The ice has been off the local lakes for a bit now and we are in that early season pattern where the diverse bug activity and dry fly action still isn’t quite revved up yet, but the subsurface opportunities abound. Among the insects, the most important early season food source is the chironomids, or midges. Be prepared with pupal and emerger imitations in sizes from 16 to 12 if you plan to spend time on Hebgen, in particular. If you are fortunate to encounter warmer, calmer conditions those emergers will serve you well and perhaps score you the first gulper of the year!
In early spring (it is still early spring up here) with the other insects still fairly dormant, scuds and leeches are extremely important as well. Work those low and slow, but also don’t be afraid to pull a leech or other attractor pattern with a faster pace to try and trigger a chase and reaction grab.