Thursday, November 10, 2011

Late Fall Fishing?

Is Fishing Season Over?
Of course not! Though we've passed through the busy season and even the off season and have now entered in the abyss of late fall/early winter - there is still fishing to be done. With the options we have around here, there are always a few fish to be caught. Weather can be the issue now, it's hard to predict what one will get from day to day, and cold mornings are generally unproductive. Yet as the day warms we're still seeing some great action on the Yellowstone, Madison , Gallatin as well as on the spring creeks down in Livingston. Streamer fishing on the Yellowstone was at its peak just a week and a half ago and my guess is that those tough enough to brave the elements could still have a shot at a few big browns. And if it's calm, and that's a big "if" there are still fish to be caught on dries.
Though most folks are well into hunting mode and have stored the fishing gear in the corner of the room temporarily, don't dismiss the option of fishing entirely - this is the most uncrowded time of the year without question and if conditions are right, a few hours of late fall fishing might be just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August Fishing

Though August is nearly over, conditions feel more like late July. Water conditions are absolutely perfect everywhere - cool nights have kept temps in check and higher than average flows have provided trout with ideal living conditions. Other than occasional carp trips, I've spent most of my time on the Yellowstone lately where pressure seems unusually light for the height of summer. Have seen few if any boats of most days though I'm sure they're out there. Most days have consisted of nymphing to start while the river warms and dry fly fishing starting somewhere around 11am. Hoppers and other attractors have been the ticket and the action seems to be getting more solid by the day.
Have also experienced some fantastic Spruce Moth fishing on some of the area's smaller mountain creeks - those who have not fished in and around Spruce Moth activity should try it - the Gallatin , Hyalite Creek, the Big Hole - all provide good options. There is a ton of great summer fishing to be had - with water conditions as they are, it would seem that we're in for a terrific September and beyond.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lots of Water

Water, water, water. Tons of out out here these days and while it's been an incovenience to anglers the benefits are going to be good conditions for the bulk of the summer. Without a doubt options are limited at the moment though its a day to day kind of deal. I have spent much of the past month on the Missouri which, in spite of massive flows, has been nothing short of phenomenal . THose who have not experienced that river during May or June should put it on the list. Due to high water flows of the past few years, fish populations up there are booming and most fish are averaging 17 inches which, in my opinion, is pretty impressive. Its been a nymphing deal up there with crayfish, caddis pupa, SJ worms and Buggers - the dry fly fishing will come when the river drops in the next few weeks.

As of now, the Madison is shaping up. Fished it today and while it is off color and flowing high the fishing is good. We're hoping for salmonflies at any point though everything has run late this year so it may still be a week or so away. Aside from this it's been lakes and spring creeks. With a lake dy tomorrow, I'm off to tie some callibaetis spinners and damselfly nymphs.

The big question is wehen the Yellowstone is going to clear - it's crankin now - I'm guessing, optimistically, that it will be around July 20 - more than likely it will be Aug 1. We'll see. Keep in touch.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lots o Water

Though we still haven't seen a ton in the way of super warm temps, spring has slowly come on the scene - grass is greening up, leaves are starting to poke out and snow storms have been replaced by rain showers (at least below 7000 ft). Runoff is certainly underway and while the Yellowstone, Gallatin, Jefferson, Big Hole and numerous smaller tribs are blown out, there are still some great options holding out.

The Madison, both upper and lower, has been fishing fine and while the water has been open the rise, the climb has been slow and the fish have pretty much stayed on the bite. Some good caddis fishing has occured on the lower during the evenings - been pretty much nymphing program during the day. The upper has been a most cooperative with nymphs as well - had some exotics out of there a week ago - a grayling, a brook trout and a fine sucker. Last grayling I saw in there was 12 years ago - cool to see one again.

The Missouri, now 15,000cfs is huge but fishing has been great if you can your bugs down the fish. Long rigs with wire worms and fire bead scuds are a huge part of the deal, putting them in the soft spots where the fish are congregated is the other. Will be spending a lot of time up there in the next few weeks giving the waterds around here a chance to settle down.

Its going to be a long runoff this year - might not get on that Yellowstone until mid July - once we do get on there my guess is that we'll see some of the best fishing we've seen in a while. The fish are loving all this water. With a few good years of it now, we're really looking good for the future.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Terrific April Fishing

Though I'd like to title this entry "spring fishing" or something along those lines, it still feels a bit like winter around these parts. Just this week we've had two significant snowfalls in Bozeman - can't imagine what the mountains received. Haven't checked the stats, all I know is that there is a ton of the white stuff up there. And while we've been dealing with cold temps and lots of snow and a lack of comfort the benefit is good water. We're going to have lots of it this summer which is going to make for ideal conditions from mid July throughout the rest of summer and fall.

In spite of the more March-like conditions, fishing has been terrific. We've had some great baetis and midge fishing on the Yellowstone, Madison and the Spring Creeks and, just this past week, experienced the wonders of skwala fishing on the Big Hole. It was cold, maybe 25, and windy but those fish were on that early season stonefly - kind of like hopper fishing in April. Nymphing, as it most often is, has been solid most everywhere and as water temps warm slowly but surely, the streamer fishing has picked up. So it's hard to figure what we'll do or where we'll be headed from one day to the next - we're lookng at wind, at water temps, air temps, flow trends, clouds, sun and all the rest. With all the options around here, there's always something fishing well - we just have to find it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Fishing in Full Swing

Though conditions have leaned a bit more towards winter than spring lately, with 2 good snows and temps only getting into the 40s in the past week, the fish have made it clear that they have entered into spring feeding mode regardless of the conditions. Without a doubt, the rainbow spawn, which has just started around here, is a driving force of some of this hot action. Pre spawn rainbows are chowing down before their annual rite of spring while the post spawners are doing the same in effort to refuel. Browns and smaller rainbows are taking advantage of the entire routine, simply gorging on the eggs that find their way off the redds and into the current. Aside from the spawn, midge hatches are enormously prolific right now and blue winged olives are just starting to make a presence. There is more to eat out there now there than has for a while, the days are getting longer, the water starting to warm and the fish are simply starting to take advantage of all of it.

My anglers from last week had to put up with some tricky conditions, mainly wind, but were rewarded with solid fishing on the Yellowstone, a superb day on Depuys Spring Creek and several excellent days on the Madison. Conditions look excellent for the next few days and into the weekend. We'll cross our fingers and hope for calm conditions which could provide us with some great dry fly opportunities.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Fishing

With the mild weather we've had as of late, the fishing has picked up markedly on the East and West Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone (when the Livingston winds are at bay). Fishing on the Livingston Spring Creeks has been good but will only get better as rainbows start to move into the creeks from the Yellowstone later in February. Though most action has been subsurface with SJ Worms, Golden Stones, Prince and Hare's Ear Nymphs as well as midge larva and pink patterns such as the Shrimp Cocktail, there have been moments of surface activity with midges. Midge hatches will get stronger and more prolific throughout February and into March providing us with one of the best dry fly opportunities of the season. With the midge fishing game, calm days are the key. Tired of skiing? Give us a call and we'll get you on some spectacular mid winter fishing action.