Stillwater River Report – 04/22/19
Flows bumped up with the warmer weather and heavy localized rains, but should stabilize and regain clarity. If the lower river is a little off color, consider wade fishing the upper river above Absarokee which usually stays clearer. The overcast and/or rainy days are perfect conditions for BWOs to come off by late morning. A few March Browns were showing up before last weekend’s rain. Look for them to appear in greater numbers. The number one dry fly pattern for the March Brown hatch is the Trina’s Carnage Drake March Brown in size 14. Nymphing is always a good bet with standard Stillwater beadhead mayfly nymph patterns like a hare’s ear, pheasant tail, or red copper john. 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 is also a good option, particularly in off color. As flows continue to climb and get off color, a san juan worm, rubber leg, or black bugger on the edge is a good pattern. 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. In off color water, use a color contrast of darker color patterns like black buggers or the Grinch either dead drifted or stripped. It remains to be seen whether or not the major caddis hatch will occur before runoff commences to stay.