We had a couple of guides on the Yellowstone River yesterday and both had similar reports – upstream wind and bright sun. The bright sun limited the Baetis hatch (as they prefer cloudy days). The upstream wind made fishing a bit tougher as it tends to blow the foam out of the good holes and the fish just don’t quite stack up. However, we did catch several fish on short leash nymph rigs (indicator 2 feet above flies) and streamers we also fairly productive. It was also about 65 degrees with no other boats on our section so it did make for a good overall day to fish in Montana.
The Lamar River spiked from 200 cfs to over 1,000 cfs in the past couple days. The Yellowstone River near Emigrant is already rising and has more color. The cooler weather should bring it down quickly, but the next day or so could be challenging fishing.
Baetis (BWOs) and Midges were out and about, but not prolific. We also saw several March Brown spinners and even a few Mother’s Day Caddis. Keep your eyes peeled for that magic 52-degree water temp and the Caddis will pop!
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.