Saturday, March 31, 2012

End of March

March has ended but NO Baetis has been popped..........

Yesterday, 30th, I noticed lots of bugs on my wader. These baetis nymphs were wiggling on my wader and finger!! Yesterday it was another 40MPH day but I went home with some expectation and excitement and got ready for today.

Today, compared to yesterday, it was just a breeze. Furthermore, it was cloudy & overcast!! Sun was off and on. Perfect BWO-ish day, I thought!! Of course same nymphs were crawling on my wader too. However, no duns popped in the air, hence no rising trout either. Weird...............

I saw cranes (I think......) that I seldom see at the creek.

I caught a couple of large trout with streamers at my usual spot to salvage the day but that was not what I wanted. I need to see BWO hatches to test my new flies!!!!

Well, I found this along the creek. Most of fly-fisher will recognize this item. It's been sitting there for a couple weeks. I wonder what happened to the angler. Didn't he notice that he had lost his sole? He should have felt shorter on his right leg, you know?? Or simply didn't care and intended to lose so he can buy a new pair? Anyway it's not a good product review..........

Since it was slow, I picked this up and tossed in Eva's Hut in case someone comes back to pick it up.

I am seeing some inconsistency and totally unexpected conditions recently. I know it's part of fishing. There are several "suspects" to blame on but let's hope things get improved in April with or without April Fool!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Guide Service

I have just created a "PAGE" on the right side of screen for my "Guide Service for 2012". Please check it out.
I'm guiding under Hatch Finders Fly Shop ( in Livingston, MT.
Also at Parks Fly Shop ( in Gardiner, MT, North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
I'm really happy to work for these two friendly and full-service shops in the area. I will offer Yellowstone River Float Trips, Walk/Wade Trips in Yellowstone Park, and trips for Spring Creeks in Paradise Valley (DePuy's, Armstrong's, & Nelson's).

If I could be any assistance for your Montana Fishing Trips, let us know. Towns of Livingston & Gardiner host lots of friendly & affordable accommodations and eateries that fit your budget. Besides fly-fishing, just ask us what's hot in towns!!

I personally suggest to try a HUGE Buffalo steak for your heart content along with Montana brewed beer....!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I've gotta tie lots of flies! So I go quick!

Today, hatch-wise, winds blew away midges, period (I still enjoyed swinging soft-hackles and felt lots of taps!!).

I thought I hooked  probably the 15th underwater stick of the day. This Big Old Boy was caught at a totally unexpected & underestimated spot. Probably after spawning, and he was looking for somewhere to rest his soul.

Just reminds me of salmon carcasses in WA State. He served his life and now devotes his flesh to fertilize the a bit emotional now.

I enjoyed "sight-fishing" for huge whitie!! So far the biggest of the year!!

Gotta run, folks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Truly Paradise in Paradise Valley

What a gorgeous spring weekend!! We didn't have strong winds two days in a row. Today, air temp reached almost 70s. Also today marked 41st Day at DePuy's with the Winter Pass. Let's get "count-down" started till I make over 50 till April 14th.....I will make it as my assignment.

OK, how was fishing? Midge hatches & rising trout have not been consistent yet. It was slower today than last Friday. However, I knew another tactics that should work in that situation. It's a soft-hackle swing!! My favorite ways & flies!! (just typing this, I'm excited!!). I have tried a lot at riffle sections of Armstrong's ( and it's always successful. At DePuy's I haven't really tried until today as I've been focusing on my dry-fly presentation at flat waters. This little DUDE is the killer.

This one tapped and ran hard for its size.

What captured my eyes was its vivid adipose fin (sorry, I cast shadow with my arm......).

Spawning run is full swing now!! Two closed area are filled with lots of large trout, as I saw last fall when browns came in. That's a good sign for the future of creeks and Yellowstone River. I sat down without fishing and observed. One big BULL was chasing away other bachelors from his girlfriend, who was working on a bed.

Patience and observation pay the reward. "Yellowstone Chrome!!" I call!! Of course this is not from closed areas........

 Day ended with a nice brown.

Black was the hit of the day.

It's truly a good thing that two spawning areas are closed for fishing. It's really fun to observe fish, like Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone Park. With both air & water temps going up, we should be seeing consistent hatches and rising trout!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's ALMOST ON........

