16,000 CFS

Not quite ready but looking better... (6/10)

Still rippin'...

The Yellowstone is starting to drop towards “normal” levels for this time of year.  That being said we are anticipating the river to hit 10,000 CFS sometime around mid July (and possibly earlier if we continue to get warmer weather).  Typically we like to start floating the Yellowstone around 8,000 CFS, but streamer junkies will often try fishing it at 10 grand, or sometimes even higher.  We’d like to caution those who get out early to be extremely careful of the hydraulics on the Yellowstone.  When the river does finally get into shape it will be primarily streamer fishing.  In the meantime our guides will be chasing Montana’s epic salmonfly hatch around the state.  Give us a call if you’d like to book a trip! 406-222-7130.

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Lower Madison muddy but fishing

Marcus and Ralph Boys getting after it on the Lower!

Karen Boys and Marcus with another nice one

While the Yellowstone is still too high and mighty we’ve been focusing on other waters – namely the Lower Madison, the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, and local/private lakes.  The Lower Madison has been off color the past few days but the browns have been eating stonefly nymphs, crayfish, and streamer patterns.  The fish have been hanging out in their normal spots and some pretty nice sized browns are always caught this time of year.  As flows on the Lower drop we should see some fantastic salmonfly fishing over here.  The Spring Creeks have been pretty tough lately as baetis have slowed down and the PMD’s haven’t started yet.  Sawyer style PT’s, scuds, and midge larva have been the standard go to flies.  Lakes have been fishing well with leeches, damsel nymphs, rubberlegs, and callibaetis nymphs.  We’ve haven’t seen much dry fly action yet, but all that is about to change mid-June.  Give us a all if you’d like to book a trip, there will be plenty of options available if you’d like to get out there and enjoy a day on the water!  406-222-7130.

Logan Brown with a clean lake chromer... Photo: Janel Brown

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Has she peaked?

The Yellowstone below HWY 89 Bridge

Don't plan on using 89 as a put in for a while...

It looks like the Yellowstone may stay at (or hopefully) just below flood stage for the next couple days.  Will it eventually come back up even higher or has she peaked?   The forecast this week isn’t nearly as hot as last week however it looks like we have 50-60% chance of rain coming.  Snow pack has dropped slightly to 139% snow-water equivalent.  It is always interesting to see what changes a large run-off year will bring… new side channels, different main channels, ect.  So far the river is too high to predict any major changes.  It is also difficult to predict when we will be back fishing the river, (third week of July)?  Regardless of if we are on the Stone or not, there are plenty of great options to fish in early to mid-July…

Forecasted CFS flows for the next few days...

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Raging River

Not the time for an afterwork float...

On the verge of flood stage (9.5 feet) the Yellowstone at Carter’s bridge has risen to over 9 feet and is currently flowing at 31,300 CFS today.  With snow pack still at 142% we still have a lot of snow to come out of the mountains.  The weather forecast for this week predicts temperatures in the 70′s to 80′s with a 20-30% chance of rain each day which means the Yellowstone will likely hit flood stage soon.

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Memorial Day

Remembering those who served...

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Other Rivers on Fire!

Dan Soltau gets a nice one on his Smoke 'N Mirrors streamer...

Paul Bloch with a solid brown from the Lower Madison... Photo: Star Corcoran

The Yellowstone came up from around 12,000 CFS yesterday to a whopping 19,000 CFS today and is still rising.  Needless to say even scenic floating on the Yellowstone is not recommend right now due to massive logs floating down and some nasty hydraulics.  For now we have been targeting other rivers in the Bozeman area and doing quite well with streamers, caddis, crayfish patterns, soft hackles, lightning bugs, and rubberlegs.  The weather has been warming up but the Upper Madison has been hanging in there for a while.  The lower Madison has been a our go-to river right now and has been fishing well.  If you are up for a longer drive or a two day trip, the Missouri has been fishing great as has the Bighorn.  As for the Spring Creeks, the baetis are staring to slow down and the PMD’s have yet to come, leaving scuds and midges as the main food source until Mid June.  There are certainly several great options out there if you on vacation and would like to fish right now.  Give us a call if you’d like to book a trip!  406-222-7130.

Tyler with a nice Lower Madison brown. Photo: Paul Bloch

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Montana “Creeks” open today

blown... as of 5/17

About the only place worth fishing the Yellowstone right now is where clear tributaries flow in.  Those same tributaries should start to get muddy soon anyway.  Not to mention the “cottonwood hatch” has started – with huge,  death threatening logs floating down river at a high rate of speed.  If you are out on the river for a scenic float or otherwise, please be extremely careful and make sure to look up stream every now and then.  The weather this week looks rainy but warm.  It is unlikely that the river will green up, even for streamers.   Smaller creeks state wide open today, as do the upper sections of the upper Madison.  There will be plenty of excellent fishing opportunities out there this weekend, but the Yellowstone won’t be one of them.

warm and rainy...

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“Should have been here yesterday”

Mother's Day Caddis... 5/15

It’s not what you want to hear and not what we want to say, but it’s the truth.  The past couple days over here have been the best caddis dry fly fishing we’ve seen in 5 years, but unfortunately the mud has caught up.  With spikes on the Lamar, Gardiner, Corwin, and even Carter’s the river is rising and likely not worth the effort.   Town is still a viable option for streamer throwing junkies but DFO anglers better head elsewhere.  Snow pack is sitting pretty at 157% for the Upper Yellowstone drainage so hopefully the high 60°F temperatures this week will help get some of that snow out of the mountains.  Depending on how hot it gets and how wet of a spring we get, we should be back fishing on the Yellowstone by the third week of July.

A nice junior varsity brown on the black beef cake...

Confluence of the Shield's (5/16)

Egg layers at work...

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Last Call for Caddis


Kirk and James tag teaming rising trout....Photo: Josh Edwards

With 70 degree highs and a spike on the graph at Corwin this morning,  today may be the last call for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year.  The last two days have been nothing short of amazing with thousands of caddis in the air, on the banks, and spent on the surface.  At times it seems like every fish in the river has put their feeding bibs on for what might be the last supper before runoff.  If you’re coming over to fish dry flies the Valley is going to be your best bet.  There is as much as two feet of visibility as far up as the 26 mile put in.  Look for a productive hatch to start around 12:00-1:00 PM and lasting well into the evening.

Look for pods of rising fish in the back eddies...

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brachycentrus occidentalis - Everywhere! Photo: Paul Bloch

The good news is the Mother’s day caddis on the Yellowstone are making a comeback.  Bad news – we might only have a couple days before the mud shows up.  If you’ve built up your “sick” days, today or tomorrow might be a good time to call in sick.  Last evening was one of those nights where you thought to yourself – huh – there really are a bunch of fish in the Yellowstone.  Side channels, eddies, and slower rip rap edges were erupting with risers.  The Valley had the most amount of caddis with the famous “mats of caddis” but there were also thousands of caddis down low and plenty of fish up eating them.  Corwin has already shown a small spike and Shield’s is bound to blow soon.  Get out and enjoy it while you can!

yum... hot wings taste good!

Clarity in the Valley last night (5/13)

Definitely less clarity down low, but still good to go

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