If you don’t have plans to fish the Yellowstone River over the holiday weekend, well let’s just say you should. The river is fishing very well right now with both dries and nymphs. You won’t be alone out there this weekend, but there are plenty of hungry fish to go around. Want to get a jump on the other anglers? Head out early. Sweetwater Fly Shop is now open every morning (including the 4th) at 7:00 a.m. (and we’re closing at 7:00 p.m. for those of you who like to fish in the evenings).
Almost every report that we’ve gotten over the last few days, from all stretches of the river (including below Livingston) has been good to very good. Tons of bugs are around, including caddis and mayflies of multiple sizes (even a few big Green Drake mayflies) and little Yellow Sally stoneflies. We haven’t heard of goldenstones in any numbers, but keep an eye out for those big bugs as well. There’s lots of food, and the trout are eating.
I wade-fished last night near Carter’s Bridge and landed a number of trout in about an hour and a half of fishing. Two of the trout ate a size 12 royal Chubby Chernobyl and the rest took the light tan Rubberlegs dropper. That “Chubby-Rubby” dry/dropper combo (with both flies in various colors) has been catching fish throughout the Paradise Valley and below town. But don’t limit yourself. Want to stick to only dry flies? Lead with the Chubby and tie in a smaller dry as a dropper. Some that have been working well are Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis, various Yellow Sally imitations, and our exclusive Sweetwater McDougal (in both regular and hi-viz). You might also try and ant or beetle imitation as your dropper. If you’re seeing goldenstones fluttering or in the willows, tie on a Flutter Bug goldenstone, Bullet Head Golden Stone, Totally Stone golden, or Dog Puke (my personal favorite), or just go with the gold Chubby. Goldenstone nymphs can be imitated with that before-mentioned tan Rubberlegs, or with several more realistic patterns that we carry.
You should be able to hit upon something that the trout are eating, so switch it up if you’re not getting takes. Don’t forget about smaller nymphs, such as CDC Pheasant Tails, King Princes, Kyle’s Beadhead Yellow Sallies, and Psycho Princes. All of those have performed well recently.
We’ll see you in the shop (and on the river) this weekend!0