It has been a week of trial, error, and success out there on the Yellowstone River. We have had a few mud plugs to fish around last week but the water is looking great today. Water temps are in the mid 60’s and it looks as if the water will hold in the mid to upper 60’s until the end of the week. The hopper season has started but the fishing on it has been hit or miss. The key this year with the lower water will be to know when and where to fish it. Look for water that actually hits a grassy bank or drop. Areas with a large amount of rock between the grass and water will probably not be the best for a hopper. Large holes and pockets with structure are also good areas for the hopper. The chubby/rubberleg rig is still a go to for most. Fish this in the faster riffle water and you should get some eats. The Chernobyl bug is not only imitating a hopper, but also the nocturnal stone which is hatching this time of year. Look on the banks and you will see the shucks from the night before. Small streamers are a good option as a minnow diet becomes more common for trout. Saying that we are still seeing PED (Pale evening duns). You will also see some Caddis in the evening so keep a few adult patterns for later on in the day.
Yellowstone National Park has been fishing well in the North East region. Lamar, Soda Butte, and Slough all have had good terrestrial fishing along with Drakes. Don’t forget about your other terrestrials like the ants, beetles, and crickets that are around in addition to hoppers. Again looking for structure in the water is key. Deep cut banks and holes are the places to find trout. Lots of people in the park and on the rivers. Walk a little ways to get away from the easy access points. Small streams like Indian Creek and Black Tail Deer Creek can be a lot of fun for beginner angler’s and kids. Small attractor dry flies will do the trick to get those little brookies to eat.
The Spring Creeks in Paradise Valley have also seen some very fun fishing this week. The cloud cover with afternoon rains creates great fishing opportunities on the creeks. PMD’s are still going but some days have better hatches than others. Also starting to see some Western Sulfers out there. Midges, scuds, and small terrestrials are great options as well and can get those fish eating. Remember, long leaders, 6x and 7x tippet, down or across stream presentations are the best.
Give us a call here at the shop for suggestions on current river conditions, recommended flies, and tactics! 406-333-4401. Now get fishing!