Saturday, March 21, 2015

3rd Week of March Report (Almost All a Photo Gallery)

I'd like to say I'm back to full-time fishing from this past week (though I'm not exactly fishing full-day = early-late but my outing is getting longer and later in the evening). I visited DePuy's Spring Creek ( for 4 days. Each day was filled with some of the greatest spring actions I ever experienced for this time of the year!! That means I took lots of picture, which means this post will show perhaps the most pictures I ever done. But don't worry: my writing should be very minimal instead. Let's look!

Monday, March 16th, it was cloudy in the afternoon = a perfect condition for baetis (blue-wiged-olive)!!

Then my own FA Nymph was the top producer of the day!!

This was definitely the "river-run" Rainbow!! A lot too handful for my little 4wt-8ft rod though.....
Wednesday, 18th, it was warm and bright in the afternoon. I didn't know what to expect at my regular spot but I started to see rises. I soon figured midges were hatching. BUT!!! It wasn't a typical rise form. I didn't see any dorsal fins and tails were breaking the water, not to mention no heads/mouths were protruding either. With some trials and errors, I figured out trout were feeding probably 4-inch below the surface. I was managed to haul in several trout. My pump results confirmed my observation. They were exclusively feeding on midge pupae!!!!!

By the end of the hatch...........
Thursday, 19th, it was very much similar condition. Oh, don't let me forget to mention that, besides midge & baetis hatches, "spring spawning run" of Rainbows are also hot & furious!! They may even rise on our dry-flies!! Before & after the hatches, I do look for them.

Besides egg patterns, this time of year, my own BPC (Bead. Pheasant. Copper.) has been very effective. I strongly believe this imitates baetis (BWO) nymphs, soon-to-follow PMD nymphs, and perhaps snails.

Then, again, super technical midge hatches...........Trout were again exclusively feeding 4-inch below the surface. My own Pupaerger hooked something.........big...........

It was a very fine brown. I actually thought it would be another river-run rainbow. This was a bit too much for my 4wt-8ft. Mostly because of leverage = rod length. 

I kept fishing. Here are another pump result. One small brown spat on me!!

Friday, 20th, it was another similar condition = 3 days in a row. I got a large river-run 'Bow before the midge hatch.

So I acquired a new wand in the evening of the previous day from my neighborhood fisherman at the creek. just fits in my hand as well as it fits to my "casting personality". After two near-misses, this cute brown became the memorable start of journey with me.
Is this because hook was wimpy or trout was too big?
Napping while I was working hard - I guess their long necks need rested correctly.........

As the day gets longer, I start to stay a bit longer at the creek. At one particular spot, I observed several cruising trout. After several trials and errors, I was able to "dap" my flies successfully on its course. It was barely rod-length apart = 9ft!! I set the hook at the exact moment trout opened & closed its mouth!! Super up-close-&-personal moment!!
The fly that nailed its mouth was Flexi Midge Larva!!

Happy but the pump result was quite a discovery.
Water Boatmen
And midge larvae in different colors and sizes.........

Have you pumped Whitefish? - which I do once in a while. This is the result from the smaller trout that I caught next.

I just can't emphasize how well Creek is fishing for this time of year!! I have 3 & a half more weeks with the Winter Pass!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pre-Season Gear Review

It's been a while that I make a blog post in the middle of week, especially after I updated two posts regarding my Bighorn Trip. However, this time, I just happen to have enough materials to make one post quickly yet thoroughly.

My gear review is based on my needs as a guide and a commercial fly-tyer. That means I care and observe small gadgets - is it practical? Reasonable? Looks like long-lasting? - that sort of professional views, if not idiosyncrasy.

I dropped by Montana Troutfitters in Bozeman. I was looking for a fly-box for the reason below. WOW! This fits my bill and purpose!
 I wanted to offer a fly box for my fly-customer, filled with my original flies that I tied for the order.
 Then this Leader Keeper (or Dropper Rig Retainer, whatever it can be called) is VERY GOOD! The moment I saw it (and its price), I had to grab it! There are a few like this on the market, that I could think of, but they tend to be expensive. I actually tried to make one for my vest pocket but I immediately replaced it. Yes, this one fits on my vest pocket just fine!!

This is not a review but a new and perhaps "accidental" acquisition.
I went to an annual FOAM Membership meeting as an outfitter last weekend (after I came back from the Bighorn). Meeting was friendly yet discussion was very professional. As a part of entertainment, we had a raffle at the end. I won two!! Both happened to be fly-lines. You know, rods and reels can last for a looooong-looong time, treated right, but lines do show ages eventually. These two are top-notch lines in the industry. Now I start to think of the best uses of these lines, including purchasing new rods and reels. Long story short, I select my gears perhaps "backward" from most anglers...... I share with you later.......

On Monday, I got back to my usual spot(s) at DePuy's Spring Creek. I will do the same. That means my regular fishing report will follow on the weekend.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bighorn Spring Trip - Day 2

Thursday March 12th, weather was somewhat more friendly than Day 1. Winds became discouraging occasionally during the morning. Over all it wasn't too bad.

Fishing was again mix of everything: methods, flies, and bites. I caught 3 whitefish!! (no pics).
Jared hauling in a nice trout at one of channels just below "Bay of Pigs".
It seemed lunch was again out turning point. What's today's special?
"Guide Dog #2 = Chilly Dog"!! Of course, chilly contained extra burgers. This is the real guide lunch. Nobody goes hungry on the river with me.
We felt better. It must be time to feed trout. Shortly after, we spotted a group of rising trout after trout!! They were feeding on midges!!
We both took several trout each, along with many more near-misses!!

As some claims, hatch fishing at Bighorn can resemble the condition at spring creeks. Flies I developed for Livingston's spring creeks just work - which I know with big confidence.
Midge APE
Foam Emerger Type 1

HOWEVER!! following pictures of my stomach pump results will rock your vision. Even disturbing. Definitely unbelievable as we felt. Watch carefully what we found.

Beetles!! Baetis!!
Although we took many trout with midge flies and we knew we were doing right things, where these bugs came from? Actually while I was tying on midge flies, before our first catch, something hit my face. Looking back, it was one of those beetles above. As pictures show, those beetles and baetis should not have been from the day before. It had to be sometime just before we got there. Who knows? It was quite a learning & observing experience. We ended up fishing for rising trout for two hours!

It was a warmer day so we started streamer fishing, guessing water temp must have been up, a bit earlier than Day 1. We got a few bites but not as red-hot as Day 1. We took my boat out almost 7pm. That means we drove back to Livingston/Bozeman very late.

It was a great trip with my guide friend. As much as we just wanted to enjoy fishing, my objective = learning & observing the Bighorn = was achieved very efficiently as I was with Jared, who is a very good guide.

Bighorn is definitely a year-around fishery. Dry-fly, nymph, streamer, and Hot lunch!! if you want to experience all at Bighorn, come & join my trips!