Stillwater River Report 05/14/18

After spiking considerably over the weekend, flows dropped and clarity improved with cooler weather for a few days. That’s liable to change with a few days of warmer temperature in the forecast. We’re in a window where there may be a day or two of recovery for fishable conditions, but the river could just as easily totally blow out and high runoff ensue. If the lower river is off color, consider wade fishing the upper river above Absarokee which usually stays clearer longer. Caddis have still been showing up, and there has been some success on a size 14-16 green or olive pupa or emerger. 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. In off color water, use a color contrast of darker color patterns like black buggers or the Grinch either dead drifted or stripped. At some point the river is likely to run high and off color and will be best to just stay away from it in those conditions and look for smaller tributaries, tailwaters and lakes.

By Chris Fleck River Reports