Paradise Valley spring creeks are fishing well. Lots of fat, healthy rainbows are coming in from the river on their spring spawning run. Fair numbers of big river browns coming in behind those bows as well. We have been seeing some midges on the water and on most days, large spring Baetis too. There can be a window for a couple hours in the early afternoon that some fish have actually keyed in on the surface to both midges as well as these blue winged olives (Baetis). Mostly, it has been a subsurface game to be consistent. CF Midge pupa in olive, Wollum’s Baetis nymph in black, Sawyer PTs in olive and natural, Skinny Nelson’s and Spring Creek Sowbugs have all been very good choices for putting a bend in the rod. A key tip: fish a very small indicator that can be moved easily so that you can change from 1-2 feet in depth to 3-4 if need be depending upon the water and location on the creek. Thingy’s and Air-locs in the smallest size might still be too big. Be simple, small, and unobtrusive.
Also, it’s time for a word about fishing on the creeks in spring when spawning fish are present. Yes, there are a lot of rainbows on spawning redds already and more coming onto them every day. They are easy pickings and not technically difficult. First thing is “Don’t Tread On ME”! Watch where you are wading while in the creeks. If it’s a shallow (foot of water or even less), relatively fast moving, clean gravel corner- and a bunch of fish scurry out of your shadow as you approached- guess what- that’s more than likely a spawing redd. Stay off! And please consider not actively fishing to these fish that are on the redds. Redds may be a huge area with a lot of fish, or they could be clean gravel dish depressions with 1-2 fish congregated on them. Please pay attention as much as you can and become good stewards of the Next Generation of trout for the creeks and the Yellowstone. Instead, look to deeper runs, flats, and such that do still have fish in them that are not spawning. These fish are pre-spawn or post spawn and are bug eaters that are concentrating on the midges and Baetis.
The flyshop is open Tuesday-Saturdays 9-4:30 for the spring right now. We have a lot of really good spring creek fly patterns in stock and expert advice. Need licenses, new tippet spools, or leaders? We can help you with anything and everything to make your day on the water a success. Stop by or call.