Yes, the Pale Morning Dun mayflies are beginning their annual hatch on the Paradise Valley spring creeks. We’ve had reports of decent PMD activity the last couple of days. If you’re heading out to the creeks, you should be ready to target all stages of the hatch. Various PMD nymphs will be effective before the hatch gets going. We like Sawyer Pheasant Tails and Split Case PMDs, among others. Emergers and floating nymphs will catch fish early on, and even during the midst of the hatch. Our spring creek expert says he sees fewer fish eating duns than used to be the case. So tie an emerger or floating nymph (you can also dust some Frog’s Fanny on a regular unweighted nymph to keep it floating) on as a dropper behind your dun pattern. We like CDC patterns for both emergers and duns. Remember not to use regular gel floatants on CDC; it’ll mat the feathers. Use a powdered floatant such as Frog’s Fanny, or get some Dry Magic. If you’re going to be staying late, be sure to have some PMD spinners; you may also run into some spinners early in the morning. These early-season PMDs tend to be on the larger end of the spectrum, 18s and even 16s. Size your patterns appropriately. When things get going, try not to “flock shoot”; pick a particular feeding fish to target, so as not to spook the whole bunch with inaccurate casts. If possible, a down-and-across presentation is best, so your fly will reach the fish before your leader and line does. Plan out a presentation strategy before you start casting; your catch rate will go up if you think things through before you go after a rising fish. Stop by Sweetwater Fly Shop on your way to the creeks; we’re profligate with our advice (that is, we love to talk fishing).

Spring Creek Update

Several of us spent the day on DePuy’s Spring Creek yesterday. There were plenty of fish to target, but the fishing was relatively challenging. Despite that, we managed to hook a number of fish. We were primarily sight-nymphing, which was exciting. Nothing more fun than stalking nice-sized trout in the crystal clear water. We succeeded in enticing fish with small midge (size 20 Zebra Midges & Miracle Nymphs) and mayfly (Sawyer Pheasant Tail, Juju Baetis, Cold-Turkey Baetis) nymphs. We saw a few risers, but no fish consistently surface-feeding. A smattering of large (size 16) PMDs came off in the afternoon. It’s not on yet, but should be soon. We’ll keep you informed. In the meantime, take a trip out to one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks while there are still spots available and the rod fees are at $75 (until June 15). Even if the fishing is tough, they’re all beautiful spots to spend a day. If you’re wanting to fish the creeks later in this month or in July, and most likely have great dry fly fishing during the PMD hatch, give us a call (406-222-9393). We have pre-booked several days and would be happy to set you up with an expert guide to show you the ropes.

Big & Brown

Lots of WaterLooks like we’re going to weather the storm. For now, at least. The National Weather Service is predicting that the Yellowstone River will begin receding slowly from its peak this afternoon. Whether it will come up again is an open question. It depends in part on the upcoming weather patterns. No flooding or other problems here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Thanks to all who have called to offer your assistance!

The good news is that the early snowmelt probably indicates that we will be back on the river a little sooner than we had thought. It’s a little early to be making predictions, but mid-July is seeming like a distinct possibility.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks are fishing well right now, primarily with nymphs and streamers. There are no significant hatches going on right now; we’ll let you know as soon as the first PMDs are spotted. The rod fees go up to $100 on June 15 (they’re currently $75). Get out there now while it’s a little cheaper and there aren’t as many people on the creeks as there will be later on. If you are planning a trip to the area in late June and July and want to fish the spring creeks, please give us a call at the shop (406-222-9393). We’ve pre-booked a few days and will be happy to set you up with a guide to show you the ropes.

The local private lakes are another great fishing opportunity during runoff. They’re fishing very well. We were up at Story Lake the other day and netted several really nice Rainbows (and one nice-sized brookie). Again, the fishing was primarily nymphs under an indicator, or stripping Buggers or Leeches. Damsel nymphs are also a good bet; strip them along the bottom and be ready for aggressive takes. There were plenty of callibaetis mayflies (both spinners and duns) out at Story the other day. Had there been less wind, we might have had some good dry fly action. Be sure to take some callibaetis dries with you if you’re headed to one of the local lakes. Again, we’ve got some upcoming days at Story Lake pre-booked in late June and July. Give us a call if you want to experience the spectacular scenery and have a chance at some big lake ‘bows.


It’s On!

Leave work early. I am. There are tons of caddis all through the Paradise Valley. My windshield can attest to that.

This Evening? Tomorrow?

We’ve gotten reports of good numbers of caddis out in several spots on the Yellowstone last evening, but no word of fish actually eating them consistently. There were a fair number of bugs behind the shop last night, but only a few splashy emerger rises. The water at Carter’s Bridge got up to about 50 yesterday and should go a bit higher late today. Tomorrow’s weather is predicted to be even warmer. The question is, which will come first, the caddis hatch or the dirty water? If I were you, I’d head out this afternoon/evening, just in case. And if it doesn’t happen today, check with us about the water conditions tomorrow. Stop in the shop and pick up a few caddis emergers to tie in as a dropper behind your dry fly. Often, you’ll as well or better with the emerger pattern as you will with the dry.

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