The Yo-Yo-stone is doing its thing rising and dropping as our spring brings us both warm and cold weather. We likely won’t get back on the river, but we still haven’t found the crystal ball that will let us know when the river will be back in that sweet spot to start fishing post runoff. It might be by the last week of June. We will have to wait and see.
Last week, we experienced higher daytime air temperatures as well as steady rain that bumped up many of the tributaries in Yellowstone National Park and into Paradise Valley. We saw the river triple in volume, from 3,700 cfs to 14,000 cfs at Corwin Springs within a few days. However, cool wet weather returned just as quickly and the river began a steady drop with the cold temperatures following the Memorial Day Weekend. The river is currently flowing at around 7,000 cfs in Corwin Springs. As soon as the sunshine and warmer temps return, the Yellowstone is poised to get considerably bigger. Will we see 25,000 cfs? It’d be good if we did.
If you are looking to fish in and around Paradise Valley for the next couple weeks while the Yellowstone river and its tributaries are experiencing runoff, we’d recommend making a reservation on the PV spring creeks just outside of Livingston. Midges, sow bugs and scuds are in the creek and are a good place to start. The blue wing olive mayflies that have been prevalent are waning, but there is always a chance an overcast day could produce a smaller hatch. Warmer days coming are going to get the PMDs going soon and we should expect to start seeing them by mid-June and will be prime by the last few days of June through July. Getting a guide to show you the ropes on the spring creeks can really increase your chances of having a stellar day on the creek!
Suggested Spring Creek flies: Tungsten zebra midge black or olive, Single scoop midge pupa, Sawyer PT olive, Mitchell split case BWO nymph, Harrop CDC transitional midge, Harrop CDC adult midge, Blue Ribbon’s Scotty Midge, Cripple Thor BWO, Natural Sow, Spring creek scud.
Another great opportunity for fishing are some of the local stillwater options. Private lakes in and around Paradise Valley and any of the public lakes and reservoirs should be starting to really produce. Slow stripping leaches is always a good bet as hungry trout are cruising around. As the water temps start to increase, the callibaetis and chironomid fishing will also improve. Chironomid fishing tends to be more geared to the subsurface pattern choices. The callibaetis mayfly can be both subsurface patterns to start as well as dry fly patterns once the bugs are actively hatching and on the water’s surface. Finding a calm day this time of year can produce some great fishing on the lake. Feel free to give us a call about booking a guide and rods on a private lake if you are interested.
Suggested Stillwater flies: McKnight’s Pig Pen, Brunette Leach, Carey Special, Sheep Creek, Chan’s BMW, Rowley’s Balanced Leech, Yankee buzzers, Schrantz’s Callibaetis nymph, Nyman’s DOA Callibaetis cripple, Harrop’s CDC Thorax Dun Callibaetis
As always, give us a call if you have any questions regarding fishing Paradise Valley and around SW Montana. We are open 7 days a week ready to answer your calls!