Fall Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Yellowstone River
Fall is a special time of year for Montana fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone River. Lower flows, clear water, happy trout, and lower angling pressure make for some of the best fly fishing of the year. Our Yellowstone River fly fishing guides particularly like this time of the year for the diversity of fly fishing options. You can fish dry flies, nymphs, and streamers and can expect to be successful anyway you choose.
The Yellowstone River fishes well all the way from the mouth of Yellowstone lake, through Paradise Valley, and below Livingston, Montana. Hatches remain consistent with hoppers, ants, BWOs, larger drakes, and lingering stoneflies all available for our wild trout. Lower flows make wade fishing the Yellowstone River an effective tactic in the fall.
By late September the brown trout start becoming more aggressive and some of the larger fish are known to get a little less wary of streamers through October. Weather stays stable through the first half of October with cooler daytime temperatures than in the summer, but perfectly comfortable for all day angling. The cottonwoods trees put on their finest fall colors by the first week of October and it is hard to imagine a more scenic place than the Yellowstone River through Paradise Valley this time of year. There is just a certain peace about fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone River in the fall that keeps anglers coming back year after year.
Yellowstone River Fly Fishing with the Montana Angling Company
Our Yellowstone River guided fly fishing trips are the best way for anglers based in Bozeman, MT and the greater Yellowstone region to experience great fishing, comfortable lodging, and excellent dining on their Montana fly fishing adventure. We offer custom outfitting, expert guiding, and an authentic Montana experience on every Yellowstone River fly fishing trip.
The Yellowstone River is one of Montana’s great fly fishing rivers. The Yellowstone River begins in the high mountains of Yellowstone National Park, runs through Paradise Valley in Montana, and continues through eastern Montana onto its eventual confluence with the Missouri River. All of our Montana fly fishing guides know the Yellowstone River well and consider a day fly fishing the Yellowstone River to be the classic Montana freestone fishing experience.
The Yellowstone River is a dynamic wild trout fishery and offers great fly fishing throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall months. Consistent hatches keep the Yellowstone River’s population of cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout on the feed throughout the fly fishing season and make for excellent dry fly fishing opportunities. For anglers looking for the fish of their lifetime, the Yellowstone River offers great streamer fishing, giving anglers the best shot at larger brown trout.
Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Guides and Trips
Our Yellowstone River fly fishing guides are all experienced professionals that work to make our anglers’ trips, truly memorable. All of our guides enjoy teaching seasoned and novice anglers alike. Over the course of a fly fishing season our guides will utilize all fly fishing techniques on the Yellowstone River, but are primarily dry fly fishing focused. The Yellowstone River is the perfect freestone river with strong hatches of stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies, and terrestrials making for a true blue ribbon fly fishing trip.
Guided Yellowstone River fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone River include both float and wade fly fishing options. Our guides utilize high end drift boats and rafts outfitted for float fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone River. Anglers will enjoy floating an 8-12+ mile stretch of the Yellowstone River on our Full Day Float Trips. Our Yellowstone River fly fishing guides are all experienced oarsmen committed to making every Yellowstone River fly fishing trip productive, safe, and fun.
Yellowstone River Guided Fly Fishing Trips:
Whether you are just passing through on your way to Yellowstone National Park or are in the Bozeman area for a multi-day fly fishing adventure, fly fishing the Yellowstone River is an experience not to be missed. For more information about Yellowstone River guided fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company or to book your next guided fly fishing trip, please contact us today.
Yellowstone River Summer Fly Fishing Overview
Ask any of our Montana fly fishing guides for two words to describe summer fly fishing on the Yellowstone River and you will be met with the same response: “Big Dryflies”. Runoff generally ends sometime between June 20th and July 15th, usually around the fourth of July, and we feel there is no better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than a day of fly fishing on the Yellowstone River followed by fireworks and fun at the Livingston, Montana rodeo.
When the Yellowstone River clears, our Montana fly fishing guides will be there. Stoneflies are the name of the game through the end of June and July. Sometimes this means nymphing, but dry flies are the preferred tactic. Our annual salmonfly and golden stonefly hatches are the main attraction. The bugs range in size from #2 to #10 and keep even the biggest fish in the river looking up. It’s hard to think of a better Montana fly fishing experience than pounding the banks of the Yellowstone River with giant stonefly imitations for native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout.
There are also more than just big stoneflies around. Hatches of PMDs, Little Yellow Sallies, a variety of Caddisflies, tricos, midges, and a wide variety of lesser known mayflies keep the trout interested in between larger meals. August marks the start of terrestrial season. Ants, beetles, and hoppers take the place of our stoneflies on our trout’s menus. Yellowstone River Summer fly fishing is a classic Montana fly fishing trip every angler should experience.
Fly Fishing the Yellowstone River during the Spring
The Yellowstone River is a local Spring fly fishing favorite in Montana. On warmer years the ice dams of Winter will clear by mid-March and anglers can find great fishing on nicer days through mid-April. It’s not uncommon to be met with hatches of midges, BWOs, March Browns, and even Skwala stoneflies on calmer days from Mid-March through Mid-April. And you can bet our Yellowstone River fly fishing guides will be there.
The river runs cold, clear, and low this time of year and the trout are hungry after a long winter. By mid-April flows will start increasing as early snowmelt starts reaching the river. Often the river will become slightly off color and enter the pre-runoff phase. With this water and inevitable rain, food pours into the river for the trout and the bite really turns on. Late spring on the Yellowstone River, before runoff, can be some of the best streamer fishing of the year anywhere in Montana and a great time to target the bigger brown trout that lurk around every bend.
By the time May rolls around we’re all asking the same question every year: when will runoff start? The Yellowstone River flows annually surge starting in May from flows in the hundreds up to 35000+ CFS. This runoff period makes the river unfishable but varies slightly every year. We generally say it’s from May 15 until July 4 but commonly starts earlier and lasts longer. It also commonly starts later and ends sooner. A lot depends on the snowpack.
On years it is normal, or starts later, anglers who stick around Bozeman, MT and Livingston, MT are treated to a great Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. Usually around May 15, this hatch is the first dry fly spectacle of the year on the Yellowstone River. Blankets of bugs and hundreds of rising fish: good old-fashioned fun. It can be epic, but it happens quickly and ends as soon as flows start to surge. But if you can hit it right it is a sight to see and makes for a great Yellowstone River fly fishing trip.