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Very Fishable! – Yellowstone River Clarity Report

Courtesy of Sweetwater Fly Shop

  By Dan Gigone 

The Yellowstone River at Carter’s Bridge looks surprisingly good this morning, considering the crazy weather we’ve had lately. It’s green, but with at least a couple of feet of visibility. That makes it plenty clear to fish nymphs and streamers and maybe even have some dry fly action.

We don’t have time this morning to write a full-blown fishing report, but suffice it to say that the fishing has been good, though not necessarily comfortable, over the last few days. You might try dead-drifting a sculpin pattern or other streamer (Zonker?) with a smaller nymph as a dropper. With the blue-winged olives starting to move around, I like a size 16 or 18 black Copper John, Green Mo (black or pheasant tail), or the like. Zirdles and smaller Rubberlegs are also a good bet for your lead fly, if you don’t want to cast a streamer. As for stripping streamers, we haven’t had a ton of luck yet, but it should be getting better by the day. So grab your 7-weight with a sink tip line (or heck, your 6-weight with a floating line, that’ll work too) and start dredging for the big boys!

For dries, I would probably go with a size 18 or even 20 Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, or Smokejumper Baetis. We haven’t seen or heard of a lot of the blue-winged olive mayflies hatching on the river yet (they’re definitely on the Paradise Valley spring creeks), but they should be out there soon and today could be the day. On the other hand, Sweetwater Fly Shop guide Dusty Smith got his client into an 18″ brown trout a couple of days ago on a Chubby Chernobyl. Who’d have guessed that they’d still be looking up for the big dries? It just goes to show how unpredictable those darn trout can be!

See you on the water this weekend!

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