Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report

Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report

Welcome to Parks’ Fly Shop’s Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report and Blog. Check out the general fishing report below for an overview of what’s going on in our area. Visit our Blog to check out our fly tying videos, podcasts, fishing tips, detailed posts on weather and water predictions for the upcoming season (generally posted in the winter and spring), trip reports from our guides, and fishing, conservation, and fly shop news.

If you’ve found this page through a Google search or otherwise aren’t familiar with our fly shop, please visit Parks’ Fly Shop’s Main Site to learn about the guided fishing trips we offer, to learn more about the shop, or to peruse our in-depth and free Montana and Yellowstone Fly Fishing Info Site for lots of free advice on fishing our region.

The fishing report is below the fish.

black canyon cutthroat


General Yellowstone Park and Montana Fishing Report – Updated April 9, 2021

This fishing report is valid for the middle two weeks of April, 2021.

Spring is slowly springing around here. The weather has been highly variable, jumping from warm and sunny to cold and rainy/snowy, and that’s hurt the fishing some. Some days the Yellowstone has been muddy due to snowmelt while the air has been too cold for us to want to be outside. Ideally, look for temperatures in the 50s with gray skies and no wind. Two out of three ain’t bad.

When it’s clear, fish streamers and nymph combos on the Yellowstone unless you see fish rising to midges, BWO, or the occasional March Brown mayfly. The best chance of rising fish will be in foam slicks and eddies in the afternoons.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks have been fully-booked for weeks and are mostly fully booked through the month. No recent reports because of this. We will say that when Depuy for example is fully-booked, it’s usually not all that great since it’s hard to move from spot to spot.

Private lakes are now fishing well. Think big: big San Juan Worms, streamers, and leeches. This is about the only time we fish articulated streamers on the lakes. The Scleech is a good choice. Woolly Buggers and bunny leeches are probably more consistent. Eggs can also work near inlet streams as the rainbows false-spawn (the rainbows in the lakes are stocked, since they can’t successfully spawn).

On the Missouri River, think pink: pink eggs, pink mayfly nymphs, even pink midges. The “Land of Giants” section below Hauser Dam and the more-famous section downstream of Holter Dam are both fishing well. These waters will be crowded. At “LoG” on Wednesday there were 20 bank anglers and ten boats, which is about twice as many bank anglers and 2-3 more boats than we’d prefer. Fishing will get much better for boat anglers especially if the water comes up a bit.

The Stillwater and Boulder are still too low to float. If you wade-fish, fish stonefly nymphs with a slender mayfly nymph or midge dropper. Once they’re floatable, also think about throwing streamers.

Our next general fishing report will come out around April 25.