19 November, 2021 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and Christmas is right behind that. The holidays can be a hectic time, and a day on the water to relax and slow things down can be just what the doctor ordered. So just how is fishing these days? 

It’s fishing like it’s late fall. You can still catch fish, you can still have good days, but it’s definitely slower than even a month ago. Flows have remained just barely above record lows for much of the year, and the Yellowstone River is looking pretty skinny right now. With the cooler nights we’ve been getting water temps are on their way down. You won’t find ice on the Yellowstone yet, but it’s right around the corner (we hope it gets cold soon anyway!). 

If you’re after dry fly fishing, head for the spring creeks. You might find some scattered BWOs and maybe some early midges out on calmer days. The wind has been a factor in dry fly pursuits lately, so factor that in. Nymphing has remained productive, and streamers are still turning nice fish. 

As we move into winter fishing it’s important to adjust your tactics. Fish are going to be moving to deeper, slower water and you should too. The colder water means the fish will be moving slower, and wanting to expend less energy. Work your way down the water column until you find them, and fish the slower water. Fish it slow and fish it well and keep moving. 

Other waters around our area are doing about the same. You’ll find fish moving to winter waters, dry fly fishing is slow, fish the deep stuff and enjoy being outside. One major advantage of fishing this time of year is the lack of crowds. Between the holidays and the final weeks of hunting season you’ll often have the river to yourself. Enjoy. 

We’re in that window of late fall after the fall hatches and before winter midges that is a bit of a lull. It’s not full winter yet, but we’re moving that way. Get out on the water for some fresh air, fish until you get cold, then head back into town for some lunch and a Dan Bailey’s Wall of Fame Red Ale. 

With Christmas coming up fast, we’ve got a store full of great gift ideas for the anglers in your life. Shop early and avoid the crowds and pressure of last minute gift getting and have the best selection as well. Stop by the shop or give us a call at 406-222-1673. Tight lines!