Recent warmer weather has started the snow melt here in Montana and the regular fishing season in Southland will have just drawn to a close. Whereas in NZ - anglers may be shifting to thoughts of running rainbows, Central South Island trout monsters and flytying - the season here in Bozeman is about to heat up.
Last week the BWOs came off and this week with the warmer water and air temps - I expect the Mother's day caddis hatch will kick off. The water levels have risen though, as the snowpack has started to melt and water clarity has decreased markedly. These "run off conditions last several weeks and I am looking forward to finding alternatives and working out how to best take advantage of these "dirty" conditions.
In NZ I would be heading to a couple of spring creeks, lake edges and tailwater fisheries when river conditions dictate alternatives because of dirty water. It will be the same here. Waters like the Missouri, Big Horn and other tailwaters will be fishable and there are a multitude of lakes to explore. Unfortunately access, although fantastic, is not quite as good to get onto spring creeks - as they are often held privately and a rod fee may be required.
I've been fortunate to have fished a couple of the local spring creeks in the Paradise Valley, MT, and they are world class. De Puys, Nelsons Armstrongs are some of the better known streams and they will have some great hatches on them presently and of course crystal clear water.
Last week I went to a local lake to fish with a friend and using a cool little variation on the wooly bugger caught some fun rainbows. Tales of massive carp and other species during the drive there got me pumped for the coming summer and I think I will have to dust off the 6 weight to be prepared for some new species action! Stay tuned!!
(Later this week I will post instructions for the "Drew leech")
I'm off later this afternoon to seek out risers. Fishing carefully - right on the edge of the Madison should yield me a fish or two. The fish will be seeking the quieter edges and holes to stay out of the rising water but still feeding in gentler current lanes. I'll fish a fly with some color with a small dropper if I have to nymph while waiting for the hatch. The weather is overcast and heavy... So I am very hopeful of surface action.
Drew releasing a nice 'bow