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!
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.
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.)
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!
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!
The 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.
Had a great morning on Rock Creek and the west fork today. Fish were all over a Royal PMX with a prince dropper. The parachute hopper was working, too. Every good pocket and run gave up a couple of fish.
Hopper fishing has been slow. You need to go deep with a double nymph rig to get any action. Hopefully, the lower temps and clear water will turn that around. Tricos are out early this year, and some fish are on the spinner in the slicks. Very technical fishing with size 22 and smaller bugs, but rising fish will make a mistake and take a bigger parachute once in a while. Trail a Trico spinner behind a size 16 rusty dun and see which gets eaten. The most productive flies lately have been:
Hare’s Ear, size 14
Prince Nymph, 14
Pepperoni Yuk Bug, 10
Halfback, 10, 12
Foam hoppers, peach, size 8
Be patient. You will take a couple of nice fish if you stick with it.