We’ve have been experiencing quite a mild winter the latter part of January. We have still been getting snow in the mountains, (the Upper Yellowstone Snowpack currently at 104%) but we haven’t had to deal with the usual slush ice, shelf ice, and occasional freeze overs like past years. We have had to deal with a good amount of WIND however. As one might expect, the warmer temperatures have also been accompanied by strong winds making it unadvisable to float. The best part of the day has been 2:00-4:00 when the water temps have been warmer. On the rare calmer days we have been seeing fish rise to midges in the afternoon.
The Spring Creeks have been fishing well. Midge larva have been producing the most fish, even on windy days. Anglers have still been using 6X and even 6.5X tippet to get the best drift even though there has not been as much pressure on the creek as there is in the summer. Hot bead scuds, dark thin beatis nymphs, midge emergers, midge dries, and small leeches have also been working.
People have also been fishing the Bighorn lately with reasonable success. While anglers are not catching as many numbers as the past, they have been catching some larger fish. Nymphing sow bugs, scuds, hot bead scuds, and midges has been the most effective method but some nice fish have been caught on streamers as well. Since the fish are bigger and stronger, most anglers have been bumping up to 4X or even 3X for larger lead nymphs.
Give us a call for a wind report or if you’d like to book a trip. Our winter special ($395 for one or two people) covers the Spring creeks or the Yellowstone (weather dependent and likely wade only) but we are happy to fish other rivers as well at our standard rates, ($525 for one or two people).