The underside of a Spruce Moth
We are lucky in Southwest Montana to have some world famous hatches, that keep both fish and fly fishers wanting more. May, June and early July can keep a dry fly fisherman busy with Salmon Flies, Goldenstones, Drakes, Caddis, and the list goes on. Then comes August. Finding good dry fly fishing can be tricky. Fish get picky, bugs have mostly hatched out, and the heat of the day can make fish lazy. Right when you think you might be forced to stare at a bobber, here come the Spruce Moths.
Spruce Moths, while extremely damaging to the forests of the rocky mountains, are one of the best "hatches" around the Big Sky area, especially on the Gallatin and Madison Rivers. Like other "hatches", the Spruce Moths vary from year to year, but you can always count on the fish to take advantage. Spruce Moths are very active on the water, lots of skating and fluttering around, so a perfect drift is not necessary for success. Even a novice angler can have good luck dry fly fishing.
Lots of different spruce moth patterns have come out over the last few years, some work better than others. A tan size 14 Elk Hair Caddis often times will do the trick. If fish are just nipping at your fly, downsize. You will rarely have to go below a size 16. Gallatin River Guides and all of our experienced guides would love to introduce you to to fishing spruce moths, one of the best dry fly times of the year. Call us at the shop (406) 995-2290 to book a trip on one of the many great rivers surrounding Big Sky.
Spruce Moth and its cape