Farewell, in a Way (We’ve Moved)

Fishing ReportsHere at Sweetwater Fly Shop, we’ve got a fancy new website that we’re very proud of. In order to consolidate our efforts and make things more efficient, we’re now posting our fishing reports for the Yellowstone River, the Paradise Valley spring creeks, and southwestern Montana directly to our website, instead of on this blog page. To see our most recent fishing reports, look under the “Fly Fishing in Montana” tab at the top of the new web page (or click here to go there directly). Please bookmark our site for future reference. Thanks!

Not Runoff Yet

Baby GongaYes, the Yellowstone River is flowing quite a bit higher than is normal for this date. And yes, it has a good deal of color to the water. But it has “plateaued” somewhat over the last couple of days and the clarity has improved to the point where you could catch fish right now. Bigger, dark-colored streamers and nymphs would be my recommendation if you do go out. Strip a black or dark olive streamer right off the bank. Or dead-drift a brown, black, or olive Bugger or Rubberlegs. There are still some caddis coming off, so a Hotwire Caddis or a Super Pupa would be a good dropper. Again, the slower water near the bank is going to be the place to drift your flies. It’ll be a good workout for the rower to keep the boat slowed down, but you might be surprised at your success. It’s probably a little too colored up for great dry fly action, but do keep an eye out for risers in the eddies and slack water.  Whether you’re wading or floating, please be careful at these flows; the water’s really moving and a mistake could be tragic.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks continue to fish well. There are still some baetis hatching in the early afternoons, as well as midges early in the morning. There’s been decent dry fly action when the wind hasn’t been blowing too hard. When the sun’s on the water, try sight nymphing to spotted fish. It’s a good deal more exciting than blind casting nymphs under an indicator. Fish with a buddy and take turns casting and watching the fish for an eat. Trust me, it’s a lot of fun.

Wednesday Update

CorwinThe water clarity of the Yellowstone River at Carter’s Bridge this morning was very good, but don’t expect that to last. The flow gauge at Corwin Springs has shot up like a rocket. By tomorrow, the river will likely be pretty darn muddy through town and below. Will it clear up again? Hard to say. If you have the chance, you might want to hit the river this afternoon. There have been caddis hatching from downstream of Livingston, through town, and up at least as far as Mallard’s Rest. Not a ton of fish eating on top, but enough to make a float or wade worthwhile. Look for fish feeding along shore, in eddies and backwaters, and along foam lines. Don’t forget about emergers (see yesterday’s post for a couple of suggestions). Hopefully, we’ll have another chance at the Mother’s Day Hatch; cross your fingers for some cooler weather.

Worth a Try This Afternoon

preview_170026_1345084Are they here, the caddis? Well, yes and no. They are hatching, though not yet in “blanket hatch” numbers. We had reports of good dry fly fishing yesterday afternoon and evening. Today could be even better. The Yellowstone River has been dropping steadily over the past few days and the clarity is plenty good enough for the fish to be looking up. For today, at least. The flow gauge at Corwin Springs spiked back up this morning, so muddy water could be on the way. But if enough bugs are on the water, tomorrow could still be good. Thursday is likely to be toast, after two warm days. Somewhat surprisingly, the forecasters are predicting that the river will come back down somewhat by the weekend. We’ll see. All that said, you might want to hit the Yellowstone this afternoon. Look for the bugs to start coming off around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and continuing into the evening. Try fishing a caddis dry with an emerger as a dropper (go relatively short with your dropper, maybe a foot). The Bloom’s Parachute Caddis in dark olive is probably my favorite dry for this hatch, in about a size 14. The pink parachute post gives you a fighting chance of keeping track of your fly among all the naturals. Everything Emergers in peacock are also a good one to try, though harder to see. We’ve got a bunch of good emerger patterns here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. Maybe try a Translucent Pupa in green, again in size 14. The Spotlight Emerger is another good one. If you’re out before the hatch really gets going, drift a caddis pupa, such as a Beadhead Drifting Grannom or a Super Pupa. Now’s your chance; don’t let it pass you by.

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