September through October sustains plentiful action for visiting anglers as cooling nighttime temperatures spur increased trout activity headed into fall. Temperatures remain favorable, spurring ongoing insect activity. Tentative early migratory urges make trout aggressive, attacking swinging streamers and skittering terrestrials with aggression.
Blue-winged olives bring sporadic afternoon risers to the surface on cloudy days. The subsurface game dominates, as nymphing and stripping streamers yield the best late-season success.
Sporadic hatches of Grey Drakes and Western Red Quill mayflies can be encountered along the upper Paradise Valley stretches. Hecuba hatches are sparse but common on the lower river between Big Timber and Columbus during days with unsettled weather.
As fall settles into Southwest Montana, streamer fishing the Yellowstone River is an age-old favorite for many experienced anglers. Aggressive Brown Trout move into skinny water and start to move throughout the river system as their spawning season approaches.
Streamer fishing with mixed-density fly lines, that include both sinking and floating elements, is a great way to find the legendary Brown Trout of this classic Montana fly fishing river.
Articulated streamers in contrasting colorways such as Brown and Yellow or Olive and White are our guides’ go too September patterns.
Rising Trout can be found in the tailouts and along slow-moving seams during BWO hatches on overcast days. The Paradise Valley and Livingston stretch of the river offer the best dry fly fishing in September.
Nymphing with medium and small nymphs is productive along mid-depth seams next to structure and mixed currents. Tandem nymph rigs fished about 4’ under a strike indicator are standard Yellowstone River setups in September.
Fishing with streamer patterns between Carters Bridge FAS to Highway 89 Bridge, otherwise known as the "Town Stretch", can produce some large brown trout. Target soft spots along banks and shallow riffles with tandem streamer setups with an Olive Wooly Bugger and a McCune's Sculpin. Slowly pulling these flies along the riverbed catches trophy trout out of the Yellowstone every year.
Fickle fall conditions demand adapting tactics almost daily in response to changing weather. Our guides have the experience and expertise to ensure success on the Yellowstone River as the seasons quickly change in September.
Expert anglers look forward to stripping streamers with the hopes of hooking into the trophy Brown Trout of the river every year. The Fins and Feathers Guide Service staff has been guiding experienced anglers on specialized streamer fishing for over 23 years. Our guides understand the nuanced techniques required to correctly move a streamer through varied water types this time of the year.
Floating the Yellowstone River in September is a classic Montana fly fishing experience, well-suited to anglers of all skill levels. Let us create a customized Yellowstone River fishing trip with our team of Bozeman fly fishing guides.