Stillwater River Report 5/5/2017
The spring fishing on the Stillwater has continued to be as good as it gets! The Stillwater trifecta is still in full swing, with Caddis, March Browns and BWOs all coming off at one time or another, often overlapping. Anglers are floating the lower river and wade fishing the upper. The predominant hatch has been Caddis in the afternoons.
March Browns have become sporadic and BWOs are weather dependent. Look for risers and sippers in foam lines, slicks tail outs and current seams. For every fish feeding on the surface, there are likely a host feeding subsurface.
Try a spotter dry fly like a Jack Cabe, Purple Haze or Parachute Adams with a Caddis or baetis emerger trailed off of it. Use a fairly long dropper for Caddis. Fish will consistently hit the nymph and swipe at the dry fly as well. For dry flies, use a Purple Haze (#14-16), Carnage Drake or Parachute March Brown (#14), or a dark body Elk Hair Caddis (#14).
Nymphing has been very productive and consistent with rubber leg patterns and the usual suspects of Stillwater beadhead nymphs such as a Prince, Copper John, Hares Ear and Pheasant Tail. The streamer bite has been on too with the Grinch or a beadhead black bugger.
With warmer temperatures, look for flows to bump up and clarity to fluctuate. This could be the last window of good fishing conditions before runoff is here to stay.