October 14th, 2021
The Madison in the Park is coming into fine shape with our recent weather! Good reports from anglers have been coming in on almost a daily basis. You can pick your poison here as far as fishing techniques go. Nymphs, streamers and soft hackles, oh my! Soft Hackle Streamers in Yellow/Brown, Super Squirrels in Yellow/Brown and Natural and Goblins in Black/Copper have been hooking some nice fish on the streamer front. The old reliable, Shakey Beeley has been our top soft hackle lately with Blew on Blues and Partridge and Ice Orange also pulling their fair share as well. For nymphs try a size 14 Guide Serendipity trailed by a size 16 Radiation Baetis or size 18 Red or Olive Two Bit Hooker.
The Madison below Quake has been a Baetis factory the past few days! We've been fooling fish with #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns, Baetis Black Wing Cripples and Upright Baetis as well. For subsurface action tie on a #16 Montana Bullet in brown or cream, Micro Madison Hare's Ear #20's or a #18 Crystal Dip. If you like throwing streamers now is your time to get after it. Grab a spool of Maxima and tie on a Sparkle minnow in the JJ Special colorway or a Black Prospector and go have some fun!
The Firehole has been producing rather consistent dry fly action. Blue Wing Olive's have been bring fish up almost daily and there's also some midge fishing to be had. #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns, and #20 ICU Baetis have been fooling fish up top. If you're addicted to the tug on a swung fly try throwing a #19 Peacock and Starling or a #18 Baetis Soft Hackle. I also like swinging a #20 Pheasant tail Flashback if they're being a bit finicky. If you're nymphing in the canyon try a #16 Guide Serendipity and Black Rubber Legs combo.
If you're headed to or from Bozeman The Gallatin below the canyon can be a great option this time of year. Fishing Baetis nymphs like #20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, Radiation Baetis and #16 Montana Bullets behind a #8 Black Rubberlegs or #14 Red Copper John can produce great results. Fishing a streamer like a #4 Sculpin Sparkle Minnow, Kreelex in Gold/Copper or Foxee Clouser Minnow can turn some fish as well this time of year.
October 7th, 2021
The Madison Below Quake Lake has fished just ok this past week. With the weather coming in we should see fish get more active on the surface and just in general as the incoming clouds should bring some good Baetis emergences. For dries have Patrick's PFD Baetis #20, Baetis Sparkle Dun's #20-22 and for low light conditions a Baetis Black Wing Cripple #18-20 is a great choice. For nymphs have in your arsenal #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges, #14-10 Prince's and #8-10 Pat's rubber legs.
The Madison between the lakes has been one of the more consistent places to fish. On the lower end we have still been seeing just a few Tricos and Midges in the morning hours and while the fish have been up on the surface feeding, they haven't been super easy. We should see some Baetis this coming week in the afternoon hours so be prepared with the same dries we've mentioned above. On the upper stretches of this section nymphs have been the way to go. #18 Juju Baetis, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Foam Nymphs and Rubber legs #8-10.
The Firehole should fish well this week and along with the White Miller's keep an eye open for, yep you guessed it, Baetis. Some flies that you'll want to have in your box include #20-22 Baetis Soft Hackles, Soft Hackle hot spot's in #16 Mint and #16 Bronze, #16 Peacock and Partridge and #16 Micro Beeley's. For dry flies have #20 PFD Baetis Parachute, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's.
If your heading to the Madison in the park know that nymphing will be your most productive method. To start have a larger Nymph like #4-6 Hungarian Princes, #8-12 Bead head princes or #8-10 black rubber legs. For droppers off these larger flies have #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #18 Juju Baetis. If your swinging flies Shakey Beeley's, Light & Dark Spruce's, Mark's Goblin's in black and Yellowstone soft hackles are good bets. If you can pick and choose your day to fish this section of the Madison look towards this coming Monday or Tuesday as it looks like we have a bit of snow in the forecast.
