It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, so don’t forget to thank your mom for all she has done.
After that, why not invite your mom fishing with you. Then you can chase the Mother’s Day caddis hatch together.
On the Stillwater River, Stillwater Anglers in Columbus reports “caddis are coming off in droves.” The hatch has also begun on the upper Yellowstone River and should be occurring on the Madison soon. East Rosebud Fly and Tackle also reports dry fly fishing has picked up considerably on the Boulder River with March brown and caddis hatching.
So there you go, the perfect Mother’s Day gift for mom -- a fishing trip with all the fixings including lunch and visiting. Or just give your mom the day off and get out of the house on Saturday. But make sure you are home Sunday.
On the paddlefish front, according to the Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Hotline as of May 5 the flow is 6,200 cfs and 180 paddlefish have been harvested on the Missouri River section from Fort Benton downstream to Fort Peck Dam. Also, paddlefish season below Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River and in the Yellowstone River below the mouth of the Bighorn River opens May 15.
Ackley Lake: Bait fishermen are doing OK. -- Don’s, Lewistown.
Bighorn River: Baetis (size 14-16) will work on overcast days. UV JuJu baetis, black wonder nymph and a Downey’s baetis nymph will take trout. Midges and sowbugs are working, as well. The flow was 1,850 cfs on Monday. -- Bighorn Fly and Tackle.
Boulder River: Nymph fishing remains an angler’s best option. Dry fly fishing has picked up considerably with both March brown and caddis. Fish a dry dropper setup consisting of a March brown in a size 12 with a smaller midge, or classic beadhead pattern like a red copper John (16). Blue Montana prince nymphs, hare’s ear, Batman and a pheasant tail nymph pattern will make an indicator dance. Nymphing using stoneflies like black North Fork Specials, or bitch creeks, girdle bugs, and rubber legs will all fish effectively. -- East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.
Boysen Reservoir, Wyo.: The walleye bite is pretty good with a jig and a worm or minnow in 8-20 feet of water. The trout are moving into the bays and fishermen are catching them. -- Boysen Lake Marina.
Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Wyo.: It fished well on Sunday for those jigging with sucker meat for lake trout. Try trolling leaded line 6-10 colors down with cowbells trailed by a Rapala for lake trout. Rainbow fishing has slowed down. -- Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir: Rainbow trout are cruising shorelines throughout the reservoir, especially on the north end. Shoreline anglers are doing well at most access points using worms and/or marshmallows, spoons or various beadhead nymph patterns. Boat anglers have had some success trolling cowbells tipped with worms or crankbaits in 5-25 feet of water. Walleye anglers are starting to catch fish throughout the south end of the reservoir. Trolling shallow with crankbaits (pink, orange, perch colored or green) or worm harnesses has produced the best bite. Use caution at south-end boat ramps as the reservoir is below normal drawdown levels in preparation for spring runoff. -- FWP, Helena.
Cooney Reservoir: Some walleyes have been caught by boat fishermen using leeches. -- Minnow Bucket, Huntley.
Deadman’s Basin: Fishing is picking up for bank fishermen using worms and marshmallows. -- Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Big Dry Arm: Billings angler Shawn Shock caught a 32-inch, 12.25-pound walleye. Overall, three 30-inch walleyes were caught. A lot of northern and walleyes are being caught using jigs and minnows shallow. The water temps are 44-50 degrees depending on the area. Everyone seems to be using minnows, so call ahead (406-485-2560) for availability before coming fishing. -- Rock Creek Marina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, dam area: With the nice weather, fishing picked up. Quite a few walleyes and a ton of northerns were hooked. For northerns, use a bobber and smelt from the bank. Lake trout fishing is good at Haxby Point. -- Lakeridge Motel and Tackle, Fort Peck.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Hell Creek: The walleye fishing is hit or miss. Using minnows in 12-18 feet of water is one’s best bet for walleye. The northern bite is consistent pitching cranks. -- Hell Creek Marina.
Gallatin River: It hasn’t blown out yet, but it could soon. Fish in the canyon are hitting nymphs. In the valley, some fish are taking dry flies. Try caddis pupa and emergers. Small woolly buggers are a good choice for streamer fishing. -- Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Hauser Reservoir: Some rainbows are being caught at the Causeway Bridge and Riverside from shore while using egg sacks, marshmallows or worms. Boat anglers are finding rainbows while trolling cowbells in the Causeway Arm and around Riverside. Lake Helena walleye fishing is good with the best results occurring while trolling dark-colored crankbaits or using bottom bouncers with a worm. -- FWP, Helena.
