Fishing Reports

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Madison River - Lower - April 2nd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 62 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Warm and Sunny!  And more of the same coming at least for another couple days.  Sure feels good after winter!  Is it going to last?  Heck no.  Bridger Bowl closes Sunday- it's sure to start snowing again in earnest as soon as it does!

Lots of folks walk/wade fishing.  Especially up Beartrap Canyon.  And why the heck not?  It's beautiful out there!  Fishing has been good too.  Not bad for the dudes & dudettes floating the river either.  Fish are still pretty much concentrated in the "buckets" and deeper runs so floating from depth to depth and posting up has been a good method.  Rainbows are moving and getting to spawning locations.  I'm sure they are stacked up under the dam by Ennis lake..... Bugs- midges for sure, baetis too.  Haven't heard much about whether anything bigger like March Browns might be starting or not.  It's  a little bit away for that. 

Things aren't too terribly different than they have been as far as techniques.  Yes, there is some dry fly activity to be found.  Hope for the days with clouds and not much "W" for midging fish on top as well as some blue wing olive activity in the afternoons.  Otherwise, nymphing in all the likely buckets and runs with 5-7 feet fly to Indy and enough weight to get down and tick along is the ticket.  You can try slow swinging streamers and other bugs through the buckets as well as along weedline edges to see if someone will grab.  Water temps are coming up.  So are the flows just a bit.  As warm as it's been, that may become even more evident..

Call the fly shop for info and patterns 406-333-4401
Armstrong's, DePuy's and Nelson's Spring Creek - April 2nd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
Spawning Bows are all over the spring creeks!  Winter rates are still in effect for another 2 weeks.  Hey, the sun has been shining, temps are downright warm and there's been little in the way of "W".  And there's good midge as well as sporadic BWO activity.  All in all, pretty darn good fishing right now!

As far as hatches, Midges will be present here/there throughout parts of the day. Spring Baetis are starting as well.  These BWO's prefer the low light conditions of cloudy/stormy days vs. bright sunshine.  Finding an afternoon with low light, clouds, light or variable wind can bring on a very good hatch and fish will definitely be looking up. 

Do consider the Redds in the creeks.  You know, the places the rainbows are making the next generation of themselves that we would like to see get big?  There's really no need to fish to the fish that are actively spawning or are about to.  There are plenty of other trout in the spring creeks that are a)done spawning and are below the redds feeding b)other species :browns and cutthroat that aren't spawning at this time.  It's very helpful to not stress the fish that are actively procreating as well as not walking all over their spawning grounds.  Simple- leave them be.  Your courtesy and thoughtfulness will go a long ways to making more trout!

Rod fees are at Winter rates until April 14th: $40/angler making fishing the creeks a real bargain. 

Short leash nymphing with a non-beaded yet weighted PT pattern like the Sawyer PT with it's copper wrapped body tied in tandem with either midge pupa or very small baetis softhackle patterns has been very effective at blind nymphing up fish.  Sight fishing to specifically feeding fish may require changing the flies around a bit until that fish takes. Yet another effective "search and grab" means is to work small to medium sized streamers in olive, black, or sometimes white coloration through likely looking haunts.  You may be well rewarded....

Flies to fish:
Sawyer PT 16-20
Tung Zebra Midge, black or olive 18-20
Natural Scud 18
Soft Hackle Scud 18
Split back BWO Nymph 18-20
MO softhackle baetis18-20
Micro May olive, brown 18-20
Flossy san juan 14

