Cloudy and Cool Means Good Fishing

The fish are back on the feed with the return of clouds and cooler weather. Fish are hammering a hopper/dropper combo on both the Stillwater and Yellowstone. The Stilly is getting very bony for floating, perfect for wading. The trico action on the Stone was good this morning. Lots of spinners, clouds and cool weather. Check out this 18 incher Jon took on a size 22 trico! Dry fly fishing at it’s most technical on a wild freestone river. Three other boats on 14 miles of water…

Jon's 18 incher on a 22 trico.

Jon’s 18 incher on a 22 trico.

Ann killed it on the hopper.

Ann killed it on the hopper.

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Hopper Bite Just Gets Better!

Emily caught some nice fish on her first day of fly fishing!

Emily caught some nice fish on her first day of fly fishing!

Fish on the Yellowstone are hammering the hopper. The girls out fished

Julie caught two like this, plus a bunch of smaller trout!

Julie caught two like this, plus a bunch of smaller trout!

the guys in my boat two days in a row.

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Dry Fly Fishing on the Yellowstone!

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Tucker ripped some brown trout lips yesterday!

Tucker ripped some brown trout lips yesterday!

Look at that huge Yellowstoner hanging from that 19 inch brown!

Look at that huge Yellowstoner hanging from that 19 inch brown!

The hopper bite was excellent on the Yellowstone yesterday. Fish were chowing down a peach colored Yellowstoner. (That’s a big foam rubber leggy thing.) There were also fish rising on the flats and along the banks. Unusual on a hot, sunny day in August. We caught a couple on a #16 yellow parachute where we saw rising fish. No real hatch, just fish eating dead stuff in the surface film. A #14 pheasant tail dropper worked well until late afternoon, then it was all about the hopper!

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Yellowstone is Clear

Last week’s rain turned the Yellowstone into a muddy mess, leaving the Stillwater as the only option for float fishing. All that is behind us, now! The ‘Stone cleared enough to fish yesterday and continued to clear throughout the day. Nymph fishing was good, hopper fishing was fair and the streamer bite was slow. The Stillwater is fishing well on small dry flies and nymphs. The hopper bite is spotty. With the return of cooler weather next week, look for more tricos, yellow duns and caddis to compliment the hopper bite.

First fish on a fly rod for all three of these happy anglers this week!

Pouring rain all day? No problem! The fish are already wet.

Pouring rain all day? No problem! The fish are already wet.

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Hoppers in the Rain

The last few days of cool, wet weather offered some good fishing on the Stillwater and Yellowstone. Fish were eating both the hopper and bead head dropper with gusto. Smaller hopper patterns are working best. A royal Madam X or Parahopper are the best bets. Standard fare, like Pheasant Tails and Prince Nymphs are producing. Today was tough on the Yellowstone. Higher barometric pressure and sun had the fish off their feed. As the hotter weather sets in and stabilizes, the hopper bite should stabilize as well. There are some tricos around on the Yellowstone, for you dry fly specialists. Pods of fish are rising in the foam and current  lines in the mornings.

Nice Stillwater brown on the Madam X.

Nice Stillwater brown on the Madam X.

Beautiful four foot bullsnake on the Stillwater. Amazing animal.

Beautiful four foot bullsnake on the Stillwater. Amazing animal.

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Cool on Rock Creek

It’s August and the heat is on. Hopper fishing is good on the Yellowstone. Morning and afternoon are very active, slow when the sun is at zenith. On the hottest days of summer, Rock Creek and other small mountain streams are the place to be! Good fishing, shade and cool water. Fish are eating small hopper patterns and elk hair caddis on top. The Copper John in size 16 is very productive.

Nice fat Brookie at an undisclosed location on Rock Creek.

Nice fat Brookie at an undisclosed location on Rock Creek today.

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Fish are Looking for a Big Meal

Trout on the Yellowstone are definitely looking up for a big dry fly to fill up on! Stonefly season is transitioning nicely into hopper season. I’m still leaning toward the stonefly colors, like gold or brown. Having said that, we’ve been catching fish on peach the last couple of days (peach is more a hopper color). The usual suspects are working for a dropper: prince, pheasant tail, hare’s ear, etc. Streamers are working well on the windy, stormy days. Green crystal flash wooly buggers seem to be working best. The big stonefly nymphs, like a girdle bug, are still producing fished under an indicator.

Rock Creek is fishing great on smaller stonefly and hopper patterns: Madam X, parachute hoppers, trudes, etc.

Jeanie's first fish on a fly rod!

Jeanie’s first fish on a fly rod!

Julie caught this nice rainbow on a hopper.

Julie caught this nice rainbow on a hopper.

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The Yellowstone Has Cleared

The Yellowstone has finally cleared up again. Fishing is good on the dry-dropper set up. A big stonefly imitation on top with a beadhead underneath got fairly ripped up on Thursday. The Stillwater is dropping fast. Wade fishing is getting better, with more riffles and other fishy features becoming evident. I’m still using the stonefly/beadhead combo. The big dry is getting eaten in the morning. Sunny afternoons are fishing best on the beadhead dropper. Look for the fish to get back on the dry in late afternoon, especially when the storms start to roll in.

Best flies are the yellow stimulator, tan otter hopper, and brown yellowstoner for the dry. Pheasant tails and prince nymphs are good bets for the dropper.

Nice Yellowstone rainbow on the otter hopper.

Nice Yellowstone rainbow on the otter hopper.

This brown ate the yellowstoner on the Stillwater! Is that legal?

This brown ate the yellowstoner on the Stillwater! Is that legal?

 

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Rock Creek Fish Are Looking Up

The trout on Rock Creek are looking for the dry fly. A size 10 Jack Cabe got ripped up all day. While the stonefly dry bite is winding down on the Stillwater, Rock Creek is just hitting it’s stride. A size 16 Copper John also killed it. There are several kinds of mayfly and caddis available, but the trout preferred the Cabe until around 4 PM. Some fish started rising sporadically at that time, but I couldn’t get them to eat anything. Tried all colors of parachute and a couple of elk hair caddis, but got totally ignored. I never did identify the natural they were eating.

Big fish for Rock Creek! Several in this range ate the Cabe.

Big fish for Rock Creek! Several in this range ate the Cabe.

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Good Bite on the Nymph

Stonefly activity is slowing on the Stillwater. Pale Morning Duns should step up and fill the gap until hoppers take over. Some PMD spinners are in evidence, but no real afternoon hatch happening yet. (Yes, Pale Morning Duns hatch in the afternoon this time of year). PMD nymphs are active and ready for the show. A black nymph fished on the bottom produced best today on the Stillwater. Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs and other dark nymphs are the ticket. Fish are feeding in the riffles and drop offs. Not much activity on the bank water.

The Brown Trout just glow on the Stilly!

The Brown Trout just glow on the Stilly!

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