Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone’s waters are open now to fishing and the opening weekend was great! The Firehole River fished well and anglers enjoyed the cooler temperatures that slowed the runoff a bit. The rivers are out of their banks just a bit, so it is up in the grass along the banks. This has not affected the clarity as of now and the water is that tea color which is great for the fishing. Something that works out well for fishing the tea colored water is Arrick’s UV Soft Hackle, so if you’re needing some soft hackle, stop in, say hi, and pick up some before you head out.
In the mornings small flashy nymphs have been good. Flashback Pheasant Tails #16, Pearl Lightning Bugs #16, and Rainbow Warriors #16. As the day warms up, caddis will start hatching, so swinging those UV Soft Hackles mentioned above and pupas will get ’em! We have also been selling lots Green and Partridge Soft Hackles, which are known for fishing well on the Firehole. In the evenings the caddis are laying eggs and there are lots of rising fish taking advantage of that. The caddis are tan #16, also the White Miller are showing up in force so be sure to have these in your box.
The Madison is starting to wake up and she is high and off color right now. In the past several days we are seeing more caddis, White Millers, and a few Salmonflies. The dry fly fishing will be getting better and better over the next couple of weeks as the run off slows down and the water clarity becomes better.
The Gallatin is in real good shape right now for this time of year. We aren’t seeing any hatches yet, so for now the best thing to do is go with nymphs. Stoneflies #8, Black Rubber Legs #6, #8, San Juan Worms in red, Prince Nymphs #10, #12. If you’re set on landing a larger fish, try a streamer and you might get a big brown on a Montana Mouthwash streamer.
Flows out of Hebgen have dropped a bit to 1410 cfs. Tributaries like Cabin, Beaver, and West Fork are dirty and high so by the time the river gets to Kirby Ranch, the gauging station near West Fork, the flow is over 2500 cfs. For these reasons the nymphing has been good. The go to nymphs are black and coffee rubber legs #6, #8, red San Juan Worms, and peach Glo Bugs. The best droppers are olive Serendipities #16 and Copper Johns #16. Along the soft edges and slicks along the banks you can find some fish rising to take advantage of the Caddis that are hatching in these places.
The Gallatin is dirty below Taylor’s Fork and is best for rafting at this time. Give it some time to clear up before you head out to fish below Taylor’s Fork.
Hebgen is now 90% full. Good hatches of midges and chironomids are localized so you will have to move around to find the rising fish. Last week the north shore was fishing the best. Black leeches with a slow sink line, trailed by a #14 Pheasant Tail has worked well when there are no rising fish.
Salmonflies and Caddis!! Right now there is some real good dry fly fishing there. This year has been a good year for some larger brown trout on the adult Salmonfly. Look for the hatch around Riverside Campground. The Warm River to Ashton was a good stretch to fish last week.
P.S The mosquitos are out in force and hungry for blood! Do NOT forget your insect repellent. Watch out for the insect repellent with Deet as it will eat through fly lines. We sell some insect repellent without Deet that doesn’t eat your fly lines and that are safer for your skin in the shop. So stop in and pick some up if you don’t have any before you head out.