First Salmonfly of the Season
Last weekend I took my girlfriend and her family fishing on the Upper Madison. The reports were good, and I really wanted to get them into some fish. Fishing was a little slower than I would have hoped (for everyone we talked to, not just us) but we still had a great day. Walking back to the car under a bridge I saw this guy fall into the water:
Yes, that is an adult Salmonfly. Yes, it is way early. WAY early. But still... To be seeing them this early means the hatch will be a bit early this year. I hadn't heard of any other sightings so far this year but talking to customers this week it sounds like at least one more has been found around the area.
Mother's Day Caddis
Mother’s Day Caddis! They are starting to show up in pretty good numbers on the Lower and Upper Madison. This hatch is one of the first major dry fly events of the year and it is one of my personal favorites. With the Lower being so close to town it is easy to run over there after work or for a few hours and enjoy this great hatch.
It’s still the early part of the hatch, and it’s just going to get better as time goes on. Water temps are almost at 55 degrees coming out of Ennis Dam, which is pretty good for the bugs. Over the past few days we’ve been seeing a ton of caddis flying around and on the water, but not very many fish eating off the surface until around 5pm. As soon as that sun gets off the water the fish will start coming up more consistently.
For a lot of us in Bozeman, the last thing you want to wake up to in the middle of April is six inches of snow on the ground. While the idea of a big powder dump excites probably more people in this town than it bums out, it is still a bit of a let down after some warmer days in the 60s and 70s.
But it still just April in Montana. We could legitimately continue to see weather like this for a couple more months. If you don’t like it, wait a few days and it will completely change again. That’s just spring in the mountains.
New Fly Tying Video: Caddis Soft Hackle
Peter and I have been working on a lot of different videos for our YouTube channel. The latest one is now live! Peter walks you through tying one of the most classic and effective flies out there, a soft hackle. This particular soft hackle is a really good one for caddis, especially the Mother's Day Caddis hatch (which should be here very soon!). The soft hackle is one of those flies you should always have with you in all kinds of colors and sizes.
Bozeman Anglers and Scientific Anglers
Aside from this morning the weather has been fantastic and so has the fishing. Yesterday was around 70 degrees and sunny and today the spring wind and rain smacked us around. Whatever the clouds and cool temperatures usually bring out the BWOs. We are starting to see more fish up on top going after the baetis and midges. We've seen a few skwallas and march browns but nothing really targeting them on the surface yet.
The Fishing has been just killer this week and while the indicator rig may be putting crazy numbers of fish in the net the streamer bite has been picking up as well. I've been having better luck with fish committing on the smaller sized patterns but getting a few chases on the big articluated ones.
Tying A Blood Knot
One of the most common knots fishermen should knot how to tie is a tippet to leader connection. You'll use this out on the water more often than you might think. Changing tippet sizes, adding more length to a leader, or building your own leaders, this is an important one to know. While there are several knots you could use, Peter's favorite is the Blood Knot. Watch him tie it in our latest video:
Skwalas on the Madison
Despite the forecast calling for very windy conditions, I headed out to the Upper Madison yesterday morning. I left town a little later than I wanted to and expected there to be a lot of people at the access. To my surprise, I was the only car in the parking lot. The fact that it was blowing 15 - 20 mph and looked like rain probably helped with the crowds.
The water is pretty low and clear up there right now, and it's been pretty warm up there. Day time water temps have been consistenly getting up above 42 degrees which is the magic number for Baetis to start showing up. I had hopes of seeing a few of them under the cloudy skies, but it was so windy I wasn't expecting much dry fly action.
Fly Tying Video: Complex Dubbing Twist Zonker
We've been wanting to do some fly tying videos for some time now, and finally have some to show! The Bozeman Angler's first fly tying video is now up on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel to keep up to date on the latest videos we post.
The fly we chose to post first is a Complex Dubbing Twist Zonker. Getting inspiration from the classic zonker, bonefish flies, and the guys at Fly Fish Food, Peter crafted this fly for rivers like the Missouri and the Madison. It works very well. It's been fished on the swing, dead drifted and stripped and it always looks good in the water.
The Bozeman Angler on YouTube
The Bozeman Angler is now on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel for fly tying videos, gear reviews, knot tying, and more.