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Yellowstone River Fishing Report

Date: 07/12/2024
Posted by: Toby Swank

Yellowstone River fly fishing season is finally upon us for the season now that flows has begun to stabilize, slowly dropping more and more as it continues to clear.

Caddis, PMD Mayflies, Green Drakes, and Yellow Sallies are the primary hatches, bringing trout to the surface to take a variety of dry flies when fished tight to banks , over gravel bar ledges, and along the inside of bank seams. Hatch activity is heaviest for anglers fly fishing Paradise Valley, near Emigrant, Montana.

Our Bozeman fly fishing guides have been nymph fishing with tandem setups during the morning hours with the best success coming out of bankside buckets and below gravel bars. A Pat's Rubberlegs in Black or Brown with a Yellow Sally or Caddis Pupa dropper has been the standard setup about 5' below a strike indicator.

However, dry/dropper setups with a large attractor dry like a Chubby Chernobyl in Royal or Gold (size 12) trailed by a heavy, small nymph like a Perdigon Rainbow Warrior or Frenchie (both size 14 or 16) have been very effective the least few days.

Nymphing and streamer fly fishing should be the focus right now for anglers fishing the lower Yellowstone River, below Livingston. Again, focus your efforts on the little buckets next to banks and areas with soft water below islands and gravel bars. The dry dropper setup works well here too, but our fly fishing guides tend to go larger with the attractor so that they can suspend a size 10-12 Pats Rubberleg below in it in the coffee/black or black color schemes.

Whenever you are fly fishing the Yellowstone River, or fishing in Montana in general, it is always smart to check the weather before heading out to ensure safety while out near water this time of year.

You can check current water clarity through a handful of webcams in the area, here is a link to one that our Bozeman fly fishing guides watch. 

Yellowstone River Fishing Report Streamflow

Click to enlarge


USGS CFS Data is not available for this date.

							  Use a Pats' Rubberleg for Madison River fishing in high-water.

Black Pat's Rubberleg

							  Rubberlegs coffee black

Brown/Black Pat's Rubberlegs

							  Chubby chernobyl royal

Royal Chubby Chernobyl

							  All around mayfly pattern for fly fishing Montana.

Rainbow Warrior Jig

Experience Yellowstone River fishing with our team of Bozeman fly fishing guides. We have been outfitting Montana fly fishing trips on the river between Yankee Jim Canyon and Columbus MT for over two decades.

Experienced anglers fishing with our guides can expect to cover a diverse range of water types using a variety of fly fishing techniques on day trips tailored to their skills and interests.

The novice or first-time angler will quickly improve their skills with patient instruction while immersed in the spectacle of Big Sky Country.

  • $695 for 1 or 2 Anglers Per Guide
  • Float Trips With Wading Opportunities
  • Use of All Fishing Equipment Is Included
  • Single And Multi-Day Trip Bookings Available
  • Meet In Bozeman, Livingston, Emigrant, Or Big Timber
  • Book Online or Contact Us To Learn More

Yellowstone River Fishing

The Yellowstone River is a 600-mile-long river in Montana that originates in Yellowstone National Park. The river offers world-class trout fishing opportunities and flows through breathtaking mountain landscapes with cottonwood-lined banks. Anglers can enjoy diverse fishing experiences, ranging from the whitewater of Yankee Jim Canyon to the peaceful glides near Livingston and the broad riffles near Big Timber.

Read our "Yellowstone River Fishing Guide" for a detailed overview of fly fishing the Yellowstone River in Montana. This is a great resource for anglers fishing near Bozeman Montana and details the various river stretches and seasonal hatches with tips from our Bozeman fly fishing guides on Yellowstone River fly fishing.