2017 Montana Spring Hatch Tour

Montana Spring Hatch Tour by LEFTY ANGLER & FLIES
Lefty Angler & Flies – Satoshi Yamamoto – Livingston, MT would like to present Montana Spring Hatch Tour!
Spring – defining here from mid-March to end of May in Montana standard – is definitely the least fished time period around here in SW Montana. As an outfitter in the area, during recent years, I have seen increases in trips in September to October as anglers have started to be aware of superb fall fishing with less number of anglers, compared to summer months. In my professional opinions and experiences, I’d like to say spring can offer even better angling situations to visiting anglers. Spring weather in Montana might scare visiting anglers but so do the fall weather. It would be even less number of anglers on waters than in the fall. Then the totally different factor from the fall is: trout have seen only limited numbers of flies, tossed by die-hard local anglers, through winters. Then here come spring hatches of midges and baetis (blue-winged-olive). Certainly we can keep fishing with nymphs and streamers (we definitely do before and after the hatch). However, we can tell trout are rising on those first major hatches of the season with delights and so should our fishing spirits.
There are too many water-bodies, even just to name a few, in my area that can offer superb spring fishing. As much as we’d like to sample all, we know there are time-constraints and physical limitations. Also as much as we can be excited with the idea of “what happens and where we go and fish next day”, I understand serious anglers would like to know our destinations and get their gears and mindsets ready for the water and the day (I belong to this type of angler). Then I’d really like to promote my specialty: spring creek specialist & match-the-hatch enthusiast. So I have set up two types of tour schedules. I have fished those streams extensively that I can promote to any visiting anglers with confidence. I’m also familiar with nearby areas and amenities.
This program is NOT to polish off my winter rust & dust – I’m a year around resident in Livingston and all-year-around outfitter & fly-fisher. Nor, it’s just to fill in my calendar other than summer months. I’d sincerely like to promote some of the most superb match-the-hatch oriented fly-fishing in Montana.
With this program, all you have to do is set your dates and book your flight. I can take care of all the headaches of rental car, driving unfamiliar area, and finding & booking lodges. I believe the price is as competitive and reasonable as one can look for. Then I will go thoroughly with your schedule and keep in touch all through. With my guiding service and thoughtful planning, your satisfaction at the end will be one of a kind.

AVAILABILITY: 2017 season starts from Sunday, March 12th or Monday, March 13th. I have written up the itinerary (below) to see how your tour will look like. Spring season ends on Memorial Day Monday, May 29th.   

ITINERARY 1: Bighorn & DePuy’s Tour
Bighorn River: This world-famous tailwater fishery needs not much introduction. It hosts so many anglers from all over the country through the season but it tends to be less during early season. When water temperature starts to reach 42F and above for the first time in the season (usually mid-March), trout start to feed more eagerly than winter months. Then midge and spring baetis start to hatch! Let me tell you this river will indeed be a “giant spring creek” when insect hatches occur! Before and after, we do fish with nymphs and streamers. I understand this is a bit far away for anglers who have never been. And most likely unfamiliar, or no information, about accommodation (lodging and eateries) as it’s certainly far away from the city! This is where this tour is very handy. 

DePuy’s Spring Creek (www.depuyspringcreek.com): Perhaps the most diverse, certainly the longest, among Livingston’s three world-famous spring creeks, DePuy’s offers so many actions in spring! Spring run of spawning rainbow trout is legendary. Then midge and baetis hatches are better than ever! Again, trout will rise with delights! However, as in Bighorn, it’s not an easy fishing. You need right flies to match the situation (that I have plenty!!) and techniques to approach those selectively feeding trout. You will learn a lot from this Spring Creek Satoshi under one of the most beautiful fly-fishing destinations on earth.

It will be a week-long schedule; 4.5-day guided fishing and 6-night lodging.

Day 1: Arrival to Billings airport, move to Fort Smith and to lodge. Clients are welcome to wade-fish on their own from Afterbay Dam or 3-Mile access, depending time of arrival. I come and pick up for dinner time. Dinner and stay at lodge.

