• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
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  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Saturday, April 11, 2015

    The Social Hour

    FRIDAY: 'EARLY OUT'
    Partly Cloudy And Warm
    the pre-runoff bite is on
    WALLPAPER: SPRING SOCIAL ON THE GALLATIN RIVER

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    .. Whatever is left undone by noon can wait until Monday. The waders and the stick and the whole kit are in the car. The river is right next to the road. The whole office will be there. Perhaps fish will be caught.
    P.T. NYMPH
    .. The Gallatin River, down low near Bozeman, Montana is running low, slow, cold and clear. Noses are in the air and on the bottom. Beautiful Spring days are coming in 2's and 3's and the beginning of social fishing is making deep inroads along the popular stretches of the river.
    .. Up high, near the northern boundary of  Yellowstone National Park, catching has been hit or miss with the thin water moving fish to dark cold hides.
    .. So far the Taylor Fork has added only food to the Gallatin River and the fishing just below the confluence has been augmented by good catching. The same holds true for the small willow meadow around Snowflake Springs.
    
    LITTLE BLACK STONE
    .. Small dark nymphs or large black bugs are the neighborhood choice. Of course the San Juan Worm is near the top of the list. Short-term and intense sunny exposure on thin water has produced a few early Baetids and some midge clusters but, it's still a subsurface game.
    .. Down around Big Sky, Montana fishing is in full bloom. Day to day catching is dependent on the caprice of the early hatching buglets. A few Batids and quite a few midges are keeping things interesting down that way.
    .. There are other foods as well, and some folks are lip-sticking fish with stonefly nymphs. The action is sporadic until the afternoon when water is warmer and the bugs feel the urge.
    SAN JUAN WORM
    .. Double fly rigs are a good way to hedge your bets. Big and little - or little and big seem to work equally well. Pheasant tail variants and black stonefly sorts are the combination settled upon by most folks.
    .. Riffles and small dark pocket waters are where the fish are. Heavy broken cloud cover will move the fish from light water to dark water in mid afternoon. Working lots of water and watching the slicks will produce happy anglers.
    .. Down towards Gallatin Gateway, and below, the river is fit for a postcard. For however long the April and May showers remain in abeyance the catching will only continue to get better than the already good it is.
    .. Although not high on the preferred list small streamers are making their appearance in a few savvy fishers' boxes. The lower down the river you go the better chance you have to move fish with a streamer.
    RED-THROAT MATUKA

    .. Sling it and strip it - OR - swing it and twitch it. Fish and fishers vary in their moods and predilections. Try it all if you are seeking bigger fish with ferocious grabs. Opportunities abound and the fishing is great trending toward spectacular - catching has been pretty good too.
    .. Watch the weather, pick your spots, and enjoy this gentle period on the Gallatin River before runoff limits your choices and tactics.
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    LITTLE STUFF FOR ICE OUT
    .. Just down the road, (and around the corner,) a couple of neighbors have plunked some boats into the open water on both the Madison Arm and South Fork Arm of Hebgen Reservoir. Ice out continues apace with the warm and bright days. The edge of the ice is moving around with the wind and convection currents. Wherever the edge is - the fish are.
    .. As the water warms and the ice disappears, bits of debris form a continuous rain of potential food along the retreating edge. Cruising fish gobble sticks, leaves, dead bugs, and other stuff. The fish will eat a worm or a fly with delightful abandon. Big stuff and little stuff is fair game.
    .. The ice edge has made it to the Great Springs embayment on the Madison Arm and is moving rapidly toward the main body of the reservoir.  Already the worm folks are dusting off the lawn chairs in anticipation of the long edges soon to be available when the main body of the reservoir warms just a smidgen more. The social aspects of sitting in the warm sun while tickling fish are a rite of Spring among many of the neighbors.
    .. We need a social circle.
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    WALLPAPER: THE BEGINNING OF ICE OUT - HEBGEN RESERVOIR