Well, it finally happened. I think it’s safe to say that runoff is here on the Yellowstone River and our other local waters. With a high over 80 forecast for today and several days in the 80s coming up next week here in Livingston, the mid to high level snow is going to start coming out, and flows are going to bump.
We had a bit of a break in water clarity this week, but it’s debatable if even that was fishable. We can expect more of those dips in flow and clearing of clarity, but runoff is here to stay for a while. Will we get any window of opportunity to fish the Yellowstone before July? Doubtful.
The other freestones in our area such as the Gallatin, Jefferson, Boulder, and others are all in the same boat. It’s just the natural process this time of year, and a good thing to see! Earlier this winter we were questioning if we’d even get any runoff at all. It’s very tough to say when we can expect this to end, but going off historical precedence first week of July is a good rule of thumb.
So is there anywhere to fish at all?
Sure! Locally, the spring creeks are a good option if you can get a rod booked. These pay-to-play creeks are awesome this time of year. PMDs are coming up in a few weeks and fishing for those on the spring creeks is something every angler should experience in their lifetime. Lakes are our other option around here right now. There are some very good private lakes you can book a rod on, as well as others like Dailey Lake. Slow strip leeches, wooly buggers, or fish midges. While you could get lucky and find some fish eating dries, focusing on subsurface is probably your best bet.
There are still fish to be found this time of year, such as this incredibly colored brown our Manager Rob Lahren caught this past week:
If you’re willing to drive a bit, the tailwaters in our area such as the Upper and Lower Madison and Missouri Rivers are all fishing pretty well. Since runoff is happening all over the west and tourist season is well underway, you can expect more traffic on these rivers than normal. It’s all good - lots of river for everyone! The Madison does have some color to it, but is plenty fishable right now. This time of year is some of the best fishing of the season on both the Upper and Lower Madison.
In the meantime, we’ll be here! There is plenty to do around Livingston this time of year, and once the river clears it’s game on and going to be a great summer. If you’re thinking about booking a guide trip do it now, dates are booking fast! If you’re after a Father’s Day present, stop in and check out everything we’ve got. If dad has always wanted to learn to fish, this is a great year for it!
Stop in or give us a call at 406.222.1673 if you have any questions or want an up to the minute report. Tight lines!