3 March, 2022 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

February came and went fast! Hopefully the weather we received during the month isn’t the last of winter, but March is certainly starting in a warm way. 55 and cloudy (as it is today) sure seems like spring is not that far away. This is midge weather! 

Even with the warmer weather, the Yellowstone River through the valley remains locked up in ice. You can find some odds and ends places where it’s clear, but please be really careful. Water temps are low and fish are lethargic. Not to mention the wind. Want to practice for an upcoming saltwater trip and casting off the breezy bow of a flats skiff? Come fish the Yellowstone this time of year. 

If you don’t feel like a drive, the spring creeks are still a good option. They’re on winter rates, and if the wind gets to you or the fish aren’t cooperating head for the warming huts and enjoy the view. If you want to find fish on top, this is where you’ll want to go. 

Otherwise, jump in the car and head west. The Upper and Lower Madison are both good options, the Gallatin is fishing decently in the canyon, and the Missouri is worth the drive. With things as warm as they are there are a lot of options around the state for late winter/early spring fishing. Spring is coming!

This time of year if you’re after dry fly action, midges are the name of the game. If the wind is calm, look for bugs on the water midday. Find the back eddies and slack water and just watch for heads. Swinging emergers is a good strategy, and be sure to have a bunch of midge nymphs. If you’re on technical water like the spring creeks go small… 

Water temps are still down quite a bit, meaning the fish are lethargic ad slow. Find the deep, slow water and concentrate on that. Fish this time of year are trying to conserve as much energy as possible, so they’re down deep in the slow stuff. We’re about to that time of year when they’ll get more active, but not yet. 

Late winter and early spring can be volatile conditions on the water, so be sure you’re warm and comfortable out there! We’ve got a great selection of baselayers, fishing apparel and outerwear. We’re also getting more waders and boots in these days. Stop by the shop for the gear you need and the customer service you appreciate, or give us a call at 406.222.1673 for the latest info. See you on the water!