May 9th Fishing Report
Runoff season has arrived. With a healthy amount of snow up in the mountains, it may be a while before we are consistently back on our freestone rivers. That being said, we have still been out daily, searching far and wide for those small pockets of fishable water. Get ready though, salmonflies will be here before you know it.
Big! Stick to the spring creeks over in Livingston as those will stay clear year round. Pretty neat to see the Yellowstone get so big and powerful though. We will be back on the Yellowstone sometime early summer once flows drop.
Dirty water below Big Sky right now, but much better conditions above the Taylor Fork. Fish the stretch between there and the Park boundary until the Park opens up. Small, meadow-type water with fiesty trout. I would try the dry dropper rig, with a longer tippet section to your dropper nymph, maybe like 3 feet, under a smaller chubby. This way you have a delicate presentation for that smaller water, but still can get down a bit deeper in the buckets. Look for gravel shelves, cut banks, any place the fish will feel safe from predators, but still have oxygen and food floating by. Mind your shadow in the small clear water too, as shadows will spook the fish.
We fished up here yesterday, from Varney to Burnt Tree. We had about 8 inches of visability. A huge change from the weekend. Threw the dark big streamers, and found a quality brown trout that aggresively chased it down. A few more flashes throughout the day, they wanted to eat it, IF they could see it. Make sure to cover the water thouroughly with the lack of visability. When the clouds filtered in over the weekend, the dry fly bite was decent. Caddis, march browns, and a left over skwala were all spotted. It is supposed to cool down a bit this week, slowing the mud influx. A good idea would be to head up above the West fork (Just above Lyon's Bridge) to find "less dirty" water. It still won't be clear, but it should be fishable, hopefully at least a foot of visability. Go dark and flashy with the flies, anything that will help the fish see them. Between the lakes should be clear also. I love fishing up here this time of year, trying to force that big dryfly bight tight to the bank in the pocket water.
As of yesterday at about 4PM, the Lower was big, but green and looking pretty fishy. I saw two boats hooked up on fish. Find areas with a current break, such as shelves, boulders, eddies, tailouts, and slower seems. Not as many caddis out as last week, but still a few especially in the evenings. The crayfish bite is good in the deeper water, add some wieght to get it down in a hurry, and keep it there as long as possible.
Being a tailwater, the clairity is going to be much better up there, especially above the major tributaries, closer to the dams. In the Craig area, reports have been steady, and even a decent streamer bite. Sounds like there are some caddis starting out there now too.
Gonna be high and dirty for a while over there! Get ready for post runoff stonefly hatches here soon!
Opening up at the end of May, and we can't wait!