Yellowstone River is starting to shape up pretty decently. Kaitlyn here found herself a dandy of a brown floating the upper valley yesterday. You can see by her smile that she’s digging fly fishing! Is it Rockem-Sockem fishing out there? Not really. Just being honest. But, folks are getting them. And I won’t be one to downplay that at all. Having fun is the name of the game!
River conditions are still “early season” and it’s big out there. Bigger than what a lot of folks might be able to think back on. How big? 10k big. So, yeah, I missed my bet that tomorrow, July 7 that we would be at 9k on the Corwin gauge. Looking like 10k though is the call. And it’s there for “Going Green”. We’re still in the same color scheme as we have been for the past week. A guest here this week termed it “Glacial Green”. I’d concur. There’s very little in the wading game going on. It’s a float thing and likely will be for some time to come. And at that, you’d do best with having a lot of river miles available to you on your float. The fish are in the softer water and tucked in right on the banks. Floating long distances when the river is high will give anglers more miles with which to concentrate on the right kind of water. Foamy back eddies, soft pockets, off speed seams and protected areas are all producing. Anglers have to get it in tight and running right…
As for bugs it’s more a question of what we aren’t seeing than what we are here in the valley and on up to Gardiner! Just about every major aquatic bug hatch we have is going off right now. Salmonflies top the list of “biggies” and these are still thick in the willows around Carbella and upstream all the way (and past) Gardiner. We really haven’t had any awesome reports of fish pounding on them. Yet. Along with the big salmonflies, there’s big numbers of Giant Goldenstones and yellow sally stones, PMDs are on the river as well as 4-5 kinds of caddis. There’s even some Western Green Drakes that have been out- though better on cloudy times. Of which we haven’t had many lately. Sunny and high 80s seems to be the rule of thumb today and through the foreseeable future.
Latest questions seem to be around when the river may actually drop and fully clear. Old timers would say it might not….. It does seem that it’s shaping up to be a summer full of water. August could be the best month maybe EVER around here?? Sure hoping so….
Nymphs and Big Junk under an even bigger Indy: Pepperoni Yuk, standard Yuk, Big black Pat’s Rubberlegs, RL Crystal Buggers, LE Crystal Buggers, McCune’s Sculpins, Coffee Sparkle Minnow in Olive are all great front fly patterns. Hang a smaller size 12-14 Soft Hackle BH Copper John, Tung Dart, Spanker, or CDC Prince and SH PT off the back as a 2nd fly. OR as some guides have referred it: Herding Turds- Run a Big Rubberleg followed by a smaller Rubberleg…..
Dries: IF you can find fish to respond, Chubbies of any size and color variation, Stimulators, PMX’s, Rogue Stone, Henrys Fork Stone, Designated Hitter, Gunnison Green Drake, Green Paradrake, Stimis- all sizes, Bloom’s Caddis