14 May, 2022 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Happy weekend everyone. This past week has been a rollercoaster of good and bad weather, caddis hatching, fish not eating them they are, water temps all over the place and the river hovering right on the edge of fishable clarity. In fact, after the Yellowstone River totally blew out last weekend, it has been more fishable than not over the past week as cooler weather has helped control the melt. 

We’ll get right down to it - are the Mother’s Day Caddis still there? Yes. You can still find them out and about. We haven’t heard any reports of just lights out incredible days over the past week, but the fish are eating on top when conditions cooperate. You will have better success swinging emergers or fishing nymphs than dedicating to the dry. Have a rod rigged with a caddis pupa and a soft hackle, and a rod rigged with a dry and an emerger behind that and you can cover all your bases. 

The forecast for tomorrow and Monday is looking pretty damn stellar. We are expecting the warmer weather to push some more water into the river and muddy things up a bit, so get out while it’s good! You can find the peak of the caddis hatch in the warmer afternoons into evening. Come check out our Mother’s Day Caddis patterns we’ve got at the shop before heading out! 

For those more interested in streamers, the bite is picking up. In the off color water, opt for slightly larger and darker patterns. Keep switching up your retrieve and depth until you find the fish. This time of year, pulling streamers off banks can be deadly. If you’ve got a trout spey, spring is a great time to break it out. 

Our other waters in the area are all in the same boat. Bit off color, hatches starting, fishing picking up. The Lower Madison is another great option for the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. It’s been getting a lot of pressure out of Bozeman, but if you’re willing to walk up Bear Trap Canyon a few miles you can usually find some quiet water. If you’re after some solid dry fly fishing, head for the Missouri. Midges, caddis, BWOs up there right now and fish are looking up. 

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through May, and the peak days of summer fishing are coming up fast. With that approaching our guide calendar is filling up fast. Remember, book your guides, your lodging and your rental cars early this year! We’re expecting a very busy summer and things are going to be at capacity in advance. Don’t wait until the day or week before to book your trip. 

We’re getting a lot of questions about when runoff is going to be this year. Our snowpack figures are drastically better than even a couple weeks ago, and are far more in the “normal” range than we expected this winter. If the spring continues to stay cool and rainy, we can expect runoff on our local freestone rivers from the end of this month to around July 4th. Only time will tell! Stop by the shop or give us a call for the latest info on that - things change day to day. 

Our shop on Park St is fully stocked for the coming fishing season! Come on down and check out flies, reels, rods, technical clothing, waders, boots - you name it we’ve got it. Tight lines this week!