September 30th, 2021
On the Madison below Quake Lake things haven't changed much since last week. Fishing has been best from the late morning hours until about 4:00pm and even with our beautiful sunny fall days we are seeing some Baetis emerge each day. While you won't see a heavy hatch without cloud cover don't be afraid to do a little searching with dries. A #16 Parachute Adams with a # 20 Baetis Sparkle dun or #18-20 Baetis Razor Mayfly are great flies to fish the Madison with this time of year. By taking your time and methodically fishing every bit of water you'll be surprised what you'll find! Nymphing has also been good on the Madison and a few flies you won't want to be without include #16-18 Guide dips, #16-18 $3 dips, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges and #16-18 Spanish Bullet's. Our guides have also picked up a few fish on streamers lately and Mini Montana Intuders, Sparkle minnows and Mark's Goblin's have all been productive choices.
The Madison in the Park has been good for some and not so good for others. If your swinging flies you'll want to be on the water early it is the early hours that have brought about the best bite. Shakey Beeley's, Blew on Blue's, Lucky Bucky's, Light Spruce and Full Dressed Red's have been getting tugs this past week. Nymphing has still been the best way to go with #8-10 black rubber legs, #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #6 Copper Zonkers. If your wanting to strip streamers, Sparkle Minnow, Montana Intuders and Sculpzilla's are great patterns to use.
Over on the Northeast part of the park, Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are still seeing some Drake Mac's and Baetis. Don't be in a rush to get there to early as the best fishing time will be from noon to 4:00pm. For dries have Drake Mac Sparkle Duns #12-14, Baetis Sparkle duns or Baetis Razor Mayflies #20-22. Also have a #14-16 beetle pattern with you as these fish can be sucker's for them this time of year.
The Firehole has fished pretty well but has also been a bit tricky for some. Your best bet here is to swing soft hackles like #16 Micro Beeley's, #16 Starling and Peacock, #16 White Miller soft hackles and #16 P.T soft hackles. White Millers have been out and the best dry fly bite has been late in the afternoon into the evening hours. #16-14 White Miller Razor Caddis, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's will cover you for the main hatches we are seeing now but also don't be afraid to throw a small hopper pattern or a beetle at these fish.
September 23rd, 2021
The Madison below Quake Lake has fished pretty well this past week but with some of our morning lows in the teens it's been somewhat of a slow start until around 11:00am to noon. It's after this time that we've been seeing a few fish up on Baetis and even a few Caddis. Nymphing has been good with #16-18 Guide dips, #16-18 $3 dips, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges and #16-18 Spanish Bullet's. Streamers have been also moving some fish down in this section and Mini Montana Intruder's, Super Bugger's in black and Tan and Scupzilla's have been great go to choices. As we mentioned earlier, there has been some Baetis and Caddis out so make sure you have #16-18 X Caddis and #20-22 Baetis Sparkle duns. The Terrestrial bite has tapered way down and while the fish haven't been looking up to hoppers all that much it's alway worth a try late in the afternoon.
The Lamar river was muddy for a few days after the rain and snow that we received last Sunday but is now back in shape and fishing fine as are Soda Butte and Slough Creek. As with most rivers this time of year son't expect a lot of action in the morning hours. Your best window will be after 12:00pm. We've been still seeing Drake Mackerals and Baetis on all three of these bodies of water in the Northeast corner. Have # 12-14 Drake Mac Sparkle Dun's, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's and #14-16 Gulp Beetles with you for dries. For droppers have #18-20 Zebra Midges, #16-18 Radiation Baetis and #16-18 Perdigones in black.
The Madison in the park has picked up a bit and we're seeing a few more fish move up into the system. As we mentioned earlier the recent weather has sure helped and the runners have much more receptive to swinging flies. While the numbers are getting greater you'll want to move around to get the best results. We have had some great fishing on the scuzzy days as you might expect but also on the sunny days as well. Totally opposite of many of the rivers in this area you'll want to be on the water early as this has been when the runners have been the most active. Make sure to dress warm as the morning hours have been pretty cool lately. If you swinging have Shakey's, Blew on Blue's, Lucky Bucky's, Light Spruce and Soft Hackle Streamers. For Nymphs #8-10 black rubber legs, #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #6 Copper Zonkers. If we get some clouds in the next few days don't forget to have a few Baetis Patterns with you #18-20 Baetis Sprout Emergers and #20-22 Baetis Sparkle duns will do the trick.
The Firehole has been good and the water temps have stayed cool throughout most of the day. We have been seeing good hatches of both Baetis and White Miller Caddis up on the Firehole and the soft hackle fishing has been consistently good over the past week. Have #16-14 White Miller Razor Caddis, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's and a few #20-22 Zelon Midges just in case. For soft hackles have #16 Micro Beeley's, #17 Starling and Peacock, #16 Hot Spot soft hackles in Mint, orange and Bronze.
