Nearby tailwaters are fishing great. The Big Horn still has good midge fishing on calm days; a few mayflies are beginning to show. Flows dropped yesterday from 3500 to 3000 cfs. Sow bugs, midge pupae/larvae and small pheasant tails are the best nymphs for the ‘Horn. The North Platte’s flushing flow was completed last week, with releases back down to 504 cfs. The flush was intended to help spawning fish throughout the Platte; a nice gesture by dam operators!
For another month or so, area freestone (no dam) streams will fish well until major spring runoff begins in about 6 weeks. The Yellowstone around Livingston is coming up a bit, but is still clear and fishable. The Shoshone above Cody is now closed for fish spawning, but is still a decent bet within and downstream of Cody. Throughout area freestones, use attractor nymphs, like a Brown Stonefly or Prince nymph, trailed by a smaller pheasant tail or hare’s ear nymph.
The entire shoreline at Lake DeSmet is now completely ice free! Shore fishing has been good as trout move in towards shore looking for food. Weekends have been popular, so try a weekday “after dinner” trip to avoid crowds. Tongue River Reservoir is completely open, with folks fishing from shore and from boats. Reports indicate slow fishing has popular warm-water species (bass and crappie) are hanging deep. This should improve dramatically in about two weeks.