Stillwater River Report 04/23/18

Flows bumped up with the warmer weather. Look for a continued increase in flows and some more turbid water, particularly on the lower river. If the lower river is a little off color, consider wade fishing the upper river above Absarokee which usually stays clearer. IN addition to midges and BWOs coming off occasionally, look for March Browns to appear in greater numbers too. 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, 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. 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 of darker color patterns like black buggers or the Grinch either dead drifted or stripped. A few caddis have shown up as well. It remains to be seen whether or not the major hatch will occur before runoff commences to stay.

By Chris Fleck River Reports