Report Date: 01/26/10 What a beautiful day for some winter fly fishing in Montana. Warm weather, light breeze and it’s January! A little bit out of the ordinary for this time of the year, but you’ve got to take advantage when everything lines up. We stopped out by DePuy’s Spring Creek for a couple hours to do some fishing.
Not much of a hatch, but a few midges and some small beatis. The hatch would have been a bit better but a light SW breeze picked up around 11am and kept the bugs from going stronger.
Weather & Water Conditions:
The weather was in the low 40s with sunny skies and a light and SW breeze. Water conditions as always on the spring creek were perfect.
Shallow water nymphing all the way. Small indicators fished in the slower water and along steam lines was most effective.
Tiny, sizes 18 – 22. Brassies, Zebra Midges, Miracle Midges for the midges and very small P.T. Nymphs for the baetis.
If you missed our recent Montana Fly Fishing in Winter Article make sure to check it out.
We’ve been chasing Salmonflies on the Yellowstone River and the switched gears and have been on the spring creeks of Armstrong’s and DePuy’s for the past couple days. Fishing has been great overall. The Yellowstone has fished well when the warmer weather has showed up and gets the big bugs moving. Spring Creeks have been pretty steady, but you have to really work those selective fish!
Yellowstone: you name it – Salmonflies, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, Mocha Caddis, Summer Caddis, Green Drakes & PMDs.
Spring Creeks: Midges in the morning and evening, PMD Spinners in the mornings/evenings and Adults between 9am and 2pm
Weather & Water Conditions:
Great weather, with some occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Always, Always bring your rain jacket and an extra warm layer!
Yellowstone – Single big try flies in tight to the bank or on the softer seams. Big bead heads in the right riffle corners are also producing some good fish.
Spring Creeks – 9 to 12 foot leaders to 6x with a morning PMD nymph rig dropped with a midge pupa or a PMD spinner, then a single dry for the meat of the hatch.
Yellowstone – Mystery Meat Salmonfly (sz 6) or Chubby Chernobyl Golden Stone (sz 6-8) drop a size 10 BH Prince in the right spots and you’ll also pick up some trout – but be careful the whitefish bite is epic on the upper river right now.
Spring Creeks – Slightly weighted Pheasant Tail (sz 18-20), Zebra midge (sz 20), PMD No Hackle (sz 16), Rusty Spinner (sz 18).
Travelers the world over visit Montana for countless reasons, among the most prominent, is undoubtedly the renowned fly-fishing. It’s a sport so intoxicating many piscatorial explorers soon call the Treasure State home. To this breed of angler, Montana’s great bounty can be found along the Yellowstone, Madison, Bighorn, Missouri, Beaverhead, and Big Hole rivers. While these tributaries are dazzling, most of our local rivers experience a natural period of high water. Each river is subject to the event, and the heavy spring run-off with infusions of melted snow often leaves anglers aimlessly plodding for their next fishing fix. Fortunately for us, the generosity of Montana’s fisheries prevails with numerous spring creeks that remain largely unaffected by the seasonal conditions.
Spring creeks are formed from groundwater aquifers that permeate the surface, together forming streams, which produce the ideal conditions for trout to thrive – cold, clear, oxygenated water. Just a few miles south of Livingston, Paradise Valley has an unusually high concentration of these creeks. While volumes have been written on fishing the spring creeks and the applicable tactics, few anglers have an understanding of their early history.
Read the rest…
Well it’s a couple days late, but we guided some great folks from the Bozeman area the day before Thanksgiving on DePuy’s spring creek – thanks to Sweetwater Fly Shop. It was a beautiful sunny day and about 50 degrees. The biggest bonus was very little wind, which is something special on a warm winter day to be sure. There were midges and some Baetis (blue wing olives), but not a strong hatch. It would have been a better hatch with a few more clouds, but we managed. We saw several brown trout redds, but didn’t see any fish on them.
We fished mostly subsurface with small midge pupa’s and Baetis emergers. Our window of opportunity was very short, but best between noon and 2pm. We managed to hook a nice brown and rainbow, but they both won the short lived battle.
That will probably be the last time we are out on the water for this season, but you never know with the variable Montana weather. We’ll be sure to update you if we get out again. We will however be updating all of our subscribers on the snow pack throughout the winter season – we might even throw in a few ski pictures!