Day 2: Breakfast at lodge, float trip (lunch), dinner at lodge, stay at lodge as in Day 1.

Day 3: Breakfast at lodge, float trip (lunch), dinner at lodge, stay at lodge as in Day 1 & 2

Day 4: Breakfast at lodge, leave Bighorn at around Noon to 2pm, lunch along the way. Settle in Livingston and have dinner.

Day 5: Breakfast in hotel, wade trip on DePuy’s (lunch), dinner and lodge in Livingston diner.

Day 6: Breakfast in hotel, wade trip on DePuy’s (lunch), dinner and lodge in Livingston or Bozeman.

Day 7: Shuttle to and departure from Bozeman airport.

$3,800 for 2 anglers = $1,900 per angler = with double occupancy
$3,200 for 1 angler
For 3 anglers, please inquire.

Price includes: Airport pickup at Billings airport; transportation to Fort Smith, Livingston, Bozeman, and during guided trips; 6 nights of lodging; 4.5 days of guided fishing; breakfast, lunch, dinner in Fort Smith; spring creek rod fees; shuttle to Bozeman airport (on Day 7); flies and leaders during guided trips;

*Dinner while staying in Livingston, nights of Days 4-5-6, is on clients’ own. Unlike Fort Smith/Bighorn, there are several choices. From the hotel you will be staying, there are restaurants, fast-foods, and grocery stores in a few minutes of walking distance. I have learned from visiting anglers to Livingston that their choices vary; some clients would like to have big fancy dinner while there are others who would like to have quick bites. I believe it’s convenient for both parties.

ITINERARY 2: Paradise Valley Tour
Yellowstone & Madison Rivers: These also fabled rivers in Montana can be great options in spring and for the Livingston based tour. In March, nymphing will be a main game. As water temp starts creeping up, streamer bites pick up and can be very exciting, then we can expect good hatches of midges, baetis, and March Brown. Then in late April to early May, we anticipate the world famous Mother’s Day Caddis hatch!

Armstrong’s & Nelson’s Spring Creeks: The other two spring creeks in Livingston will offer similar opportunities as in DePuy’s. If you want to sample all during Paradise Valley Tour, I can certainly arrange that.

Burns’ Lake: This lake, located within the real working ranch in Big Timber, produces some true Trophy Trout! Especially right after ice out in spring, those big boys are hungry! Matching the hatch and fishing with dry-flies on the lake can be sometimes more challenging than on streams. We expect Chironomids and Calibaetis hatches in April to May.

It will consist of 4-day guided fishing and 5-night lodging.

Day 1: Arrival to Bozeman airport. Drive to Livingston, settle in hotel, dinner there. 

Day 2: Breakfast in hotel, DePuy’s (lunch), dinner, lodge as in Day 1.

Day 3: Breakfast, Yellowstone or Lower Madison float trip (lunch), dinner, lodge as in Day 1.

Day 4: Breakfast in hotel, DePuy’s (Nelson’s or Armstrong’s available) (lunch), dinner, lodge as in Day 1.

Day 5: Breakfast in hotel, float trip on Burns’ Lake (lunch), dinner and lodge in Livingston.

Day 6: Breakfast in hotel. Shuttle to Bozeman airport and departure.

$3,200 for 2 anglers = $1,600 per angler = with double occupancy
$2,800 for 1 angler
For 3 anglers, please inquire.

Price includes: Airport pickup at Bozeman airport; transportation to Livingston and water-bodies during guided trips; 5 nights of lodging; 4 days of guided fishing; breakfast and lunch; private water rod fees; shuttle to Bozeman airport (on Day 6); flies and leaders during guided trips;

*Dinner while staying in Livingston is on clients’ own. From the hotel you will be staying, there are restaurants, fast-foods, and grocery stores in walking distance. I have learned from visiting anglers to Livingston that their choices vary; some would like to have fancy big dinner while there are others who would like to have quick bites. It’s hard to impossible to set a price for dinner. I believe it’s convenient for both parties.  

