Stillwater River Report 04/16/18

Flows dropped and stabilized with the colder weather last week, but with warmer temperatures this week, look for a bump in flows and some more turbid water. If the lower river is a little off color, consider wade fishing the upper river above Absarokee which usually stays clearer. The water temperature is still cold, but as the day warms up and sun gets on the water fishing should pick up. Look for midges to be coming off as well as BWOs. Prior to the cold snap, March Browns were starting to appear sparsely, so they should be coming off in bigger numbers as well. The number one dry fly pattern for the March Brown hatch is the Trina’s Carnage Drake March Brown in size 14.  In off-color water, use a color contrast off darker color patterns like black buggers or the Grinch either dead drifted or stripped. Nymphing is always a good bet with black, brown and coffee colored rubber leg patterns like girdle bugs and Pat’s rubber legs, as well as similar colored stonefly patterns along with a beadhead trailer fly like a prince nymph, hare’s ear, batman or pheasant tail. As flows climb and get off-color, a san juan worm on the edge is a good pattern too. For dry fly action to rising fish, try a smaller size Purple Haze or Parachute Adams. A larger size Purple Haze or Parachute Adams with a Zebra Midge or pheasant tail on a short dropper is a good tactic too. We may have a very narrow window before runoff commences to stay.

By Chris Fleck River Reports