We’re seeing thousands of caddis flying around throughout Livingston and below the town. With that being said clarity has become a major problem as the river has gone up about 2000-3000 cfs just this week. I took a drive down to Big Timber yesterday searching for some rising fish along the way and didn’t find too much action. The warm weather is set to continue till Friday and then cool off for the weekend. We’re hoping the cool weather will stick around and clear up the river a little bit. You can keep an eye on the flow here: USGS Stream Data-Yellowstone River If you notice the flow going down head on over because the fishing can be great!
Mostly seeing Caddis and March Browns with a mix of Midges and Baetis as well.
Flies and Fishing Strategies:
Nymphs – Black Copper John’s (14-16), BH Hare’s Ear (12-14), CDC BH Prince (12-16), Partridge & Pheasant Soft Hackle (12-16), Tungsten Zebra Midge (16-18), Dirty Bird (16-18), Birds Nest (16-18)
Dries – Hi Viz Griffith’s Gnat (16-18), Hi Viz Parachute Baetis (16), March Brown Cripple (12-14), Parachute March Brown (14), Royal Wulff (12-14) Elk Hair Caddis (12-16) Goddard Caddis (14-16) X-Caddis (12-16) Streamers – J.J. Special, Black/Olive Zonker, Olive/Black Sex Dungeon, Black Lead-Eye Sparkle Bugger. Anything big and bright is a good call in the off color water.
Well, it’s two days after St.Valentines day and I’ve already fished about 15 days this year. The mild winter up here has kept most of the rivers ice free which is good for those of us who enjoy rising fish and solitude on the rivers. What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time we were waist deep skiing powder, this year we’re waist deep in the rivers.
We’ve been fishing the Yellowstone pretty much anytime the wind isn’t blowing. It’s a great time to be out swinging streamers or looking for rising fish. Dry fly fishing has been much more productive on cloudy days. When the sun is out we’ve been able to pick fish up on small zebra midges, blood worms, and emerging midge patterns.
We’ll be on the Upper Madison tomorrow with an update soon to follow! (We’re hearing reports of big fish being caught on midge dries!!)
Hatch Update 05/04/11
At 3PM today we saw a number of Mother’s Day Caddis on the Yellowstone River just below Carter’s Bridge. While this looks like the begininning of the hatch it could progress quickly and go from zero to sixty in a hurry.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch it’s one of the great hatches anywhere in the western United States. These medium sized tannish/olive insects can hatch in such vast numbers that the river appears to have an orangish hugh. One of our guides several years ago stated that, “if you had snowshoes you could walk across the river.” Not too far of an exaggeration in our opinion – just look at the mats of adult caddis in the photo to the right.
If you get the opportunity the next few days could be very good fishing. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as we’ll be on the river the next several days.
It’s mid April and in Southwest Montana we should be starting to see some March Brown mayflies particularly on the Yellowstone River. Fellow Montana Fly Fishing Guides, Eric Paramore, was doing some river scouting today and say a good hatch of March Browns on the lower Yellowstone River at the Otter Creek fishing access near Big Timber.
Eric Adams is pictured with a great looking Cutthroat trout caught east of Livingston, Montana last spring. All of us Montana anglers are looking forward to a repeat of that great hatch from last season.
The predicted weather for this week is looking good for encouraging our mayfly friends to start hatching in earnest, so as always we’ll keep you posted!
To learn more about March Browns and other insects check out our Hatch Chart.