Back to the DePuy's today. I knew about 10 anglers would be visiting the creek today. Wind wasn't bad at all. It was sunny in the morning and eventually cloudy. In my observation this sign played some roles for anglers. This is to protect apparent spawning grounds of Rainbows.  This is a good thing as the creek rule. This is to enhance Rainbows population that has once been damaged Whirling Disease. Well, one shouldn't target actually spawning trout or step onto redds (which some anglers do but I have no right to pick on them).

So people who were targeting large trout (my guess) moved around all day (in my observation). Under this condition, I was anticipating midge hatches and trout rises. I have finally noted constant hatch and rise since last November. Hatch wasn't super heavy to bring large trout to the surface and all I saw and caught were these little cuties.

This simple "Foam Wing Emerger" was the meal ticket.

 Hatch & rise lasted 1:00PM to 2:30PM. I would 30 minutes before & after that frame.

This was nothing to do with fishing. But I saw lots of huge bugs in the air. Trout were not rising or chasing them but certainly interesting for entomology stand point. I believe this is one of caddis??

I thought it could be one of Stonefly species but looked like caddis. I'll do some research on that. And let me know if anyone has any idea.

So we should give some more time for air and water to warm and then some more time for midge, spring baetis, and trout to hatch and rise. It's ALMOST ON as I'm anticipating........ To Be Continued.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3rd Time Lucky! & 1st Launch of My Boat 2012!

According to today's weather forecast. winds were "supposed to be" calm in the afternoon and sunny sky was "supposed to be" cloudy. So we decided to float "The Bird (Grey Owl to Mallards Rest). This is the 3rd time for me to float Mighty 'Stone this year (first two were so brutal) and the 1st time to launch my boat!
We saw lots of lots of midges in the air and on the water but we saw maybe total 5 rises over the day. Winds weren't as bad as last two floats but never stopped all day. Sky remained blue & bright. Streamer chase was slow to none. We nymphed all day patiently. Believe or not, Whitefish bites were slow too......
However, Graham landed a nice wild brown!!

We knew it was slow rather than so-so but I get tired of complaining and blaming on (or get used to) "supposed weather" here in Paradise Valley. I'd call it OK as I didn't flip over my boat!
Season just started. To be continued!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

L.L. Beads

I'm embarrassed to go details about this fly but here it is. Name stands for Leech & Larva tied with Beads (that sounds like one of outdoors retails???).

How did I come up with this junk? Fishing at DePuy's, I have seen lots of midge worms (larva).

And this trout was infested by small leeches!! YUCK!!

Since then, my brain was infested by images of...........them. I had to spit out in the shape of something. I thought this might work and started experimenting at DePuy's. I first put 6 beads and hooked fish but they were gone. I figured 6th bead would be making the hook-gape smaller. So I settled with 5 beads. What a technical observation and experiment it has been!! Then it worked!!

Probably most of readers figure out materials and instructions (and who really cares? even I don't care....) but here they are.
Hook: Dai-Riki 280 size 16
Body: 5 small black beads
Thread: Black 8/0

1. Slot beads onto hook then hold with your vise.
2. Attach thread at the bend. Wrap about half of the bend. Make a thread dam so beads don't come off.  Whip-finish there.
3. Coat beads and thread dam with cement for glossy appearance.

I think size 16 represents leech and larva and even cased-caddis larva as one of readers commented. Well, if some of you try in different sizes, let me know catch results. I don't think I will experiment different sizes or colors for this fly.........Have fun!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Am I missing?

Today it was a strange weather. It was cloudy & stormy with mix of light breezes from north & south. As long as we don't have brutal winds, we call it good weather in Paradise Valley!! I headed to DePuy for the 39th day with my Winter Pass.  I could look & fish for large run-up spawning rainbows, but I'd rather wanted to experiment more tactics, spots, and new flies. The "day-opener" was this fine 'Bow, just when I was thinking "it's about time"!!

 On my own "Royal Ray Charles".

Then I got an answer for my new fly.........

I'm slightly embarrassed to show in public but here it is. Story and theory of this fly will be the next post.

