“A Dry Hook Has Never Caught a Fish”
Paradise Valley Fishing Report for the week of March 7, 2023
By Jan Axtell
Much of the river is still locked with ice making access tricky. Use caution on shelf ice. Boat access is limited at this time and given the unknown condition of the river through mid-float is not advised due to lethally cold-water temperatures and the potential for ice dams. Be safe.
Fishing around the thermal features on the upper Yellowstone around Corwin Springs is producing productive midge hatches and surface rising fish that can be targeted and caught with dry flies. Slow nymphing stabile pools and seams during the warm part of the day will be your best bet.
Dry Flies: Cluster midge #20, Parachute Adams #20-220, Haroups Hanging Midge #20-22, CDC Transitional midge #20, Sprout midge #20-22
Nymphs: Zebra Midge #20-22 (red, black, grey, olive), Baetis nymph 18-22, Stone Fly Nymphs 8-18 (Pteronarcys, Little Yellow Sally, Little Brown stone), Psycho prince 14-18, Lil Spanker 12-18 (pheasant tail, et.al). Perdigon nymph 12-18 (olive, et.al.)
Streamers: Skittering Smolt, Olive Sparkle Minnow, Leach patterns worked slow
Paradise Valley Spring Creeks
Depuys, Armstrongs and Nelsons offer your best bet on consistently reliable winter fishing. Winter rates are reasonable at $40.00-45.00/day.
The last few days Depuy’s has seen consistently good nymphing (midges/Baetis) with some fishable dry fly activity on the pond proper. The streamer bite has been spotty but has produced some decent fish as the nymphing slows down for the day. We did see a sparse few Baetis duns during the afternoon, but fish still seem focused on midges as their primary and preferred food source. We were surprised to take 2 beautiful fish on small Yellow Sally stone fly nymphs as the point fly in a 2-nymph rig with a midge dropper. We have not seen spring river fish in the spring creeks yet, but they should be expected over the next few weeks.
Dry Flies: Cluster midge #20, Parachute Adams #20-220, Haroups Hanging Midge #20-22, CDC transitional midge #20, Sprout midge #20-22
Nymphs: Zebra Midge #20-22 (red, black, grey, olive), Black and blood midge #20, Tungsten bead string thing, Baetis nymph 18-22 (Crack back bwo, Juju baetis, Saywer PT–dark) , Tung Little Yellow Sally stone fly nymph #18, Cased caddis #18-20, Perdigon nymph 18 –20 (olive, et.al.). Balanced Leach dead drifted in deep holes
Streamers #10-12: Skittering Smolt, Olive Sparkle Minnow, Leach patterns worked slow
A general warming trend over the week with periods of declining barometric pressure should turn fishing on both in the spring creeks and on the river proper. Winter conditions persist, but with the right rig fished in the right location fishing can be quite good.
Warming temperatures should see improved Baetis and midge hatches on both the Yellowstone River and Spring Creeks as we continue winter’s meteorologic slow march toward spring.0