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7 year old Loue Noreika with a nice brown from Mallard's. Photo: Dad

The Yellowstone went through a slight spike the last few days but the CFS is now back down to 1,560.  Water clarity is perfect and the big ones are chasing streamers on cloudy days.  While white or yellow seem to be getting the most attention, black or olive seem to be getting the most eats.  Sunny days have been pleasant to float but the overcast/rainy days are definitely where it’s at.  If you have the luxury of cherry picking your days, pick a day with clouds.  If it is blowing over 35 you might thing twice about putting a boat in, but putting up with a 10 – 20 mph is kind of par for the course this time of year.  If you get lucky and the wind behaves, you should see a mix of beatis, midges, and perhaps even a few fall drakes.  We have some killer drake cripple patterns (#12-16) for a lead dry, a standard parachute adams or purple haze (#16-20) have been consistent dry droppers.  With the river being as low as it is a 1/2 day or full day wade is now a good option.  There are several places that an experienced wade angler can even cross the Yellowstone.  Look for healthy rainbows in mid-river depressions and browns along the edges of faster water or tailouts.  There are already some well developed redds in the river, so be careful where you tromp.