Pine to 89 worth a try

Clarity in town 4/19 - East channel 2-3 feet Lumbar Yard Channel < 6" of vis

Despite the increased volume on the Yellowstone (looks like CFS @ Corwin is staring to spike), the clarity is looking good in town and will likely be fine from mid valley down to 89.  Sounds like there is mud at mile marker 26 already… Below 89 the Shield’s is kicking in enough mud to make a lower float a home run or strike out.  While the Stone hasn’t been incredible for numbers lately it’s still a great time to go for a big one with streamers.  Hopefully the increased CFS has pushed a few big browns to the rip rap banks which is always fun streamer fishing.   Get deep and strip slow, water temp will likely stay under 50°F  today.  Good luck, if you go we hope you get a big one…

Clarity above the Shield's River is looking good (Photo: 4/18)

Town Brown - 4/17

The Yellowstone isn’t exactly on fire, but streamer anglers can expect to catch 1-5 fish in the 18-23 inch range.  As you know, the possibility of catching the one is always good in late April…

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Worth a try…

Chance Larson (9 yrs old) with a big Valley brown! Photo: Paul Bloch

Ack Willets and Bob Bergquist getting after it in the Valley... Photo: Greg Chapman

Colder night temperatures the past few nights have given the upper Yellowstone a bit of a chance to clear up from not really worth the drive to worth giving it a try.  The visibility between Gardiner and Carter’s bridge has been barber poled, with stripes of green water up to 3 feet of visibility, back down to an olive colored foot to a foot and a half of visibility.  Town down has been less consistent, with Billman Creek kicking in brown sediment.  The Shield’s while dropping has been contributing enough mud to make it brown and less than a foot of visibility.  Your best bet by far is the Valley.  Streamers and bigger nymphs like rubber legs are the way to go.  Both bank pounding with streamers and dead drifting deep have been working well.  So far been quite a bit of work to get 1-5 fish to the boat, but the chance of hooking a big one before runoff is always there.  Conditions are changing daily, when in doubt give us a call for a clarity report or consult your favorite shuttle company… 406-222-7130.

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Water temp rising…

With temps in the 60's this week expect clarity changes daily

The Yellowstone has been fishing pretty decent lately.  We’ve had a few guide trips out and all have been successful outings.  Not too many fish over 20″ have been landed but quite a few 17-18″ browns are getting caught, mostly on nymphs.  If you’re looking to put more fish in the boat try a rubber leg followed by a caddis nymph, prince nymph, copper john, baetis nymph or any of your other favorite size #16 beadheads.  Look for fish rising in the foam and be sure to have a dry fly rod rigged and ready.  The majority of these fish have been eating midges but if you have clouds you might bring along some parachute adams for baetis or some March Browns.  Water temps are increasing (now between 42-48°F).  When the water temps hit 52-53°F the fish should start chasing streamers better.  For now get deep, strip slow, and try to tap your flies along the bottom…

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Yellowstone River Clean Up next Saturday…

If you’re around next Saturday and are interested in helping clean up the Yellowstone stop by the civic center around 8:00AM.  Kids are always welcome and encouraged to join in the fun.  There will be a BBQ (supplied by our friends at Altria) to follow with plenty of food for all.   There will also be a power washer located on the side of the Civic Center as well as a crew to wash your boat out after dumping whatever trash you’ve found in the bins.  Things to bring:  your Boat, waders, gloves for handling heavy metal and garbage, suntan lotion, hat, sunglasses, and warm weather gear (just in case).  Things not to bring:  Fishing equipment, (no need to break it) and trash bags, (no need – heavy duty bags will be supplied).  Thanks for your support, with your help the Yellowstone River is a more beautiful place!

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Nice Steel

SKOW with a 39 incher... Photo: Eric Paulson

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Green is good…

"Green is good" clarity on the Yellowstone with plenty of visibility...


The river is finally coming into shape after a pretty long and harsh winter.  Keep in mind water temperatures are sill cold, which means nymph fishing is going to be your best bet.  Fishing a streamer dead drifted under an indicator followed by a rubberleg or beadhead is a good call.  Fish are just barely starting to chase streamers but the bite will improve as the water temperature rises over the next couple weeks.   Look for warmer days with decent cloud cover & less wind (good luck with that) and you’ll likely see some risers in the foam eddies.  Unfortunately since many of the rainbows or cutthroat are up the creeks or on a redd, most of the risers have been whitefish.  Keep your fingers crossed for Spring Baetis or March Browns but plan on fishing midge patterns.  If you do decided to strip or swing a streamer be sure to get it deep and strip slowly.  If you’re not bouncing bottom here and there then you’re probably not fishing quite as deep as you should be.

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Floody and Muddy

9th Street - 3/10/14

In just a couple days the Yellowstone went from huge ice jams all the way across the river to a muddy mess of melted ice and snow.  CFS came up substantially but has more or less stable and currently around 1300 CFS.  The weather is acting like a yo-yo with another expected 6 inches tonight and a chance of more snow on Tuesday, followed by temperatures in the 50′s on Thursday and Friday.   Good chance all that new snow will melt again making the river muddy for the weekend.  Floaters beware, although the main ice jams have melted there are still several ice banks, many 4-6 feet high out there making put ins and take outs impossible.  We definitely are not recommending float fishing just yet…

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Fishing Report – Still Icy and Dicy

Springdale still pretty dicy and icy... photo 3/5/14

Don't bother pulling out at East End for a while... photo 3/5

We’ve had some calls in lately asking about floating the Yellowstone.  Unless you are ready for the ice adventure of your life, it would be a lot safer to wait a few weeks.  As you can see in the photo above, you might be able to get a boat through the slot in the ice, but it would be a real challenge to row much less fish effectively.  Do yourself a favor and stick to wade fishing.  This winter is a much different winter from last year.  The river is completely frozen across from above Mill Creek past Mallard’s rest.  The most open water is in town, but even town is too low and too dangerous to float right now.  CFS is currently 1260 at Carter’s but dropped to around 700CFS last week, which means there’s a good chance your boat is going to hit bedrock behind the baseball field’s and also behind the golf course.  We say stay safe, wait to float and wade fish for now.  For the most fish try nymphing rubber legs, midge larva patterns, buggers, small beadheads, and eggs.  The water clarity is finally starting to get less clear, so if you want to fish streamers you can start fishing patterns with more flash in them.  The streamer bite is definitely slower than the nymph bite out there, although as water temperatures rise in April we will see some of the best streamer fishing of the year. Could be an interesting run off – snow water equivalent on the Upper Yellowstone is currently 145% – meaning we could be looking at another mid-late July clearing if precipitation keeps up.  We should have a better guess in May once runoff starts as to how much snow pack is left and how quickly it will come out of the mountains. So far it looks like we’ll have a heathy water year to say the least, with plenty of water well into late August and September.  Give us a call anytime for a fishing update as ice conditions are changing daily.

Springdale take out 3/5/14

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Yellowstone Report

Just in case you think you’re missing something over here… You’re not.  Springdale Bridge,  2/13.

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2014 8-Weight Reel Shootout

Finally ready to read...

We’re please to announce that we’re finally finished with our 2014 8-Weight Reel Shootout!  We hope our shootout helps people narrow down their choices when it comes to selecting the right 8-weight reel for them.  As you will see in the shootout, some reels that cost $400 or less outscored reels that cost $700 or more.  We liked different reels for different reasons, but in the end, there was only one reel that was our undisputed winner.  We think that you’ll like the video we shot at Jurassic Lake, in Argentina, about three weeks ago with the top reels in action on 10-20 pound rainbows.


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