Great Weekend!

March Brown Dun - Photo Paul Weamer

March Brown Dun – Photo Paul Weamer

You should fish this weekend! The weather’s predicted to be very nice. Warm, with a slight chance of showers in the afternoons. Not much wind (knock on wood). The fishing remains good, with plenty of fish being caught on nymphs and streamers. I caught several trout on Monday with a trusty brown Rubberlegs, size 6. Only the whitefish were eating my dropper, whatever I tried. Still, it’s worth putting on a smaller bug – soft-hackle Copper John (try blue or red), CDC Pheasant Tail, Anatomay Peacock, King Prince…. You may see mayflies hatching, small baetis (blue-winged olives) and/or bigger March Browns. The March Brown hatch has been spotty, but there were some out on the Bird Float (Grey Owl to Mallards) on Monday. Try a Copper Haze, Parachute Hair’s Ear, or Sweetwater McDougal in a size 12 or 14 to imitate these guys. No stretch of river has been fishing particularly better than others, so you can float anywhere that sparks your fancy right now. There is some color to the water today, but that shouldn’t affect the fishing too much, especially with nymphs and streamers. Feel free to call us at Sweetwater Fly Shop (222-9393) for an update before you head out.

So Far, So Good

At this point, the water clarity is very good at Carter’s Bridge, despite a rise in the flows of the Lamar over the last couple of days. It’s predicted to be pretty gusty today, but right now there’s only a moderate breeze here at the shop. So if you were planning to fish today, give it a shot, but be prepared for the wind to pick up later in the day. If you run into dirtier water up higher in the Paradise Valley, do not despair. As far as the fishing, there’s not much new to report. Nymphs and streamers have been consistently good, especially on cloudier days (like today is supposed to be). Blue-Winged Olive (baetis) mayflies have been on the water in the afternoons, so keep an eye out for the little bugs and rising fish. A lot of the risers have been whitefish, but if you look closely, you should be able to pick out a few pods of rising trout amongst them. A Parachute March BrownAdams or Purple Haze in about size 18 should bring you some dry fly success. Don’t forget to pull over at any eddies that you pass, as there are often fish working the foam. If you’re having trouble seeing your fly, tie on something big and bushy as an “indicator” and your baetis imitation as a dropper. There have also been some bigger March Brown mayflies hatching. If you spot any of those, try a larger (say, size 14) Parachute Adams, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Sweetwater MacDougal, or Copper Haze. Even if you don’t see fish rising actively, the trout will often come up for this more substantial meal.

Short Update

BuggerHappy Easter! Yeah, today (and the rest of the week) is going to be a day for the relatively hard core. But if you’re up to it (and dressed warmly), it should be a good day of fishing. The Yellowstone River still has some color to it, but it has cleared up a lot from last week. Plenty of visibility to put it to them. If you’re stripping streamers, try something in black or dark olive. We’ve had good reports. Maybe a Baby Gonga in black, or a dark olive Home Invader. Or try dead-drifting a size 8 or 10 brown Wooly Bugger. The trout were eagerly eating that guy on Friday. I also caught trout on a size 14 CDC Prince Nymph and a size 8 olive and brown Rubberlegs. There have been blue-winged olive (baetis) mayflies on the water in the afternoons, and some fish up on them. A lot of the rises I saw on Friday and yesterday looked like whitefish, but if you keep an eye out, you’re likely to find some trout among them. Look for less splashy, more subtle rises. A size 18 Parachute Adams should get you some dry fly action, and still be visible enough to keep track of. If you’re not into fishing in the snow/rain, next weekend looks better.

Don’t Be Afraid of A Little Color

LVNPG_lYes, the Yellowstone River has muddied up over the last couple of days. Up in Yellowstone National Park, the Lamar spiked up to daily record highs with the warm weather we had recently. That usually bodes bad news for the Yellowstone, and the Yellowstone’s water is currently more brown than green. That’s the bad news. But there’s plenty of good news. Relatively cooler temps are bringing the Lamar back down, and the Yellowstone could very well clear up a lot by this weekend. And then there’s the fact that the Yellowstone can still fish well even when there’s limited clarity. Trout have amazingly good eyesight, even in the dark, and a few inches of visibility is all they need to find your fly as it drifts by them. True, dry fly fishing is usually a no-go when the river is brown. But drift some nymphs or a streamer through the muddy water, and you’re likely to be surprised by how well you can do. I favor bigger, dark-colored flies under these conditions; the fish seem better able to see a black or dark olive fly. For example, you might try the old favorite Rubberlegs in a size 6 or 8, black or olive (or peacock, which we just got in). I’d still go with a smaller nymph as a dropper, perhaps a black Copper John or a Prince of Darkness. Or dead-drift a black Slumpbuster or Mini Sculpin with the Rubberlegs as a dropper. Stop by Sweetwater Fly Shop and we’ll be happy to point you to these flies and others that have a good chance of working in dirty water. Remember, you won’t catch any fish sitting on the sofa.

Mellower Day

Montana Wind SockYesterday’s wind storm was quite something – branches down, rafts blowing about behind the shop…. It wasn’t quite as bad up high in the Paradise Valley, but there were still some significant gusts. Today should be much better. It’s not bad right now here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. And the prediction is for 9 to 16 mph. Knock on wood. Looks like it’ll be a beautiful day to do some fishing.

As for the fishing, it remains consistent, fair to really good. It’s still primarily nymphs and streamers. There just aren’t enough blue-winged olives (or March Browns) hatching to get the fish particularly interested. Especially with the predicted sun today. There’s some color to the water, but plenty of visibility to pick up fish. Green is good. Try the usual spring nymphs – CDC Pheasant Tails, King Princes, Soft-Hackle Copper Johns (as I mentioned on Friday, blue was a killer color the other day), Rubberlegs, Anatomay Peacocks, etc…. Tired of catching whitefish? Try dead-drifting a Bugger, Zonker, Beldar Rubberlegs, or other smallish streamer. Maybe with a Rubberlegs dropper (brown, black, olive, tan) in size 8 or so. Want to do some streamer stripping? We’ve got a bunch of juicy new patterns here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. Stop in and check out the selection.

Don’t forget the sunscreen today!

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