S3:E50 One Fine Day on Nelson’s Spring Creek

Nelson’s Spring Creek flows from the hills of Paradise Valley, just south of Livingston, Montana, and into the Yellowstone River. It’s only miles away from DePuy and Armstrong spring creeks, two other amazing fisheries, but Nelson’s is something extra special. In this episode, Dave interviews Steve about one fine day on Nelson’s Spring Creek. Since Steve failed to invite Dave along, Dave was not there to verify the number or size of fish, but Steve says he kept a journal. It truly was One Fine Day.

Listen now to “One Fine Day on Nelson’s Spring Creek”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

Have you ever had one fine day on a spring creek? We’d love to hear your stories. Please post your one fine day stories below!

More Episodes in Our “One Fine Day …” Series

    One Fine Day on the Madison at Bear Trap Canyon

    One Fine Day on the Bear Trap

    One Fine Day in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

    One Fine Day on the Madison at Baker’s Hole

    One Fine Fall Day in Yellowstone National Park

    One Fine Morning on the Little Jordan

    One Fine Evening on Wisel Creek

    One Fine Day on the Blue River


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8 Replies to “S3:E50 One Fine Day on Nelson’s Spring Creek”

  1. Yesterday I had an excellent day on a small spring creek in the Iowa driftless. I had heard stories about catching 40 trout in a day; all let alone on dry flies. Until yesterday I had never believed these stories. The stream I was fishing had primarily native brook trout… Yes you read that right there is a relict population of native brook trout in Iowa that have existed here since the last ice age. This was my very first time fishing here and I had one of those magical days landing over 40 brook trout on dry flies in under 4 hours. I was catching fish so rapidly that no matter how much floatent I used, desiccant powder I shook, and false casting I did I could not keep my dry flies floating. Before this sounds like a bragfest I am an average fly fisher at best, I was incredibly lucky they hit my flies so readily. This will be a day that I will never forget, and probably wont happen for at least another few years. Maybe this comment will cause you to make the trek south into the Iowa driftless.

    1. Now THAT is one fine day. I don’t think Steve or I have ever had a 40 fish day in the Driftless. What a wonder!

      Thank you so much for posting! Surely this will end up in Great Stuff from our Listeners!


      1. Thank you for reading my post on your podcast today. I wanted to clarify that the Iowa DNR biologists believe this strain of brook trout is completely native because Iowa has never documented natural reproduction of eastern brook trout in any of its streams; this is probably due to the slightly lower water quality of Iowa trout streams compared to that of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  2. Can you give us directions or where exactly you were? I am from Missouri and have wanted to go up to North Iowa to fish for awhile. Not expecting that kind of day, but would be nice to know where to go.

    1. There are lots of beautiful and amazing places to fish, most visitors spend their time fishing the streams surrounding either Decorah, or Marquette. Some excellent streams I recommend are; North Bear Creek, Bloody Run, Waterloo Creek, Spring Branch Creek, and Patterson Creek just to name a few. There are lots of little Gems throughout the Iowa Driftless! Have fun exploring!

  3. A few years ago I spent the day on Armstrong Creek across the river from Nelson’s. It was the 2nd of Oct and as I waded out into the hole above the barn I saw big heads rising to very small naturals. I would tie on something that I had that looked like the naturals but slightly bigger, only to cast into the feed line and watch my fly drift over the fish and have them come up and take the natural 8″ after my fly passed. So I tried every small fly I had with the same results. I thought I have to either gte out and make a run into town to a fly shop to get size 22 or smaller or offer them something else. I saw a #14 black beetle in my box and thought, “What the heck…” Tied it on and landed 6 fish on my next 6 casts, all around 23″. I refer to it as the smorgasboard effect, my alternative counter to matching the hatch.
    I now live in Paradise Valley right next to Nelson’s Spring Creek. Next time you guys are out stop in and say hello. I enjoy your blog and podcasts and have shared them with lots of folks.

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