Spring fly fishing in Montana doesn’t get much better than this on the Yellowstone River. Unlike the past several years where Spring has brought us nothing but cold and snow, this season has basically been a fly fishing paradise. Our weather has been warm and the snow levels are near normal, making for some great early season conditions. The water levels are about 2,300 cfs and holding steady with good clarity. A. Hurt is pictured here with a beautiful 24″ Yellowstone River Brown caught on a J.J. Special from this weekend.
Baetis (BWOs) and Midges are prolific on cloudy days and fish are starting to group up in the foam holes and long the rip-rap banks. The Lower Yellowstone, below Springdale, has seen some early March Browns and as the water temps heat up to the 52-degree mark later this month start looking for the Mother’s Day Caddis to start popping in the late afternoon. On the Upper Yellowstone above Livingston, we should start seeing the full mix of Baetis, Midges, March Browns and Caddis in the next couple weeks. Obviously, we’ll keep you posted.
Flies & 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).
Dries – Hi Viz Griffith’s Gnat (16-18), Hi Viz Parachute Baetis (16), March Brown Cripple (12-14), Parachute March Brown (14).
Streamers – J.J. Special, Black/Olive Zonker, Olive/Black Sex Dungeon, or your favorite darker streamer pattern.
Concentrate on the slower water for both nymphing and streamer fishing. Several of our dry fly fish have been caught inches from the banks so keep your eyes peeled for slow confident rises which will indicate a larger more confident trout.
The weather forecast for the week looks like overcast and drizzly – perfect for good Baetis weather, so make sure to get out there!