Yellowstone River Update:
Recent weather events have bumped up the flows on upper tributaries to the Yellowstone River and has dirtied up the river. The Yellowstone is currently flowing at 4420 cfs at Corwin Springs and 3429 cfs in Livingston. Despite how it has been the last week, the river has turned from an off green color to brown. The river has bumped up nearly 3000 cfs over the last few days and should continue to go up in the next few days. On the bright side, more rain/snow means more water later in the season! We are really excited to see the progress that the snowpack has made since that last two storm cycles have moved through southwest Montana.
If you are looking to get out and fish in Paradise Valley in the coming days, we would recommend you look to go to the spring creeks as your first option. BWOs, midges and some caddis will likely be out and about on the creeks. With the rainy weather, you should expect some quality windows of dry fly fishing. Fishing BWO dries like comparaduns, sparkle duns, olive parachutes and CDC emergers in sizes 18-20 to rising fish should entice them to eat. It is always worth have some size 20-22 midge cluster patterns as well. If fish are not looking up, zebra midges, midge pupae, and BWO nymphs in sizes 18-22 are always a good bet. Be sure to be conscience of tippet sizes and presentation on the creeks. Swapping your bobber for a New Zealand style strike indicator can make a big difference when fishing those wary spring creek trout.
If you are daring to get on the river, the dropping temps and wind will likely put the Mother’s Day Caddis down for a couple of days. Add dirty water to the mix and the dry fly fishing will be tough. Nymphing and streamer fishing will be a good idea with these conditions. Keep in mind that the bump in flows will push fish into slower water where they can get out of the current. Fly selection will be based on where on the river you are fishing. In the valley, we would recommend fishing rubber legs, prince nymphs, BWO nymphs and Caddis pupae. Through the town stretch and out east to Big Timber, the March Browns are out and so larger pheasant tails and prince nymphs are a good start. You can always anchor that with a #10 rubber leg as the goldenstones are always in the system. Additionally, the caddis have been out and about down river as well so caddis pupae are a good bet as well.
As always, feel free to call us at the shop for up-to-date river reports as the dirty water moves through the system.
Spring creeks: #20 Griffith’s Gnat, #18 BWO Comparadun, #20 Copper Sawyer, #20 Olive Zebra midge
Yellowstone River: #8 Black Pat’s Rubber leg, #10 TJ Hooker, #12 Pheasant tail, #16 pheasant tail, #16 Dirty Bird Pupae, #12 Purple Haze