Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mid-May Fishing & Guide Report

Have run-offs started in the area rivers? Yes and No, then Maybe......... Because it is indeed so!! There has been some cold nights/mornings since my last post. Yellowstone River did subside and have good clarity = instead very cold! Finally it seems to be warm and remain so......

May 10th Saturday, I was able to fix "fish-less-ness" and "fishing-less-ness" for the past couple of weeks at Lower Madison. I stopped by RO Driftboat in the morning for some improvements and adjustments on my boat. It was a very nice morning. I drove to the bank of Lower and had lunch. seemed getting cold....... I started fishing anyway. What I was expecting was hatches and dry-fly actions with Mother's Day Caddis and Spring Baetis, which I missed on the Yellowstone. Hatches weren't as strong as I wished (because of low water temp) but definitely viable. I didn't catch anything huge but did have fun!!

By 3pm, I couldn't fish without my got that much cold with some cold rain.

This past week was very busy!!
Through the fly-shop I work with, Montana Troutfitters, I got an opportunity to join a program with Warriors and Quiet Waters ( Perhaps most of you have seen and read articles about the concept and activities of this organization (or alike). Please click the website for more details.

It was a week-long SW Fishing Experience for 7 soldiers. All of them were totally new for fly-fishing. We had the "initiation" at two nice ponds at Grey Cliffs Ranch, just outside of Bozeman.
We actually had a few actions during the morning session at the larger pond. After superb lunch, 3 groups moved to a smaller Upper Pond. To me, this afternoon was how the lake/pond fishing would be at its best and most enjoyable in SW Montana = trout cruising along the shore lines and intense hatches of Chronomids and Calibaetis, not to mention corresponding rises of trout!! My Warrior client Will got into dry-fly fishing!!

People who fish with me, beginners or experienced, have to take this entomology course!!
After hatch/rise actions seem waning, we fished for cruising trout. These stocked rainbows were not totally easy to catch. It was really a both learning and enjoying start.
In the program, my usual and beloved DePuy Spring Creek ( was also included.

After fishing, we all gathered for he banquette at the lodge where soldiers were staying. Main plate was just like this!! This is the first time I ever saw this!!

Deciding where to go for the third day fishing was a difficult decision for me. Yellowstone River has been out of option by then. Madison River above & below Ennis were viable.......but could be iffy, I thought. But then again, I wanted my Warrior client to experience floating our bit Western Rivers....... Another thing I considered was that I wanted him to catch some memorable BIG trout for the trip............ I suggested him to try ponds within Sitz Ranch between towns of Norris and Harrison, MT.
With nice weather, pond waters were indeed "quiet". However, trout in those ponds were nowhere close to quiet but "Bruisers"!!
There are 4 ponds in different sizes/structures in this ranch. It's quite an option!!
 This was the smallest of the day........
Last but not the least, indeed the largest fish of the day!!
Parting shot...... it was me who stirred up pond bottom, which messed up the underwater photos. But I kinda like it!?
Several stillwater patterns of mine were very effective. Among them, this simple "Big Red" was the most successful!!
Over all this was quite an experience for me.
All the participant soldiers are fine young men and became into superb fishermen!! No compliment here. Look how many trout they have caught. As for my Warrior Will, I could see his quick growth. How many flies did he lose and how many times did I untangle his leaders? - barely a few each.

Fly-fishing itself, especially in Montana, is quite a blessing experience, even for people who live around here. I was just a small part of it as a guide. If my fly-fishing experience and guiding can contribute to society and other people, I'm your huckleberry!!


  1. Nice trout and great information on your blog. First time visitor, really enjoy what you have to offer.

    1. Thanks for kind words and joining my blog.