Our Rivers

Yellowstone River Fishing in June

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing in June

Surging snowmelt from the Absaroka high country engorges the Yellowstone with a prolonged early summer deluge, rendering the river largely unfishable through June. This temporary interruption performs essential ecological functions benefitting the entire Yellowstone basin.

The exact duration and timing of the runoff is unpredictable. With over 23 years of experience guiding Yellowstone River fly fishing trips, we expect the river to be fishable near late June.

Our Montana fishing guides watch the river closely, waiting for clarity to improve and for flows to drop below 8000 Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) at Corwin Springs, Montana. The river fishes well for the experienced angler at this stage, but conditions are challenging for novice anglers until early July.

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Hatches in June

The famed salmonfly hatch usually comes off during the high-water conditions of late June. Anglers can also expect to encounter green drakes, golden stones, and yellow sallies.

If the water is green in color (as opposed to brown, which is bad) and salmonflies are hatching, wild rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout will readily take well-presented, large dry flies drifting along the bank.

Anglers fishing near Bozeman can hit the jackpot and enjoy some of the best fishing of the year if they’re around when the Yellowstone River drops and clears in late June or early July.

Skilled anglers will need to make accurate casts near banks and structure with 6-7’ leaders, heavy tippets, and large dry flies. Nymph and streamer fishing can be productive, but expect to lose a lot of flies to hidden subsurface obstacles.

Floating the Yellowstone River with an experienced oarsmen is the best (and safest) way to cover the fast-moving river this time of year.

The ideal, high-water flows are around 6000 cubic feet per second (CFS) for most anglers to expect success, and wading should be reserved for only the most skilled anglers until the river drops back into its historical banks.

Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Pro-Tip:

If the Yellowstone River is fishable in late June, it can be challenging but also very rewarding. Instead of trying to get long, perfect drifts, you will find more success with short accurate drifts in the right areas. Use large patterns like Pat's Rubberlegs and Wooly Buggers drifted along the bank.

We Won't Let High Water Stop the Fun

Leveraging hard-earned knowledge of regional river drainages, our expert guides show visiting anglers alternate fisheries when snowmelt blasts the Yellowstone River.

Alternate Montana Fly Fishing Trips in June

Madison River fly fishing trips are a reliable day trip option near Bozeman for anglers of all skill levels during the second half of June.

Anglers fishing Montana in early June should join our Missouri River guides near Craig, Montana. Missouri River fishing trips are available between late April and mid-June on the stretches between Holter Dam and Cascade, Montana. This regional tailwater remains fishable while most of the state is during the runoff season.

The Missouri River is a terrific option during this time of the year and works well as a Yellowstone River “backup” plan during the runoff season of late May and June.

Our Yellowstone River Fly Box for June

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Trips for June

Contact us to learn more about Yellowstone River fishing day trips.

June is a tough month for reliable fishing on the Yellowstone, but Fins and Feathers has a variety of other Montana fly fishing trips available in June. Flexible plans are key to angler success throughout Montana when planning a Montana fly fishing tour in June.

Montana fly fishing trips with Fins and Feathers can be booked online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019.