Fished the lower Madison yesterday for a few hours after work and found some great trout feeding on sculpins and nymphs. Had a few fish eat caddis and stonefly dries but not a lot of heads coming up in the rainy weather. One thing that i find myself doing every Spring is reorganizing my fishing gear in an effort to make my life easier. This year I decided i was tired of wasting time rigging rods at the boat ramp and sprung for a Rod Mount storage bracket for my truck. Now i can leave up to six different rods fully rigged and ready safely stored in the truck.
Fished some more private lakes yesterday and found some bruiser rainbows and browns happy to eat a stripped leech. Had an awesome callibaetis hatch with some rising trout going after size 14 mayfly duns and emergers. Not a bad way to spend the day and to make things even better we headed over to the Rib n' Chop house in Livingston for the annual dirty water guide bash. Every year the fine folks at the RnC put on a party for guides/outfitters and fly shop employees.
Well yesterday i headed over the hill to see what the Yellowstone looked like and if i had checked the flows before i made the drive i would've seen that it had jumped 1,000cfs the day before. There is a few inches of visibilty but it looks pretty chocolate in color and not a ton of caddis, at least not as much as the Madison right now. So i decided to check out some private lakes. When the rivers get muddy i switch to a lot of stillwater fishing which is always a blast but especially when the lake fish cruise the surface for midges and callibaetis.
Hit up the lower Madison yesterday and was greated by millions of caddis flying around. The fish weren't up on them until late afternoon but from about 4pm-8pm was lights out awesome dry fly fishing. Most fish we found were up near the banks, as were the caddis. Darker colored caddis worked the best but the fish get pretty silly when this hatch gets in full swing and will eat just about anything. Gonna float the Yellowstone today and enjoy the fluttering bugs before things get warm this weekend and start to bring the river up.
There has been some great dry fly activity on our local waters lately with the big brown mayflies. We're talking about march browns and it is a very fun hatch to be a part of after months of fishing size 20 midge and baetis patterns to pitch a size 12 or 14 mayfly at rising trout. Also been some good activity subsurface with brown trout eating streamers and nymphs. With this cooler weather steadily holding back the runoff for now it is a great time to take advantage of some fishing before we start throwing flourescent bugs in the chocolate water.
Just got back the other day from a couple weeks of walking the flats stalking bonefish on Long Island, Bahamas. Had a great time this year and continue to learn more and more about saltwater fly fishing and it's addictive qualities. A few of my new discoveries this year had to do with different gear options, different approaches, and fly selection. As far as the gear goes i tried a few different sized rods besides the standard 9' 8wt., which still remains the most versatile standard, but a 6wt.
Hank Patterson the self proclaimed world's best fly fishing guide and youtube star will be at the Bozeman Angler this Saturday April 27th from 9:30-11:30am doing a meet and greet and DVD signing. Hank is in town to do some enlightening talks at the Simms Ice Out event this weekend and will be at the Bozeman Angler for an open to the public free event. If you haven't checked out any of his videos poking fun at how serious many guides and anglers take themselves it is pretty hilarious stuff and he is just as funny in person.
The trout are getting aggressive towards the color pink this time of year and should just get better until spring time when we start chasing the early caddis, skwala, and baetis hatches. For now pink is king for numerous hookups. The streamer bite is slow to mediocre but sometimes that one tug is what makes an entire day of pitching the 7wt.
Winter time is play time in Montana and the fishing continues to be great this February. Fished the Missouri yesterday with a group of local fly fishers who have the same icy angling affliction. We found a good number of hefty rainbows taking nymphs all day long which kept things entertaining. We had thick cloud cover all day and lots of midges on the water but not many trout feeding on the surface.
The downtown Winter Crazy days is right around the corner and wanted to give all you trout bums a heads up on a chance to get some great gear at CRAZY prices. March 1st-2nd the Bozeman Angler will have some great deals on everything from flies to clothing. Hope to see you there!