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I made the mistake of trying the Upper Clark Fork today. The superfund stream work is still in progress. Fishing above the work area, the steam looks good, but the expected morning trico hatch was small, and did not bring any fish to the surface. Dismal experience- wonder how many years before the stream recovers from efforts to detoxify it and restore it to its former state. Hope I live that long!
Returned to the Madison this morning; fished upstream of the salmon fly hatch (and angler hatch !).
A nice caddisfly hatch started around 10, and lasted an hour, before winds came up and seemed to put an end to it.
The fish were looking up and ’twas nice fishing dries/emergers- caught several browns, in the mid to upper teens.
I fished the channels portion of the Madison this am. started around 7:30. a scant caddis hatch was already started, but the fish were not into it yet. by 9:00, more caddis were present, a few gray drakes were hatching, tricos were coming off in quiet stretches, and small yellow Sallies were also abundant.
trout were rising, and I switched from subsurface fishing to surface fishing, with a parachute Adams, and a yellow Sally emerger, tied Quigley style. The fish tore up the emerger, including several in the high-teen range.
next time, I’ll sleep in, and time my arrival for 9 am.
I fished the Ruby River tailwater this morning, as most folks chased the salmon flies on the Madison. The water is still very turbid, with visibility only 12-18 inches.I hoped to find that the trico hatch had started, but that was not the case. I did encounter light PMD and midge hatches, but not enough to bring fish to the surface.
The few fish I caught snatched my nymph offerings.
I’ll keep you posted r.e. the appearance of the tricos, which provides reliable, daily surface feeding.
We have arrived in Montana, where we will spend the summer. This evening, I cast my first fly of the summer!
This is salmon fly time on the Madison, and fishermen are flocking to the sections where the big flies are hatching. So, I took a contrary approach, and went a bunch of miles downstream from the salmon fly action. The evening caddis hatch was heavy, mostly tan, size 14, but mixed with black, size 16. The only rising fish I saw were small, but fishing a soft hackle, I found a number of good fish, 15-18 inches, feeding just below the surface.
It made for a great evening!
Returned to the DH section this morning. Water flow has dropped to 250 cfs, down from 600 cfs a few days ago. While wading was ok, the water was still colored, with visibility reduced to 12-18 inches.
there were no significant hatches, so the action was subsurface. there was a strong preference for “big and meaty”.
due to our wet spring, there is a bumper crop of gnats, black flies and mosquitos. bug repellent kept them from biting, but a I had a cloud of bugs buzzing around my head at all times. if you go, DON’T FORGET YOUR BUG REPELLENT!
I fished the special reg water this morning. ’twas a nice, warm and sunny day, and the water has warmed. Unfortunately, Virginia is having an early spring drought, and the rivers are running at only 40% of their usual flows.
a light midge hatch was present from 9-10:30, and a few small fish were rising. I saw one big fish rise, but couldn’t get to him for a cast, and he only came up once.
nice day, but we need rain!
Went to the Jackson today. Beautiful weather; after dropping to the the 30’s overnight, it warmed into the 60’s today. The water is starting to warm, and a robust caddis hatches started at 11 (tan and black), followed by a large, #12 tan mayfly (couldn’t catch one to identify), followed by another mayfly hatch, #16. The hatches stopped around 3 pm.
Despite the excellent bug activity, only small guys were coming to the surface. Caught some good fish using rising pupae during the caddis hatch, and a few more later on a copper John.
I should have noted that the Forest Service has worked on the road, and also ran a brush hog through the “rose trail”, making access to the special reg area much easier!
good water flow, 100 cfs, ambient temp 55, sunny, water temp finally rising into the 50’s, but no hatches. a few tan caddis could be found in the streamside brush.
so, the fallfish were active, the trout not so much.
Returned to the South River today. It was in the 70’s, but the water is still cold.
I fished from 10:30 to 12:30, after the sun had been out a few hours. There was a pretty good tan caddis hatch, but I only saw 2 fish rise, and only one time for each.
The fishing remained subsurface, and I caught half a dozen, two over 12″. In addition to the rainbows, there were the usual fallfish, adding to the fun.
Can’t wait for the water to start warming!!
fished the Jackson yesterday.
water levels had dropped to 200 cfs, but the water was still colored. ambient temp was nearly 70, and the water warmed into the low 50’s.
a rare tan caddis came off, and a few olives were present as well, but no surface action to be seen.
subsurface action was steady, but slow.
probably 2-3 days away from being ideal!
A break in our winter weather, so I grabbed my gear and headed to the SRW section of the South River. The air warmed to the fifties, and the water to the mid forties.
no hatch, but in winter water, the slow, deep runs and pools, the fish were responsive. i lost several early strikes, as my hook-set was faster than their winter takes. but i did catch several rainbows, none over 12″ though.
for a midwinter fish outing, not bad- no frost bite or iced guides!
I fished the SRW water today, from 1-3 pm. it was 50 degrees, water in the 40’s, cloudy, with rain arriving at 3.
a modest midge hatch was present from 1-2 in the quiet waters, and there were rising fish to midge emergers- quite fun! then things shut down, followed by the rain. not bad for January though!
I returned to the Jackson today. It’s been a warm December, and today it reached 60 degrees. I planned my day per winter fishing, after all it is the middle of December.
I arrived at noon, and the water temp was in the mid 40’s. The fishing was good for about an hour, then tapered right off, even though the water was still warming up, into the low 50’s. A rare midge was noted, but no hatch to speak of.
If you go, time your outing like a spring or fall day, rather than winter, provided that the weather continues to be so warm.
otherwise, i saw a number of ruffed grouse, an owl, bald eagle, deer, and ducks. not a bad day to be out!
I returned to Mossy Creek today. We are having very warm temperatures, into the mid 50’s, and rainfall has been good, maintaining excellent water levels.
I arrived shortly after 3 pm, trying to catch the evening midge hatch, and found the water level to be good, but off-color, never a good sign on Mossy.
The midges were abundant, with the peak hatch about 3:30 to 4:30 (I’ve posted some pictures in the photo gallery), but there were no trout noses pushing through the water surface. Nor did they respond to subsurface offerings. Bad day- and won’t improve until the water clears.