Montana Spring Fling

Montana Spring Fling

In the mood for a fling? How about taking advantage of our Montana Spring Fling and get 20% off all of our guided fly fishing trips.  Yep, enjoy some of the best fishing of the year with virtually no one around to watch you rip those trout lips.

We’ve expounded before on the great opportunities during the pre-runoff, spring season in this article A Montana Angler’s Spring Fling in 2011 and it still holds true. If you’ve never experienced Spring fishing in Montana then read up on the article and you’ll be convinced it’s one of the best times of the year to visit us.  Oh yeah, it’s also a huge bonus to get a guided fly fishing trip at 20% off.

Spring awakens dormant life great and small with the receding snow, while the bounty awaiting trout and anglers alike excites the spirit. The aforementioned are just a few of the highlights for the upcoming spring season. But they do introduce good opportunities for many of you to experience exceptional fishing before the onset of summer. In the pursuit, you’re sure to discover unique wonders of your own. Here’s to the start of a great fishing season!

If you’re interested use the SPRING13 code and book online or contact Montana Fly Fishing Guides directly and we’ll answer any questions and literally hook you up!

Details: Spring Fling Discount applies from March 1st through May 31st. Peak season guide rate is $475, use code SPRING13 for 20% discount or $380 guide rate.  Includes all services and amenities as our peak guide rates. Rate does not include trips to the Missouri River.

A Montana Angler’s Spring Fling

Montana Fly Fishing Tripschoose All Inclusive Inset

This article appeared in The Bozeman Magpie on March 24, 2011.

It’s officially spring here in Montana, which means warm and sunny weather today, whiteout blizzard tomorrow. While anglers are obviously excited about hitting the first good fishing of the season, there’s also a sense of urgency, as the impending seasonal run-off starts on most rivers statewide in mid-May. Few devoted anglers can deny dreaming about an extended road trip with no set destination, just the promise of good fishing ahead. The warming days of spring only seem to agitate these desires. Fortunately in Montana, there’s no need for extended trips, since a wealth of great locations lie within a few hours drive.

Those looking for a little help selecting their destinations should consider the following recommendations before the dirty water hits.

While January and February in Montana can bring some great midge fishing, the nice weather days are too few to consider this timeframe among the best fishing of the season. However, as the days of March slowly warm, the rivers literally spring to life. One of the earliest major hatches is the Skwala in western Montana. These beefy stoneflies are easily imitated with Stimulators, Sofa Pillows, Mystery Meats and the like in sizes 6 to 10. After a long winter of minimal activity, the trout prove eager for such a dining opportunity. This feasting exhibition has anglers rushing to the Bitterroot, Clark Fork and Rock Creek, looking for that first tight line of the season.

This hatch⎯like many stonefly hatches⎯can be spotty, but there is hardly a better way to ring in the fishing season than with the possibility of trout eating large dry flies. Seems both anglers and trout are ready to break free of winters cold embrace with this great fishing opportunity.

April brings consistently warmer days, and the options seem limited only by your gasoline budget or level of angling wanderlust. The tailwaters, spring creeks and freestones throughout the state will start to witness plenty of spring baetis. On the more technical water, these small mayflies, also known as Blue-winged Olive, are best imitated with any number of Rene Harrop CDC flies, and subsurface with brown/olives and pheasant tails in sizes 14-18. On the larger freestone rivers, more traditional flies like Parachute Adams, Wulffs, and bead-headed CDC Pheasant Tails will do the trick.

The more noteworthy rivers at this time include the Missouri River, Armstrong Spring Creek, Bighorn River and the Upper Yellowstone River. As the warmth of April increases, an explosion of insects begins with the fabled Mother’s Day Caddis, March Brown’s and continued baetis. The caddis get all the press, but the baetis and March Brown mayflies occur just before and throughout the Mother’s Day Caddis (shown below), ending only when the rivers finally swell with a full-swing run-off. While anglers still have to deal with the occasional bout of snow or cold weather the trout seem to be happy to cooperate with the smorgasbord of eatables spring brings with her.

