Calm Before the Storm

In light of the weather forecast, “Major Winter Storm” or “Polar Vortex” or “Snowpocalypse”, I made one last trip over to the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone. The weather was absolutely perfect. Warm, partly cloudy  and NO WIND!! I started off stripping the Grinch with no result. I like the streamer on the Clark’s Fork for big brown trout this time of year, but they were not chasing. Luckily, midges started popping and fish got on them. It wasn’t pandemonium, but there were a few pods rising here and there. I pulled out the four weight and tied on a single parachute midge. The fish were extra spooky. When I stuck one, the rest went down and did not come back. I moved up the river and found more risers. After

Wyoming sunset over the Clark's Fork

Wyoming sunset over the Clark’s Fork

Heart Mountain, winter on the way.

Heart Mountain, winter on the way.

sticking the first fish in each pod, the rest vanished. Walking back downstream, I put on a double nymph rig. The nicest rainbow of the day ate a red midge larvae right below the truck. Great finish to a great fall of fishing!

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Fall on the Yellowstone River

The 'Stone is on fire, both color and fishing!

The ‘Stone is on fire, both color and fishing!

We are having one of the most beautiful fall color seasons I can remember. It’s rare that we get an extended color season with nice weather to boot. And the fishing is AWESOME! The fish are bulking up in anticipation of winter. Both drys and nymphs are getting eaten most of the day. Big mayfly patterns are producing big fish and a #18 – #14 nymph dropped about 30 inches off will double your action. Fish are nosed up in the riffles to get first dibbs on any food coming their way. Don’t miss this. It may be a long time until we get another combo of great fall colors and great fall fishing!

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Rock Creek Fall Dry Fly Fishing

Great day on Rock Creek! Fish were on the caddis until baetis starting hatching mid-afternoon. Several 12-14 inch trout ate a size 16 BWO parachute in the hot afternoon sun. One pushing 16 inches hammered the little dry fly. I haven’t seen fall fishing this good in years. Strong flows and cold water make all the difference. It’s still difficult to cross Rock Creek, which is unheard of this late in the season for at least 15 years. Take advantage of the great fishing on all our area rivers and streams this fall, before the snow flies (again).

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September is Hopper Time!

The hopper bite on the Yellowstone is the best it’s been all summer. Combine that with tricos, baetis and a pretty good streamer bite in the morning and you have some excellent fishing all day long. If you’ve been putting off fishing the Stone, now is the time!

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Fall Weather Remains in Place

Cool, wet weather continues to dominate as we go into September. Water temperatures have remained in the prime trout feeding range for most of the summer and it looks like we will enjoy more of the same. The Yellowstone has fished well the past week, with a day or two of slower fishing. On days with consistent weather, the bite has been good. On days when the weather changes back and forth from cloudy to sunny, the bite turns off and on with the changes. The streamer bite is spotty at best, with the hopper/dropper continuing to be the most consistent producer. There are tricos around

Suzie's first fish EVER ate a hopper! She is now hooked on fly fishing. Look at that smile!

Suzie’s first fish EVER ate a hopper! She is now hooked on fly fishing. Look at that smile!

 along with yellow duns and some baetis. There are fish rising in the slicks most days.

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Three Days of Glory on the Stillwater

The rain and cold weather has turned the Stillwater on! The streamer bite is excellent, nymphing is unbelievable and there is a nice baetis hatch in the afternoon. The fish think it’s fall, and who am I to argue? Check out a couple of fish Ron and I caught yesterday.

Nice 18 inch brown.

Nice 18 inch brown.

Ron's was nice, mine is epic! 26 inch rainbow.

Ron’s was nice, mine is epic! 26 inch rainbow.

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The Yellowstone is Fishing Great!

This last week has been excellent on the Yellowstone. Even in the pouring rain yesterday, we killed it! We have had trico spinners, several kinds of yellow mayfly and a good hopper bite. Nymphing was spotty until yesterday. A beadhead prince took fish all day, producing three doubles. The streamer bite has been slow up until yesterday morning. We had good action on an olive wooly bugger. IMG_20140817_110719438 IMG_20140817_145349699 IMG_20140818_154019988 IMG_20140819_144857760 IMG_20140819_152324501_HDR IMG_20140821_113211141Here is the “highlight reel”.

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Rock Creek Caddis

Nice caddis hatch on Rock Creek this morning. Fish were rising like crazy in the first pool we tried. The newlyweds I was fishing with had never seen a hatch before, (one had never fly fished). Both did a fine job with a size 16 dry fly. Pretty cool for your first experience fly fishing! Pretty cool, no matter how long you’ve fly fished.

IMG_20140812_094712761 IMG_20140812_092508802 IMG_20140812_112207406_HDR

The Stillwater has been fishing well on small dry flies in the mornings and hopper/dropper rigs all afternoon.

The Yellowstone is dirty right now, but has been fishing well on the hopper/dropper.

 

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Fishing Just Getting Better and Better!

The Stillwater continues to fish well, with trout regularly eating hopper patterns now. The dropper nymph is still working all day long, as well.

The Yellowstone has been fishing great on deep nymphs, with fish beginning to look for the hopper.

Rock Creek and it’s tributaries continue to fish well on deep nymphs with good action on small dry flies such as a PMD parachute or elk hair caddis.

Ann comes through on the Stillwater, as usual.

Ann comes through on the Stillwater, as usual.

Dan caught this brown on the hopper.

Dan caught this brown on the hopper.

Beauty in the burn area, West Fork Rock Creek.

Beauty in the burn area, West Fork Rock Creek.

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Area Fishing Has Turned On!

Area streams have dropped to near normal flows, so wade fishing is turning on. Rock Creek and its tributaries are fishing well, but wading is a challenge. Fish are taking nymphs fished deep, with the occasional take on a big dry fly. Some holes are beginning to open up on the West Fork. Fish are eating smaller stonefly and hopper patterns. Any beadhead nymph dropper will get eaten as well.

 

The Stillwater continues to fish great from the boat, but wading is tough. Look for PMD’s in the morning and caddis all day. Fish are eating hopper/stonefly patterns sporadically in the afternoons.

 

The Yellowstone is good in the morning, slow in the afternoons. Fish aren’t on the hopper yet, but should be soon.

 

Fly Patterns:

 

Beadhead Prince, Pheasant Tail and Copper John for nymphs

 

Madam X, Parachute Hoppers, and any tan or brown foam stonefly/hopper

 

Yellow Humpy, Yellow Parachute for Pale Morning Dun patterns

 

Tan Elk Hair Caddis and green or  Caddis pupa

 

2014-07-17 16.17.37

Craig Beam

Montana Trout Scout

4068553058

http://www.montanatroutscout.com

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