Pale Morning Duns
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

Like the nymphs, the exact color of the dun varies depending upon the location. A pale
yellow is probably more common than any but can vary from olive to tan, even reddish
It is not uncommon for the fully emerged duns to float a long time on the surface before
flying away. This is especially true during the first part of the hatch when the water is
still cold. We consider a long time to be a minute or two versus a few seconds.
Cripples or duns that are deformed are common with this hatch. The cripples will stay
on the surface much longer, of course.

A down-stream or cross-stream presentation will usually spook less fish although you
can fish pockets of calm water with an upstream presentation in certain waters. We fish
upstream or slightly up and across anytime we can do so without spooking fish. This is
always the best way in streams with fast moving pocket water. In slower moving, slick or
smooth water, you may need to fish down and across. Keep in mind that even in
streams with fast moving pocket water, the PMDs will hatch in the calmer, smoother
water such as pockets and the outside edges of fast currents.
It there are not a lot of fish rising to the emerging duns, then you may need to fish to an
individual fish. This is a matter of getting your fly to drift over the fish at the right time. In
smooth, slick water, this is not exactly easy to do without spooking the fish.
During the months of July and August, when the PMD hatches are occurring on some of
the colder streams in the park, you may make the mistake of starting to fish too late in
the day. The hatches generally take place earlier during the hottest days of the season.
You may need to be on the stream fishing by 9:00 o'clock in the morning which many
anglers consider early, especially if they fished late the day before. The hatch may be
over by 10:30 to 11:00 am.
During the first part of July on the Gallatin River, for example, we have noticed that for
the most part anglers start showing up when the hatch has about ended. We have been
able to catch several trout and leave before the stream gets crowded. Keep this in mind
and be on the stream at the right time or you may miss the best part of the hatch.

Coming Up Next:
Pale Morning Duns - Spinners

Copyright 2008 James