The latest Yellowstone River intel from shop guys James Mugele and Evan Keene! Photo by Eric Strader!
Winter is not over, so don’t go trading in your Simms muck boots for flip flops just yet! We have been lucky enough to get a taste of Spring the past few days, and it looks like the warm weather will continue throughout the weekend and into next week. You may be asking yourself “man it sure is nice out there, a little windy, but nice, should I go fishing?”
Yes you should, and here’s why.
First off, don’t let that wind stop you from getting out! It’s always windy in Livingston, but the past few days, the wind has been dying off in the afternoon, which is the best time for fishing anyway! Flows on the Yellowstone have bumped up a little- now closer to 1400 CFS. We expect that number to sorta fluctuate a little, jumping up in mid afternoon, and dropping back down as the sun sets and things cool down for the evening. It is definitely warm enough for low country snow to be melting, so this weekend we could even see a little color coming into the river. A nice green tint to us means one thing.
That’s not too say you should hang up your 5wt and just go slap meat around for the weekend, but it’s just an idea. We floated Loch Leven to Pine Creek yesterday and the brown trout in the photo above was one of six trout willing to eat a yellow streamer. All the fish we took on big flies were in very slow, DEEP water. A great method of retrieve for fishing streamers at this time of the year is low and slow.
But if you don’t want to strip streamers, you have plenty of other options. Not much has changed in terms of bug hatches since our February report. We are still seeing some good afternoon midge hatches where good dry fly action can be found. Small zebra midges and beatis nymphs are still producing under a bobber.
In a recent river sample the boys at the shop found a good number of stoneflies. We found one that was a pale white- in between molting of it’s exoskeleton. We have never seen one of these before, and started fishing a T.J Hooker in a light tan color. It actually caught fish too. So perhaps we are at a point in the season where stonefly nymphs are beginning to grow and get ready for spring hatches, thus molting skins and becoming a little more vulnerable to trout. We are definitely seeing a good response from fish on other lighter and flashier colored stonefly nymphs as well.
Overall the fishing is pretty good, but the weather is even better so we highly encourage you folks to get out there and go do some fishing!
Flies For March
Dave’s Explosion stone Golden #10 Rubberlegs Tan/Brown #8
T.J Hooker Tan/brown #8, #10
Tungsten jig Beatis #16
Red Headed Step Child #18 CDC Peasant Tail #16
Griffiths Gnat #18 Transitional Midge Grey #18