30 July, 2021 - Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report

It’s been another hot week in Livingston and southwest Montana. The Yellowstone has continued to approach record lows, with afternoon temps hitting above 70 every day. The Yellowstone, as well as a slew of other rivers in the area, is under a Hoot Owl Restriction. No fishing from 2pm to midnight. Get the full list of new restrictions on the Montana FWP website here. 

With high water temps, and the river being closed in the afternoon, the best plan is to get out early! Get a good cup of coffee and head for the river at the break of dawn. Fishing in the morning is not only more comfortable for you, but it’s much better for the fish. Not sure about best practices while fishing in hot weather? We wrote a blog post about it recently, read it here. 

Nocturnal stones are making an appearance on the Yellowstone early in the morning, Chubbies and other stonefly patterns are a great bet during those first few hours. Hang a small, flashy nymph off the back to cover two feeding zones at once. There are still some caddis around, but most of our major hatches are fading fast. 

Hoppers and terrestrials are rising to prominence as they molt into full grown, flying adults. Any stretch of the river by a grassy field is going to be a prime target for hopper patterns. Have a handful of different sizes, profiles and colors. We’ve still got a good selection, but they won’t last long! 

Fishing in Yellowstone National Park has been hit or miss. Afternoon storms have been pushing some mud and color in the rivers, but that is generally a pretty quick occurrence. The big news in the park is the entire national park is under Hoot Owl restrictions. No fishing in Yellowstone from 2pm to midnight. It has been busy, so be prepared for crowds! 

With warm water temps and fishing closures and restrictions around, a great option is the high country. Our area of Montana has tons of lakes and streams that stay cold all summer long and can offer some excellent fishing. Pursuing high country trout definitely has more of the “adventure” feel to it as well. Load the backpack and escape the crowds for a weekend. (Just be aware of fire restrictions in the backcountry!) 

As we bid farewell to July this weekend and ease into August, we can expect low water and warm temps to persist. This doesn’t mean that fishing season is over, there is plenty of great fishing to be had still! Give us a call at 406.222.1673 or stop in for the latest information, flies, and gear. Tight lines!