Winter Chill

Sam Fischer, enjoying a "warmer" 9° day on the creek last week...

The fishing last week was frigid to say the least, but people were getting out there still.  Most all of the fishing last week was on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, (Armstrong’s, Nelson’s, and DePuy’s), where the water temperatures come out of the ground around 52°F.  All the typical winter fishing problems were present – ice build up on the guides, wind gusts affecting your drift, frozen fingers and toes…  Only you can decide if spending a day on the water when it is this cold is worth while or not.

Lil' Armstrong's brownie from last week...

Release a DePuy's rainbow (2/17) ... Photo: Brett Edwards

Another DePuy's brown from Sat 2/17. Photo: Brett Edwards

The river has too much slush ice in it to fish.  With colder temps in the negatives the next few days the river might freeze over completely again…

Mallard's Rest on 2/19 - not quite frozen over yet.

Pine Creek Bridge 2/19

The fishing has been slow, but the swimming has pretty good lately...

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Winter fishing continues

The Schnaderbuck! Erick Schnaderbeck battling the elements... Photo: Clay Mullins

Things have been pretty cold in Montana the past couple weeks, but if you wait for warmer weather, (or less wind) you might not be fishing until April.  In general, the fishing has been very slow out there, but if you are willing to get some cold fingers and toes there might be a fish reward in it for you here and there.  Dress for success and you will be able to stay warm out there.  If you do not layer up appropriately or bring the proper cold weather gear, it could be a short day, or a long miserable day.

That water is cold! John bond taking the frozen finger honors...

"Cold, Rain, and Snow... time to go where those chilly winds don't blow"

If fishing around Montana in the winter doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, consider going on a bonefish trip to Mexico, the bahamas, or Belize.  We stock a good selection of flies for bonefish, permit, and tarpon.  Stop by the shop anytime and we’d be happy to show you some of the best patterns.

Midges on the Lower Madison

If you are hoping to get some dry fly action in, midges are going to be your best shot.  Even on windy days, midges will stock up on the leeward side of rocks, logs, and other obstructions.  Afternoons are typically your best bet to find active fish as the water temperatures are going to be slightly warmer.  We have seen a lot of midges out there on both the Yellowstone and Lower Madison, (as well as the Paradise Valley spring creeks), but unfortunately, the conditions have to be just right to find rising fish.  In the mean time you can nymph with stoneflies, worms, serendipities, prince nymphs, or midge larva patterns.   You can also take a stab at swinging or streamer fishing, although be sure to let your streamer get deep and close to the bottom as the fish are not moving very far in the water column to chase this time of year.

Saturday 2/3

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Winter Fishing

Slush ice has been changing day to day, give us a call for the latest report.

Winter fishing on the Yellowstone has been slow this year, mostly due to cold temps, lots of wind, and slush ice.  The slush part of the equation is looking better but is constantly changing and might be back with snow coming in the forecast this Friday.  Unfortunately the wind part the equation has not been good lately.  Today the wind is ripping a steady 31 to 34 with gusts up to 49 mph.  As always feel free to give us a call for a current report.  We still do not recommend float fishing right now as it is dangerous and frankly not worth your effort.

Paradise Valley (1/17) Photo: Francis Clougherty

Looks like snow on the way this Friday and Saturday...

If you are really itching to get out there and fish, the Spring Creeks are going to be your best option right now.  The water temperature is warmer and the fish are more active than the river fish this time of year.  DePuy’s is popular destination in the winter season because of their warming huts on the property.  You can always jump in your car and warm your hands up at bit when fishing Armstrong’s and Nelson’s as well.  Winter rates are still $40 a rod until 4/14.

A surprisingly calm day today! (1/17) Photo: Davey Britt

Brett Edwards with a DePuy's brown. Photo: JG

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Happy New Year!

26 mile put in

It’s been a little too cold to fish lately, but it looks like Mother Nature is setting us up nicely for next year.  With plenty of early snow pack already we expect a big runoff in 2018 and plenty of water through September.  If you do decide to go fishing this January, the Spring Creeks would be your best bet to break in the new year.  The water is warmer with no slush ice to deal with.

Emigrant Peak

You’ll find slush ice floating down on every stretch of the river right now, unless that section happens to be totally frozen over.  Wade fishing has be dangerous with ice shelves.  Floating out of the question, even getting to the boat ramp in most spots has been out of the question.

