20 February, 2023 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Happy Monday everyone. This February has been behaving more like winter than others we’ve had recently. We got a decent boost to snowpack on Tuesday, and it looks like we’ll be getting much more in the next week or so. This is all super helpful for our river water next summer, and is a lot of fun for winter sports enthusiasts right now. 

First, a quick look at snowpack. While it isn’t stellar across the state, it could be worse. Our local region in SW Montana is slightly above or just below normal. Lot better than it looked last year at this time! We got a good boost to snowpack this weekend, and there is a lot more in the forecast early this week! 

This winter weather isn’t going to help fishing out much, as temps are going to drop down quite a bit again. Keeps our report pretty simple this week again. This will cover all our local waters.

Yellowstone River and All Local Waters

This week is a bit weird with the warmer temps early followed by highs below zero coming up fast. The next couple of days with highs near 40 and cloudy could be some pretty darn good midge days. If you’re trying to scratch the dry fly itch, now might be the time to do it. It’s actually calm this morning here in Livingston as I write this, which is super confusing for all of us here haha. 

Nymphing the deep and slow water with a dead drifted wooly bugger with a midge nymph behind it is a good idea. Think a smaller, black bugger with a zebra midge, beadhead prince, or perdigon. Find the deepest and slowest hole you can find and go deep.

If you do decide to go out this week, please drive very carefully. Roads aren’t great, and keep in mind that drifts and plowed snow might make parking a bit more challenging at times. Just drive slow, pay attention, and remember that four wheel drive doesn’t help you stop! 

Be mindful of shelf ice and slush, of which there will be a lot later this week. With the warmer days early this week, some of the existing ice might start breaking up and floating downstream. Keep your head on a swivel and be super careful! 

Our thoughts? Wait until next weekend and tie some flies. 

Livingston and the Shop 

We’ve got one day left of our President’s Day Backcountry Ski Sale here at the shop, with 25% off all our remaining ski hardgoods - skis, ski boots, bindings, safety gear, poles, goggles, etc. There is still lots of ski season left, and with this snow inbound this week it’s a great time to put the winter fishing gear down and go enjoy the mountains!

If skiing isn’t your thing, we’ve still got lots of things to keep you warm, safe, and comfortable in all your pursuits. February is fly tying season and we’ve got the tools and materials you’ll need to fill your boxes before spring and summer fishing really takes off. 

Stay warm, drive safe, and tight lines this week!