Sunday, May 25, 2014

End of May

I really feel May came and now has being gone so fast. Perhaps I was busy. Or perhaps my metabolism is activating faster as the daylight gets longer and weather gets nicer = are you a trout??
Anyway, what's going on now? Johnny will speak on behalf of me.

Yes, Yellowstone River is now in a serious runoff!! As of this typing, the river is running over 20,000 CFS!! This will wash away all the algae and silts that have developed from the past two summers!!
Mallards Rest
 Perhaps this is the only one spot on the River where one can see a tiny piece of gin-clear water. You know where it is!?

No worries, it hasn't reached there yet!!

So I finally made time to sit down and shoot a tying video for my new & immediate success fly from this spring. It's indeed the second stage of my original Pupaerger (
I can't emphasize how significant these seemingly small modifications were for trout response (= my catch!!).

For next two weeks, I'm busy with Master Breeder projects. And I will be on the road. So I don't think I can update anything "fishy" a while.

Meanwhile for fishing report or if you ever consider visiting and fishing around here and need information, check and contact shops I work with.
Montana Troutfitters (
Parks' Fly Shop (

It sounds like, as you might also guess & feel, majority of shops and guides are afraid of high-water year = late start in July and consequently short summer and season............ But somehow yet confidently I feel optimistic. I don't think it's going to be as high as 2011. Then let me tell you that I personally had good fishing in that year. Also since then, I have developed myself to fish and guide under both high and low water. Then I have accumulated experience at spring creeks and lakes/ponds in the area, which don't receive any effects of runoff!!

I'm positive fishing will be good, even better than past couple years!!

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!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Rolls

NEWS: I have just made some changes and improvements about Atlantic Salmon Flies on my catalog site. I created two new pages filled with lots of pictures and my PASSION!!
This topic is covered below but I wanted to make a headline with these pages first.

Yellowstone River is still referred as "yo-yo" condition, so to speak, by most locals. It's not in the official runoff yet in terms of flow and volume. With succession of cold nights, some claim enough visibility for fishing.....not for me...... As for Mother's Day Caddis, it's safe for me to say last Friday 2nd would have been the only opportunity this year. I couldn't make it for the reason below. Right now, Madison River is the hot commodity. I actually like to go fishing there. With the Montana general season opens on next Saturday 17th, Madison will see lots of traffic from the wade section and to all the way down to Ennis!!

So I was working on the last Salmon Fly project at the turning of months. I might still tie one or two during next several weeks for my own and depending on orders but this is the last set for display project as of now. And I tied 3!! That's worth XXXXX trout flies in terms of value and effort!!

Durham Ranger (as per Pryce-Tannatt)
 Jock Scott (as per Geo. M. Kelson)
And the last but the not the least, my own design: Ephemerella in valle locus (PMD in Paradise Valley).
This is another thematic/interpretative dressing. As the name suggests, I mean to highlight the most iconic fly-fishing scene in Paradise Valley = PMD hatch at spring creeks.
All these are my latest best and surely featured in the gallery mentioned at top.

Kind of related to Atlantic Salmon Flies. My friend hunted a spring turkey and gave me a whole skin. I harvested White-tip tails and wings (no pictures). Then I plucked out marabous!! This is perhaps the finest marabou I ever seen!!
I'm not a hunter and this is actually the first time that I dealt with a raw skin. Harvesting is easy but this is a good opportunity for me to learn cleaning, treating, and preserving feathers. And I did really well!!
Here's another news that some of you would be curious to know. Do you remember this tagged Cutty from last month?

I have just received a letter from Montana FWP.

  • Fish 1534 was tagged on May 14th, 2009. It was measured 11.9-inch and 0.64-lb.
  • When I caught it on April 16th, 2014, it was estimated (by me) 15.0-inch and 0.75-lb
  • Fish had been tagged at the same section where I was. 

What do you think?
I have no scientific training or knowledge about fish growth so I don't know if this growth is big, small, or normal. One thing I can say is way above Livingston's spring creeks. That means trout in this section don't benefit the nutrient rich & warm waters of spring creeks. Yet, this one has been surviving for 5 years in this same section!! Isn't it remarkable and worth respecting!!??

Majority of trout flies have been tied. I still tie some but I want to go fishing!! Hopefully I can post fishing reports soon!!