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.

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