Friday, February 3, 2012

Midge Hatch at 'Stone

It was sunny & calm today. I said "CALM", not "not cold or warm". Wind was pretty much none but a light breeze from north chilled my bones. I was expecting midge hatches and rising trout that I encountered in the afternoon of January 13th. Since then I kept close watch at Yellowstone, but I believe there hadn't been much going on. Even on those days I didn't actually fish, I drove by the stretch after work in the mid afternoon. Also winds have been blowing hard. Then, as I've been reporting, I didn't see any midge surface actions at DePuy either.

After some errands in town, I dressed up and rigged up, and was at the 'Stone by 1pm. I walked slowly and carefully and saw rises at the same run!! It was not as strong as January 13th but at least a good enough situation. I observed two different sizes of midges on the water; sizes 16 & 20.
These are 16s adult,

and the shuck.

I observed size 20s were dominant on the surface and trout were rising on them. My favorites were ready this time! Griffith's Gnat Emerger and

Zelon Midge, both in sizes 20 & 22 worked as always.

I first targeted some tough risers. I knew they were there and definitely looking up and I did read their feeding lane but I couldn't get any attention. Norther made things tough for "down-cross" presentations too. "Up" or "up-cross" presentations should work too but.....
I decided to swing soft-hackles from up-stream and I thought I would even add a split-shot to get some depth if needed. BUT!! I found a pod of risers!! I hooked many but lost except for this one. I finally enjoyed the first dry-fly actions of 2012 on 34th day.

Even these little ones are developing kypes or what?

Size really didn't matter to me. I want to give myself (perseverance, patience, and observation) a little credit that I accomplished the winter dry-fly fishing at Mighty 'Stone, rather than at spring creeks. That doesn't mean creeks are easier but we all know creeks have more consistency and possibility for catching trout than the 'Stone (may I remind you that they all share same hatches!!??).  Legendary Don Williams' words still ringers in my ears, that I learned from my guide mentor Tom Travis, "If you can read the waters of Yellowstone River and consistently take trout, you can travel the world and consistently a successful fly angler".   
With all of those in my mind, I will visit DePuy tomorrow!


  1. Really nice midge flies! Nice that you could have some dry fly trout action. Here it's more than 20 degrees below zero centigrade. Armchair fishing, tying flies and checking out what other fly fishers are up to is whats left to do in terms of fly tying and fishing.

    Have fun with the midges,

  2. Thanks for kind words for my flies. Probably you already know but a book "Modern Midges" (by Takahashi & Hubka) contains hundreds of midge patterns. We are having mild winter here in Montana so far. Today on the contrary at a spring creek, I didn't see any midges at all....strange. I caught only one whitefish on an egg fly. Hence no post! But I'll try again tomorrow.