Black, olive buggers
JJ Special

Call anytime 406-333-4401
Yellowstone River - April 2nd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
Downright awesome early spring conditions continue to be the case this week.  For those of you who didn't get out over the Easter weekend, too bad!  Sun, sun, and more sun plus temperature readings in the low 60s has made being on the water MOST pleasant.  That and a direct lack of "W".....shhhh, I won't say the word.... has anglers grinning.  The fishing isn't bad either!  Water temps are on the increase and with it, fish activity.  We're getting good to very good reports from a lot of anglers.  Fish have moved some from the winter type super slow, super deep depths to more mid-line areas and even up into some faster runs.  Still not summer type locales, but certainly into more active water.  Bugs, too, have become increasingly present.  Lots of midges.  Some baetis sprinkled in there as well.  Tough on those dudes though as bright as it has been.  Watch- first couple days we get a cooling trend and some good clouds, those blue wings will begin to pop!  So, what to do and where:  Depth and speed are still very important.  Middle deep (2-4feet) as well as the super deep are holding fish now.  And you can a little more speed, but still looking for that true "off speed" not direct fast current to target the trout.   Nymphing is always the most consistent.  Start deep in the morning hours and work progressively shallower into the afternoon as fish move up.  7-9 feet from first fly to Indy then moving that bobber down to 3-5 feet by afternoon.  Dry fly activity has been mixed.  Again, agressive sunshine has the fish holding off from chowing hard on top.  Get the clouds + bugs = surface activity increase.  How bout streamers then?  Some days are good even in the bright conditions.  You just have to roll with your choices of what to huck.  Black, Olive, White are traditional--- and they still work!

People have been asking about if there's still ice on any of the boat ramps.  The answer is finally- pretty much NO!  Loch Leven has had a big ice dam chunk sitting there, but in the past few days, has all but gone bye-bye.  Everything else is good to go.  DO pay heed to the fact that the river is basically closed off to floating from Mayor's to 89 right now with the KPRK bridge work.  You DO NOT want to try floating through the bridges now!  FWP/State/TU/Anglers/Shops etc all working on an alternate so that we can fish from just below the bridges downstream and we will keep folks informed of how that progresses.

Feel free to stop by the shop anytime or give a call 406-333-4401 for any other information. 

Yellowstone National Park Rivers - March 19th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Rain and/or snow
  • 20 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor
All Park Waters are closed to fishing until Sat May 25, 2013!
Madison River - Upper - March 19th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 40 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Reminder: Upper Madison from outlet of Quake Lake to MacAttee Bridge and again from Ennis boat ramp downstream to Ennis Lake are CLOSED to all fishing until the General Fishing Season opens May 18th!!

Plenty of fishing to be had however in a lot of very good areas on the Upper.  Reports in the "between the lakes" area has been good.  Snowmobiles have packed a good trail down at the head of Quake Lake so getting in there is not a total slog through the snow.  Nymphing the usual Maddy fare up there as well as small black & olive bunny leach patterns have been producing.  Downstream from Story Ditch down to Ennis, stopping and hitting the good runs is very productive.  Again, usual Maddy fare for in here is working quite well.  Lots of good size bows are on the move up river and will eat a well presented nymph rig.  Several nice browns have shown as well on swung streamers while on the move between anchoring spots.

Flies to Try:
Pat's Rubber Leg Stone (6-10) brown, brown/black, olive
Yuk Bug (6-8)
RBGB (6-8)
Theo's Terminator (6-8)
San Juan (8-10) pink, red, wine, natural
Flashback PT (12-18)
BH Prince (12-18)
3Dollar Crystal Dip (14-18) red, olive, brown
Lightning Bug (14-18) pearl, pink, gold
Copper John (14-18) copper, red, black

Madison River - Lower - March 19th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 40 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Decent weather ahead of us for the week.  It's not so much IF the wind doesn't blow it's when.  But we are talking the Lower Maddy and March.  The two go hand-in-hand for making the W crank up!

A heads up- we have been told by MT FWP that electroshocking survey boats will be out for several days in a row on the Lower again this week doing their annual fish census work.  Up to you, but it may be a good idea to stay above the Warm Springs boat ramp area and wade fish into the Bear Trap!

Winter fishing conditions still rule.  There are some midge hatches to be found.  What you will find is predominantely smaller fish focused on them.  The bigger trout seem to be continually focused on bigger fare.  For the most part, fishing underneath with standard Lower Maddy fare like crayfish patterns, bead buggers, bow buggers, and trailing with smaller beadhead  midge, mayfly, or caddis pupa is a proven & good way to find some nice fish.  Did we mention crayfish????  Water temps are still quite chilly! Dont' fall in!  Fish as you can imagine are a bit more sluggish and won't move all that far for your bugs.  Be consistent, patient, and methodical before giving up on what looks like good water.  Find as deep and off speed runs as you can.  Happy hunting!  

Call the fly shop for info and patterns 406-333-4401