Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back to DePuy's: End of February - Run Goes On

Today, I went back to DePuy's Spring Creek ( Tomorrow I have a schedule for Master Breeder, so today's is the last day of fishing of this month. I have counted I fished ONLY 13 DAYS out of 28. Darn! 1 day short to be the half of month!!

It was a bit windy and air temp wasn't so cold. I entered Angler's Hut, one of three resting huts, for a while and I admit I fell into a short nap........ Back in business, I started to explore likely spots as always. "I KNEW you are there!!" It wasn't big but I figured definitely an "egg-sucking" brown!!

His content.........Eggs & Worms!!

With the very next cast toward the same spot, I had another hit!! Good rainbow!!

Don't be scared!! She had much much more eggs in!!!!!!
Here's another story that will scare you readers......... I couldn't help tasting one of them!!......and I did!! Trust me it was nothing different from "Salmon Roe on Sushi"!!  

 It was good enough for me. I did catch trout at where I aimed and was able to study stomach contents. I had a few more spots to fish but I wasn't so expecting as other angler(s) had gone through with their own methods (I'm in no shoe to criticize as I'm not guiding them!). But I gave some shots. "Perseverance will pay off", as we often say but also I will add "Observation". I have observed and developed "grids" within "spots" where most of anglers won't notice.......
Then do you think I caught this Giant with a simple Egg??
No..............As I keep reporting recently trout are favoring BWO nymphs over eggs, in spite of stomach samples. B.P.C. (Bead. Pheasant. Copper) size 16 & 18 is the meal ticket!!
Again check my sales site or YouTube tying video to have B.P.C. in your boxes!!
Spring Run will continue and will get stronger!! But as pictures suggest some rainbows have just started spawning anywhere along the creek. So please be aware of redds and stay away from trout that are actively mating. See you along the creek!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Afternoon at Armstrong's 2 & New Junk Premier

It's a grueling task that I have to go fishing whenever I can, especially in the middle of Montana winter. Today, I was afraid of another cold winds working on my body but I toughened up and decided to visit Armstrong's in O'Hair Ranch ( As an owner/GM/breeder of cattle breeding operation, I can't help watching their cows before fishing. Mama cows were peacefully chewing cuds and seemed ready for newborn babies soon......

Winds weren't bad at all at the creek. I started from The Spring.
 I covered the upper half of creek. Though I didn't see any rising trout today, I could imaginarily see them along with PMDs hatching on summer days....... Can't wait!!

I caught several then lost the same numbers....... I want to catch fish just like any other days and places, but also I can't help experimenting......! In my notes and observation, it's not really streamer-ish yet...... But I did with trial versions in experimental methods!! I was delighted but, to be honest, I wasn't surprised that my methods and new flies worked.

I've been working on my tying bench for a series of streamers for spring creeks. I have several versions/colors. Apparently some background stories are behind....... I will talk about that later on. So for now, I just post one of them, which is in close appearance with the one above.

 Watch carefully this part!! Yes, I'm inspired by............

At the very end of day, I had a very subtle take........ My body instinctively reacted to set the hook. In spite of such a subtle take and soft hook-set, that "thing" at the end of my line started to run like a submarine that lost its control..............gone...... No trophy shot today......

I will try to get back to Armstrong's while Winter rate lasts. As in down-stream neighborhood (= DePuy's), fishing will get better as spring gets closer (insect hatches and spring runners)!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rainbows Keep Running Followed by Deer (?)

I had a bit relaxing weekend as I had "no fishing" but other civilian duties! Actually I should have gone fishing as it turned out a bit colder today than the last weekend. I could do another three-day report probably on Wednesday but I decided to go through what I've experienced quickly!

It's been a while wind was discouraging for us to go outside, especially fishing! I visited DePuy's Spring Creek anyway ( As I was walking along the bank, this was the closest encounter & longest eye-to-eye experience with deer. I just posted a short YouTube video. According to that, it lasted about minute......... Usually deer run away the moment they spot vehicles and human beings..... Actually this was at what savvied local anglers call "Wind-Break" so that might be why she was around.......

So how's "spring run"? It's going on, just as I had reported already. I had a couple of bites at other spots then I caught this beautiful cut-bow!!

I was delighted with this stomach-sample!!! LOOK!! This is indeed "TROUT BUFFET"!!, don't you think? (or Trout Bug Basket??) How many bugs can you spot and call their Latin names?

 So based on flies that imitate above samples, I kept on fishing. Nice hefty 'Bow!!

 Followed by brown!!

The end. Isn't this the picture we often see in articles of Coastal Steelhead or Alaskan Rainbow??
 plus or minus Egg........

