I’d Be Fishing…

…if I weren’t working. Warm (the truck thermometer read 56 at the shop), minimal breeze, cloudy (for the moment, at least). Should be a good day for small dries – blue-winged olives and midges. Find some relatively slow, flat water and look for risers. Wading could be just as effective as, or more than, floating on a day like today. Some of the pods of risers might be whitefish (look for their telltale splashy rises), but there’s likely to be trout coming up as well. If you find a bunch of trout rising, remember not to “flock shoot”; aim your cast at a specific fish and you’ll be less likely to put the others down. Have fun!

Tiny Bugs

We heard a really good report from the Yellowstone River yesterday. Lots of fish up on midges and small (size 20 or smaller) blue-winged olives. Get out the 6X tippet and do some late-season dry fly fishing! Of course, yesterday was cloudy and calm and today is sunny and breezy. But it’s a good sign for later in the week and into the weekend.

Rules Were Made to be Broken

The water in the Yellowstone River is getting colder. Yes, the first place I’d look for fish these days is in places where the flow slows down and the water gets deeper. That said, yesterday I found a number of nice trout in the relatively fast and shallow water at the head of a pool. So don’t get too locked in to generalizations if you’re not catching fish. All of the trout ate a size 18 Copper John in black. A size 8 peacock Jimmy Legs attracted only whitefish. Another head-scratcher. Wish I’d remembered to bring the camera; these were slab-sized cutties and cutbows, some of the prettiest fish I’ve seen in a while.

Winter’s Coming

Or maybe it’s already here. It sure felt like it this morning. With dropping water temps, the fish are going to be moving into deeper, slower water. You’re going to have to go deep to find them. Dead drifted nymphs are usually going to be your best bet, though a dead drifted streamer could dredge up a nice fish or two as well. Try a dark-colored Rubberlegs, with a Zebra Midge as a dropper. Your usual array of Pheasant Tails, Princes, Copper Johns (try one in red), etc… are also worth trying. You’ll have to sort out the trout from the whitefish, but they’re in there. On warmer cloudy days, look for fish rising to midges in the eddies. If you’re having trouble seeing your little Griffith’s Gnat or Sprout Midge in the foam, tie on a larger dry fly as an “indicator.” Put on lots of layers (no cotton allowed!) and get out there. Stop in Sweetwater Fly Shop to warm up and tell us how you did.

One Last Dose of Fall?

Today’s not going to be quite as gorgeous as yesterday (which would be hard to beat), but the fishing should be just as good. Get out there before the storm comes in. And the fishing on the Yellowstone River has been good. Primarily nymphs and streamers, but we did come across some smaller trout rising to midges in the eddies yesterday. Yesterday’s rig of a deaddrifted Zonker and an Anatomay olive dropper (size 16) kept us in steady action. A lot of it, but not all, from whitefish. Getting sick of our humble friend? Try a bigger stonefly nymph, such as a rubberlegs, as your dropper. The fish are still spread out, not yet having assumed their winter positions in the slow, deep water. We were running our indicator rig pretty shallow yesterday, maybe 2 1/2 feet to the streamer. Bring your camera – the scenery is something else right now.

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