Stillwater River Report 05/21/18

Cooler weather over the weekend stabilized and even dropped the flows a bit. However, warmer temperatures all this week will shoot things back up. As is the case this time of year, there may be windows of clarity here and there. If the lower river is off color, consider wade fishing the upper river above Absarokee which usually stays clearer longer. Nymphing is likely the best and most consistent 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. There is still a great deal of runoff ahead of us, and 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, tail waters and lakes.

By Chris Fleck River Reports