The salmonfly hatch is here on the Yellowstone River. We’ve had reports of good numbers of the big bugs flying throughout the Paradise Valley, even up towards Carbella. That’s the good news.
What about the fishing? We could just give you the most optimistic report, and leave out the rest, but that’s not how we roll here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. Truth is, our recent reports have been all over the map. Yes, some anglers have had very good results fishing big dries. One of our guides had a great day yesterday, with fish eating salmonfly dries for several hours. But others had it tougher, with limited action on the surface, if any at all. Same goes for the big stonefly nymphs. We heard from folks who caught a bunch of fish casting Rubberlegs near the bank, and others who couldn’t get the fish to eat the very same fly.
What should you do if you fish the Yellowstone River over the next couple of days? Be prepared for anything. Start out throwing a salmonfly dry with a stonefly nymph dropper. Cast your rig right up against the bank and cross your fingers. If you’re not getting eats, don’t be afraid to switch it up. There are a ton of different bugs out right now, as we mentioned yesterday. Try a caddis pupa or a yellow sally nymph (Kyle’s Beadhead Yellow Sally is our favorite). For that matter, caddis, yellow sally, and PMD mayfly dries are worth a try, given the number of those bugs that are about. Be flexible, and you’re likely to find something they’re eating. That’s fly fishing for you.
It’s predicted to get pretty windy this afternoon, but tomorrow looks great. Call in sick (the dreaded salmonfly fever) and try your luck on the Yellowstone. You might be one of the lucky ones!0