IMPORTANT NOTES: Please read carefully.
  • My outfitting operation is insured during guide trip and transportation.
  • I try to find and book the most comfortable and affordable lodging in the area, so please contact me as soon as you have decided the dates of tour. Then I keep updating with you.
  • Guide trip includes lunch and non-alcoholic beverage. Most of the time, I offer hot lunches, cooked right on the bank of rivers or on picnic table of private waters.
  • Please let me know food concerns in advance.
  • Unlike my regular guide trips, this program INCLUDES flies and leaders. However I’d like to ask you to bring at least an initial leader for each line. Also, if you tend to change leader every so often, please bring your own. I only supply when your leader gets tangled badly or cut too short.
  • Rental gears are NOT included. Clients are advised to rent at area fly shops with their own expenses.
  • Alcohol is NOT included in the price. In Fort Smith/Bighorn, no alcohol beverage is sold as it’s within Crow Reservation. Clients who wish to have alcohol are advised to purchase in Hardin on the way to Fort Smith lodge. Also during the stay in Livingston, if clients would like to keep some alcohols in their room, I can stop by stores after the trip.
  • Gratuity (10 to 15% of entire trip fee) is greatly appreciated.
  •         Please contact Satoshi Yamamoto at 406-223-3225 and syamamoto51@gmail.com
  •      50% deposit is required. If tour is canceled 30 days prior to Day 1 of Itinerary, deposit can be refunded, minus credit card fees, private water booking fees, and lodging booking fees.
  •       If tour is canceled within 30 days from Day 1 of Itinerary, deposit will NOT be refunded. Please understand most likely I have to pay off “entire” private water rod fees and lodging booking fees with that short notice.
  •          If it’s a group of 3 anglers, please specify either one guide for 3 anglers or requiring 2 guides (2 anglers and 1 angler). Then I will adjust price and propose to you.
  •         If it’s a group of 4 anglers and more, one guide will be assigned to two anglers.
  •         I will hire some of most qualified guides in the area who will work with me.

  •       Medication/Health Aids: If you use drugs/pills regularly, it’s recommended to bring a few extra just in case. For example, I always carry extra pair of contact lenses whenever I’m on the road. Billings, Bozeman, and Livingston have major drugstores and supermarkets that we could fill in. However, keep in mind Fort Smith/Bighorn is very remote.
  •         Overnight stuffs/general clothes etc.: You will be on the road for about a week. Plan and pack accordingly.
  •         Foul-weather clothes: “Better sweating than shivering”!! – Better have warm clothes and don’t need them than need them and don’t have them!! Long-johns top & bottom, fleece pants/pullover/jacket, wool socks (or other warm materials), windbreaker jacket, raingear, both regular hat and insulated hat (beanies), gloves (I prefer fold-over mitts with half-finger).
  •       Regular fishing gears:  Waders, boots (felt or rubber), polarized sunglasses, fishing vest or pack, landing net (handy if it can fit into your luggage).
  •         Accessories: 4X and 5X 9-feet leaders, flies, 3X-4X-5X-6X tippet spools (although I supply these, keep them in your vest or pack is very handy when I’m working with other angler). Nippers, floatant (CDC compatible oil and powder types are recommended), and so on.
  •          Rods: 4-wt 9-ft is great during midge and baetis hatches on both Bighorn and Livingston spring creeks.  5- and 6-wts are very much all-rounder rods. We certainly cast nymphs and streamer with 5- or 6-wt rod. Ideally, if you own, rigging one rod for dry-fly and the other for nymph/streamer will be very useful throughout the day, especially on Bighorn.
  •          Line & Reel: Floating line of your choice. To cast small midge and baetis dry-flies to rising trout, a classic Double-Taper may be a good choice (not necessary). For 5- and 6-wt rods, Weight-Forward floating line is a great choice. Roll up these lines to your favorite reels that match your rods!

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