We’re having a real hopper season on the Stone for the first time in three years! Trout are active due to plenty of water and cool nights. The banks are full of hoppers. A couple of windy days this week really got the bite going, blowing bugs into the river.
Look for tricos in the mornings. Some fish are taking the spinners in the slicks and tail-outs. We turned a big brown two days ago with a #18 double trico spinner. Got to see him nose to tail. He came to his wits before eating it.
Droppers are hit and miss. Today was good on the prince. The dropper can be key during the lulls in hopper bite.
Yellowstoner (red leg) #12
Any peach foam hopper if it’s #10 to 12
Prince Nymph, #14
Hare’s Ear, #14
Some fall mayflies are starting to pop, but not a factor yet. Have seen a few ghost flies and grey duns already.
One Happy Angler!
Couldn’t Resist the Big Bug!
Stoneflies are making an appearance on the Yellowstone and Stillwater rivers. The shucks are everywhere on the rocks at waterline. Browns on the Stillwater were hammering them in the bright sunshine earlier this week.
Small caddis and smaller grey mayflies are also popping on the Stillwater and Rock Creek. The caddis are hatching a few at a time, but good numbers can be seen laying eggs. Fish are keying on them in foam lines, so keep you eyes peeled for risers.
The Stillwater and Rock Creek are dropping fast. Wade fishing is getting better and better. Crossing is a challenge on the Stilly. Rock Creek can be crossed in certain places, but choose your spot carefully.
The Yellowstone is clearing. It hasn’t reached optimum condition yet. Some fish are on the big stonefly dry, but nymphs are taking the most fish. Hoppers are around and fish are eating them on windy days. This should only get better as the water comes down and clears.
Here’s your list of must have flies:
Yellowstoner Chubby, brown, #8 (Remember that our stoneflies are not orange)
Parachute Adams, #16
Elk Hair Caddis, black body, #16. I tie mine with no hackle and a little antron trailer. Good for both emerging or egg laying caddis. The traditional dressing is working, but the antron really seems to seal the deal.
Drop a beadhead Prince, Pheasant Tail, Montana Prince or any other dark pattern off the big dry to maximize your catch.
Montana Trout Scout