I might go back tomorrow. It would depend on wind/cold condition.... I will decide in the morning.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3-Day Report: Spring Runs & Hottest Fly

My bug collection is going on. It's actually quite fun. I have just collected this super rare "ALBINO" Golden Stone Nymph. Click "Trout Food Sources" page!! If you find me kick-seining, feel free to join!!
OK, I visited DePuy's Spring Creek ( three days in a row. As reported in my last post, I visited Armstrong's ( on Monday so I seemed to have fished 4 days in a row at this time of the year..............Not sure what's driving me working so hard. Love of fishing? - all the time. Anticipating busy summer? - I hope so! Anyway, I can officially report that rainbow trout are making "spawning-run" into DePuy's. Run will continue and get stronger as spring approaches. Now is the time to look for a large trout, which could potentially be a "trophy" of the year!! (I already got one in January so I can spend more time for collecting bugs!!) But please be aware of trout that are digging redds and actively mating. Follow the manner of creek, sportsmanship, and pursuit of technicality.

On Tuesday, while I was collecting bugs, I was thinking where to get started from. The first catch was super plump 14-incher!!! Are you pregnant like mammals?
Next one was a nice Rainbow that must have been freshly running into creek!!
Then I was surprised by the presence of large brown at the same spot!!

Hottest fly..............
This brown confirmed my guess that rainbows are making steady moves into creek and browns are following behind to munch on eggs!!
Yesterday, Wednesday, after bug sampling, I looked for like spots (plus less fished spots). Again, nice rainbow on Hot Fly!
Very strong!!

This rainbow seemed to have cataract in trout world........Sorry. Anyway it took Hot Fly with confidence.

And the last of the day!! All on Hot Fly!
So today, did I make another catching spree?....................Weather was actually very nice but somehow fishing was slow. I caught a few small ones and that seemed all for today. "I need blog pic(s)!!" With that strong determination in mind, I worked very hard!! Gotcha!! Maybe not the biggest but cutest for sure on Hot Fly again!
Last one, on egg apparently, finally put some fight on my line........ See how late I stayed....
I'm not disappointed on anything like that. As I experience from browns' movement in the fall, there are waves in trout migration. I just hit a lower tide today, that's all. Or some trout must be on Facebook or checking my blog with their Smart-Phone........!!

So what's the Hot Fly then? It's B.P.C. (Bead, Pheasant, & Copper) in sizes 16 & 18. Check in my sales catalog. I've been confident of this fly for last couple of weeks as BWO (baetis) nymphs are getting active as spring approaches.
"Isn't it just a bead-head PT?" If that's what you think, you are underestimating!! This tie is strongly influenced by the greater effectiveness of Bead, Hare, & Copper from Parks' Fly Shop, which some anglers regard as simple bead-head hares ear........ Try both BHC and BPC and you will understand!!

I shouldn't abuse my body so hard at this time of the year. Temperature gap between outside and inside put me into a little "coma" right after I got my home (before typing these). I'd better take off and do some other things in life over weekend....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Afternoon at Armstrong's

NEWS: Some of you readers might have wondered why I suddenly attached Regal Vise banner. People who know me through Facebook (or in person) have already heard last night. I have just been inducted as a Pro Staff with Regal Vise!!! Go to their website (or just click the banner) and click "Pro Staff". I'm there along with other big-name tyers!! I really feel responsible for the title and position as a Pro Staff. I will keep producing innovative patterns and catch more trout!! Then, just as I write under the banner, "I go to the grave" with my beloved Regal Vise. It's that tough. Indeed it's been my life-long friend at my tying bench since the day I acquired.
It turned out to be a very nice winter day. It wasn't too dry or too warm. It was sunny but air temp was chilly. Then NO WIND!! In the afternoon, I visited Armstrong Spring Creek in O'Hair Ranch ( Basically it's up-stream of DePuy's ( I started from the border = lower end of Armstrong's = upper end of DePuy's. I fished up-stream with Shotgun-Nymphing. This is what I call "Lower Riffle". See where I parked my truck.

Between Armstrong's and DePuy's, some are common and others aren't. Whole discussion will be several-thousands-words-long so it has to be on other occasion (we might chat if I guide you either one of creeks).
The first trout was a typical Armstrong's 'Bow!! What do I mean by "typical"? It's just can be coloration, number of spots, the way it fights, shape, weight, etc........... You will understand if you fish enough and catch many trout at both Armstrong's and DePuy's.

I built a new kick-seine!! (I forgot to take pictures...). Today's special was Midge Larva, period!!

HOTTEST Fly of the day was my own L.L. Beads - size 20 or 22 RED.

Lost a couple of them...........

 Then I caught "typical" Armstrong's Brown!!

This was on SCEGG. Indeed flies and tactics I developed from my experience at DePuy's just work well at Armstrong's too!!

It was getting dark and I was about to reach a section where I wanted to end the day.Very last one was this beautiful and vivid Cut-Bow on L.L. size 20!!
It just combined the best colors of 'Bow and Cutty, don't you think!!??

Sun was setting down in the west. Another Montana winter day was ending........

I just picked a day, which turned out to be wonderful. I can't emphasize how lucky I was. Also I experienced another great fishing at Armstrong's. As a guide in Paradise Valley, I'm often asked "Which should I choose, Armstrong's or DePuy's?". My answer is "FISH BOTH!!"

Friday, February 15, 2013

TIED!!! How Many Days Will It Be This Year?

