Once ice-out starts (April, maybe), pick out your favorite leeches and buggers, find some open water, and BE PATIENT. The fish are certainly there and hungry, but you don't need to strip at the pace of a Ronny James Dio song. In the next month, stop in and grab a few of MRO Manager Chris Daniel's leeches, they're our #1 go-to leech for the Fall Run or any time leeches are festive.
As snow stars to melt, the ol Gal's clarity will change day-to-day. Your safest option is above the Taylor Fork to the Park Boundary, please remember YNP's angling season doesn't open until Saturday, May 28 this season.
As outstanding as the Madison's spring dry-fly midge fishing is, the Upper Gallatin above Big Sky rarely matches. Don't get me wrong, there can be some absolutely silly days. But in general this river is much colder and siltier. Expect to spend the majority of your time nymphing, this is a great pock-water river to Euro nymph. Stop by or tie up a few #16 Rainbow Warriors, #14 Lake Princes, #10 Biot Golden Stones, and you can never go wrong with a #10 Olive/Black Sili Leg Stone.
If you've never had the pleasure of fishing around West Yellowstone in early spring, do yourself a favor and find out how great it can be. Midges, Baetis, and March Browns are all outstanding options on the right day. Whether stalking fish on foot, or laying out a smooth reach-cast while drifting, the opportunity is there. On days where the wind is ripping (it's SW MT, we get those), enjoy perhaps the best nymph bite of the year. And for anyone interested in learning Czech/European style fishing from scratch, or just a few tips, we're your guys on the Madison.
For dries, keep a half dozen of each in your box; #18 Sprout Midge, #16-20 Griffiths Gnat, and Purple, Brown, and Olive Parachutes in size #16. Simple enough patterns right? As with any other time of year, the drift is always more important, with the exception of skating Stoneflies!
Similar to the dries, the nymph patterns we're fishing right now are pretty basic. Once again, it is the drift and control that is always more important. That being said, we're really liking #12 Tungsten Olive Hare's Ear, #14 Tungsten Goldie, #10 Black Sili Leg Stone, and don't forget small midges like #18-22 Olive, Purple, and Black Zebra Midges.
Fishing Report by Jake Schilling
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