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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Stonefly Time on the Stilly!

The stonefly hatch is in full swing on area rivers and streams. Fish on the Stillwater are keying on the big dry fly. Dry fly action has been steadily increasing for the last week or so. The yellow Stimulator got torn up on Friday from morning till afternoon. With the advent of cooler temps, stonefly activity will slow down some, but mayflies might fill the gap until the sun shines again. There are several kinds of mayfly around this time of year, but Pale Morning Duns are usually the most prevalent. A yellow Humpy or yellow parachute pattern will get the job done if you see fish rising.

Key patterns to have for streams: Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Humpy, Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Chubby Chernobyl

Lakes: Ants, beetles, Adams, Olive Bugger

Maddie slayed 'em on the Stillwater.

Maddie slayed ’em on the Stillwater.

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Stillwater and Yellowstone in Good Shape!

The Stillwater is about perfect for float fishing above Absarokee. Good flow, gin clear water and willing trout. Not much on the dry fly, but a girdle bug or dark bead head dropper was gettin’ it done yesterday. I look for the dry fly action to heat up in the next few days. Below Absarokee, the water is off color but fishable. Wade fishing is difficult. Crossing the river on foot is not an option.

The Yellowstone is more green than brown. Flows are high, but it’s definitely fishable. Fish big stonefly nymphs like the girdle bug, Montana stone, or any big rubber legged nymph under a bobber (sorry, I mean “indicator”) with lead to get it deep in the big holes.

Rock Creek is fishing well, but wade fishing is difficult. Crossing the creek will be very challenging. Try the same flies as listed for the Stillwater.

The west fork of Rock Creek, West Rosebud, East Rosebud and other small streams are clear and fast. Fish the pockets behind rocks and structure, or deep holes. Use a girdle bug with a little split shot, bouncing along the bottom. Keep the rod tip high and a tight line to the fly.

The high mountain lakes are ice free and fishing well on parachute Adams, ants, bead heads under an indicator and streamers.

Low country lakes are getting a bit warm, but fish are being taken on damsel and dragon fly nymphs and adults.

We don’t often get the opportunity to fish area rivers and streams before the first week in July, so get out there and enjoy it!

Craig Beam

Montana Trout Scout

4068553058

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Water Dropping Fast!

The Stillwater and other local streams are dropping fast. Wade fishing is still out, but float fishing is definitely an option. It will be fast and furious. Clarity is good above Absarokee. Good time for a combo white water/fly fishing trip. Try a big stonefly pattern on top with a beadhead dropper right on the bank. (Not two feet out, as close as you can get it!) Another good bet is a stonefly nymph about three feet under an indicator. Fish this rig a couple of feet off the bank.

Try a Jack Cabe, Stimulator and any foam rubber leg in brown or tan for the dry fly. Large half backs, girdle bugs, Montana stones or just a brown wooly bugger will work for the stonefly nymph. Rubber leg Hare’s Ears, and the Montana Prince are good choices for a bead head dropper.

Craig Beam

Montana Trout Scout

406 855 3058

Beautiful spring day on the upper Stilly. Remember this, Moira?

Beautiful spring day on the upper Stilly. Remember this, Moira?

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Montana Bass on the Fly

When the rivers are high, we can still have a great time fly fishing! Here are a couple of nice bass from a secret location near Red Lodge this morning. The bass wanted a big bugger, the trout were all about the beadhead. Duh.

Father and son trips are always fun!

Father and son trips are always fun!

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Lakes and Tailwaters the Best Option

Nice bow are the ant!

Nice bow are the ant!

Browns were cruising the shallows.

Browns were cruising the shallows.

All area streams and rivers are officially blown out. Run off is in full swing. That means fun on the area lakes (and the Bighorn at Ft. Smith). The Horn is running a bit high, but the fishing is good. It’s back to the worm/scud combo with the higher flow. Still quite a bit of moss, but well worth the trip.

The Bighorn at Thermopolis is high and dirty. Rock slides in the canyon from torrential rains last week will continue to have a negative effect for quite a while. If you fish it, bring your best dirty water game: big black buggers, worms (try purple), and dark leech patterns.

The lakes in Wyoming are fishing well on callibaetis imitations, ants, midge larvae and leeches pulled and twitched through the weed beds. Some damsel flies are around, but are not a real factor yet. (Newton Lakes, Luce and Hogan).

The Shoshone is high and dirty in Cody.

Here are a couple of fish taken on Newton today.

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Last Hurrah on the Stillwater?

Well, the Stillwater and other area streams are rising steadily. I floated the Stilly the last three days. Thursday was good, Friday was excellent and Saturday was also very good. Saturday, it rose about 4 inches while I was fishing it. The water was still clear and we even got into a short baetis hatch with some rising fish. A yellow Stimulator with any beadhead dropper killed it. Fish ate the Stimulator sporadically all day, even during the baetis hatch. The river below Absarokee is very dirty, but upstream was still clear Saturday evening. If you fish below Absarokee, use a black streamer or big nymphs, such as the Yuk Bug, Montana Nymph or any dark colored stonefly nymph.

Nancy was a real trooper on a very wet day. It paid off in a big way!

Nancy was a real trooper on a very wet day. It paid off in a big way!

This chunky rainbow wasn't the biggest Scott caught, but it looks like a Big Horn fish!

This chunky rainbow wasn’t the biggest Scott caught, but it sure has some muscle on it!

Only saw three other boats in three days. I love this place!

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