All the closures have changed how we enjoy and fish in the outdoors. Facilities, parks, and campsites are all closed. If you want to do a drift, you will probably need to do your own shuttles. With gas being under $2.00 a gallon, that helps.
When you drive by the access sites along the Yellowstone, you will see few vehicles or boats. The pressure is off, but the bite is on. If you keep your distance from others, fishing is a fun way to survive the quarantine. You will catch a selection of browns, rainbows, cutthroats, and whitefish. The fish are strong and hearty fighters.
The primary Yellowstone drift is Grey Owl to Mallards Rest. This float is about 13 miles. A shuttle transfer is quick and in a straight line. The Yellowstone is beautiful through this stretch of water. Another nice drift is Mayors Landing to the 89 bridge. Not as long but it has some great water.
Cold water means nymphing. The classic glow bugs and San Juan Worms work well. Other standards like Prince nymphs, Wooly Buggers, and Brown Rubber Legs will work. On a warmer day, look for fish to rise on small midges. Go slow and use a strike indicator if you are learning how to read strikes.
Try fishing your buggers and big trashy streamers like a nymph. Weight them up and fish deep. You will be surprised at the results. The Midge eaters will be in small pods, in the slower edges and eddies. Don’t be afraid to add a small dropper under your midges such as a Desert Storm. Using a larger Griffiths Gnat will give you the flotation to support the small nymph and serve as a strike indicator.
The Yellowstone fishes well from 9-5. Dolly Parton would love it. The sun helps to keep the day more comfortable. Dress in layers and add or take off layers as needed. When the sun goes in, the temperature drops. Maybe a thermos of soup or coffee is a good idea.
The Yellowstone is a perfect way to take your medicine!
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.