SW Montana Fishing Report – 04/27/11

Montana Fly Fishing Lodges MRR Slide 1

Our fishing…

A fishing guide bitching about the weather – that’s strange…  Today has us sidelined with 50 mph winds, so we are catching up on some blogging and paperwork.  We did manage to get out yesterday afternoon for a bit on the Yellowstone River.  Fishing was fair at best.  The bright sunny skies had the baetis and midges holding tight and the hatch was light at best.  We did however find a number of trout stacked in the foam holes.  Until the hatches of baetis, March Browns and Mother’s Day Caddis hatches really start rolling that’s where we suggest you concentrate your time.

Our best technique is still shallow nymphing between 2 and 4 feet with small nymphs.

The Highlights:

Yellowstone River:
It’s all weather dependent right now, with some warmer weather and increased water temperatures we’ll start to see stronger baetis hatches and the March Browns.  Obviously, the word on every anglers mind is Caddis.  The Mother’s Day Caddis is nearing its emergence date.  The key is to keep your eye on the water temperatures – 52 to 54 degrees is the key the start of the major emergency.  Currently, there are a sighting of March Browns on the lower river toward Big Timber.  Caddis have also been sighted on the lower river and up river near Pine Creek.

Spring Creeks (Armstrong, DePuy, Nelson):
Midges and baetis have been very good on the cloudy days especially when the breeze is light.  Take advantage while you can with the early season discounted rates until June 14th.

Madison River:
The Lower Madison River is off color from Ennis Lake and Cherry Creek spilling in off colored water.  There are baetis, midges and caddis are right around the corner.  The trout aren’t consistently keying on the dry flies so it’s a nymphing and stream thing right now.  The streamer fishing, dragging a Bow River Buggers and small baetis nymphs dropped below are the best ticket right now.  Look for the fishing to pick up with the increased hatch activity.

Missouri River:
The Missouri is much like the rest of the waters around the state, inconsistent.  The nymphing is getting better, but the water is still higher than normal for this time of the year – 7,140 cfs (2,000 cfs higher than normal). Nymphing is a daily puzzle between flies and water depth – seems it’s between sow bugs and bright flies or baetis and midges.  The streamer guys are hit and miss, but a few nice fish are a pretty sweet day, right?

Got any good fishing reports from the area? Then make sure to leave a comment and let us know.

Lower Madison Report 04/24/10

Montana Fly Fishing Tripschoose All Inclusive Inset

On Saturday we guided on the Lower Madison.  Once again conditions were a bit tougher than we’d like.  A front moved in and the majority of the day found us challenged by 20 mph downstream winds.  The combination of small nymphs and heavy winds made it difficult to get the right drift.  Fortunately, we are always prepared and brought out 7 weights and got the job done.  We only landed about a dozen fish, but a number of them were in that great 15 -17 inch category.  Surprisingly, most were brown trout.

Best Technique:
Our only real option was to nymph based on the conditions.  Indicators about 5-6 feet above a BB or AB split shot with a double nymph rig.

Weather & Water Conditions:
Fifty-five degrees, variable clouds, 20mph downstream wind.  The water was flowing at 1,130 cfs and had been stable for a few days.  The water color is a great green/olive color – perfect for the lower.

Light baetis hatch around noon.

Best Bugs:
Our best nymph size 18 olive Lightning Bug fished behind a San Juan or small Bow River Bugger.