Fishing Report Updated October 21, 2021
This Yellowstone River fishing report is valid from October 21 until about November 10.
Dry fly fishing is fading out fast on the Yellowstone, and the fishing overall is less consistent now than it was 2-3 weeks ago. That said, crowds are down and there are big fish to be had. Probably the most consistent tactic is to nymph or fish streamer-nymph combos under indicators in areas of deep water downstream of brown trout spawning areas. BWO nymphs or eggs behind a stonefly or jig-style Woolly Bugger will get lots of non-spawning trout as well as pre-spawn browns. For shots at the largest browns, fish large streamer runs with swung streamer techniques.
Hatch activity is now limited to BWO and midges. The latter will tend to pop earlier in the day, the BWO after lunch. The best hatches will be on warm, gray, calm afternoons. Fish a larger visible pattern (Hazy Cripple, Royal Wulff Cripple) with either a hatch-matching BWO, a BWO emerger, or a small BWO nymph behind the dry you can see.
Unless you are trying for a mongo brown, no reason to start before at least 11:00 now, and the consistent fishing will be over by 5:00 at the latest.
Yellowstone River Fishing Report – Relevant Links
- Lamar River, Gardner River, and Shields River streamflow data: Sudden flow spikes in these waters will bring mud into the Yellowstone, the Gardner first.
- Corwin Springs streamflow data: Keep an eye on this graph. Sudden spikes the day before or even the morning you plan to fish can catch you on this section.
- Livingston Streamflow Data: Flows under 6000cfs on this graph mean this stretch is safe to float.
- Springdale and Big Timber streamflow data (east of Livingston): watch for water temps over 70 degrees on these waters.
- Gardiner, Corwin Springs, Emigrant, Livingston, Big Timber, and Columbus weather forecasts. Watch the wind speeds and avoid floating Livingston-Columbus when east winds are forecast.
- Gardiner Webcam This raft company webcam gives a good sense of Yellowstone River level and clarity for the Upper River.