Nelson's Spring Creek

Livingston, Montana 59047

Nelson's Spring Creek

Nelson's Spring Creek Professional Review and Guide

"Smaller, shorter, tougher sibling of Armstrong’s, across the Yellowstone River. If you have only one day to fish a spring creek in Paradise Valley, it probably ought not be Nelson’s, unless you want the supreme technical challenge. Only half-a-mile long, this spring creek rises on the east side of the Yellowstone directly across from Armstrong’s. Its course lacks the gradient of the O’Hair mileage of Armstong’s Spring Creek, rather resembling some of the slower flows on the DePuy section.

As summer’s sun warms the gravelly, cobbly bottom, aquatic grasses flourish. By August, were it not for cottonwoods along the bank, Nelson’s would resemble an English chalk stream. Undulating in the current, watery cress provides cover for big rainbows—up to 24 inches and more—and a few large browns. Species: Rainbow, brown, cutthroat. Angling methods: fly-fishing only."

Nelson's Spring Creek Reviews

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For surroundings Nelson's is hard to beat - the Absorokas in the background and (unlike Ohair's on the west side of the Yellowstone) far away from the road. Fishing usually requires delicate presentations and tiny flies, although the topmost stretch can be fished with dead-drifted nymphs, and you can occasionally pull out a big brown with a streamer (purple works well). Be prepared for refusals and, more often, big cruisers' simply ignoring your dry, even when you match the hatch perfectly. I've always done better on top in the morning and early afternoon; start as early as you can. There are midge hatches year-round and if you get decent weather in November or March you can have the creek to yourself. In my book this is one of the top flyfishing venues in the world. By the way, the Nelsons have a three-unit motel-type accomodations right on the ranch, as peaceful a place to stay as you'll find in the busy Paradise Valley.

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Jul 2018