Fishing Report

Stillwater River

Flows bumped up a bit and are holding in the 500cfs range, which although challenging in spots, is still floatable from Jeffrey’s Landing on down. Clarity is fine. On some of the cooler weather and overcast days, there have been some BWOs coming off, providing some good dry fly action. A #16 Parachute BWO pattern has been successful. Also try a Purple Haze or Parachute Adams. Hopper fishing has been inconsistent at best. Try various big attracter dry patterns, like a Jack Cabe, stimulator or PMX, along with a standard Stillwater nymph pattern of some sort. Good nymph choices are bead head and flashy patterns such as a Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Batman or Copper John. Try soft hackle patterns in the riffle water too. Hopper patterns like the Pink Pookie, Fat Frank and Yellowstoner Chubby are good choices for hopper patterns. Fish hoppers with a fairly long dropper nymph. Straight nymphing with rubber leg patterns with a smaller beadhead nymph trailer fly has been productive and will produce, particularly in the heavier water. Streamers have been the best bet recently, with dark color buggers and the Grinch being good choices. Trail a nymph off of the back and dead drift as well as strip. Beware that the Stillwater River Road remains closed for travel above Cliff Swallow near the Midnight Canyon bridge due to a rock slide.

Fly Patterns for the Stillwater

  • Dry Flies: Fat Frank size 10 (Peach, Purple, Tan, Olive), Jack Cabe size 8-12, PMX (Royal, Yellow, Tan, Olive, Orange) size 10, Stimulator (Yellow, Orange, Royal, Olive Size 8-12, Parachute Adams size 12-18, Purple Haze size 12-18, Elk Hair Caddis (Tan, Olive, or Peacock) size 14
  • Nymphs: Copper John (red, green, copper), size 12-16; Beadhead Prince Nymph, size 12-14; Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail, size 12-16; Beadhead Hare's Ear, size 12-16; BH Poxyback PMD #14; Batman size 12-14 BH Rubber Leg Prince Nymph size 10-12, BH Rubber Leg Hare’s Ear size 12, Caddis Emerger size 14-16, Girdle Bug Black, size 8, Pat's Rubber Leg, Brown, Coffee, or Black size 8
  • Streamers: Grinch size 6, Black and Olive Bugger size 6-8

Yellowstone River

Fishing has been good. The river was off color for a few days and recovered a day or two prior to the recent storm. Most mornings, streamer fishing has been the best way to start. There may still be some large Hexagenias coming off in the mornings. Hopper fishing is inconsistent, but by late morning and into the afternoon on a warm and sunny day, it may be worthwhile to try fishing big dry flies like Chubby Chernobyls, PMXs and Jack Cabe with dropper nymphs. Try a Yeti Hopper, Yellowstoner Chubby, Pink Pookie or Fat Frank in peach, purple, pink or olive. If fishing a dry/dropper set up try a fairly long dropper. Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear, Copper John, Pheasant Tail, or Batman are good dropper nymphs. Dark color bugger patterns dead drifted have been taking fish. Nymphing using a big rubber leg pattern like a Girdle Bug, Bitch Creek, Yuk Bug or Pat’s Rubber Leg, with a beadhead nymph trailed behind it has been consistently successful. Also try fishing a double dry fly rig with a smaller dry like a Purple Haze trailed 10-12" off of a larger dry fly or hopper pattern. Concentrate on fishing the more active water and currents. Fish water other than the banks. Look for BWOs to come off on the cooler and overcast weather days. With cooler weather as we move into fall, streamer fishing has picked up, particularly on poor weather days.

Fly Patterns for the Yellowstone

  • Dry Flies: Chubby Chernobyl size 10 (Peach, Tan), Yellowstoner Chubby size 10 (Peach, Pink), Yeti Hopper size 10 (Peach), Fat Frank size 10 (Peach, Purple, Tan, Olive), Jack Cabe size 8-12, PMX (Royal, Yellow, Tan, Olive, Orange) size 10, Stimulator (Yellow, Orange, Royal, Olive Size 8-12, Parachute Adams size 12-18, Purple Haze size 12-18, Elk Hair Caddis (Tan, Olive, or Peacock) size 14
  • Nymphs: Copper John (red, green, copper), size 12-16; Beadhead Prince Nymph, size 12-14; Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail, size 12-16; Beadhead Hare's Ear, size 12-16; BH Poxyback PMD #14; Batman size 12-14 BH Rubber Leg Prince Nymph size 10-12, BH Rubber Leg Hare’s Ear size 12, Caddis Emerger size 14-16, Girdle Bug Black, size 8, Pat's Rubber Leg, Brown, Coffee, or Black size 8
  • Streamers: Grinch size 6, Black and Olive Bugger size 6-8