21 May, 2021 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fishing Report

It’s a winter wonderland once again on this Friday morning here in Livingston. These spring storms bring much needed moisture to the mountains, even if people are ready for nicer weather! Snow now is water in the rivers in August. 

The Yellowstone River has been running too high and too dirty to fish this past week. This cold snap we’re getting might slow the melt down enough to drop it into shape for a few days. Keep an eye on the flow gauge here or give us a call to get the latest on that! It’ll be changing on a day to day basis, and if it does clear, the window won’t be long. 

You might find some caddis around still, as well as BWOs on cloudy, warmer days. In this higher, dirty water you might be better suited to either throw streamers that have a good-sized profile and push a lot of water, or stick to larger nymph rigs. The classic Rubberlegs is a great attractor nymph, allowing fish to see it from a ways off. Hang a smaller nymph like a caddis pupa or lightning bug behind it for some variety.

With runoff looming on our local freestones, you’ll see a lot of people headed to tailwaters like the Madison, Missouri, and Henry’s Fork. Definitely worth the drive for the clear water. Stop in the shop and we can help you with fly selection and information on these waters. 

Other local options include the spring creeks (if you can get a reservation) and stillwaters. Smaller streams are going to be pretty high at the moment, but they always clear up first before the bigger water. Lakes are still in a post-ice out phase and fishing really well. 

Late May can be some great fishing, if the conditions cooperate. Bring a rain jacket, be ready to adjust your plans, and give us a call at 406.222.1673 or stop in for the latest info. Conditions are changing fast, and staying on top of it is the key to success this time of year.