September 16th, 2021
Like last week the Madison below Quake Lake has been a little on and off both in the float and wade sections of the river. The best fishing has been between 10:00am and 4:00pm the early morning bite hasn't been great due to cool water temps. Once the water warms up there's been a noticeable difference. The best dry fly patterns have been ants over the past week and a Arrick's Para-Ant #16 and Shimazaki CDC Ant #16 have been our best patterns. The fish are still looking up to hoppers a bit and it just seems to depend on the day. #14 Dave's Hopper, #14 tan Morrish Hoppers and #12 Parachute hoppers have brought some success. With a change in weather coming make sure not to forget to have some Baetis with you as well. Nymphing has probably been the most reliable method on the Madison and #16 Guide Dips, #18-20 Juju Baetis, # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16 Spanish Bullet's and #8-10 Rubber Legs have been our go to flies over the past week.
The Firehole is currently flowing at 198 cfs which is down from it's average of 260 cfs for this time of year. Water temps continue to drop each day as we have had some cool nights but if your below Midway geyser basin your window of opportunity will most likely diminish around 1:00pm. White Miller Caddis are out and you'll want #14-16 White Miller Razor Caddis along with a few Baetis Sparkle duns #20 just in case. Swinging flies has been the best bet overall on the Firehole and #16 Micro Beeleys, #16 Orange and Partridge, #17 Peacock & Starling and White Miller Soft Hackles have served folks well.
The Gallatin has been pretty good this past week and if your heading this way, particularly in the park sections, don't be in a rush to get there too early. The water is quite cool in the mornings and it needs a bit of time to warm before the fish start to feed well, especially on the surface. If your there by 10:30-11:00am that's about right. The dry fly bite has been best in the afternoon and evening hours. They are still taking both hoppers and ant but also have a few smaller #18 Parachute Adams and #20 Baetis Sparkle duns along with you. For nymphs have #18-20 black Zebra Midges, #18-20 Juju Baetis, # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16-18 Little Green Machine's and #16 gold or silver Lightning bugs.
The Madison in the park has been picking up and has been pretty darn good for some folks. With each passing day we are seeing more and more fish move into the system and we are hoping for a little weather to get these fish fired up. While many anglers have been getting fish on the swing and by stripping the most productive method has been Nymphing. If your swinging Blew on Blue's, Yellowstone Soft Hackles, Lucky Bucky's Shakey Beeley's and September songs have been great choices. For streamers Prospectors in black, Mini Intrduers #8, Mark's Goblin and Olive Sculpzilla's have been the way to go. For Nymphs # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16 Spanish Bullet's, #8-10 Rubber Legs and #16-18 Guide Dips are what you'll want to carry with you.
As we expected Hebgen has started to slow down quite a bit. There are still some Callibaetis in certain areas with fish on them but the window is getting narrower and narrower by the day. Launching a larger boat is also pretty tough right now with the low lake conditions. Looks like we have a few warm days left so if your wanting to get out on Hebgen do it now!
September 9th, 2021
The Firehole has been fishing well over the past week. The cool overnight temps have kept the river in good shape and there have been quite a few White Miller's out with fish on them. Water temps have stayed good below Midway geyser basin until about 1:00pm then after this it's been time to either move upstream or to a different stream. Next weeks weather cools down quite a bit and by this time next week temps shouldn't be an issue as we will have some low temps in the 20's. Have White Miller Razor Caddis #16-14, White Miller Iris Caddis #18, Hot Spot Soft Hackles in Mint and Orange #16 and Micro Beeleys #16.
The Madison in the park is producing a few fall run fish. More Hebgen Lake fish are running up the Madison but the run is still just in its beginning stages. Anglers are catching a spawner here and there, but no one has gotten into a willing pod of them yet. If you'd like to get some early fishing in with them, go ahead, but don't expect to catch big numbers of runners just yet.
The Madison below Quake has been a bit on and off over the past week. One day they'll be up on the surface taking ant or hopper patterns like crazy and the next day the fish want nothing to do with them. The nymphing has been the most consistent method of fishing and we are starting to see the smaller nymphs be the most productive. Radiation Baetis #18, Spanish Bullet's #18, $3 dip #18-20 and black Perdigon's in #18.
