Photo Above:Whitney Thurber
James Mugele and Evan Keene just wrote our first Yellowstone River fishing report in ages! Read what they have to say, then get out there and shake off the cabin fever!
The flows on the Yellowstone river are hovering around 1400 CFS right now in the Livingston area (a little higher than the average flows for this time of year). Boat ramps are clear of shelf ice and there have been good fish caught from the boat this past week. The weather forecast looks like we may have a warm front moving in this Saturday (temps estimated to reach mid 50s)- so you might as well make it down to the Yellowstone River.
Water temps are still cold! Burning of the hand cold! Which means fish will be holding in “winter water” still- and the majority of the fish will be lethargic and lazier than your normal trout. But they are definitely still eating, and we are predicting them to even get a little more grabby this weekend.
Focusing your time on slower-moving, deep water will help maximize your productivity on the river. Trout normally don’t like to move much for food this time of year, so a lot of times a good drift is more important than fly choice (if you are nymphing). Make sure you are getting your flies down, sometimes just adding one BB splitshot or adding another foot under your indicator is all it takes to get your flies into the money zone. Trout will often school up this time of year too, so where there is one, there may be many.
The boys at the shop did a small bug sample from a run a few miles downstream of Carter’s Bridge and little ways above Carters Bridge just to see what was on the menu for trout this time of year. Midges- of course! We were also surprised by the amount of small, bright green, cased caddis, and mayfly nymphs scurrying around the underside of rocks- perhaps some of our spring hatches getting ready for warmer months. We also found a couple huge hydrosphyche caddis larva too which we have at the shop if you want to see a big caddisfly!
We’d probably recommend nymphing under an indicator for the most successful day of fishing, but I know somebody who has been getting fish on streamers up near Point of Rocks… Dr.Dan. So I will leave it to you what you want to fish.
But here is a short list of flies you would be likely to find on one of our rigs-
Black or peacock sparkle minnow #4
Double bead Stone Olive #8
Dave’s Explosion Stone Purple #8
Flashback Hares Ear #10
Olive Rubber legs #6
Tungsten Prince Nymph #6
Red Copper John #16
Zebra midge red and black #18
Morrish Super Pupa olive #14
Morrish Hotwire Caddis #14
Something small and chartreuse…
By yours truly:
Jimmy and Bevan