March 7th-Monday Fly Box

Good Morning FlyfisherFolk,

March in Montana and the days are ticking away to get our fly boxes full for the fishing season. So what should an angler be dedicating their time at the vise with. Well,… that of course will depend on a variety of factors, not the least of which will be the time of the year an angler is expecting to fish in the greater Yellowstone region. But lets suppose you just wanted a basic selection that will cover most weeks of the summer, on most rivers.

Let’s get started with nymphs. Nymphing the rivers of the Yellowstone region is a fantastic way to stay productive on most any river, regardless of weather, water conditions, or time of year. Since trout spend most of their lives feeding on bugs (and other assorted aquatic creatures) near the bottom of the river, it only makes sense to take advantage of this fact. A savy angler will spend a fair amount of time imitating this feeding behavior of trout, by going subsurface and getting nymph imitations on the bottom, free rolling them in the current to waiting trout. What should we have in our box, and consequently be furiously tying right now, in anticaption of these events. Top 10 nymphs I would be tying right now would be the following:

10. Rubber Leg Stonefly nymph #8 or #10. This simple yet deadly nymph goes by a variety of names, but the basic guts of this fly are the same. I would tie this fly in black , with black rubber legs. Simple, straightforward, and amazingly accurate to way the naturals look in the water. Furthermore, since stoenflies are present in most all our rivers year round, this is excellent choice anytime, anywhere. If you wanted a second good color choice, substitute the black chennile body with a brown/orange varigated chennile, and change the legs to brown silli legs. Subtle shift, but noticeable, and often that can spell the difference.

9. Pheasant Tail #16. Slam dunk anywhere, this nymph pattern accurately represents mayfly nymphs, with its slim profile. I love this pattern with a bead head, and a flashback. But the original makeup is proven deadly for decades. I would also tie these is #14 and #18 depending on a specific hatch I expected to encounter, but if I had only 1 size for most of the summer it would be #16. You will notice a trend in the choice of #16. Pheasant tails are excellent representations of Pale Morning Duns, Epeorus, Callibaetis, Heptagenia, Mahogany Duns, and Flavs (all these bugs are ironically enough a #16). An added bonus to tying the original without a bead is that it can be fished in the surface film to represent and emerging mayfly. Lots of reasons to have this fly in your box!!!

Join us next Monday for the #7 and #8

Fish On, Rowan

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