NOTE: I keep working on updating "Trout Food Sources" page above. This is really fun!! But also I do believe some of you out there "spring creek enthusiasts" will find this page interesting and useful. Here are samples of my recent collection. I have designed many fly patterns based on these. Then I have tested and caught trout. You can find my patterns in my sales site ( or watch my YouTube videos!!

Spring BWO nymph
SO!! As title says, I have made 50th & 51st visits to DePuy Spring Creek ( yesterday and today, respectively, which means I have caught up with last year's days with Winter Pass!!
Here's analysis. As of today (Feb 15), I visited 51 days out of 124 days (since Oct 15, 2012) = I visited every 2.4 days. And 58 days left till April 14th, 2013. Let's see how many more days I will make at DePuy's. But also I have to visit Armstrong's ( and float & fish Yellowstone River once it warms up!!

Yesterday I was the only one at creek. I found unidentified & mysterious foot-prints along banks!!?? Is this Japanese Kappa??

 Fishing was average. I had fun anyway on this snow yet calm day. One little brown had a particular mark/stain/tattoo.........
Browns are gaining back their weight and aggression!!
 Lucky catch at the end!
Today, this is what I did for the first couple of hours. Again, check "Trout Food Sources" page above to see my effort!!

Then, I can't emphasize how delighted I was with this catch!!
From "SUCKER" experience of the other day, I've been designing Sucker Minnow (baby sucker) imitations. In my opinion and observation, now is not a quite appropriate time to test streamers (as trout are not really eager to move). But at least I could test how it would be cast, sink, and swim. I was fishing very slow and deep. This little one took it so aggressively!! I guess I'm in a right track!! I will keep testing (and catching!!). Then I will show you recipes (yes, I have a few versions for trails)!!

At the very end of the day, I thought my little BWO nymph snagged on the bottom or rocks. But I didn't recall snagging structures there. I tried to unhook my fly, only then I realized it was MOVING!!!! Apparently my little nymph was snapped off........ No way to guess its size. Just heavy!! Some of you observant readers know what this mean and what's going on the creek......

This year, I don't really set "how-many-days" line. I just fish!! See you along the creek!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fly News & Another...........What Now?

FLY NEWS!!: I did custom tying of two original patterns (out of many more others), that I have developed especially for Livingston's spring creeks, for Buzz at Spring Creek Specialists Fly Shop ( within DePuy's property ( It's a nice little shop, totally dedicated for spring creek flies (and supplies such as leaders etc). Most of all anglers who have fished creeks would have said hi to Buzz. For those anglers who plan to fish creeks in near future, I'm sure you will do the same!
Sparkle Crane Larva - tan. This has been already posted on my sales site (here). Also I have posted a tying video on my YouTube channel. Look for from side bar or click a link written in "Tying Video" page above.

That's bunch of........creatures.........

Spring Creek Stone Nymph. I haven't posted this on my sales site nor have shot a tying video yet. This is, well, very unique and innovative in terms of tying and imitation itself!
 First of all, let me tell you, stonefly nymphs DO exist in spring creeks!!

I could go on.......but I may make another post for this subject later on.
It's only two patterns but I'm very glad that my original designs are "inducted" in the "spring-creek-dedicated shop". My flies are in bins among other great flies!! Some of them are tied or designed by other great spring creek specialists and enthusiasts!!! Come and check out!!
Yesterday, after I delivered flies to Buzz, I fished some. OK to so-so fishing which ended with nice 'Bow!! This was caught on Stone Nymph above!!
Today, it was another wind-less day here in Paradise Valley, though it was a bit colder.
 I saw Spring BWO (baetis), folks!! No rising trout yet, but right now small BWO-imitation nymphs work well!!
 Rainbows are getting ready for spawning, I guess. This size puts lots of fights on me!!

Then.....................I'm not going to use "SURPRISE" for this post and probably not any more for this year................ HUGE Sucker in the last post was enough. I get used to big fish (don't punch me or don't cut holes on tires of my truck!!...........).
I proceeded to "A Spot" where I caught BROWN for 2013 on January 30th (no link here as it was only two post below). It's not a secret spot or anything. Just a spot, where most of anglers fish every now and then. However, I fish this spot a bit different from others with my special flies........
I got a BIG TUG again!! But my mind seems to have been shaped up for "ON" by those previous surprises in a row. I noticed it was BIG again BIG!!

I roared for Victory!! It was on my Spring Creek Stone Nymph that I brought to Buzz!!
 How big? Though I didn't actually tape it, longer than my right arm!!
 I don't think this was the same one that I caught on January 30th. Some "cosmetic" signs and over all shapes/appearances were different. Which means there are some good ones like this all the time in DePuy's!!

Another achievement for today was that I pumped stomach of whitefish for the first time!! (I bet nobody wants to see proof pics of me working on it!!) Great success!!

Toward end of the day, I caught a really nice & jumpy rainbow with small Bead, Hare, & Copper.

 And the last shot................Definitely a run-up buck rainbow!!!
 As I was releasing him, I thought this picture looks very artistic......

I will "stop worrying for continuously catching big fish this early in the year". I just keep fishing!