Stillwater River Report 07/02/18

Flows dropped substantially to around 3500cfs, but are still running swift. While the entire river is floatable, the river above Absarokee is probably the best bet as far as clarity and more manageable flows. It will likely continue to fluctuate in response to weather patterns. Water temperatures are still cold, so nymphing continues to be the best option, with black, brown and coffee colored rubber leg patterns like girdle bugs and Pat’s rubber legs, or a san juan worm as well as similar colored stonefly patterns along with a beadhead trailer fly like a prince nymph, hare’s ear, batman or pheasant tail. In off color water, use a color contrast of darker color patterns like black buggers or the Grinch either dead drifted or stripped. It’s also time to start thinking about fishing big dry flies like a Chubby or PMX with a beadhad nymph dropper in the softer inside water. As flows drop and the water warms, fish should start hitting the big dry fly. For information, the Stillwater River road remains closed at Midnight Canyon.

By Chris Fleck River Reports