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As you can see from this photo, taken from Yetter’s Face, Hebgen is still frozen. There is a bit of open water around Duck Creek, the South Fork, the Madison Arm, but the main body of the lake is solid.  There are still ice fishermen all along the north shore……sleds in tow packed with an auger, mini-me rods, a stool and ofcourse the proverbial 18er of Rainer.

It rained today for a bit and even thundered.  I actually thought about spring, but then wind came up and it should bring snow by the morning.  Our rivers are going to fish so well this summer…..if summer ever comes.  These next few days are going to be fishy.  If it stays a bit warmer in the lower elevations, we should see bwo hatches with some regularity.  I have been tying bwo cripples the last few nights and if they don’t rise, I’ll fish the tiny purple bead-head pictured below behind a worm.  plb.JPG

 Trout love worms.  Pink, red, natural brown, orange and with a bead.  The other day Johnny C called and asked what I was up to. I replied that I was tying flies and he asked what pattern.  I said #6 San Juan Worms with a bead.  He said, with a smart ass reply – “You’re not tying flies, your tying worms.”  He doesn’t’ bat an eye when they eat it. But of course, he rarely leaves the Ranch anymore and I can’t  remember the last time I fished with JC on the Madison. Dry flies at Harriman…poo poo papoo…..opps, got off track.  The SJW is the perfect lead fly throughout the season.  Spring and fall trigger trout to eat this thing with ferocity. I love the early season worm take.  Floating by the Prickly Pear during run-off will demonstrate this point every time – a yanking effect on the bobber followed by a hard run and some air time. Browns love the worm, thus making it a choice fly for early season trips on the Missouri and Madison when the bows are up a creek with no need for a paddle.

 pink-worm.JPG   red-worm.JPG   natural-brown-worm.JPG