18 December, 2022 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

One week til Christmas! Crazy. The month is flying by, as it always does. December and the holiday season is always pretty crazy busy and thoughts of fishing often fall to the wayside. Honestly, as they should this time of year. We’re in about the slowest period for fishing of the entire year. Here’s what’s going on on our local waters: 

Yellowstone River 

The Yellowstone River is pretty icy and slushy these days. Can you fish it? Yeah, probably. Would we recommend it? Eh… If you are feeling the itch and don’t want to drive, go fish the spring creeks.

Otherwise, it’s fly tying time. Go tell fishing stories over a good local beer. Fill some fly boxes for the coming season. Day dream of sipping rum while watching tailing bonefish on a tropical flat…

Madison River 

Things are icy. Both on the Upper and Lower. Be ready to deal with slush floating and shelf ice. On the Upper, we’d head between the lakes or up by Reynolds. The winter midges haven’t really started yet, so fish the deep and slow water. 

The Lower might be a bit more consistent, with hiking up Bear Trap being the best. If you want to get the boat out with a reasonably short drive, Warm to Black’s is about your best bet. Deep and slow water, dead drift a streamer or crayfish with an attractor nymph behind it. Midge nymphs are also working well. 

Gallatin River 

The Gallatin River is in winter mode for sure. Icy and cold in the valley, halfway decent up the canyon. The ease of access in the Gallatin Canyon makes for an easy outing when you want to go get cold for a few hours. Fish deep and slow, big nymphs with something smaller behind it, and work the water well. 

Spring Creeks 

For our local area, the spring creeks are your best bet. The consistent water temp and flow keep them reasonably ice free and the fish happy and active. Midges have been around on less windy days on top, and midge nymphs have been working well sub surface. The rod fee is well worth it while you’re sitting in a warming hut with a warm fire… 

Bring the 5-6x tippet and be ready to get humbled. These fish are well educated and ready for all your tricks. Just makes it more fun! 

Livingston and the Shop 

There is a lot going on this time of year around Livingston. Lots of local events, local music, local food… It’s a great time of year to shop local and support your friends and neighbors. We want to thank everyone who showed up to our Ladies’ and Men’s Nights. Thank you so much for coming out and having a good time while getting your shopping done. 

Christmas is a week away, so come down to the shop to find the perfect last minute gift for either yourself or those on your list. We’ve got a store full of great stuff! Be sure to take a minute, relax, and enjoy the season too. This time of year gets a little too busy at times. 

Tight lines this week!