The Northeast Corner has been fishing and there have been Drake Mackerels on Slough, Lamar and Soda butte. Along with the Drake Mac's make sure that you are prepared with a few #22 Cream Baetis patterns. The fish especially on Slough creek have been keying in on these bugs as of late. Terrestrial's still play a major role on the menu so have a selection of ants, beetles and hoppers.
I hope I'm wrong about this but it looks like we're getting into the last days of gulper fishing on Hebgen Lake. The emergences of Callibaetis have been pushed back until at least 11am on the colder mornings, but it's still possible to find a few fish up everyday. Most of the Callibaetis that are hatching now are size 18. Be sure to have some flies that aren't too big and ants have still been a great bet.
September 2nd, 2021
Hopper, beetles and ants are still the name of the game where dry flies are concerned on the Madison River below Quake Lake. We've had some good fishing on the river both in the wade and float sections. The larger fish are getting a bit picky so your best friend is a good drag free drift. Pink Donkey Kongs #12 and Dave's hoppers #14 have worked well along with Arrick's # 16 Para-Ant. Attractor patterns have also been a great choice and Royal Wulff cripples #14-16, Purple Haze #14-16, Amy's Ant #14 haved served us well this past week. For nymphs you'll want to have #8-10 rubberlegs, Olive Micro Mays #16 and Black Perdigons # 16 and #16-18 $3 dips.
Water levels are still low over in the Northeast corner but Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte have all seen some good emergences of Drake Mackerels. Have with you #12-14 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Duns along with #12 Drake Spinners. Usually this time of year there's a good chance of running into Baetis so be prepared with #18-20 Baetis sparkle duns. don't forget to have terrestrials when your heading this way. Morrish hoppers in pink #14, gulp beetles #12-16 and Toast Ant's #14 have been some great patterns as of late.
The Gallatin is a good Option as well and if your fishing the upper park stretches you won't have to get out of bed too early. Enjoy an extra cup of coffee and a late breakfast until the water temps come up a bit. Night time temps have been cool so your best window for fishing we be from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Hopper, beetles and ants are a must have but also have Royal Wulff Cripples #14-16, Perdigons #14-18, Little Green Machine #16-20, Zebra Midges #16-20 and Spanish Bullet's #18.
Hebgen Lake has fished very well and while the fishing has been great on the lake our time here is getting limited as the days become shorter and nights get cooler. Callibaetis have still been coming off pretty well and the fish have been on them along with ants. Have #16 Callibaetis Sparkle duns, Arrick's #16 Para-ant, #14-16 Adams Para Wulff's, #16 Zebra Midges, #16 PMD Split Case and #16 red Copper Johns.
The Firehole is coming into shape with each passing day and is a good option to fish in the morning hours. The afternoon temps are a bit too warm still so consider another afternoon option or try to keep above Midway geyser basin where the temps will be much cooler. White Miller's will be the main hatch on the Firehole so have some #14-16 White Miller Razor Caddis along with #16 Micro Beeley's and White Miller soft hackles #16.
There's been a few anglers fishing the Madison in the Park and while the "runners" aren't yet abundant, there have been a handful of these guys migrating up into the park stretches. Your best bet is early before the sun gets to high and the water temps come up. We've had some luck with hopper patterns and swinging Blew on Blue's and September Song's. Don't expect to hook into a bunch of fish just yet as it's still just a tad early.
August 26th, 2021
The Madison down in the valley has been treating people very well since our rain last week. We're maybe starting to sound like a broken record, but hoppers, ants and beetles are the way to go down there. Gulp Beetles in size 14 and Black Para-ants in size 14 or 16 have probably been the most consistent producers but Pink Donkey Kong Hoppers in size 12 and Tan Morrish Hoppers in size 10 have done quite well the past few days. If you feel like drowning a few bugs Olive Micro Mays in size 16 and Black Perdigon nymphs in size 16 as well have been regular producers down there.
The Gallatin both in and out of the park has been fishing well. This is another place that we would take a good selection of terrestrials. General attractors can also bring up there share of fish here as well, especially in the faster sections outside of the park boundary. Size 14 and 16 Purple Cripples, Royal Wulff Cripples and Gulp Beetles should take care of your surface bugs. For nymphs we would take a selection of size 18 Brown $3 Dips, size 16 Olive Soft Hackle Perdigons and Red Jig Napoleans in size 16 as well. Even with low water don't overlook those shallow gravel bars and inside bends, especially during times of low light!
