Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Reports
Yellowstone River Report 7/26/2021
The entire Yellowstone River from the Yellowstone National Park boundary to Laurel is on Hoot Owl fishing restrictions. Hoot Owl restrictions means no fishing between 2pm and midnight everyday. More information can be found here: FWP River Closures and Restrictions.
Daily water temperatures are peaking around 71ºF degrees in the afternoons, but the nightly lows are the main concern. The low temps haven’t been below 65ºF degrees in over a week. This mean the trout are incredibly stressed out all the time, even in the mornings. Even though Hoot Owl closures allow fishing before 2pm daily, it may be time to impose self fishing restrictions until conditions improve.
If fishing on the Yellowstone is unavoidable then start early (before sunrise) and try to be off the water by noon. Use stronger tippet and heavier weight rods to land fish quickly, use barbless hooks, keep fish in the water, and void touching them. Hopper fishing has been improving. There are still some nocturnal stones around. Fish are mostly in the middle of the river and in the deeper sections. Anywhere with riffles or agitated water will hold more oxygen and fish.
Upper Yellowstone River Webcam - Located above the river in Gardiner, Montana.
The Yellowstone could be good option this week with some good weather and relatively low winds. Nymphing with a pats rubberlegs, worms, zebra midges, baetis nymphs, and perdigons should bend the rod. Streamer fishing might be your best bet for a big boy though. Try and focus less on the banks and more on slow stripping the deeper buckets with a dark streamer. Keep an eye out for adult midges and bring some clusters for the fish up on them. It doesn't hurt throwing a peacock or black chubby in search of the fish looking up for the few skwalas that roam the Yellowstone River.
Recommended Guided Trips
Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s Montana fly fishing packages offer convenience and value by bundling our guided services together with lodging options in Bozeman. Check out the example pricing - based on double occupancy in the rooms and with one of our Bozeman fly fishing guides. Email us or fill out our contact form to make a reservation and confirm availability.
Please note that availability is extremely limited during the summer, we strongly encourage you to make reservations sooner, rather than later. Our deposit policy is the "friendliest in the industry" in that we don't require payment ($1.00) at booking and all reservations can be cancelled - with no penalty up to 10 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.
These rates are guaranteed until June 1, 2022 and are likely to increase as availability decreases in both rooms and our guides fly fishing servicesLearn More
Full Day guided fly-fishing trips are our standard offering and offer the best opportunity to truly get out and experience the fly-fishing opportunities around Bozeman that attract anglers from around the world
- Typical Full Day Trips Are 6-8 Hours in Duration
- 1-2 Anglers Maximum Per Guide/Boat
- Full Day Trips Are Generally Float Trips
- Full Day Trips Available on Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson rivers
- Drive Time Is Typically 30-60 Minutes Each Way
- Fishing Licenses and Gratuities Are Not Included
Fishing Licenses and Shuttle Info
For Yellowstone River Shuttles Contact:
Yellowstone River Overview
The Yellowstone River is the quintessential large western river and provides a unique Montana fly fishing opportunity with over 100 miles of quality, wild trout water. In fact, the Yellowstone River is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48. There is every type of water to be found through its course, including the whitewater sections of Yankee Jim Canyon, the placid glides of Paradise Valley, and the long riffles of the lower sections near Big Timber.