Hatch Watch – Pale Morning Duns

It’s June and anglers from around the world are starting to filter into the world famous spring creeks of Armstrong, DePuy, and Nelson.  Starting in the next week (June 15th) or so we should start seeing steady hatches of Pale Morning Duns.  These great mayflies are a pale yellowish/olive and range in size from 12 to 16.  Anglers obsess about PMDs as they are a larger mayfly and trout can’t help but look up to eat the dry fly.

We stopped by DePuy Spring Creek just the other day and turned over a few rocks and saw good numbers of PMD nymphs starting to stage up in the riffles.  Based on our observations the nymphing should continue to get better throughout the week and dry fly action should start in the next 10 days.

For a hatch chart and more detailed information on these awesome trout, snack visits our Interactive Hatch Chart.

We still have a few spring creek rods available on Armstrong Spring Creek so if you’d like to book a guided fly fishing trip please contact us.

Mother’s Day Caddis Update 04/27/10

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Happy Mother’s Day Caddis hatch!  We hope you can get out and fish it today, because some nasty weather is rolling our way.  Highs over the next few days will continue to drop while the chance of rain will increase through Friday.

Not to worry the fishing will still be very good as we have a great March Brown and Baetis hatch that will be prolific with the cloud cover.

In the video fishing report you’ll see that the caddis hatch really just started yesterday.  While the number of bugs on the water are not epic they are starting.  Farther downstream near the 89 bridge the hatch was much heavier and we expect to see more of that today.

Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted!

Spring Fishing in Montana


Spring fly fishing in Montana on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and the Spring Creeks of Armstrong, DePuy, and Nelson can be some of the best of the year.  In fact, many of our summer guests ask us when we get time to fish.  The answer – springtime!  While the weather can be variable the fishing is quite consistent.  Those of you considering an early season get-away, here’s a rundown of what you can expect.

The weather and conditions are varied so come prepared for temperatures from the low 40’s to mid-’60s.  On occasions, there is snow, which should not stop your fishing, but if it does, this is also the prime time for wolf watching in the nearby Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.  Buffalo, elk, and other game, that grew weary over the harsh winter, often fall prey to the wolves at this time and the packs can be seen from the road!  This wonder has drawn worldwide interest and many people are coming to our region specifically for this event.

The benefits of springtime travel in Montana have not caught on nationwide, but for the passionate community of people who love the West, it is the only time to be here.  For “locals”, this early fishing season is a treasured un-crowded time unlike any other.  It’s often been suggested Montana natives named it the “Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch” so they could have the best dry fly fishing for themselves for three weeks before.

As for what you can expect for the fishing:

March-early April bring us great midge and baetis fishing.  The water is usually low and clear, so good presentation is the key to fishing success.  That said, the fish are eager to eat after the long winter’s cold.  Water temperatures warm and the fish get active.  Warm afternoons are best, especially on cloudy days even if it’s snowing outside.  The added bonus is that if the weather turns cold and snowy Bridger Bowl ski area is only 35 miles away – ski in the morning and then fish the afternoon hatch!

Mid-April – early May really gets us excited.  One of the most spectacular hatches anywhere in the world is right around the corner – the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the Yellowstone River.  Describing this hatch, when it’s full blown, is almost impossible. You might think we’re exaggerating, but that’s why we’ve included some photos so you can judge for yourself. The river has an orange hue when the hundreds of thousands of caddis hatch in the afternoon. In the beginning stages of the hatch, trout are eager to feed on these tasty morsels along the river banks and in back-eddies.  While the caddis hatch gets most of the attention the March Brown’s can be just as spectacular.  What trout wouldn’t want to eat a size 12 to 14 mayfly after a long winter’s slumber?

In an effort to get some of our long-time summer fishing clients to get a taste of the great Montana spring fishing we offer a 15% discount from our standard guided fishing rates.  So if this sounds like an interesting time of year let us know and we can fill you in on more details. This opportunity is available from March until the first week of June.

Favorite Montana Hatches

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So it’s winter and we are busy blogging, tying flies, skiing, and dreaming about the best hatches of next fishing season.  We’ve listed a few of the Montana Fly Fishing Guides staff’s favorites.  Comment on your favorites.

Eric Adams’s 3 Fav’s:
Spring Baetis – Ski in the morning, fish dry flies in the afternoon.  Oh yeah no crowds.
Mother’s Day Caddis – Flat out the largest hatch on the Yellowstone River you will EVER see.
Giant Western Golden Stone – Yeah the one in late summer.  Big fish on dries.

Eric Paramore’s 3 Fav’s:
Mother’s Day Caddis – if you want to know why check out the 2nd pic in this photo gallery.
Hoppers – I spend most of the winter tying the perfect one.
Hecuba – A cool late summer mayfly.

Perry Coleman’s 3 Fav’s:
Pale Morning Duns or PMD’s – I get back from Florida right in time for these guys on the Spring Creeks.
Hopper’s – I know they aren’t a ‘hatch’ but come on!
Tarpon Worm Hatch – Yeah, it’s not in Montana but neither am I, too busy guiding Tarpon in Islamorada

Dennis Alverson’s 3 Fav’s:
Salmon Fly – Big nymphs, I love the Girddle Bug!
Hoppers – Rising trout, love it.
Summer Caddis – On the Boulder River.