The Gibbon and the Firehole have come back into shape as far as water temps are concerned and are once again a viable option for those interested. The lower part of the Firehole has been getting warm in the afternoon but once you're above Biscuit Basin water temps should remain fishable for the whole day. There's been reports of White Millers and a few Blue Wings on the nastier days. For those heading up there be sure to take a few White Miller Soft Hackles and White Miller Razor Caddis. On the Gibbon it will be more of a terrestrial game. Size 14 Tan Morrish Hoppers and size 12 Pink Donkey Kongs should do the trick. We also like plopping a big size 12 Gulp Beetle around up there.
Hebgen has really been fishing well on the days that the wind has allowed it. There's been a good number of Callibaetis out and about getting the fish looking up. We've had some good success using size 16 Adams Para Wulffs and Hi-Vis Callibaetis Spinners for our dries. You could also try a size 16 CDC Flying Ant in black or cinnamon. For fishing under an indicator Red Copper Johns in size 14 or 16 and size 16 Split Case PMDs have been really consistent producers. If you're up for a bunch of casting, stripping buggers and leeches have brought some nice fish to hand lately. Bring an intermediate line or a sink 3 and work the edges and drop offs early morning then hang on when you hook one!
We've had quite a few calls about "runners" on the Madison in the park. It's a little early for there to be a good population of those fish around, but there are a few. So yes, we are saying there is a chance (albeit a small one). Temper expectations and be happy if you manage to tangle into one. But be sure to enjoy a little solitude before the run really gets going and the majority of anglers show up!
August 19th, 2021
The Madison has been fishing well for a majority of the week. Our synthetic cloud cover (smoke) has had the fish willing to look up for a smattering of hoppers, ants, beetles and general attractors. Fishing a nine foot leader at minimum has helped us convert a lot of the "lookers" into "eaters" lately as well. A #18 Royal Wulff Cripple or #16 Arrick's Parachute Ant has done well for our smaller terrestrials. For hoppers trying something a little more subtle like a Parachute Hopper or a #14 Morrish hopper in tan. Sub surface fishing has been a little trickier lately for whatever the reason. We've had some success using a #14 Attract-ant and size 18 Radiation Baetis. Sometimes using a larger hopper like a #10 Thunder Thighs as an indicator can help with spooky fish versus a traditional indicator. With the fishing restrictions lifted we should have some better terrestrial fishing going forward as we'll be able to be out there during the prime hours!
Hebgen Lake fished very well over the past week but expect the Callibaetis activity to slow down over the next few days due to the rain that we are more than happy to get. The Choronomid style fishing should stay strong during this time so if your willing to get a little wet Hebgen is still a great option now and as the weather stabilizes we should see the Callibaetis back around Monday or Tuesday.
The Lamar river shot up with the recent rain and is off color now and most likely will be for the next few days. The good news is that the water temps have dropped but be sure to keep an eye on this as the weather warms back up next week. If heading this way remember that the Lamar, Slough Creek and Soda Butte are still Under the "Hoot Owl" Restrictions.
We have been getting some great reports from both Grebe and Cascade lakes. Anglers that have made the effort to walk in have been rewarded with some good Cutthroat fishing and some Grayling. The fish in these lakes have been taking terrestrials well but also have a couple smaller leeches or streamers along with you. We like a #10-12 Sparrow or #8 Bouface in either olive or Black.
You may see some off color water on the Gallatin River over the next few days especially below the Taylors fork. Terrestrials are still the name of the game here so have #14 Morrish hopper in tan or yellow, Jake's gulp beetle #14-16 and one of our favorites this time of year is the Killer Bee. For nymping or for a dropper have #16 lightning bugs in silver or gold, #18 Radiation Baetis, #12 black or brown rubber legs, #16 Green Machine's, # 16 Spanish Perdigone and #16 Prince. Also remember that the Gallatin is closed below the Hwy 84 Crossing at four corners down and is still under "Hoot Owl" restrictions inside the Yellowstone Park boundaries.
