Christina Monaco with a beefy lake brown... Photo: John Bond
With the Yellowstone still high and muddy we have been sending trips primarily to the Spring Creeks and private lakes. Baetis have thinned off but PMD’s are ramping up with plenty of nymphs crawling around and getting ready to hatch a little later in June. When the clouds come out the guides have seen a couple PMD dries already but the best dry fly action is yet to come. Midges have been working well, as have scuds and even small terrestrials like ants and beetles. Local and private lakes have been fishing very well lately. Callibaetis dries have started and if the wind isn’t blowing we’ve had some excellent dry fly fishing already. On windy days nymhing or stripping a leech or small bugger has been working well.
Nice work Kade!! Bye bye Zebco!!
Mallard's Rest at roughly 20,000 CFS (6/3)
The Yellowstone has been ripping lately, although cold weather had CFS dropping for a couple days over the weekend. Has the Yellowstone peaked is the question we are all wondering? Historically the Yellowstone usually peaks during the first 10 days of June, so we would not be surprised to see water levels come back up over 34,000. We also wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t but plateaus out at a high CFS (like 27,000 for a while). The good news is that either way, a lot of snow has already melted and the Upper Yellowstone Snow Pack is down to around 120%, (before this last storm it was down to 119%, now it currently sits at 122%). With these levels of snow pack, we expect to be fishing the Yellowstone sometime in mid July.
Float at your own risk...
There have been a few people floating the Yellowstone lately but we do not recommend it. The strong currents and undertows this time of year can be exceptionally dangerous. People have lost boats by anchoring up in fast water or by not letting out enough anchor rope. People have hit bridge pylons and flipped, as well as capsized in whirlpools and tricky hydraulics. In short be smart and safety first.
In memory of those who served
What's your guess for peak CFS? Comment on our Instagram to win a rod
Current Snow pack for the Yellowstone (Memorial Day 5/28)
One good thing about the river running high and muddy is that quite a bit of snow has come out of the mountains already. Before the Upper Yellowstone River Basin was sitting at 160% snowpack, however in the past few weeks the melt has reduced this to roughly 122% (water-snow equivalent). This means the Yellowstone will be clearing sooner than originally anticipated. It’s hard to say when the Yellowstone will hit 10,000 CFS but when it does it will be fishing well. Sometime between July 10 – July 20th seems about right? Streamer anglers might choose to get on it even earlier, however flows above 10,000 CFS can be dangerous. Early July will likely be better spent chasing big bugs on the Madison. Be sure to book your favorite guides and outfitters while they still have a few salmonfly dates left, days are filling up. Give us a call to book a trip: 1-406-222-7130.
Guess the CFS!
It’s contest time here at the Yellowstone Angler with Douglas Outdoors! To Enter “The Peak CFS is Right” contest you will want to 1) Follow both pages (@yellowstoneangler and @douglasoutdoors) and 2) Comment below on either’s contest post with a) your guess of the Yellowstone River’s 2018 Peak CFS at Carter’s Bridge, and b) the date (between 5/9 – 6/15) that you think it will happen. One guess per person. Closest guess wins… although “The Price is Right” rules apply – you can’t go over! Guess will be accepted through the month of May only. Ties will be settled by a) the closest guess to the date of the peak flow and further more (if needed) b) the first person to answer correctly. The winner will be announced on June 15th. Good Luck!
Winner winner chicken dinner...
The Prize? The Winner will receive a Douglas Sky 9′#6 weight, a custom Yellowstone Angler “May Fly” logo Patagonia Sun shade hoody (designed by @grassmirror), and a throw back Yellowstone Angler hat! The Douglas Sky 9′#6 weight is our favorite 6-weight fly rod and the winner of our latest 6-Weight Shootout…
Clarity today (5/13 7:50AM) - 2 to 4" of vis?
The Yellowstone has been dropping the past couple days so we figured we’d post a pic. Town down looks too squirrelly for good fishing, (not to mention newly some arrived tree snags and large waves in spots where you aren’t used to seeing them). If you really want to give it a shot today the Valley is going to be the best option, slapping streamers against the bank. Be sure your tail-gunner is looking behind you as you might get hit by a log. As soon as temps get hot again there could be a tiny caddis window to look for. For now we have been fishing the lower Madison, Lakes, and the Spring Creeks. Give us a call to book a trip! 1-406-222-7130.
