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Spring Fly Fishing in Montana – 04/24/11

Montana Fly Fishing Lodges YVL Slider 5

Report Date April 24

Summary:
This weekend spring finally showed up in Montana and it is glorious!  Today was almost 60 degrees with no wind, a remarkable thing for this season so far.  While we could have done with a few clouds we won’t complain.  Our guides and fellow anglers have been giving us great reports from the Yellowstone, spring creeks, Madison and the Missouri Rivers.  There are good hatches of midges and baetis on most of these rivers, and even a few March Browns are starting to show up on the lower Yellowstone River.

Today Eric Adams from Montana Fly Fishing Guides, Jeff Pavlovich from Angler’s West, and our favorite bartender from Montana Rib & Chop House Bo fished the Yellowstone River.  As expected with the bright sun, the fishing was a bit slow, but we got them to eat in the right spots – foam holes are about the only consistent places right now.  We didn’t put forth a huge effort, but small shallow beads worked best.

PREDICTION:
This week assuming the weather forecast is correct we should see some good to very good fishing so stay tuned!

Hatches:
Midges, baetis on the cloudy days and we are starting to see a few March Browns. The lighter the wind the better the hatches will be and the more risers you’ll start seeing.  As the water temperature starts to rise the March Browns and Mother’s Day Caddis will be starting in earnest – at the earliest look for steady hatches by next weekend.

Weather & Water Conditions:
The water has that usual green color for this time of the year with a couple feet of visibility.  Partly cloudy and nice temperatures in the middle fifties with variable SW winds.

Best Technique:
Shallow water nymphing with small baetis and midge nymphs – concentrate on the foam holes along the rip/rap.  We preferred pinch on indicators 2.5 – 3 feet above the flies.  If you’re looking for risers check the tail-outs of the long runs or the inside corners of the riffles.

Best Bugs:
Midge Hatch: Olive & Copper Brassies, Zebra Midges, Miracle Midges sizes 16 – 20

Baetis Hatch: B.H. Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Olive & Black Copper John’s Micro May size 16 – 18.

March Browns: CDC Bead Head Pheasant Tails size 14 – no dries yet.

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