29 May, 2022 - Memorial Day Weekend Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! As it usually does this weekend, it is absolutely pouring rain here on Park St in downtown Livingston. Even with the reprieve this morning, we are expecting a lot more. This wet and cooler spring has been awesome, even if it does make recreating a bit more challenging. (Need a good rain coat or wading jacket? We’ve got you covered!)

As of this writing the Yellowstone River is at 14,700cfs and rising. Up, up and away! Time will tell if this cooler and rainy weekend gives us a window of more clear and fishable water next week or if all the rain will just exacerbate the runoff. Could this be the start of honest to God runoff? Stay tuned, but we likely won’t be getting out on the Yellowstone for a while. 

The other waters in our area are about all in the same boat. The Upper and Lower Madison are about the only rivers that are fishable in our immediate area, and the Upper has quite a bit of mud in it at the moment. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but below the West Fork you won’t be getting much clear water. The Missouri River has been fishing well, if you feel up for the drive. 

So what is an angler to do here locally? The Spring Creeks are a great option during runoff, as they stay clear and consistent all year long. Rods are starting to book up quickly, but most of the creeks are still on spring rates for a bit of a discount. The lower country lakes and ponds are opening up and can have some great fishing. There are a few private options that require a rod fee, but the fishing can be great. 

The fishing season in Yellowstone National Park opened yesterday, and this weather has us all wishing we could be on the Firehole River right now. Most of the water in our local Northeast corner is running high and muddy - lot of the mud in the Yellowstone River now is coming from the Lamar. You could likely find some fishable water on the Gardner and Soda Butte, otherwise the Firehole, Gibbon and Madison are about your best bet right now. Fishing in Yellowstone is something everyone needs to experience and we could get a really good season this year! 

Runoff is just a natural part of the cycle of the Yellowstone River and we are glad to see that we actually might get one this year. Nothing to do but sit tight and wait for things to come back down. Once runoff is over in late June or early July we hit the ground running hard. Salmonflies aren’t too far away… 

This weekend take a moment to think about the meaning of Memorial Day and those who have sacrificed to keep us free and able to pursue our passions. Be thankful for the rain too, it’s snowing up high and we’ll be ever so grateful come August. In the meantime, stop by the shop and tell us a fishing story! 

Tight lines and have a great long weekend.