Holter Reservoir: Good rainbow fishing can be found while trolling cowbells tipped with a worm throughout the reservoir. Shore action is fair around Departure Point and Log Gulch while using marshmallows, worms or lime and orange PowerBait. Walleye fishing is slow. -- FWP, Helena
Lake DeSmet, Wyo.: Walleyes have been caught from the shore on the south end. Use crawlers. Some nice trout have also been caught using Jake’s lures. -- The Lake Stop, Buffalo.
Madison River: Ennis Lake has started to settle and water clarity on the lower end has improved. San Juan worms and crayfish are good patterns. Have emergers handy. Conditions are only a few degrees in water temp from the Mother’s Day caddis hatch. Often one can fish the caddis hatch successfully by not matching it. On open sections on the upper river, baetis are out in high numbers and some caddis are hatching. Big stonefly nymphs will work. Streamer fishing is consistent on cloudy days. Salmonfly season is just around the corner. -- Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Martinsdale Reservoir – From the shore, try red and white spoons or a Five of Diamonds spoon for trout. -- Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.
Missouri River, below Holter: The flow is 4,300 cfs and the temps are 46 degrees. It is fishing well nymphing. Use streamers on gloomy days. There are baetis out. There were a few PMDs out Sunday, along with some March browns from Dearborn down. -- Montana Fly Goods, Helena.
Missouri River, Fred Robinson Bridge: Walleye and sauger fishing with live minnows is hard to beat. The catfish bite is slow. Catfish and paddlefish action should improve with runoff. -- Don’s, Lewistown.
Nelson Reservoir: Fishing has improved. Bottom bounce a worm harness using a crawler for walleyes and use crankbaits for northerns. -- Westside Sports, Malta.
North Fork of the Shoshone: Above Newton Creek campground, anglers are throwing gold and silver Panther Martin lures and taking rainbows. Black and brown woolly buggers are working well, too. -- Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Rock Creek: Fish varied prince nymphs, pheasant tails, red or chartreuse Copper John and Batman. Red or black zebra midges will get the job done. While flows remain low, it is recommended to fish a smaller indicator. Dry fly fishing is productive. Fish caddis, March brown, BWO, or as the temps start to improve attractor dries like a royal Wulff or purple haze. A dry dropper setup is ideal. -- East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.
Spring Creek: There is some good dry-fly action and nymph fishing is strong. Try prince nymphs, pheasant tails and hare’s ears. -- Don’s, Lewistown.
Stillwater River: Caddis are coming off in droves. Occasional March browns are still coming off. Flows are coming up but the river should remain fishable for a while yet. Various elk-hair caddis dry flies are working, along with emergers. Standard mayfly beadhead nymph patterns like hare’s ears, copper John, and pheasant tails are good choices as well. Once the river gets up to 400 cfs or so it should be doable for floating. -- Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.
Tongue River Reservoir: Walleye fishing with a jig and a minnow remains good. Smallmouth bass are hitting crankbaits. A handful of crappie have been caught, although anglers haven’t been targeting them. A couple nice northern pike have been landed, including a 10-pounder by a youth angler. -- Tongue River Marina.
Upper Sunshine Reservoir, Wyo.: The water levels are too low to launch boats. Shore fishing is tough, too, because of low water levels. -- Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Yellowstone River, Columbus: Flows are up and the river is getting off-color. Dry fly action has been excellent on March browns and caddis. If the water stays clear enough and the fish can see them to key on them, they’ll take them. Parachute Adams and purple haze have been working for dries, along with caddis patterns. Nymph patterns like hare’s ears, copper John, Batman, and prince have been taking fish consistently. -- Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.
Yellowstone River, Huntley: It is fishing well for catfish and smallmouth using live minnows or crawlers for both. The seventh annual Yellowstone Challenge catfish tourney is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, call Brady Flaten at 406-939-0209. -- Minnow Bucket, Huntley.
Yellowstone River, Livingston: The Mother’s Day caddis hatch has begun, but so has the runoff. The majority of caddis are from Carters bridge down, but the hatch will move upstream with warming water temperatures. -- Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.