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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Local Rivers Fishable, But For How Long?

The Stillwater, Rock Creek and the Clark’s Fork have all come down and cleared up. The cold nights have slowed snow melt for the time being. We are supposed to remain cold for the foreseeable future. The monkey wrench here is that we are supposed to get substantial snow and rain as well. So, as usual, spring fishing in southern Montana is a mixed bag. Rain means dirty water, which means black streamers and big nymphs. Stoneflies and worms will be the best bet.

Area lakes are fishing well. This will be the most consistent option through June. Look for sporadic mayfly hatches, but streamers and suspended midge larvae will be the most consistent producers. As the weather warms up, look for damsels and dragonfly nymphs to become more active. Try an Adams for your mayfly pattern, bead head blood worms or zebra midges in larger sizes (16 – 12). Most any bead head nymph, especially a red copper John will work on all but the most selective fish. Your midge larvae and nymphs should be suspended under an indicator. When the damsels and dragons become active, small olive or brown wooly buggers stripped in short bursts should produce.

Put on your rain gear and get fishing!

Craig Beam

Montana Trout Scout


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Midges on the Big Horn

rps20150212_173913rps20150212_174006_300Early Febuary on the Horn. Nymphs, streamers and dry flies, the trifecta!

Chris Fleck and I had a great time on the Horn last week. Got a nice cabin and stayed the night in comfort. Monday, we caught fish on midge larvae and scuds. Tuesday it was streamers and dry flies in a snowstorm. The temperature dropped to 34, wind started blowing, and fish got on midges on the surface. The takes were very subtle, so you had to really stop and look. Fishing a size 22 paramidge emerger in bad light to sipping fish was a real challenge. You had to tune in to changes in the quantum continuum and just set the hook! Needless to say, more fish were missed or lost after a couple of seconds than were caught, but that’s what keeps us going back for more.

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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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