Sunday, April 28, 2013

Last of Pre-Runoff Report? How About Caddis?

It's about the time of year for me. Gotta feel somewhat gloomy as runoff is coming. Yellowstone River height and temperature are rising, instead losing visibility. I want to see one decent caddis hatch! Well, weather information is calling another slightly cold conditions so there may be one more hope. But then again, I will be engaged in my Master Breeder side so who knows if I could fish one more time before runoff or even hit the caddis right time!?

Yesterday, I went to my usual spot. While I was waiting for water temperature to rise, I fished with "dry-dropper" rigging and caught many a whitefish! I pumped stomachs of most of my catches.
 This one seemed very gourmet........

Water reached above 50F in the mid afternoon. Yet I didn't see any signs of hatches of BWO or Mother's Day Caddis....... On the way back down-stream to my truck, I swung my original Double Soft-Hackled Caddis......

 One heavily "kyped" 'Bow crushed it!

And caddis larvae were fish were definitely looking for caddis too.........!!
Today, River kept changing. I floated with Parks' Fly Shop ( owner/outfitter Richard and Head-guide Walter. Insect hatches were pretty much none. But streamers were taken very well!! This is one of examples!

Wally caught another one, much BIIIGGER!! (he might update Shop website).
Me? I DID actually caught a Mighty Sucker on its mouth!! (no photos will be released!!)
I'd like to mention BIG THANKS to Simms and other sponsors for holding another great ICE OUT GUIDE EVENT. Apparently I was busy fishing in between programs of three days.......

As mentioned at beginning, who knows what my next post will be about. But whether I'm not fishing or I'm busy breeding cows, I have many more topics that I have wanted to post but couldn't through this winter and spring (because I was busy fishing!!).
Stay Tuned!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Caddis Premonition...........

It looks like spring decided to come out from hibernation again. At the same time, annual guide gathering Simms ICE OUT is held at Simms brandnew facility in Bozeman. I paid a visit in the morning and met some friends around here and from other states. I'll post some more about this later...........

Also at the same time, water temperature of Yellowstone River has begun to rise. If it gets too high at once, runoff will start. Spring fishing will be over. It is during this short window of period that we expect Mother's Day Caddis hatch!! I said to several guide friends "I've got a strong gut feeling that caddis will pop today!!". So I headed back home in the afternoon. I hit my regular spot of 'Stone. wasn't quite caddis yet...........Also probably because of bright condition, I didn't see any BWO and midge hatches either. I could do some nymphing or face "skunk" in a while. I kept fishing, believing my gut feeling.
Flies I stuck with this afternoon were: Walter's (at Parks' Fly Shop) Clacka Caddis, that I modified in Mother's Day (Grannom or Brachycentrus) color.

Trailed behind was my original Double Soft-Hackled Caddis - Mother's Day color.

There were a few pounces on Clacka!!
Then I finally had the expected feeling on my line! Little yet feisty rainbow took Double Soft-Hackled Caddis with confidence!!

This time period is always cruel to me. We want weather and season to get warmer, but very soon we'll see runoff and early season fishing is over at Yellowstone River. Furthermore, this year, Simms event is scheduled at the same time!
I keep updated!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Back On The Water - Chasing Spring Hatches

MEDIA: Check up the latest update at Fly Anglers OnLine ( I submitted an article about very technical & challenging situation from my spring fishing at DePuy's Spring Creek ( Keyword: Observation
Just about a week ago when my friends were visiting, I was feeling a little discomfort on my left shoulder with the cause I couldn't think of. Then I realized it might be "Cast-ritis". Indeed I had been pushing myself hard since spring hatches occurred and trout started rising in the middle of March. I don't think I am what's called "Burn-out syndrome". But just as DePuy's ( Winter Pass ended (and as my friends went home), winter came back! So last several days, I've been catching up with my fly-tying lists. And my left-shoulder seems healed well!!

Yesterday, it was still cold. Yet winds weren't so bad. So I decided to drive along Yellowstone River and stop at one particular spot. Just as I was getting ready to walk along the bank, winds got stronger from North........... However, river, especially edge structures, looked just great!! I was expecting midge and Baetis hatches. Then indeed they were hatching!!