Then I did enjoy "sight-fishing". No sirs & no mams, I did NOT target actual spawners. He was looking for a "date" for a "dinner" and bit on the meal I offered!!

So what am I missing? Well, I did expect hatches of midges & baetis and rising trout. I saw lots of midges & some baetis in the air for sure. Then I observed barely "a few" rises.......I tested my new fly, enjoyed sight-fishing, and observed lots of stuff for my note (beyond this post) so that would be too much a wish for one day, I guess.

I try to be the first one to report solid hatch & rise from Paradise Valley.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yesterday (off) & Today (on) Afternoons

Yesterday and today's afternoon, I whipped myself out of afternoon nappy time after my other job and braved into the "WIND". I headed to DePuy's for a couple hours both days. If I had taken a nap, I would have been blown away into Yellowstone River while unconscious.
Anyway, Yesterday was slow. I had two "nibbles". Wind and sunny day reminded me of slow days in February that I reported. I think that I pushed myself to get out is an important thing but there was not much to judge or observe, to be honest, under the circumstance.
This afternoon was a bit "mildly windy" and eventually died down. During the windy time, I was searching with a sculpin trailed with egg. This nice little brown reacted came up to the surface as if like a dry-fly!! It was only a few seconds after my streamer hit the water!

I didn't curse winds all the time. One has to live with them here in Livingston whether you fish or not. This time I used winds & waves as my camouflage. This is the very last culvert of DePuy's property that spills into Yellowstone River. I have known trout come up through here and rest some just in front of culvert. Lots of anglers try to get them but it's very difficult for some reason. I'd rather not to bother fish here, not to mention spook them back to the River, instead I'd rather wait till they find places in the creek. However, my idea & approach worked today. I tried to sink my streamer trailed with an egg as deep as I can and dead-drift them  above culvert. After that my flies sucked into the culvert. When I retrieve them back slowly, I saw a shadow darting toward the end of my line and grabbed my streamer!! I set the hook and he was on!! I saw all happened in the culvert!! I muscled him out!! Welcome to the creek!!

See how much he wanted it!!

That was enough for me compared to yesterday or even last weekend. Winds died down so I went on to one more likely spot. BANG!! Nice rainbow!!

It wasn't super huge but fat & heavy enough and I couldn't wrap my hand and lift it by one hand!!

I did more observation today which are bit too much to write for the post. Water temp is getting higher day by day depending on weather. We should soon seen more midges and BWOs and rising trout.
Wait for my next post, till then.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Livingston Winds & Mighty 'Stone

Sorry to all you readers and myself that my weekly report, since last October, from DePuy Spring Creek ( is not conducted this weekend. Instead, I floated our Mighty 'Stone with my guide friend two days in a row. We were blown by 40MPH gusts both days and we learned that we'd better follow weather forecast........... Fishing (midge hatches & streamer fishing) was also blown away.
We lost several flies and emptied several cans..........Afterwards folks!! I won't do RUI (rowing under influence)!!

This is the dilemma for every serious angler; one can't fish two rivers on a same day, you have to choose either one. But with my best guess, I don't think there wouldn't have been great baetis & midge hatches and rising trout at DePuy's either, considering all the gusts and waves. Run-up spawning Rainbows would be plenty at the Creek yet, in other words, I could rest them by not fishing.

Rowing and fishing Yellowstone River can be challenging even for experienced guides. As the longest free-flowing river, it changes every year. So we Livingston guides try to get out as much as we can to learn & locate new braids, hazardous structures, and not to mention goo fishing holes. Now is the good time as water level is probably the lowest of the year. And we pay our great love & respect on this river.

I might go & fish DePuy's for a couple hours in the afternoon next week. I'd like to be the first one to report solid spring baetis hatch & rising trout!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Midges Are Hatching, But............

It's almost all spring here in Paradise Valley. With this mild weather and just around the end of seasonal jobs, I floated our lovely Yellowstone River with my guide friend for the first time in 2012. 'Stone is lovely and challenging as always. We all wonder how the run-off is going to be this year and how the river would look like after that.............

We saw lots of midges in the air and water. Look at these pictures............

How about pictures of trout? I would post tomorrow (if I get lucky!).
We experienced 40MPH of gusts all day and you've got a picture how fishing and floating would have looked like........

