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.
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
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!
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!
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).
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!
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
along with yellow duns and some baetis. There are fish rising in the slicks most days.
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.
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. Here is the “highlight reel”.
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.
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.
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.