So far, the Yellowstone River remains very fishable, at least in the vicinity of Livingston. The water has a hint of color at Carter’s Bridge, but is more clear than dirty. The river camera at Pine Creek also looks fine. That said, there could be some mud coming down from up high. The Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park is up quite a bit, as is the gauge at Corwin Springs. We will keep our ears open about any mud plugs and append any new information to this report.
The river has been fishing well with nymphs and streamers. Medium-sized stonefly nymphs (e.g., Rubberlegs in various colors, size 6 or 8) continue to produce, as do a variety of smaller beadhead nymph droppers (red Copper Johns, Tung Darts, Psycho Princes, CDC Pheasant Tails….). We’ve had some good streamer reports, as well. The Sparkle Minnow in assorted colors (sculpin, peacock, smoke) has been especially productive. If the water does color up later today, dark colors will be the name of the game. Try dead-drifting a brown or black Wooly Bugger.
Dry fly fishing hasn’t been exceptional yet, but you might find some fish up on baetis (blue-winged olive) mayflies, particularly in the eddies and foam holes. Try a size 18 Parachute Adams, Parachute Purple (Purple Haze), Sprout Baetis, or Hi-Viz Baetis dry. If you’re having trouble seeing your fly, attach the little guy as a dropper to a bigger, more visible dry.
As a side note, the Paradise Valley spring creeks are fishing very well right now, with plenty of baetis bringing trout to the surface. They remain at their winter rod fees until the 15th, so you have a few more days to fish the creeks at a bargain rate.
At this point, I’d recommend that you get out on the river today, as tomorrow the Yellowstone River could be muddy. Stay tuned….0