I'll do better tomorrow by any means!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blown & Brown Day

Today air temp reached 55F!! But the wind.......stronger than yesterday, over 40MPH all day long!! I could barely hold on to grounds. Well, it was funny that I saw lots of anglers on Monday and they all looked for big ones. Are this blog of mine and my Facebook posts read so quickly??? No.......I don't have that many readers/friends from here. It was actually good rather than fishing all by myself as I can do "human observation" (will comment at the end).
As most of you wonder, was there any insects hatches and rising trout? No.......I didn't see any insects even in the air, not to mention on the water.
My favorite spot where I did sight-fishing yesterday was taken but that angler seemed to know how to fish there and doing like I would do so I smiled and left. I fished other sections. Even this little rainbow chased my egg imitation and took it aggressively.

Things slowed down though winds went on. Anglers kept moving and left for home. Who said "it's ON!!"?? Well, then do more observation & footwork!! I fished one of the most overlooked spot, I could even say "impossible" spot to fish or even to think about fishing for most anglers.

I surprised myself!! I thought I got snagged but it was a nice brown!! How I did it? Try yourself, folks!!

 That wasn't all. In a few minutes later, I felt heavier snag and it was a larger brown!! Unbelievable!!

At the end of the day, I caught another nice brown with a sculpin. So it turned out to be a Brown Day today.   Not as red-hot as yesterday but these three nice brownies made my day meaningful!!

Here's a bonus shot of scud that I found at the gravel-guard of my wader. Size 14ish - 16ish and olive-ish & gray-ish.

Human Observation with Guide's Eye.
I saw a group of anglers literally "pounding" streamers, looking for run-up rainbows (I guess). They really scared me and not to mention fish. They should do that at next-door = Yellowstone River. I never meant to but I kind of butted in ahead of them as they were wading so aggressively though I didn't fish. That's the spot I do fish-counting and sight-fishing. I even told them "this is the best spot". "OK" then pound & chuck & duck & wade!! They scared all the trout back into Yellowstone River. Streamers can be deadly at spring creeks and I'm a great fan of it but there's a slight difference from when fishing rivers. I can't emphasize technique and fly patterns enough. It's their rod-fees and none of my business. At the next spot, now they started to pound & chuck & duck in my vicinity. Well the 3rd brown above was caught in front of them on a sculpin............

We might expect some snow but air temp seems staying warm till next weekend. I bet water temp will go up too. So hopefully I can report insect hatches, rising trout, and dry-fly fishing!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's ON!!

Well, title says it all. I had a great day at DePuy Spring Creek. According to my logs and fishy memories, I'd say it's been since last X'mas that I had actions and bites all day long.
First air temperature reached over 50s!! However WSW wind was blowing constantly and that knocked over insect hatches and trout rises. I wanted to do some more experiments with new nymph patterns but I knew it wouldn't be a good day. When WSW winds is blowing so hard, I might as well cast down-stream with sculpin/leech imitations. This is a very effective tactics as I don't have to fight against winds and winds cause waves on the surface that makes trout less shyer to my streamers even on sunny day like today. Then, what I really mean by "ON" is that Rainbows' spawning run is ON!! Let's go over.

Good start! Within a first few cast, I got a little but aggressive brown. It's hard to say whether he bit my sculpin or my sculpin bit him!!

Then I experienced something remarkable!! I was dead-drifting a sculpin trailed with an egg. At the end of drift, flies floated up to the surface. That was when a rainbow came up and hit the egg!! I saw all!! and screamed "AAGHWWW!!??"

It fought really hard and tried to swim between my legs!! Happy!!

Action went on. Now browns may be following rainbows eggs. It's been a while that I caught a large brown like this at the creek.

People who had fished with me (at least talked with me) would know where I observe intensity of spawning runs and try some sight-fishing. Trout start to gather up!! I caught a nice rainbow and again I saw all the actions!! It might have some Cutty genes as it has orange slashes......

I caught some more small ones but regardless of sizes, they all took my flies aggressively and fought very hard!!
Fishing will be better and better!! With some more patience, we should see spring baetis and midge hatches soon and trout will rise. See what's gonna happen tomorrow!!