Contrary to some reports, the caddis hatch hasn’t really gotten going yet on the Yellowstone River. At least not in great numbers. Yes, there have been a few flying around behind the shop. And some reports of larger quantities down below Livingston. So if you’re heading out today, you might want to try down low. Water clarity is an issue; there’s about a foot of visibility this morning at Carter’s Bridge. Fishable, and enough to get some fish eating on top if the hatch really goes off. And it could, any day now, so stay tuned. We’ll post again as soon as we hear of anything.

Read it Here First!

FFIP_work_Page_01Here at Sweetwater Fly Shop, we’ve been working rather feverishly to complete “Fly Fishing in Paradise,” our informative little booklet on all things related to fly fishing in our area. It’s got a bit of everything, from articles on fishing the Yellowstone River and the Paradise Valley spring creeks, to fishing, fish handling, and photography tips, to restaurant suggestions. If you’re headed our way this summer (or sooner), give it a read. Just click on the cover photo to the left to download a .pdf version. Prefer a printed copy? Email us with your address and we’ll get one in the mail as soon as they arrive (sometime next week).
Did we leave anything out? Let us know in an email. If we like your suggestion, we’ll update the online version and send you a dozen pretty good flies. What a deal!

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.

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