Finally, Fishin’ Weather!

Still winter on the Shoshone.

Still winter on the Shoshone.

The cutthroats are eating well, apparently!

The cutthroats are eating well, apparently!

It’s about time! 40 plus degrees on the Shoshone today, and no wind! I got blown off last week by hurricane force winds, I swear! The nymph fishing was good until a plug of mud came down about 3:00. Caught a couple of nice ones on #20 midge larvae, red. No hatch yet, I think the water is still too cold. The usual February baetis and midge hatches never materialized, that I know of. There were a few midges around today, but nothing like the numbers we should be seeing. That will change fast if the weather stays warm. Lots of snow still on the ground, but it was sure melting fast today. Thus the mud in the afternoon.

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Still snowing……

Healthy Start

Healthy Start

Looks like another day with the snow blower instead of the fly rod. I cooked a banana pancake breakfast for Viv and I to ease the pain!

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360 degrees of amazing!

Have you ever seen a 360 degree sunset? The Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River. Like nowhere else on earth. And a nice fish, to boot!

Fat 'Bow on a tiny dry fly. Spring creek fishing on the Clark's Fork.

Fat ‘Bow on a tiny dry fly. Spring creek fishing on the Clark’s Fork.

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West

West

East

East

North

North

South

South

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Baetis hatching on the Stone

The Yellowstone is throwing a nice Baetis hatch in the afternoon. 3:30 to about 5:00 is prime time, but fish are looking up pretty much all day.

Someone stole the tops of the Crazy Mountains! Nothing like fall on the Stone

Someone stole the tops of the Crazy Mountains! Nothing like fall on the Stone

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Streamer Time!

Area streams and rivers are still somewhat off color, but the streamer fishing has been good everywhere I’ve been. The Clark’s Fork, Rock Creek, the Stillwater and the Yellowstone are all producing fish on the streamer. If you can get at least 18 inches of visibility, you can catch fish on the black wooly bugger. Black streamers of all kinds will usually produce in water that is less than clear. Sunday on the Yellowstone, the weather was spectacular. Trees are changing color, the sky was a beautiful Montana blue, and the fresh snow on the Crazy Mountains was the icing on the cake. Catching some nice trout was a bonus! I made Gordy and Chaz pitch lead and big bugs all day long. They were troopers. The whining was minimal and I didn’t get hit in the head, so fun was had by all. (Chaz hit himself in the head a couple of times, though.)

Nice  'bow and spectacular weather!

Nice ‘bow and spectacular weather!

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Seize the Day

Big and brown, both the water and the fish!

Big and brown, both the water and the fish!

We have a window of a couple of days to fish before more rain comes. Even though the Stillwater is at record flow for this time of year, the steamer fishing is great! Think post run-off tactics, big yuk bugs, wooly buggers, etc. If you’re tired of watching Oprah, ignore the fishing pundits and just go do it!

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All Blown Out

The heavy rains have rendered all area streams unfishable. Rock Creek and the Clark’s Fork are dropping rapidly, so they may fish in a couple of days. The Stillwater and the Yellowstone are chocolaty delicious. Probably be that way for at least a couple of days or more. The weather man calls for more rain Wednesday. May have to go fish the lakes on the Beartooth Pass!

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Still Floating the Stillwater in September!

Don’t listen to the pundits! The Stillwater is still floatable (barely) and the fishing is great! There are PMD’s in the morning, good nymphing all day, and good streamer fishing in the late afternoon. The Yellowstone has cooled off some, going to fish it today. Stay tuned!IMG_0908

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Small Stream Fishing is “Cool”!

Brookies love a parachute hopper!

Brookies love a parachute hopper!

This brookie is the king of his hole. Trophy proportions in an 8 inch fish!

This brookie is the king of his hole. Trophy proportions in an 8 inch fish!

The West Fork of Rock Creek

The West Fork of Rock Creek

With the continued hot weather down country, I’ve been sampling the small streams around Red Lodge. Rock Creek and it’s tributaries offer cooler air and water temperatures. Brookies and rainbows are ready and willing to eat a hopper anywhere you get a drag free drift. No eddy is too small to hold a fish or two, so drop a fly behind every rock!

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Good Hopper Fishing on the Yellowstone

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IMG_0902IMG_0889The cool weather last week made for some great hopper fishing, along with tricos, PMD’s and gray drakes. Water temps fell on the Stone, some cloud cover helped, and the fish started playing on the big bug. Look for fish sipping spinners in the flats and tail outs in the morning and on cloudy days. They are tough to catch, but there are some big boys slurping tiny mayflies. Later in the afternoon, fish are in the ambush positions, waiting for a big mouthful to float by. Hit every current line and curl with a fat hopper and see who wants to play. We also had some success stripping a small black bugger. Here are some of the fish caught since my last post.

The top flies of the week are:

Peach foam hoppers, bead head hare’s ear, red copper john, prince, black bugger, parachute adams, trico spinners, yellow parachute.

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