By Montana Grant

Posted: August 20, 2020

Hoppers are rocking along the Yellowstone River. To fish something different, I tried the sections of river below Gardiner. These areas rarely see much traffic. If the access is easy, just move up or downstream a few hundred yards and footprints disappear.

I used a large hair hopper, size 8 as my top fly. A small Prince nymph in size 14 was my terminal dropper. I added 14 inches of tippet for my dropper. Dressing the top hopper is important. Add a floatant after each fish or soaking.

Wet wading during the heat of the day is great. Use a traction style boot as the river rocks are slick as snot. A wading staff was useful navigating the steep banks and shoreline. I cut an old wood branch and tied it to a string, attached t me belt. When not in use, I let it drag behind me. Metal staffs make noise, but wood is quiet. At the end of the day, I laid it by a rock for the next fisherman.

I saw a few novice fishermen throwing spinners, but no fly guys. Hoppers were abundant. I grabbed a few with my hat and tossed them into a likely pool. No hopper made it more than 10 feet before they entered the trout’s food chain.

Fish were near structure and in soft water. Deep water near the grassy banks were the best. I cast my rig tight to the bank and watched as a nice Cuttie floated under my fly and sucked it in. Cutthroat trout take a dry fly like sex!

The Cutties I caught ranged from 8-19 inches. I also netted several great Browns in the 16-20-inch range. All these golden beauties made the Yellowstone proud. I fished from 10am until 3 in the afternoon. Wear a hat and proper polaroid glasses. I was able to see many of the fish before I cast to them. Sharpen your hooks and hang on!

Go for the Gold!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, find him wet wading at

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