Go East

There’s mud in the Paradise Valley of the Yellowstone River this morning. Pretty much from Gardiner downstream through Livingston (though there may be a “plug” of clearer water up by Point of Rocks). You won’t be alone if you go out towards Big Timber, but at least the fishing reports have been good down there. A Chubby Chernobyl with an olive Zonker as a dropper did well yesterday. You might even try a smaller Morrish Hopper – there are quite a few of the naturals jumping around on the banks. Stay tuned – we’ll update tomorrow. Hopefully this is a short-lived event.

What Are You Waiting For?

Work? Highly overrated. Go fishing this weekend, if you must. But get out there. We got excellent reports from the Yellowstone River yesterday, both in the Paradise Valley and downstream of Livingston. The trout are eating. They’re eating dead-drifted nymphs and streamers. And they’re eating dries. You can’t really go wrong with your fly choice. Chubby Chernobyls, caddis, yellow sallies, flying ants, attractor dries on top. Big stonefly nymphs, caddis pupa, yellow sally nymphs, King Princes, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Zonkers, Sculpin streamers, Buggers underneath. Stop by Sweetwater Fly Shop and we’ll point you toward some of our favorites. Fish the slower water along the banks. Fish the riffle corners, shelves, and in front of and behind midstream rocks. The fish are being found in all the places where they should be. Excuse a bit of hyperbole, but the next couple of weeks should be what we’ve been waiting for. Yes, the Yellowstone is finicky, and there’s always some slow days mixed in, but you won’t know if you don’t try.

If you’re fishing the Paradise Valley spring creeks, expect to be challenged. Bring your A-game (and a good selection of flies). The PMD hatch has slowed down; there were sporadic rises to hatching bugs on DePuy’s yesterday. And the fish were feeding selectively. Emergers were all we could get them to eat. And not just any emerger, either. So get yourself several different patterns, find a rising fish, and experiment. 7X tippet, drag-free presentation, and a bit of luck. Sounds tough, but when that fish finally eats your bug, you’ll feel like a champion. Classic spring creek fishing.

Coming into Shape

Fishing on the Yellowstone River is heating up. The river is dropping steadily and is below 10,000 cfs at Carter’s Bridge. Some mud pushed through over the weekend and yesterday, but today the river is nice and green, with plenty of visibility for fishing dries or nymphs. Yesterday, a gold Chubby Chernobyl, size 10, was getting consistently munched. Other effective dries include olive and tan Elk Hair Caddis (as well as other caddis patterns), yellow sally imitations (Hairwing Yellow Sally, yellow Crystal Stimulator), and general attractors (Parachute Madam X, lime Trude, etc…). Effective nymph droppers include Rubberlegs (try the goldenstone color), red Copper Johns, Kyle’s Beadhead Yellow Sally, and Mangy Caddis. It’s getting to be that time of year when it’s hard to go wrong. Except by staying home. Don’t miss out! Oh, and pack your bug juice; the mosquitos are still out in force, especially in the mornings and evenings.

Quick Update

Reports from the last couple of days have been good. The Yellowstone River has been fishing well. We haven’t heard of any mud in the system, despite last night’s rainstorm. Both nymphs and dries have been catching fish. In addition to the usual suspects (see our previous couple of posts for some fly suggestions), a red Copper John was the winner for one of our guides the day before yesterday. If you’re only getting whitefish up close to the banks, try fishing a little farther from shore. Some of the trout have moved out a bit. It’s getting good; get out there! And stop by Sweetwater Fly Shop on your way back from the river (5:30-7:30) for some free burgers, brauts, and beverages. It’s BBQ season!

Clarity Update

There’s some mud mid-valley (Mallard’s Rest is unfishable this morning). But we’ve heard that it’s greening up at Carbella. So you might want to go up high if you’re heading out today. The fishing has still been somewhat tough, especially on dries. The Salmonflies have moved up and are now primarily above Yankee Jim Canyon. If you’re going up there, be sure you have someone experienced on the oars. Other than Salmonfly dries, gold Chubby Chernobyls, Lime Trudes, and Bearly Kickin’ Goldens have been bringing fish to the surface. For nymphs, try the venerable Rubberlegs, or go with a 20 Incher, a Kyle’s Beadhead Yellow Sally, a King Prince, or a CDC Pheasant Tail. Or consider dead-drifting a streamer, such as an olive Zonker. Fish tight to the banks; some of the biggest fish have been caught within inches of shore. Look for the fishing to improve in the upcoming days. The river is dropping fast and the clarity should be improving every day. Our prediction? It’s about to go off!

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