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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
Marcus and Mike Kovich with a good looking brown! Photo: Robert Kovich
It’s prime time for Fall fishing on the Yellowstone right now. The trees are looking about as good as it gets and the browns have been eating here and there. The main issue has been wind, however those who are willing to get out and battle the elements have had some success streamer fishing. If you are going for numbers over size, you’ll still want to nymph as the water temps have been chilly, especially in the morning. Get out there and enjoy a day on the water while it’s still “nice” out. As always give us a call if you’d like to book a trip: 1-406-222-7130.
Stevie Ray Brown and Paulson rocking out on the river... Photo: Paul Fingersh
Tail gunner Robert Kovich with a nice one... Photo: Marcus McGuire
Fall colors are out in full force right now...
Jay Larson and Chase with the signature move! Photo: Sue Larson
Roberto with a Madison chromer... Photo: Marcus McGuire
It's gotta be the vest... Logan Brown with another one. Photo: Dean Poli
As per usual, the river has been on and off. But when it turns on you can have some excellent fishing for a hour or two on dries, streamers, or nymphs. When it is off there is nothing you can do but present your fly correctly and fish the good spots with proper techniques, eventually you’ll get a shot and hopefully you are ready when it happens. There have been a few bigger fish spotted and missed out there already. Of course they look bigger when they get away but it feels good knowing there are some big browns lurking out there. Leaves are just about prime now, give us a call if you’d like to book a trip. 1-406-222-7130.
Dean Poli with a chode rainbow... Photo: LB
Marcus McGuire and Kim Eagle (of Eagles in West Yellowstone) with a nice one!
The Yellowstone is looking clear again and good to go. The last couple days it has been windy in Livingston (surprise – surprise) but the streamer fishing has been picking up. Calmer moments through out the days have given us windows of opportunity for dry fly fishing with midges and baetis. In certain places the leaves are starting to look spectacular along the banks, the next week or so looks like it could be some of the prettiest days to float the Yellowstone. With the browns getting more active towards fall there is a good chance for a nicer fish. Give us a call if you’d like to book a trip! 1-406-222-7130.
Hang 20! Surfer Alexandra Valdivieso and Marcus with a good one from last week...