Spring run-off sullies rivers throughout the state during May and June, meaning a little concentration should be applied on where to head next. As there are limited options, a good choice is to head back to the Big Hole River where the caddis are often just beginning. This river does experience run-off, but its tannic-looking waters rarely yield to that unfishable muddy color for long. By late May, the caddis are popping, but those looking for truly big fish will be throwing a streamer, particularly in brown/yellow. The J.J. Special is certainly a crowd favorite. If the Big Hole does get dirty for a couple days, another short drive will have you fishing the tailwaters of the Beaverhead or the Missouri.

With so many options and all that wonderful activity, the month of May quickly turns into June. From there, the summer season is just a few short weeks in the offing. Tailwaters throughout the state are starting to fish particularly well, but certainly the Bighorn and the Missouri should be vying for the top of the Montana angler’s list. These two rivers tend to fish exceptionally well with nymphs, including Rainbow Czech Nymphs, Scuds, Lightning Bugs, San Juan Worms, Tung Darts, and a variety of others.

Those anglers who prefer to fish dry flies will have limited opportunities in June, however the Paradise Valley spring creeks of Armstrong, DePuy and Nelsonoffer dry fly fishing that is second to none. The Pale Morning Dun (shown right) is a common summer mayfly that typically appears in mid-June on these particular spring creeks. The Big Hole is another river to keep an eye on as the elusive Salmonfly can make its emergence anytime in June depending on the weather and water conditions, but it usually coincides with the onset of the summer season.

Spring awakens dormant life great and small with the receding snow, while the bounty awaiting trout and anglers alike excites the spirit. The aforementioned are just a few of the highlights for the upcoming spring season. But they do introduce good opportunities for many of you to experience exceptional fishing before the onset of summer. In the pursuit, you’re sure to discover unique wonders of your own. Here’s to the start of a great fishing season!


– Eric Adams

Yellowstone River Report 05/08/10

Yellowstone River Report 05 08 10
Alright this has gone to just plain sweet spring fishing!  If you can get here in the next 4 to 6 days do it.  Yesterday and today were great fishing.  When neither the guide nor the anglers can remember how many trout were caught we consider that a great day of fishing.
The weather is predicted to stay cool so spring run off should be delay until at least after the weekend.  Today was the warmest it’s been in three weeks at about 55 degress, the wind was still blowing a bit but at a reasonable level.  As expected at about 2pm the March Browns and Baetis showed up.  At 3pm or 4 pm the Mother’s Day Caddis kicked off and it was the largest emergence we’ve seen yet this spring.  Dry fly fish was very consistant – those fish are starting to look up.  The rest of the week should be great so we’ll see you out there!
Best Technique:
The Dry/Dropper technique was most effective, however in the larger foam holes a shallow nymph rig (15-30 inches) with an nymph and emerger was best.
Weather & Water Conditions:
Mid-fifties at the warmest part of the day with variable ENE wind to about 15mph.  The water was flowing at 2,010 cfs and had been relatively stable for a few days.  The water color is a great caddis-y green with 2 to 3 feet of visibility.
Light Baetis, great March Browns and best Mother’s Day Caddis hatch to date.  All starting around 1pm or 2 pm, caddis are starting later around 3pm.
Best Bugs:
Our best dry was a parachute March Brown sz 12, best emergers Cat Puke and P.T. Soft Hackle sz 14, best nymph Glass House Caddis sz 12.

Caddis Watch 2010

Caddis Watch 2010

As many of you know (since we love talking about it!) we are getting close to our annual Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the Yellowstone River.  We have seen some – I repeat some – caddis on the river.  In total, we’ve seen a few dozen adults over the past several days and plenty of pupa starting to drift and migrate.  So, we are getting close.

The recent warm weather has melted some of the lower snow and the Yellowstone has come and cooled off a bit.  The magic number for the full-blown hatch is when the water temperatures go upwards of 54 degrees.

So if we had to guess? Within the next week, we should start seeing some good caddis fishing.  So keep your thermometers handy and check the river temps often over the next several days – or you can just read our blog and we’ll let you know.

Remember we do have a great spring fly fishing rate from now until June so come on out and enjoy a Montana fly fishing trip this season!