Yellowstone Region Fishing Forecast
Blair Van Antwerp / Sportsmens Compass Contributing Member
The fishing forecast for North Western Wyoming and Southern Montana is looking fantastic. Late season storms have brought much needed snow to our upper river basin’s and rain to our parched low elevation foothills. Most snotels, (snow telemetry), in the region are showing snow packs between 80-100% of normal and we are experiencing a relatively cool May. If the colder weather lasts into June we should see great water conditions throughout the summer.
Like most rivers in the Rocky Mountain west, the Cody Wyoming region’s runoff cycle can be variable. Typically June is the month we see runoff at its peak and by early July waters begin to clear and are ready to be fished. Now this doesn’t mean the water is down enough to be safely waded, it only means that water is clear. July and August are our peak floating months for our freestone rivers. August through October is the prime wading time for our freestone rivers and floating the local tailwaters. Smaller streams in the area and Yellowstone National Park are usually several weeks to a month ahead of the larger rivers in terms clearing up and being fishable.
The water levels forecasted are applicable to the North & South Fork of the Shoshone, Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone, Snake and Big Horn in Thermopolis and other regional rivers.
We have plentiful bug activity in this region and it might be a good time to start organizing your box. Stonefly nymphs and dry’s of various sizes and colors are a must. Caddis dry’s with an olive body are always nice to have and a prince nymph will work fine for nymphs. Organize an assortment of mayfly patterns including BWO’s, PMD’s, Trico’s, Green and Gray Drakes, and Mahogany Dun’s. A parachute Adams will cover most of your Mayfly species. Make sure you have plenty of exotic attractor patterns and hoppers. The fish in our area love BIG UGLY Dry’s!!!!!
If your thinking about heading our way to do some fishing I would be planning your vacation time somewhere between mid July and the end of September. Mid July if you’re looking to float or sometime in September if you enjoy wading. Keep in mind that we are in prime Grizzly Bear habitat and the bears OWN the land and water. Always be bear aware, carry bear spray, and be loud while fishing.
About the Author
Blair Van Antwerp grew up in Spokane Washington where he enjoyed fishing small creeks and high mountains lake with his Dad and Grandfather. His sense of adventure always outweighed his need for catching fish. He found a long backpacking trip into the mountains to investigate an obscure water way much more enjoyable than combat fishing the trophy waters. Even though many times there were no fish to be caught the solitude and scenery were more than enough. But on occasion, he was greatly rewarded!!!
Blair Van Antwerp has lived and guided in the Cody Wyoming region since 2003. He fell in love with area while he was working at a guest lodge during his summer breaks from College. He now calls Cody home with his Wife and two dogs and doesn’t plan on moving…ever. He refers to Cody as a “SPORTSMANS PARADISE.”