Tailwaters and Spring Creeks

Hank the Tank with a MO bow from the back of the boat...

From time to time the Yellowstone is to icy to fish in the Winter.  On such occasions, we typically look to fish tailwaters or the spring creeks.  For tailwaters, the Missouri is pretty hard to beat.  They are in a big fish cycle right now (and the numbers aren’t bad either).  Nymphing is still one of the most effective ways to catch fish on the MO, mostly scuds and sowbug patterns.  Still we got and and swung a few runs as well as fished streamers out of the boat.  The bite was surprisingly good!  Smaller streamers worked best for us, tan or grey…

Double Trouble indeed... Photo: Hank Bechard

If you are looking for a closer drive/day trip the Lower Madison is another good option.  This is one of the rivers we like to swing but it is also fun to find a pod of 12 inchers rising to midges.  The Bighorn is another favorite tailwater of ours.  The Bighorn is in more of a numbers cycle than a big fish cycle but it is one of our all time favorite streamer rivers this time of year.  The browns over here will typically spawn late into the season, so eggs will work as well as scud patterns and midge larva.

An afterwork rise on DePuy's...

Perhaps the best (and closest) fishing we have here near Livingston are the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks.  Rates are currently $40 a rod at Armstrong’s, Nelson’s, and DePuy’s.  All you need to do is call them up to book a rod… DePuy’s  406-222-0221.  Armstrong’s: 406-222-2979.   Nelson’s 406-222-6560.

Armstrong's brown... Photo: Logan Brown

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