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.