Uno De Mayo | Bozeman Fly Fishing – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Uno De Mayo | Bozeman Fly Fishing

The Mother’s Day Caddis was in full “on” mode yesterday on the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley. Although Caddis typically show up sometime in late April, one can always count on the heaviest emergence right around Mother’s Day. However, this typically coincides with the start of the runoff season in the Yellowstone Valley and the river is often unfishable during the peak of the hatch.

“All the hype” is about the sheer and overwhelming amount of Caddis biomass that shows itself during the hatch. There are times throughout the day in which there are literally rafts of insects on the water. Back eddies can have mats of the insects that are inches thick and yards wide. It is a spectacle that anglers should see at some point in their lives!

Mothers Day Caddis Hatch on the Yellowstone River

The fishing during the hatch can be frustrating as fish are rising and splashing everywhere, with no predictable pattern. That’s ok, the point is that they are feeding near the surface with abandon and if you are patient, they will eat your fly. During the thickest periods of the hatch, a large Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulff, or even a small Chubby Chernobyl will work just fine. I like to use a tungsten pupa dropped 2-3 feet of one of these large dries when things are really getting crazy with bugs and feeding fish.

The Yellowstone graph on the USGS site shows an uptick at Corwin Springs this morning. We aren’t sure if that means dirty water is on it’s way or not and we won’t be able to know for sure until late morning or early afternoon. We are expecting to get a couple more days on the Yellowstone with our guided fly-fishing trips before the runoff really begins later this week. The lower Madison has actually dropped in flows a bit an the Mother’s Day hatch is over there as well, so either way, this should be a week of Caddis fishing around Bozeman.