August 12th, 2021
The Madison River: Hoppers, beetles and ants, oh my! The terrestrial bite has really been hitting on all cylinders lately. Starting about 11am we would strongly suggest tying on size #14 Tan Thunder Thighs trailed by a #16 Arrick's Parachute Ant. If you find that you are getting some refusals just go to a single dry as that should do the trick. A #14 or #16 Gulp Beetle can also be a code breaker on those tricky fish so be sure to have a few of those on hand as well. For nymphs smaller has been the name of the game lately. Zebra Midges in red or purple, #18 Black Perdigons and even #18 Juju Baetis have been hooking their fair share of fish lately. The water temperatures have been good on the Madison but the "Hoot Owl restrictions are still in play so you'll have to end your day of fishing at 2:00pm.
Hebgen Lake has been a little on and off with the cooler weather we had last week. As the weather becomes more consistent over the next few days you can expect the Callibaetis emergences to be good. The lake level is currently at 79% so some of the areas that we are used to fishing have changed quite a bit. Also keep an eye out for ant activity as we have been seeing a good number of them on the lake and the fish love to eat these guys! Have with you #16-18 Deer hair Callibaetis spinners, #16 Callibaetis Sparkle duns, #16 Callibaetis foam spinners and #16 Arrick's Parachute Ant.
The Gallatin continues to fish and remember that the Park sections of the Gallatin are still under "Hoot Owl" restrictions, so you can only fish this area of the Park until 2:00pm. Outside of the Park boundaries the Gallatin is open to fishing all day from highway 84 south to the Yellowstone Park boundary. The fishing on the Gallatin has been good. You can expect to find these fish in the deeper, faster runs. Ants, Beetle and Hoppers have worked well on the surface and during the first half of the day nymping has been the way to go. For flies have with you Morrish Hoppers #12-14, Arrick's Parachute Ant #16-14, Jake's Gulp Beetle #16-14 and a #12 Killer Bee for dries. For Nymphs have #16 silver Lightning bugs, #16 Green Machine's, # 16 Spanish Perdigone and #16 Prince.
Water conditions in the Northeast corner of the Park are low and if your heading to Slough, Lamar or Soda Butte you can expect that portions of these river that are right along the road will have several folks in them. Our advice is to take a bit of a hike and get away from roadways where you'll find a some solitude and some good fishing. Terrestrials are the name of the game here so have Morrish hopper in tan and yellow #14, Arrick's Parachute #14-16, Killer Bees #12 and Jake's Gulp Beetle #16-14. If you like throwing droppers off of your dry flies a #16-18 Zebra midge, #18-16 Spanish Bullet or a Brown Napoleon Jig #16 should do the trick. "Hoot Owl" restrictions do apply on all rivers and streams in Yellowstone so remember to stop fishing by 2:00pm.
August 5th, 2021
The Madison below Quake lake has fished quite well over the past week. There's been a good dry fly bite for those willing to do a bit of searching and covering water. Royal Wulff Cripples in sizes 14 and 16 have been picking off a few fish along with Hi-Vis Rusty Spinners. For those willing to drop a nymph or fish an indicator size 18 Spanish Bullets and size 16 $3 Crystal Dips have fished very well. Once late morning hits all the way until closing time at 2pm I would start searching around with your favorite terrestrial pattern. Some of our favorites right now are #14 Arrick's Flying Ant, Gulp Beetles in size 12 or 14 and Tan Morrish Hoppers in size 10. If action is a little slow up top hang a dropper about 18"-24" below and keep working the likely looking water.
Grebe Lake has continued to fish well for those willing to make the hike. Fishing a size 14 Black Para Ant or a size 16 Royal Wulff Cripple have done well and so have #14 Purple Chubby Chernobyls. You won't find any giants in here but there are plenty of healthy fish in the 10-14 inch range more than willing to eat a dry. Although you can fish the lakes all day this one has fished best from about 9am-2pm, which gives you plenty of time to hike out and still beat the park traffic to dinner.
The Northeast Corner will be muddy for a few days following our recent rain, but once it clears up the Lamar should be fishing well with hoppers, beetles and ants. Tie on a size 14 Amy's Ant in Purple or a size 14 Gulp Beetle and work the riffles or heads of pools. Dropping a #16 Attract-Ant off the back might not be a bad idea either! Please take care in the proper handling of fish in the Lamar Valley as the water is get quite warm even before 2pm.
