Big bugs have come and gone on most of the Yellowstone River. We are stilling seeing some golden stoneflies in the upper stretches but they are meager at best. Salmonflies are well into the park at this point. Plenty of opportunities for dry fly fishing elsewhere on the river. There are PMDs, caddis, drakes and yellowsallies within all sections of the river. Time of day and weather have definitely had an effect on predictability for the hatch. This is a funky time on the Yellowstone as many fish are sweating out their salmonfly hangover and slowly digesting those big bugs. Don't be surprised if fishing is slow at times, but that's fishing!
Early morning and later in the afternoon are going to present the best caddis fishing. We are seeing multiple variations of caddis out there so be sure you have a few different patterns in your boxes. Have some #16-18 elk hair caddis, #16-18 Bloom's caddis, and #12 Chocolate Goddard's are what we'd recommend. We have some awesome custom ties for the chocolate caddis right now. Come on in and check them out!
PMDs are out and about but not in big numbers. Good idea to look for them on an overcast day or following an afternoon storm. Similarly with the Drakes. Windy days won't show many but a nice calm overcast day you'll be sure to see some out and about. Have some #14-12 Purple Haze in your box in case you find a good amount of them on the water. Guys have been running #10-12 PTs, Copper Johns and Hotspots. Fish are still holding tight to the bank so keep droppers short when working that soft water hard to the bank.
Chubby rigs set up with a dropper have been productive. #10 and #12 chubbies with a 12"-24" dropper have been working. Look for the shelves and buckets throughout the river. Things are beginning to change quickly and fish are moving around. Its a great time to start prospecting and fishing different spots throughout the river. Flows at Corwin are 6,640cfs at Corwin Springs and 7,230cfs in Livingston. Barring any changes, visibility is great. It's about 3 feet throughout the valley and fish are looking up.
Certainly can get out there and fish streamers but with the way the weather has been fish are likely not super interested. Take advantage of the warm weather and fish dry flies. With all that being said, we saw an extremely busy weekend here in the valley. These beautiful summer days are bringing both pleasure floaters as well as anglers to the river. We need everyone to be responsible and act appropriate both on the water and at boat ramps. Be sure to have ALL of your gear ready for the river before getting to the boat ramp. Be as efficient as possible to get in and out quickly. Folks are either working or out there for fun and we need to respect that. While on the river, be sure not to get too close behind other boats and look before pushing out off of the bank. Give other boats a solid buffer so as not to be breathing down each others necks! We have heard a number of stories about people getting cut off out there. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the river and respect others while out there. Pack in what you bring and pick up anything that someone may have left behind. Also, be sure to respect private land when using the restroom or fishing from the banks. We are lucky to have public access to the river but also need to respect those whose properties are along it.
We hope everyone can get out and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. As always, give us a call or stop by the shop for an up to date river and fishing report.