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Old 09-24-2010, 01:26 PM
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Default Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Hi,

Would anyone be able to tell me a bit about fishing the Yellowstone and/or Boulder rivers (or better maybe, the creeks) between Livingston and Big Timber in late October? I'm a novice to fly fishing. A friend just pointed out to me that circumstances might be far from ideal in Montana that time of year if you're not a seasoned fisher(wo)man. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

October on the Yellowstone always meant, to me, big streamers sinking lines and a ton of fun. DePuy's in Livingston fishes well with small ants and beetles Tom Miner can be a pain to get into in some spots but its aother fun little creek, same thing though small dries BWO's, ants, small nymphs and flies along those lines. The "Stone" however is some of the best fall flyfishing fun with what are called grocery bag streamers. The first time I tried it I thought noway!!! Theres no way a trout will eat this thing but then one does and he's a dinosaur of a brown!!! You don't really need to be "seasoned" take a day a practice casting the sinking line on the lawn, on a side note I found the sinking lines easier to cast while I was starting out. It made it easier to feel the rod load. If your gonna be in a drift boat dont be shy and ask the oarsman to get you closer to the bank make short somewhat accurate casts ( your not pitching hoppers so you dont need to be totally on target) once the fly hits give it a five count and make a dozen strips then bam fire another cast. For me the bast part is to turn big fish its heart attack stuff when you see a monster brown come out of nowhere and "ghost" your fly. I will admit though throwing big junk you won't have high number days but the ones you do land will be a sight to behold! Do you plan on fishing with a guide?
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Fall is the time for streamer fishing and there is always the potential for a big brown on any given cast. You also have a good chance to have the river to yourself as most have traded in the fly rod for the bow, shotgun or rifle. There is also excellent dry fly fishing with everything from large may flies, to baetis to caddis on any given day, particularly when it is cool and overcast. Be prepared for casting in the wind.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Thank you both for your responses. After reading them I feel a bit more optimistic about going fishing in Livingston area that time of year. I guess what I was told was that:

1. it will be very cold
2. the Yellowstone is too wide a river, no wading just floating
3. the Boulder river is not very accessible as it is mainly all privately own

Any comments on the above are most welcome.

Since I am really just starting out (I literally had my first lesson two days ago, and hope my schedule will allow for at least one or two more before I leave) I wasn't planning so much on getting on a float trip. I would be more interested in fishing creeks that I can wade. And practice. With my pathetic casting abilities still, I would bore a guide out of his skull...

Thanks again for responding.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Guides get more bored with the types that "know it all", personally I never fished the Boulder just the Stone ad the creeks around there. DePuy's and Armstrong's which is the same creek just runnig on different properties. Both are pay to play but its worth it for the sprig creek solitude. Also the folks over at Depuy's are great! Its a real family vibe and they can help you out in terms of picking which section, theres also the pond on their property and I might be mistaken but I think they will rent float tubes to fish it. The rates will be down this time of year and sections might actually be closed due to spawning browns. It can be very challenging with the gin clear water and limited wading but you can cast from the bak although the scrub brush ca be an issue. You might want to look into fishing the Park's waters I'm not sure about the regulations this time of year though. Dress warm without a doubt and remeber to have fun!
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Quote:
Originally Posted by lottie View Post
Thank you both for your responses. After reading them I feel a bit more optimistic about going fishing in Livingston area that time of year. I guess what I was told was that:

1. it will be very cold
2. the Yellowstone is too wide a river, no wading just floating
3. the Boulder river is not very accessible as it is mainly all privately own

Any comments on the above are most welcome.

Since I am really just starting out (I literally had my first lesson two days ago, and hope my schedule will allow for at least one or two more before I leave) I wasn't planning so much on getting on a float trip. I would be more interested in fishing creeks that I can wade. And practice. With my pathetic casting abilities still, I would bore a guide out of his skull...

Thanks again for responding.
1. It MIGHT be very cold. It will most likely be tolerable 45 - 60F highs. Lows will be below freezing for the most part. It could be highs in the 60s the whole time you are here. October is hard to predict but it's one of the best times of the year to be here if the weather holds. You can expect some serious overcast at some point, for fishing that time of year that's a GOOD thing.

2. Nonsense. Late October the Yellowstone will be very near it's lowest level for the year. There is a lot of public access up and down the river. The higher up you go the more frequent the access sites (Paradise Valley and above) and the smaller the river though it's always a big river for southwest Montana.

If you are a strong wader and hiker you can hike for miles in the river bottom in some areas, just stay below the high water mark which isn't all that difficult to do. If you are not a strong wader you will have to pick your areas more carefully and be somewhat cautious but most people who are healthy into their 60' and 70's could find areas to seriously fish.

If the weather is overcast you could see epic baetis hatches with pods of rising fish in all the right places. Even if it's sunny you will most likely see a hatch. If that's happening you won't have to hike around all that much to find good fishing. In some ways and places the Yellowstone is an easier river to wade than the Boulder which for the most part lives up to it's name.

You will be here right around the time where the big browns are most active before they spawn. Those of us who like to fish for big fish LOVE this time of year. If you have an extra rod (6wt or much larger would be desired) buy a couple of big streamers and run them through the water you're fishing at some point. If you are not going to cover a lot of ground I wouldn't waste too much time on this but big browns are serious fun and you should at least try for one every now and then while you fish.

You will actually be here at a very good time for fishing. The nymphing will be good no matter what (barring heavy storm produced mud). The dry fly could be epic, and if it's overcast and miserable the streamer fishing could produce some of the biggest fish of the year.
Then again it could totally suck................

3. The upper Boulder, up into the mountains, has access. The lower Boulder has a few designated access sites that will get you on the river. You can get around on it but it can be difficult once again depending on how much effort you are willing to make or are able to put forward.

You should search for access sites through the Montana FWP site and also do internet searches such as "Boulder river Montana fishing access, fishing report, map, info", stuff like that. Do the same for the Yellowstone (if you haven't already) you'll find some very detailed info if you put some time into it. If you map this stuff out before you get here you will know where you want to go to check out the fishing and you will waste a lot less time just driving up and down the river wondering where you can get on.
Google Earth is your friend.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Wow. Blackbugger, thanks so much. I couldn't have wished for a better answer. Now I can't wait to go!
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Montana fly fishing can be outstanding in October. The brown trout are just about to spawn and become more aggressive. Some of them also run out of large rivers like the Yellowstone into smaller rivers like the Boulder. Fall fishing doesn't always produce more numbers then other times of the year, but the rivers are not crowded and sometimes you can catch some really large trout. The Yellowstone is a great fall fishery and is best fished from a boat due to its size. The Boulder is smaller and will have lower flows so wade fishing is ideal. There are a few bridges and state access sites on the lower reaches or you can drive into the National Forest near the headwaters.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone/Boulder rivers in October

Streamer fishing is an all year addiction for me, I wade the Jellystone all seasons, just watch out for ice in the winter. Depuy's is the way to go if you want to have a great time and don't mind spending a little cash (private spring). If the trout are spawning make sure you avoid the egg beds.
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