LATE AND EARLY SEASON FISHING AT DEPUY'S SPRING CREEK
|Part 1 can be found here|
Description: DePuy's = 3 miles, Armstrong's = 1.5 miles, and Nelson's = 0.5 mile. When I fish myself or guide clients, I can cover from top to bottom at Armstrong's and Nelson's. I would even go back and forth several times a day. Before I became a guide I had tried to do the same at DePuy's on several occasions but found it impossible. I couldn't cover 3-mile in a day nor afford the money and time to keep visiting, paying a rod fee for a day and just spending time walking around. That doesn't sound attractive for anyone, not to mention, experimenting tactics, flies, spots, and cannot be accomplished in a day. Furthermore, the three mile length is filled with tremendous diversity. Different currents, structures, and trout habitats require the same amount of diversity in angler's head as well.
The winter pass really helps me to focus on each section along with objectives of that day. There certainly are productive and slightly less productive spots, also there are "popular" and "less popular" spots/sections defined by anglers, not by trout. Indeed, DePuy's can be complicated and oftentimes misunderstood even by local anglers, guides, and shop staffs because it can be too long for them to learn and explain. They have to pay to fish too. Again, who wants to pay rod fee just for observing and experimenting? Most of them simply direct visiting anglers to popular sections; "Upper" or "Lower". Period. I'm saying this because I used to be one of those visiting anglers and one of local guides who didn't know much about DePuy's. Also, for the same reason it's easy to draw maps for Armstrong's and Nelson's. Some guides and shop staffs can draw good maps any time. DePuy's provides their own map that one can get at registration or at Livingston/Bozeman fly-shops. However, I believe that is NOT enough and some sections are not drawn accurately. I made a special map that ended up ten pages long, filled with lots of notes. I share "my maps" only to my clients. I can talk about DePuy's confidently, not to mention I can fish and guide the creek with positive results.
Guide's Perspective: I always ask myself and make myself think "what if my spots (= plans) are taken by other anglers". Let's say I have other 2 miles left as my options. But how can I utilize the option efficiently? That's why I have fished and explored the entire length of the creek with different tactics. Also I enjoy observing what other anglers are up to and how they act. I am just taking a liberty of analyzing situations and anglers as a part of my observation because that's what I do when I'm actually guiding clients. I'd like to emphasize that the entire three-miles of DePuy's holds a good number of trout. Any spots, tactics, and flies can produce trout. Keywords to make it happen are: being "observant" and "open-minded".
Compared to Armstrong's: There would be just about the same number of trout in both Armstrong's and DePuy's. This is just my wild guess from my catch experience. No scientific research or emotional comments are involved. However, the difference is the density due to the length. Since Armstrong's is shorter, I would say number of trout seems "packed" or "concentrated" at certain spots. Then in DePuy's, the same number of trout seems spread out over the longer stretch. Hence, locating trout lies and applying right tactics are essential in this 3-mile stretch.
Dividing the Creek: In this series of writings, I classify DePuy's into four sections: Upper Section (O'Hair border to Annie's Run), Middle Section (Hay stack to Culvert above Pond), House Pond Reach (Above Pond to Sheep Bridge), and Lower Section (Eva's Hut to End). I have drawn a two-piece map. Some names are common among locals and others are my own ways of calling them. Yet I hope this will help anglers who haven't visited DePuy's visualize the creek and follow spots and sections.
|Part 3 can be found here|