Originally Posted by lottie
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.