The stone continues to produce as we fish our final days of summer and into the fall season. Boy, we have had another excellent hopper season. The banks have been thick with clicking wings and big bugs hopping from blade to blade of grass. The Yellowstone River watershed has always provided us with terrestrial fishing and this year has been as good as advertised.
We've got a bit of a cold spell from yesterday and today but the hopper bite should bounce back later this week as temperatures rise once again. Reports yesterday were slow as dry fly fishing wasn't consistent and the trout bite seemed to be a bit suppressed. That being said, on cold days like yesterday and today, focusing more on aquatic insects will be in your favor. We've continued to see nocturnal stoneflies produce good fishing throughout the days. #12-10 gold chubbies have proven well lately. Drop a #10 TJ Hooker off the back to double up on stonefly imitations. Be sure to look for shucks on the banks to ensure you are fishing water that has them actively crawling to the banks. We're also starting to get reports of BWOs starting to hatch. Dropping a #16-14 Parachute Adams may also prove effective. Nymphs have been working all season and should continue to do so as those mayfly nymphs start to emerge more consistently. PTs, Prince Nymphs and Copper Johns in #16-12 will definitely do the trick.
On a better note, we've got 80+ degree days forecast-ed through the end of the week. Warm temps should wake those hoppers back up and give us at least another week of good hopper fishing. May take a little time for things to get back in to swing so be patient! It's not over yet. Same deal as we've been mentioning the last few weeks. Upper/mid valley will be more of those #10-12 hoppers, whereas out east you'll be able to sling the big big boys. With these cold nights, the bite is definitely going to be pushed back into the afternoon. Look out for flying ants and cinnamon ants out there as well. Certainly will be opportunities to fish those smaller terrestrials. Smaller beetles may be a good bet as well.
Things are starting to slow on the river, but definitely expect it to be busy over the Labor Day weekend. As we've been saying over and over again, please be sure to be courteous while out on the river. Boat ramp etiquette is essential and be sure to give people space! Look behind you before you push back off the bank, 50 yards is not enough space, wait for other boats to be a good ways in front and behind you. There is a lot of river out there and if you're in a rush then maybe you should find another hobby. Same goes for dropping anchor, pick your spots and be sure not to just drop anchor with someone right on your tail, row across the river if you have to. We are all trying to make the most of our days on the water and you don't want to be the bad apple in the bunch. Treat other boaters with the same expectations you have for them.
Have fun and stay safe!