Stillwater River Fishing Report

This Stillwater River fishing report is valid from July 6 through about July 20.

With the Boulder too low, the Stillwater is now our preferred “alternative” float river to the Yellowstone. Right now, flows are best from Nye to Absarokee. Downstream of the Rosebud Creek confluence in Absarokee, it’s still a bit high. In addition, FWP confirms a 50% drop in trout populations downstream of the Rosebud in the aftermath of the 2022 flood. The flood didn’t kill the fish. Landowners channelizing the river with heavy equipment and riprap did. We used to think the Stillwater would soon be back to its former glory. Now we’re not so sure. A channelized ditch lined with boulders can’t hold as many fish as a natural stream with natural banks…

Anyhow, fish a big Chubby Chernobyl with a modest-sized stonefly or attractor nymph. This is also a decent streamer river, especially while it’s high. Look for caddis, PMD, and Yellow Sally hatches.

We’ll update this report around July 20, when the hopper and Midnight Stone bite kicks in, and likely when the stretch above the Rosebud starts getting really skinny for floating.

Learn more about fishing the Stillwater River.

Learn more about our float trips, including those on the Stillwater.

Stillwater River Fishing Report Relevant Links

  • Absarokee Streamflows: Flows over 4000cfs get sketchy above Absarokee. Flows 4000-2000 are best floated above Absarokee. 2000-1200 are good everywhere. 1200-800 are best below Absarokee but doable above. 800-425 are doable downstream of Absarokee, with the precise cutoff between 500 and 425 depending on how much weight is in your raft and how willing you are to drag the boat through shallow areas. If you have an ultralight or 2-person whitewater raft rather than a full-size one, go crazy. If you’re willing to drag, you can fish this river as low as it ever gets.
  • Absarokee Weather