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!
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!
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!
Montana Trout Scout