The Yellowstone River’s conditions continue to hold as spring runoff approaches. Steady temperatures both in Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park have kept the river’s volume from really ramping up. Although we are experiencing the up and downs we typically see this time of year, the river is still holding strong. Visibility the last week has stayed right around 1.5-2ft. Water temperatures have been low which is certainly keeping fish a little less active than we would like. Currently at around 44F at Corwin Springs and Livingston, lets hope that gets up closer to 50F to get the fish and bugs going. Flows are at 7300cfs in Livingston and 6000cfs at Corwin Springs. This doesn’t mean that the river is worth getting out on.
We are still waiting for the Caddis to really POP but are still seeing a steady hatch from Livingston into Emigrant and above. Over the past weekend, we got good reports of fishing rising both along the banks and in back eddies and foam lines. We definitely recommend keeping eyes on soft spots along the banks and in those nice eddies where fish can sit in still water with food at the ready. Remember, FOAM IS HOME! You would be surprised how many fish you will find if you stop and watch for a minute. If you are out on the water, make sure you are stocked up with both caddis imitations and attractors for when the time comes. The best windows of fishing have come in the mid afternoon when clarity is right and the bugs really get active. As 3pm approaches, keep an eye out for both bugs and rising fish and be prepared for a stellar hour or two of dry fly fishing. We recommend having a few pupae imitations, such as Morish Super Pupae or the Dirty Bird. For you dry fly box, be sure to have some olive and tan Elk Hair Caddis, Blooms Caddis, and Peacock Caddis in #14-16. If you are experiencing a really heavy hatch of adult caddis, try fishing a #14-12 Krystal Stimulator, Humpys, or even #16 tan chubby.
There should also be solid numbers of March Browns out and about. On calm overcast days be on the lookout. If you see larger mayflies in the air and on the water, be sure to have some Parachute Adams, Copper Haze, or Klinkhammer in #14. March Brown numbers will be higher below Livingston if you are really looking to hit the mayfly hatch.
Streamers should still do the trick as well. Smaller baitfish patterns such as Sculpzillas, Bow River Buggers and Krystal Buggers should move fish. If you want to really chuck meat, fish darker bodied flies and dead drift/twitch them.
It does appear to be a week of nasty weather. We’re expecting rain throughout the week so be sure to keep an eye on the flow charts. We hope that the river can hold out just a little longer while we wait for the caddis to really go. As always, keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook and the website for up to date reports. We are here in the shop 9am-5pm, Monday through Saturday and will happily answer any questions you may have. Additionally, if you need flies, give us a call and we can have them ready for you for Front Porch Pick-up!