2 July, 2021 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Happy Friday, and a Happy Fourth of July weekend to everyone! It’s going to be a hot one here in Livingston, and around our beautiful state. Fire danger is high, water levels are low, and the fishing is still pretty good. 

Before we start talking fishing, let’s talk water temps. Across the region, water temps are rising fast. With the low water conditions we’re experiencing due to not much snow pack combined with the heat wave gripping much of the nation, things are heating up fast. Montana FWP released their first round of restrictions and closures this week. Among the closures are the complete closure to fishing of the Shields Rivers. You can find the full list of Hoot Owl Restrictions and closures on the FWP website here

The Yellowstone River is flowing at 4,150cfs as of this morning in town, and is getting pretty warm in the afternoons and evenings. It hit almost 70 degrees yesterday! If you’re fishing on these hot, dry days try to be on the water early, and off before things get too warm. Use heavier tippet than you normally would to fight the fish more quickly, keep the fish in the water, and handle them as minimally as possible. 

We’re still hearing good reports of Yellow Sallies, PMDs, and caddis on the Yellowstone. The Salmonflies have moved pretty high, but you can still find them between Yankee Jim and Gardiner. Golden Stones have been out as well, and this hatch can provide some great topwater action. 

Our other regional rivers such as the Upper Madison and the Gallatin have been fishing well. Rick and Minori had one of the thickest Salmonfly hatches of their lives on the upper Gallatin earlier this week. The standard menu of PMDs, caddis, and Yellow Sallies are showing up on all our area rivers. While you can still legally fish the Lower Madison in the morning, we’re recommending you stick to other waters. 

The Boulder and the Stillwater are still pretty good options as well, as both are flowing well and not overly warm (yet). Don’t overlook mountain creeks and streams! They’re a great options this time of year, as are mountain lakes. Get some hiking in as well as fishing! 

Terrestrial season is right around the corner! We’ve already seen hoppers out and about, and we’re anticipating a pretty stellar year for them. You could try fishing one of these big bugs now, and it’s only going to get better. Ants, beetles, hoppers… Now is the time! Come in and stock up on flies before they’re all gone.

We’ve got the gear and knowledge you need for your time on the water! Stop in the shop from 8-6 Monday thru Saturday and 8-3 Sunday. There is still a lot of summer ahead, stay up on the latest info and news by calling 406.222.1673.