Now I started to string my line through rod-guides. Just as I was ready to tie on, fish started to rise!! These were my go-to patterns.
Micro Wulff Cripple!

Purple Haze Cripple!

 The very first cast!! Cutie-Cutty!!

I also caught a couple of Whities on rises. I pumped one of them........... Midges and BWO were predictable but LOOK!! Ant or Bee was present!? Furthermore a BIG one!!

A respectable Cutty!! Happy!!

Just about when I couldn't take any more, hatches/rises ended (vise versa).
Due to this extra cold/wet condition, runoff will be delayed. What I hope in addition is Mother's Day Caddis hatch!! Let's see what's gonna happen this year! I will keep you updated!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Back to "B" River

April 15th, winter weather continued. For the last full-day fishing of John & Mike, we had to give up floating Yellowstone River. Due to cold weather, water of Yellowstone River became clear but apparently water temperature went down. Even if we had no accidents of floating, it would have been very rough to be on the boat.....

So we decided to fish "B" River again! We drove along and planned loosely where we would fish. Since it was so cold, we first stopped by Natural Bridge for sightseeing. Probably not much explanation needed for this true natural beauty.
It's been a while that I came this way. I don't know any scientific terms but I'm sure air is different here, so clean and crisp. This is what Japanese call "Forest Bathing" (kind of aromatherapy). I breathed deeply and felt my body was relaxing.

Just around noon, we finally dressed up and stepped into West Fork of "B". (these three pictures are courtesy of Mike).

I completed my guide duty at DePuy's ( so we went separate ways. What I mean is fishing methods. I stuck with my trusted nymphing methods while John & Mike applied "Woolly-ing". Considering size of river, filled with lots of boulders, Stonefly Nymphs must be main dishes for trout in this drainage. I rigged up the trusted Minch Stone - Parks' Fly Shop house recipe!!

Nice size for West Fork.

Quickly pumped him. Hmmmmmm, midge larvae. Trout here have never seen Minch Stone so they were taking my offerings with delight!!
To coincide, I found this "spring stonefly" (could be Skwala or similar kind).
This size and color really looked like Skwala, don't you think?

I reached the confluence of West Fork and Main!!

Starting with Whitie!

Then I started to experience some of BEST "Rainbow" days in my fishing life, filled with several beautiful, strong, and large 'Bows!!
Isn't this really a Steelhead? The BEST of the day!!
 Slightly shakey? One more time!!
Next one!!
Another one with Minch Stone in its mouth!
All were healthy and in great condition.

We ended up staying late...... Here's Mike working down-stream. By then I was "Woolly-ing" too.

"B" River and its tributaries are such nice and secluded waters. I should have get out more over here.

Next day John and Mike departed for their normal lives. I had great time fishing with friends. I completed my multi-duty: fellow angler, guide, and a host. I enjoyed cooking breakfast for everyone and preparing a perfect lunch at DePuy's. As of this typing, there are some more fresh snow on the ground. I think they were able to experience the very last piece of spring fishing. Also I hope they enjoyed what Livingston and people there can offer other than fishing. This applies not only to my friends but also to everyone who visits Livingston as "Fly-Fishing Central Destination"!!

I will see you along waters!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

GRAND 80TH VISIT @ DePuy's!! - With Friends

April 14th, the very last day of Winter Pass at DePuy Spring Creek (, I made THE MAGNIFICENT 80TH VISIT!! I'm writing a summary for this season right now, but just briefly, I have fished the creek for 80 Days of past 182 days!! Plus, you know that I have fished several other waters through winter. Readers who have been following my updates for fishing report and effective flies know that I have been observing and experimenting all through winter to hone my skills and senses as an angler and a guide.  Also I have developed and proven more than several effective fly patterns!! Yet, even those supportive readers may wonder "how do all of these work/make sense by fishing one creek?". YES!! All of my observation and experiments will pay off and be applied to other waters and other seasons as "Spring Creek is the classroom of fly-fishing". When you find me or fish with me in this upcoming season (well, though you can find me at waters pretty much any time of the year.....), I'll be hauling in some trout and would like to assist you to do so!

One thing I did really crazy was that I saved all the entrance tags for the past 6 months to see how ridiculous it would look at the end........ That's lots of paper!! Betty suggested me to take daily notes behind! Good idea! I will clean soon........