CFS on the drop...
Emily Moxie and JB with a Lower Madison brown... Photo: Matt Jahnke
Clarity today in town (5/9 at 7:30AM) less than 1" of vis...
The past couple days the river has been rising steadily. Now the East and West channels on Siebeck Island look equally dirty, (before the West channel was more muddy due to Billman Creek spewing in mud). It will be a while before we are back looking at the Yellowstone. Keep an eye on the CFS charts, if the river starts to drop there may be a window of opportunity. Otherwise we are looking at a long run off.
Clarity today (5/9 at 7:32AM) - West Channel on 9th street island
With 148% snow pack in the upper yellowstone drainage, we are expecting to be floating the Yellowstone sometime in mid-late July. The truth is we are not sure when the Yellowstone will be fishing well, (meaning 10,000 CFS or less), but late July/early August seems like a safe bet. Of course in the meantime we will be fishing the Big Hole, Upper and Lower Madison, Jefferson, Missouri, and Bighorn rivers as well as private lakes and spring creeks.
LB with the hold, JB with the catch, JB with the shot...
Clarity today (5/6 at 7:49AM) - less than 3-6 inches of vis
Clarity in town looks bit worse from yesterday but not as bad as we expected. A few inches of visibility but the river is on the rise and will more than likely fish slow. You never know though, if you are in the right eddy we’ve seen fish eat in a lot dirtier water. Most of the caddis are in the town section now. It’s a little on the windy side this morning, might be a good idea to wait and see how the afternoon looks and do a short float. Or head to the lower Madison…
Mother's Day Caddis have popped in town (5/6 1:00PM)
Tons of caddis… not a single rise at lunch and again after work. We have heard that DePuy’s has had a little caddis action however.
More family "Bondage" ... Photo: Brant Oswald
Clarity today (5/5 - at 7:44AM) - less than 8" of vis
The past couple days there have been tons of caddis in town, with a few starting to flutter in the Valley. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen many rising fish out there yet and the fishing has been pretty slow. We thought the river would have blown out by now but clarity is definitely still good enough (at least through town). We think it is more of an issue of a rising river that has been keeping the fish finicky. Theres still a shot today and if nothing else at least it has been nice weather for “paying your dues” on the river. If you are just looking to get footage of the hatch there’s no rush to get out. The caddis have been most active after work anyway.
Clarity today (5/5 - at 7:45AM) - olive but enough...
Lots of boats have been heading to the Missouri as the fishing has been a little more consistent than the Madison or Yellowstone. Local and private lakes as well as the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks have also been fishing well. Give us a call to book a trip! 1-406-222-1730.
Ron Hayes & Chris Coyne with a nice Missouri rainbow. Photo: Anthony Primerano
Clarity today (5/4 at 7:50AM) - about the same as yesterday
Clarity is about the same as this morning as it was yesterday. The river fished slow yesterday although we managed to land a few decent browns. We did see caddis, but very few (as in a couple dozen flying around and no rising fish). There were actually more March Brown adults on the water than anything, but still not many takers on top if any.
David Lamer ... May the 4th be with you. Photo: John Bond
If you decide to get out there and try today look for structure tight to the bank like logs or overhanging branches. Many of the tributaries that flow into the Yellowstone are still crystal clear, so you always have a few spots here and there to post up and fish for a while. You won’t see many people and the mountains are absolutely gorgeous right now. With warm temps in the 70′s plus rain later this tonight and this weekend it could be last call for double haul.
The Shield's is ripping right now, making down low a no go
The confluence of the Shields today (5/4 7:30AM) - not looking good
Clarity today (5/3 8:15AM) looking green and good in town.
Today is looking good clarity wise, although CFS bumped already a bit at Corwin. Today should be good, tomorrow on the fence, by this weekend we expect to see a rising river. We have been seeing caddis but only a few so far on the Yellowstone. Give us a call to book a trip or for the latest report. 1-406-222-7130.