Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Stillwater River - Absarokee - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Afternoon #18-#22 Griffith Midge
Winter black stonefly Late Afternoon #16-#18 Black Stonefly Nymph
February Midge Afternoon #18-#22 Griffith Midge
March Winter black stonefly Afternoon #16-#18 Black Stonefly Nymph
Blue Winged Olivier Mornings #16-#18 Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue-Winged Olive Afternoon #16-#18 Cripple Dun
Small dark stoneflies Afternoon #16-#18 Golden Stone Nymph
May Caddis Afternoon #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis
Sallies Afternoon #14-#16 Yellow Sally
June Yellow Sally Afternoon #14-#16 Yellow Stimulator
Golden Stonefly Afternoon #8-#12 Golden Stone
July Green Drake Afternoon #10-#12 Green Drake Cripple
Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis
August Grasshoppers All day #8-#12 Dave's Hopper
September Tricos Morning #20-#24 Trico Spinner
Baetis Afternoon #18-#22 BWO Sparkle Dun
October Baetis Afternoon #18-#22 BWO Sparkle Dun
November Midges Afternoon #18-#22 Griffith Midge
December Midge Afternoon #18-#22 Griffith Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Stillwater River, situated in Absarokee, Montana, is renowned for its incredible fly fishing opportunities. Here are the top spots to consider:

  • Jeffrey’s Landing: This spot is popular for its diverse species, specifically rainbow trout.
  • Cliff Swallow: Known for its stirring rapids and brown trout, it’s a favourite spot for more experienced anglers.
  • Moraine Fishing Access: It offers easy bank access and a good spot for catching whitefish and trout.
  • Swinging Bridge Fishing Access: Provides both wading and floating options. Perfect for rainbow and cutthroat trout.
  • Midnight Canyon: Only for the most daring anglers due to its treacherous terrains, large number of stoneflies, mayflies and caddisflies make it worth the risk.

Each spot on the Stillwater River offers a unique experience and vast fish variety, establishing it as a not-to-be-missed location for fly fishing enthusiasts.

Best Access Points

The Stillwater River in Absarokee, Montana offers some excellent access points for fly fishing. Here are some of the best points:

  • Buffalo Jump Fishing Access: This spot is easily reachable, it’s located just off the Stillwater Highway offering easy access to the river.
  • Jeffrey’s Landing: Accessible from Limestone Road, it provides a nice stretch of river for fly fishing.
  • Cliff Swallow Fishing Access: A spot known for its great insect hatches, offering superb opportunities for fly fishing.
  • Moraine Fishing Access: This location near Nye provides good fishing in fast water and deep pools.
  • Johnson Bridge Fishing Access: Located in the upper Stillwater, this point is known for whitefish and larger trout.

Remember to have your fishing license, make sure you observe the catch-and-release guidelines, and respect private property rights.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: One of the most common species in the Stillwater River. They are usually attracted to traditional bait such as flies and worms.
  • Rainbow Trout: Rainbow Trout are quite popular among fly fishermen due to their beautiful colors and their fighting spirit.
  • Brook Trout: Brook Trout are smaller than some other species, but what they lack in size they make up for in spirit – putting up a great fight for any angler.
  • Mountain Whitefish: These fish are plentiful in the Stillwater River and they are usually easy to catch.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Known for the stunning coloration around their throats, Cutthroat Trout are a favorite among fly fishers in the Absarokee area.
  • Grayling Fish: These fish are quite unique and lesser-known, providing a fun challenge for experienced fishermen.
  • Sculpin: Most typically found in the slower, deeper parts of the river, Sculpin are another species often caught on the Stillwater River.
  • Suckers: Though not as glamorous as some of the other species, Suckers are abundant in the Stillwater River and provide excellent practice for beginner fly fishermen.

About The River

The Stillwater River, a gem in Absarokee, Montana, has an incredibly rich history. Originating at Lake Absaroka in the Beartooth Mountains, its clear waters tumble down hundreds of miles before merging with the Yellowstone River.

  • Historically, the Stillwater River was important to the Absarokee (Crow) people, who lived, fished, and hunted along its banks. Its abundant wildlife and fertile environment provided sustenance and materials for their livelihood.
  • It wasn’t until the late 1800s that settlers formed the community of Absarokee, named after the native tribe, and began to utilize the river for agricultural purposes.

Today, the Stillwater River remains a natural treasure, attracting nature enthusiasts and adventurers from all over. Whether you’re seeking thrilling whitewater rafting experiences, tranquil fishing spots, or simply a beautiful view, the Stillwater River doesn’t disappoint. Its vibrant past blends with the present, reflecting Montana’s timeless beauty and resilience.


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