PMD's on the Lower Madison
PMD's have been hatching in force on the lower Madison as of only a few days ago. Big fish and many fish have been focused on crushing both duns and spinners the past few days. Head out to the river early in the morning to take advantage of the thick Pale Morning Dun hatch!
PMD Duns and Spinners
Pale Morning Duns or PMD's are the mayflies of summer. They have just started and will be around until the end of July. When these bugs are on the water large trout can be found slowly sipping down both duns and spent spinners. When trout are on these aquatic insects a watchful angler can spot the white of a trout's mouth as it slurps down a PMD. Duns ride on the surface of the water like a sailboat, while the post-mating, spent spinners, are rusty in color and lay with their wings flat to the water's surface. Fish feeding mostly on the spinners will barely break the surface of the water leaving only circular ripples.
When the hatch is just starting in the early AM trout will key in on the emerging bugs. To emerge PMD's will blow a small bubble on their back to rise to the surface of the water. When they hit the film these critters get stuck and are incredibly susceptible to predation by trout. Fish that eat emergers will still leave rings on the water but will also expose a caudal fin or dorsal fin. Trout rising in this method are usually not willing to take a dry fly but will eat an emerger pattern or a nymph just behind a dry.
When PMD's are hatching it is important to have patterns to imitate each of these stages. Often when fish are eating duns they will refuse a spinner or an emerger. Fish 9' 5x leaders for the best success on picky PMD consuming trout. Stop by to browse Bozeman's best PMD selection before you find yourself surrounded by rising fish without the right bugs! Good luck and tight lines!