Yellowstone River Report 8/21/2017

It’s hopper time!

On any given day, hopper fishing has been good to outstanding. It’s the best it’s been in a few years at least.

No need to get on the water early as the bite doesn’t turn on until early afternoon when it warms up and there’s a light breeze or wind. So grab an extra cup of coffee or have an early lunch. A hopper/dropper set up works well first thing, and usually throughout the day.

Hopper/large dry patterns like Chubby Chernobyls, Jack Cabe, PMXs, Yeti Hoppers, Fat Franks, Water Walkers and Yellowstoner Chubbys in size 10 to 12 in a variety of colors are all taking at one time or another.

For a dropper nymph, the Beadhead Prince, Hare’s Ear and Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail on a long leash have all been consistent winners.

Rubber leg Princes and the Batman work well in the morning too. In the afternoon if there’s no action on the hopper or it’s windy to cast a dropper, just go with the single hopper pattern. Try giving them a twitch every now and then, particularly when drifting calmer water.

By now, fish have seen scads of flies as well as the real thing drift their way, and the water has dropped and warmed as well, so don’t hesitate to look to fish water other than the banks too. If getting out early, try throwing streamers like the Grinch or a black or olive bugger.

Trail a nymph a foot or so off the back too.

There have been some sporadic Tricos as well as Mahoganys and Ghost flies. For pods of raising fish, a small size dry like a Purple Haze or Parachute Adams may get the job done.

With shorter, cooler days upon us and with less sun on the water, expect fishing conditions to remain good as we move into September and early fall.

By Chris Fleck River Reports