Mallard's Rest, 12/30

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Slushy & Windy

The Yellowstone has had some slush ice on it the past few days... 12/12/17

We wish we had a better fishing report for you but the harsh reality is that the Stone doesn’t look good.  Even though it has been in the 40′s this week, it’s been cold at nigh, plus last week’s cold weather still has some slush ice floating down.  We have now gotten far enough into winter that we don’t recommend floating.  If you do decide to get out there, be sure you scout the section you are floating well as you don’t want to come around the corner and find the river completely iced over.  If you still up for wetting a line, consider fishing one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks instead.  Winter rates are now $40 a rod and the fish are more actively feeding.  It has still be very windy however, so be sure to check the wind forecast before booking your rods.

The spring creeks are looking like a better option now that winter is here.

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Winter Fishing Settling In

Check the forecast for warmer / calmer days, although rare they do exist...

Fishing on the Yellowstone has been slow the past few weeks.  The browns have all been on their redds, which means the rest of the river and all the “normal” good streamer spots are vacant.   Hopefully this will change sooner than later and the post spawn browns will return to some of their normal winter and early spring spots, however typically the Yellowstone browns will be on their spawning beds until early December.  On calmer, cloudy days (and sometimes in the evenings) there have been some rainbows rising to midges in the foam eddies and along the edges of the Stone.  Much of this water is so slow, you’ll want 5X tippet and a Griffith’s Gnat or one of Harrop’s Hanging Midge patterns that are easier to see than most.  If you are nymph fishing a $3 dip with a zebra midge is a good combo.  Once the browns return to their normal runs you can also nymph a rubber legs or dead drift a sculpin. There are no major ice jams yet, however conditions are always changing and if you do decide to get out there and float you will want to arrange your shuttle a day ahead of time or plan on doing it yourself.   No need to get out early, the best bite will be later in the afternoon and as water temps warm up slightly.

Once you have put the drift boat or raft up for the winter the Yellowstone still has some decent wade fishing to offer, although it may be better to book a day on one of the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks.  Winter rates are now $40 per rod.  The water temperatures are much warmer on the spring creeks and the fish are more active than the river fish this time of year.  Midges will still be the main staple if you are hoping to fish dries.  For nymphs you can try midge larva patterns, scuds, eggs, and leeches.


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Winter Is Coming

Chase Chapman and crew fishing at Carbella during late October...

Things got cold quickly this year, which has already driven a lot of Fall spawning rainbows and browns into the tributaries and side channels of the Yellowstone.   Most all the leaves have fallen along the Yellowstone now, but some of the bushes are hanging on to a little color.  You won’t see too many boats out there now, especially on the nastier days.  Since the water temp is so cold, nymph fishing is going to be your best bet.

Rock hunting ... also a good idea while water levels are lower

Slow, inside corners have been better than the fast bank in general...

The half moon - good luck or bad luck?

Emigrant Peak

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Happy Halloween!

Jeff Carder with a "Steel Your Face" Jurassic rainbow... Photo: Llewellyn Claven

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YNP – Get Out There While You Still Can

Todd Barber with a nice slice of bacon... Photo: Brian Sienkowski

Our days fishing in Yellowstone National Park our now limited.  The Park closes every year on the first Sunday of November – this year that date is November 5th.  There are lots of great spots to go including the Yellowstone itself, the Gardiner, the Lamar, Soda Butte, the Firehole, the Gibbon, the Madison, the Lewis to name a few.  So many good fishing spots, so little time!   The West side of the park is going to be much busier this time of year, which leaves a lot of elbow room in the NE section of the park.  As always, stop by the shop for more information or give us a call if you’d like to book a last minute trip:  406-222-7130.

Dusty Smith of Livingston Rod Co. with a solid brown... Photo: JG

Robert McBride in full stride... Photo: DJ

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Cooler Temps and Wind

Bruce Gilbert with a good looking birthday brown!

Recently we’ve been experiencing a lot of wind on the Yellowstone, which has made fishing tougher.  With winds reaching into the 30′s, and gusts into the 50′s, we haven’t seen as many Fall baetis as we’d like to on the Yellowstone and Paradise Valley Spring Creeks.  We currently have a wind advisory through Wednesday, but after that things could change with a slight chance of snow on Thursday.  After that it looks like we are back to sunny days for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Joe Stifflemire with a birthday bow! Photo: Chase Chapman

Chase crossing the Lamar... Photo: Joe Stifflemire

Our days fishing inside Yellowstone National Park are now numbered.  The last day to fish YNP this year is Sunday, November 5th.  With so many people looking to fish the Madison in the Fall, there is a lot of elbow room in the NE section of the park.  You can also find some solitude on the Firehole this time of year, and on cloudy days the baetis hatch can be excellent.

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