So my friends John and Mike, who caught up with John later, decided to ply the famous spring creek for the first time. Here's John working on midge hatch at PHD Pool.

That's all from my camera as I was busy to get them into fish. However, Mike just gave me lots of pictures from his camera. I like some angles of these pictures as I can never get to them by myself!

Breakfast at my house, then we hit the road!!.................or hit the snow......... I wish weather was a bit more hospitable for them. I towed my boat in case we would be fishing at House Pond.

Midge hatch was fair to tough in the morning. We needed to warm up and have some lunch at Fisherman's Hut. We should have taken pictures of wonderful lunch we cooked!!

In the afternoon, we fished for BWO hatches. Mike caught a typical spring-creek brown!

He caught even better one!!

Look at this warrior!!

When clients are not satisfied with their catches, they always "rub on" guides!!

John with run-up rainbow!

Mike also caught several run-up rainbows!!

We stayed and fished late for our heart contents. I did my best to guide my friends at the creek and into fish. I hope they enjoyed the creek.

So this is the end of Winter Pass 2012-2013. Too many experience, observation, and memories to summarize at once. Over all, I have grown and stepped into a higher level as an angler and a guide. It was good to end the Pass with guiding my friends. I hope lots of anglers will visit and try this famous creek during this year or very near future. If I could be any assistant to you, I live only 5 minutes away!

Last but not least, I really appreciate Smith Family: Betty for welcoming me every time I knock on the door and Daryl & Theresa for answering my compulsive phone calls (often times every other day.....).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

River Clean Up 2013

I've been enjoying great spring fishing but also it's the time for this event. Joe Brooks TU and several other organizations make this meaningful event happen for the past 8 years. As a guide and an angler in Livingston, I feel obliged to attend and show my attitude (as long as I don't have other schedules).

I sent my friend John to fish somewhere else!...........just kidding but apparently float fishing wouldn't be much effective in the morning. I had one volunteer from Bozeman on board. We got hit by temporal yet serious snow/hail storm! But as always "if you don't like Montana weather, wait 5 minutes". Storm subsides soon and we could go through the section. At the take out, look at this pile of trash we picked up on my boat!! Once in a while, I do something for society with my fishing/guiding ability!!

As reported yesterday, my boat floor has just been refurbished. After we came back and transferred our pile to bigger green boxes, my boat was power-washed and clean again!!

As I offered my labor and boat, I believe I must have paid respect to Our River & River God. I hope Yellowstone River will run forever. Of course, I hope I will have good fishing & guiding on this river!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring River Report - Chasing "Lower Beast"

My friend John from Nebraska is visiting me. He checked in yesterday and we hit Boulder River in the town of Big Timber, MT. Clear water and big blue sky, it was a great afternoon.

I did OK with some respectable sizes of trout.

Rainbow that seemed in/out of spawning......

I was happy with this catch!

John caught even nicer one!!
Today, first in the morning, crew at RO Drift Boat did some wonderful jobs to refurbish the floor (from last year's hard work.....). Then we hit "Lower" section of Yellowstone River. Apparently this was the very first day for me and my boat to float since last September!! Also I want you readers to know that I love floating Yellowstone River as much as fishing spring creeks on foot!!

It was a perfect weather to float first of all. Then, it was also perfect to target "Lower Beast" that are known to be caught in spring before runoff with streamers. The moment I held my oars, I was back to "Guide Mode". It was slow, to be honest. But we were positive. Suddenly (repeat) suddenly, John had a HUGE TUG!! John is THE BIG TROUT HUNTER who has fished all over the West. I notice it would be really huge at once too. I pulled over my boat quickly and get my net ready, which was also replaced with brandnew rubber net. We got THE LOWER BEAST!!!

It was a true TWO-FOOTER!! - My Boat Record!!

However, it wasn't the end of story. After these pictures were taken, John had another huge tug!!

And this was what happened.......

I was glad John got what he was expecting for this trip = Lower Giant with streamers!!
And that was The first trout for the first float for 2013 and for the replaced net!! 
But don't forget who checked boat ramps and water conditions in advance and suggested him to float this section with his boat!!