as winds have been far more gentle there than down in Livingston.

Fishing on the Madison has been excellent with the most consistent action with nymphs rigs fished in the deeper holes. The river is quite low and clear and while there plenty of fish in the shallow stuff they've been tricky get close to.

The best dry fly fishing we've run into as of late has been on the Yellowstone - lots of baetis and midges which will be the likely principle hatches in the next week or two.

We've had a bunch of snow in the past two weeks, over a foot in the mountains yesterday, and while I can't be sure how much it has truly affected the snowpack I have to think that our hopes of good river flows for the summer are improving by the minute. If the moisture keeps up it would appear that we'll be in pretty good shape.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Fishing

Though it felt a bit more like winter today with constant snow and temps hovering around thirty all day, there is no question that the fish have entered into the spring routine. From the upper Madison to the Yellowstone, Gallatin and Spring Creeks in Paradise Valley, we have experienced some phenomenal fishing both with nymphs and dries. Midge hatches have been as good as I can remember and in the past few day the baetis have started to make their presence. Though the weather has been all over the map in the past week or so, the fishing has stayed consistent.

Reports from the Missouri over the weekend were also outstanding. Without a doubt, if you can handle the some adversity with the weather, April is one of Montana's finest months to fish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Season is Upon Us

It's hard to believe that the holidays are over and it's already time to start thinking about fishing again. But then again, I guess there's never truly a time to stop thinking about fishing. The year started with a bang at Nelson's Spring Creek. Given a picture perfect winter day, Lee Smith (holding the rainbow) and her mother Lela took a day off from skiing and were treated to some spectacular fish. They weren't easy to come by that day due to bright sun and little midge activity but those we caught, on scuds, sowbugs and midge larva, were real specimens.

In the days since, I've hit the Madison and found some good midge fishing. The Gallatin has also produced well with the old golden stone/prince nymph combo but then again, it seems that river fishes more consistently in the winter than at any other time of year. If wind stays down, we should experience a bunch of surface activity with midges in the month ahead.

As we approach the season, we all wonder what lies in store in terms of snowpack and water levels, weather, hatches and all the rest. Though snowpack percentages were slightly below average last time I checked, it's snowed a few times since which keeps me optimistic. Seems the pattern in the last few years is for good snow early, not much in January and early February and then the heavy stuff starts coming. We'll see how it shakes out this year but as of now, I think it's looking good.

Well, it's back to tying Epeorus Emergers and Longhorn Beetles, I will be fishing over the next few days and will report back soon.