Fishing Report Updated September 10, 2023
This Stillwater River fishing report is valid from September 10 until the lower Stillwater gets too low to float in a full-size fishing raft, probably around October 1.
Flows are running 650–700cfs, which is above normal and high enough downstream from Absarokee for all but the largest rafts, provided a competent rower is at the sticks.
This is our favorite period on the Stillwater. Hopper-dropper combos, mayfly-type attractors to match the BWO and Tan Drake hatches, and dead-drifted or stripped Woolly Buggers and Zonkers can all fish well this time of year. Fish #10–14 Chubby Chernobyls, Bob Hoppers, or Fat Franks with #16 (or so) gold, PT, red, or pearl Spankers on the dropper. Note that larger “hoppers” here often imitate the abundant Nocturnal Stoneflies that inhabit this river rather than actual hoppers, so tan/brown or tan/black is a good color combo, especially if you go #10 or larger on your hopper. You can also trail your hopper with a #16 Hazy Cripple or even a Royal Wulff if you’re seeing small numbers of mayflies, or go with a #12 Brindle Chute or Para Wulff instead of the hopper on gray days.
With water temps now falling into the 50s, there’s generally no need to start early on the Stillwater for the remainder of the season. The best fishing will be 11:00 to 4:00 and fade sometime between 4:00 and 5:30.
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. 800-450 are doable downstream of Absarokee, with the precise cutoff between 500 and 450 depending on how much weight is in your raft and how willing you are to drag the boat through shallow areas.
- Absarokee Weather