By Montana Grant

Posted: May 15, 2021

With the Spring melt upon us, all the rivers have similar reports. Figure on changing conditions, rising waters, and off colored waters.

For some, this is a death wish. For others, this is trash, flash, and streamer time. A fish must eat! Even if the water is dirty, cold, and lousy, a fish needs to eat.

Adjust, adapt, and hook up. Dirty water is a disadvantage to raptors and other predators. This means that fish are willing to migrate into shallow, but dirty waters. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Strangely, the recent weather has added snow to the mountains and slowed the runoff. This will change when the temps stabilize in the next week or so but…


The water is a bit high and off color, but the fishing is good. Taylor’s Fork has yet to dump its muddy runoff into the main river. Try using flashy and trashy nymphs. Pheasant Tails, Princes, and Lightening Bugs are the ticket. Big stonefly nymphs with rubber legs will get their attention. If you are in the right place, you will see BWO’s and March Browns.

                YELLOWSTONE RIVER

Depending on the temperature, you will run into muddy stretches of river. If you get below or above the plugs, fishing can be good. The water is colder, so the fish are a bit slower. Trout are chasing streamers but short striking. Bigger rubber legged nymphs are working well fished slow and deep. Caddis are strong but the fish are not as interested.


This river is getting a lot of attention. The Lower is getting fished hard from boats and shore. The Caddis are strong, and the fish are rising to them near the shore. Try using a 14-16 caddis with a pupa dropper. Green or peacock is a good color for the Caddis. Big Nymphs and crayfish patterns will not disappoint. Trout are chasing streamers. I hooked up with more browns than rainbows on a streamer. I also connected with 2 Brook trout!

The upper is fishing well but changes daily. Mix up your presentations. The lower water seems to be warmer and has more active fish. BWO’s are coming off along with March Browns. Mix things up and try something different if you are getting skunked.

The most important thing is to enjoy the days. With Covid restrictions lifting, many folks will be going back to work. This should reduce crowds. Overseas tourists will not be here this Summer due to Covid. After the Spring Runoff, fishing looks to be less crowded and good again.

We hope!

Montana Grant

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