15 June, 2023 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Halfway through June already! Crazy how fast this year is going. Forgive our absence with our fishing reports, there really hasn’t been much changed since our last report. The weather has shifted into more of the “classic” June - cool and wet. Runoff is still going strong across the state. Fishing is taking a bit of a back burner for the moment. 

Here’s the latest:  

Yellowstone River 

While the Yellowstone River has seen some fluctuations in flows over the past couple weeks, one thing has remained constant: muddy water. Things are still too high and too muddy. It’s a waiting game at this point. 

Madison River 

Salmonfly season is creeping up fast on us here on the Madison River. The Upper Madison is one of the most iconic and well known spots for this hatch, and everyone is chomping at the bit right now for them to show up. We’re still at least 3 weeks from that though. In the meantime, there is over a foot of visibility in most of the Upper, and fishing has been good. 

Now is not the time for dry flies, think big and heavy. If you’re into throwing streamers you’re loving life right now. Drop it on the bank and twitch it out. Olive and black, black and purple, darker colors are working great right now. Big nymph rigs with a dead drifted rubberlegs or streamer are doing well now too. Leave the light tippet at home and go big. 

The Lower Madison is still fishing pretty well, as it has been all spring. The advice above still plays here, but keep an eye out for caddis and PMDs. A PMD hatchback behind a crayfish pattern fished well in the buckets should do well. The river is getting busier, especially on weekends with recreational floaters, but the cooler weather in the forecast should keep that to a minimum. If you want solitude, take a hike up Bear Trap Canyon. 

Gallatin River 

Same as last time. Muddy and high, with clear water above the Taylor’s Fork. The Gallatin still needs a bit of time before it’s really fishing well, even though visibility is slowly starting to improve. There’s better options right now, but keep an eye on it. Once we get about a foot of visibility the fishing will be good. 


With our rivers in high runoff, a lot of anglers are taking to lakes. This is a ton of fun, and something that often gets overlooked during the peak of the summer. The cooler weather and water temps right now tend to discourage recreational boaters, so you can have more peaceful fishing now. 

We’ve heard good things about Dailey Lake, Hyalite Reservoir, Ennis Lake, Hebgen… Just about any lake or pond should be good right now. Look for midges in the afternoon and Callibaetis in the mornings. Not seeing fish rising? Slowly strip a leech or copper john a foot under the surface. 

We’re getting closer to high mountain lake season, but that still needs a bit of time. If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind getting disappointed should you not hit it just right, ice out can be really, really fun up there..

Yellowstone National Park 

Our corner of Yellowstone National Park is still running high and muddy. However, the west side is fishing very well. The Gibbon, Firehole, and Madison are seeing decent hatches of PMDs and Baetis, as well as some caddis. Stoneflies are starting to move around quite a bit, so is it worth fishing a smaller rubberlegs when you don’t see rising fish? We think so. 

Please remember that lead is not allowed, nor is felt, and all hooks have to be debarbed. Yellowstone Park also requires a separate fishing permit. 

Livingston Area and the Shop 

Town is getting busier and we are loving interacting with all the visitors from around the world! Our store is fully stocked for your Montana adventures, no matter what they might be. We’ve got the gear and flies you need, and the knowledge to make sure your time in our backyard is well spent. 

Tight lines this week!