As of August 2, Yellowstone River downstream from Carters Bridge (the first bridge south from Livingston), to all the way to Billings, is listed for Hoot-Owl Closure by Montana FWP, meaning no fishing is allowed from 2pm to Midnight.
I do love this stretch......... I'd ask some longer-time outfitters when the last time Hoot-Owl was assigned on Yellowstone River. This just sounds negative notes on our fishing and outfitting business, doesn't it? However, reading carefully, River is not closed for fishing entirely. It's just the hottest part of the day, during which fishing is slow anyway and not perfectly comfortable for fishers anyway. So I don't take it negative at all. Indeed trout are still there and can be fished in the morning!! Oh, and I don't see many guide-boats on the Yellowstone recently........oops.... I have NOT seen any fish (trout and others) flopping their bellies up and dying.........
Anyways........ we just gotta be careful with handling fish when summer is hot and dry like this, regardless of rivers/sections we are fishing. Of course, for those visiting anglers who are not used to this type of weathers and altitudes, hats and sunscreens are mandate. Also know your body and keep yourself hydrated!
But Then I have many more destinations to fish and take my clients to!!
One of which is my all time favorite Northeast side of Yellowstone National Park!! I don't want to sound overly commercializing but these waters are fishing better than ever!! Miscellaneous insects hatches are good and miscellaneous terrestrial activities are strong, then trout rise accordingly!!
Lamar River: I educated another new & young fly-fisher!
Soda Butte Creek: one of my repeating clients had a great time!
Slough Creek is fishing well too. We didn't quite get hooked into but did observe some giant trout feeding/rising very selectively...........
Fishing these waters, which are usually very busy and oftentimes crowded through July and August, I do feel much less fishers this year. I can suspect majority of anglers take the online information honestly and oftentimes religiously = low water, dry summer, etc., etc.,............then not heading this way............... Every year is different as every month of the year is different. Keen anglers and guides like myself can read tendencies and come up with optimal methods, just as I've been posting here. So, don't be scared of less-than-average water flows. Trust me trout are still there. Finding & hooking them is up to you!!
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