We hope that everyone enjoyed themselves over the holiday weekend. With that being said, the Yellowstone River was BUSY this past weekend. We’ve heard all sorts of stories about boat ramp etiquette as well as river etiquette. Please do your best to behave while loading boats and on the river. We are all out to enjoy the river but need to respect that there are others doing the same as well as guides and outfitters out there to make a living. Just a friendly reminder to only be on the boat ramps when you are rigged and ready to launch, be sure to give boats distance when pulling back out into the river or dropper and anchor, and clean up after yourselves. We are so lucky to have this river, but need to respect it as well. If you see a beer can on the bank, throw it in the boat to recycle it and be sure not to let any of yours find their way to the water.
The Yellowstone River has made some serious improvements over the last two weeks. We have been able to send the majority of our guide trips out on the river and clients are having a great time. We’ve made the jump to dry fly fishing which has made for some great fishing on different stretches of river. Flows at Corwin Springs are currently at 7810cfs and clarity is getting better by the day! Right now we’re sitting at around 2.5-3ft of vis. As flows are dropping fish are slowly starting to move off the bank. Typically around this time we’re still lacking in visibility and the river is still running pretty high. Try identifying seems and buckets in order to target holding water for fish. Try fishing a bit off of the bank to ensure you are putting flies in front of fish.
We have been getting lots of calls in regards to the salmonflies and where they are. At the moment, they are in Yankee Jim Canyon and the upper river. There are still some here and there below Carbella but many of those fish are gorged out at this point. If you are itching to throw big bugs, head up above the Canyon to chase em! The water up there is still pretty big so make sure you are ready to row that kind of water. We’ve been having a lot of luck on #6 South Fork Secrets, #6 Henry’s Fork Salmonfly and Flutterbugs. Feel free to drop something below it but we’ve found that fishing the single bug has been a bit more effective. Willow banks have been money when trying to find fishing still targeting the salmonflies. Slap those things on the water and let them ride! If the salmonfly bite isn’t quite what you’re expecting, try sizing down or fishing a golden stone. #10 Waterwalkers have been working as well as Chubbies in a similar size.
We are starting to see some solid hatch activity during the afternoons in most stretches of the river. Look out for solid PMD fishing if there are afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast. We’ve had solid PMD fishing with overcast weather as well. Likewise, overcast days have brought out the green drakes on the upper sections of the river. Fish haven’t targeted them as heavily as the PMDs but you never know with Yellowstone River trout. Caddis are coming back in solid numbers as well. You can expect to find them anywhere from the town stretch all the way up to Carbella. We’ve got a few different variations to look for so make sure you’ve got the right ones in your box. If fish are keyed into the chocolate caddis be sure to have some in your box! We’ve got a couple great custom patterns available at the shop that are well worth having just in case. #14-16 elk hair caddis, Bloom’s caddis and peacock caddis are all reliable patterns this time of year. Yellowsallies are out and about as well. Always worth throwing some of them in your box when fishing up above Yankee Jim Canyon.
If you’re looking to get down and dirty, be sure to have some PMD and yellow sally nymphs in the box. Fishing #14-18 lighter bodies nymphs have been effective. We’ve have some great patterns available at the shop so swing on in and grab some today. Similarly, larger pheasant tails and prince nymphs are working as well. Rubber legs are always a good call, but after the holiday weekend traffic we can guarantee that the fish have seen plenty of them. Doubling up on smaller nymphs may produce more fish but its always worth giving the Pat’s a try.
Those of you that have not visited us yet this season, we are asking folks to please wear masks when in the shop if you have them. We have a hand sanitizer station set up at the front for you all as well. We appreciate you cooperation during this time.
As always everyone, give us a call if you have any questions about the river. We are happy to point you all in the right direction and get you all into fish!