Happy Friday! We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week. The holidays are always a good time to hang out and enjoy friends and family. And if you need a break, heading out on the river is always a good idea!
Not a whole lot has changed on the Yellowstone in the past week. Our temps are still well above average, and this time of year warmer temps = wind. Wind is a constant on the Yellowstone River. Learn to deal with it and you’ll be set for our local area and for any kind of saltwater fishing you might be looking forward to. Proper gear can make the difference between a miserable day and staying warm and actually being able to cast.
The river is still flowing at near record lows, but these above average temps have kept water temps above normal. While fish are still moving into their winter patterns the warmer water is keeping them a bit more active than normal for this time of year. You’ll still be focusing on slower, deeper water, but maybe not quite as deep as you otherwise might this time of year.
Nymphing has been the name of the game here lately. Perdigon style nymphs, lightning bugs, spankers and BWO nymphs are the name of the game. You can fish a larger pattern like a Rubber Legs or Mega Prince in front, or even a dead drifted steamer, with a smaller pattern behind to double your odds. Often the larger fly will attract attention and then they’ll eat the smaller dropper fly.
If you’re after dry flies, head for the spring creeks. You might find a few scattered risers around on the main river in wind protected places, but your odds are a lot better on the spring creeks. Look for some late BWOs and a few midges. We’re still a ways out from the peak of the winter midge fishing, so that’s something to look forward to.
With this unseasonably warm weather, our other area rivers haven’t yet shifted into late fall/winter mode. The Madison and Missouri are still fishing well. Like everywhere the unseasonable temps are extending our fall fishing season. Typically this time of year finds us in a lull but we aren’t quite there yet. The Gallatin Canyon is a popular winter fishery, and is a beautiful spot this time of year. The Boulder and Stillwater are still good options. You’ve got a lot of choices this time of year.
Christmas is coming up fast, and we are fully stocked for gifts from the small to the biggest. Rods, reels, lines, waders, gear, accessories… We’ve got what the angler on your list is after! If you can’t make it to the shop, we’re adding more stuff to our online store almost daily. If you’re headed out on the water this week, tight lines!