The Callibaetis have been quite good on Hebgen Lake this week and we couldn't be happier! Grab some Last Cripple Callibaetis #16's and a buddy then go chase some gulpers. The Grayling Arm, Madison Arm and the entire South shore have all been fishing well, take care in deciphering which direction the fish is heading and give them a little lead with the fly. This allows the fish to come across your fly naturally and gives less of a chance of spooking them with a cast that lands too close. Once the winds pick up start tossing around a #16 Royal Wulff or Royal Wulff Cripple and drop a #16 Split Case Pmd off the back if you're feeling frisky. As a side note be aware that we have been made aware of algae blooms in the arms so take care of kids and your furry companions and don't let them drink the lake water.
The Gallatin has been a consistent option for most anglers over the past week or so. Flying ants, beetles and smaller grasshoppers fished over the deeper slots and cuts have created a lot of smiles lately. In areas lined with spruce trees try a spruce moth pattern (a large tan elk hair caddis works quite well) and see if you get a few fish on one of the areas odder "hatches." For droppers #16 Spanish Bullets and #16 Montana Bullets in brown have been doing the trick. This is a great time of the year to cover water with general attractors on the Gallatin as well. So if you like throwing the classics like Royal Trudes, Renegades or a Wulff style fly this is your place right now! Remember the stretch in Yellowstone National Park closes for fishing at 2pm, outside of the park the Gallatin is open all day long until you're at Hwy 84 (Four Corners).
July 29, 2021
The Madison River in the wade stretch has been fishing well even though most of the hatches are over with. You should still see a few Epeorus and caddis flitting around, but the days of blankets of bugs are gone for the summer. If you come upon rising fish in the morning tie on a #16 Rusty Spinner and feel confident that fish will respond in a positive manner. Most days a nymph rig has been the way to go with #16 or #18 Spanish Bullets, #14 Crystal Dips and #18 Black Perdigons being some of the top producers. I wouldn't hesitate to try a #18 Red or Purple Zebra Midge down there right now. Once the sun is up and the wind starts to do its thing then take the indicator or small dry off and pick your go-to terrestrial. #14 Arrick's Flying Ant fished down a seam or a #10 Tan Thunder Thighs riding through a wave train can create a lot of fun in the late morning and early afternoon hours. The Madison over its entire length is still under "hoot owl" restrictions so make sure you're done fishing by 2pm.
Hebgen Lake has still been a little spotty in its consistency but overall is offering a great fishing experience. There may be a little searching involved in order to find a heavy enough Callibaetis hatch to keep fish up and gulping, but even those "one and done" fish can be coaxed into eating if you're willing to switch up from a #16 Hi-vis Callibaetis Spinner. For those fish that are popping up sporadically try throwing a #14 Marabou Damsel Nymph and slow stripping it back to you. Some of the eats can be quite violent so don't drop that tippet size below 4x. We're also at that time where prospecting with flying ants can turn a few heads so have a few #16 CDC Flying Ants in red along with some #16 Royal Wulff Cripples. Don't hesitate to bounce around the lake a little bit, try a new spot or two this week and enjoy some solitude away from the arms. Be aware that the low lake levels have made a few of the launches less than ideal for boats on trailers, if you have a question about access just give us a call at the shop and we'll give you the most up to date info on the ramps that we can.
Small Streams both inside and outside the park have been fishing extremely well. Not all of them will handle lots of pressure, hence the general tag. If you stop in the shop and let us know what kind of experience you are looking for we will be more than willing to help point you in the direction of a creek that will fit the bill. A lot of these little bodies of water don't require a vast selection of flies, just a fly cup with some general attractors should do the trick. We like #12 Chili Stones, Royal Wulff Cripples and #14 Yellow Thunder Thighs to name a few. Make sure to bring plenty of water, a snack and some bear spray. A good buddy to share the laughs and drinks with at the end of the day is always encouraged as well!
We've had quite a few questions about the Northeast Corner and their water levels and temps. Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are all very low but still fishing well. The fish on Slough have gotten quite picky and are shying away from bigger terrestrials most days. Drop down to a #14 Tan Morrish Hopper or an Arrick's Flying Ant. There's also been reports of little cream Baetis so bring a few of Bucky's Almost There Baetis in the #20 cream color. Lamar has still had the most consistent bite and there are even a few PMD's still flying around and getting fish excited. Try a #16 PFD Emerger in PMD flavor or swinging a #16 SLS Softhackle through the riffles. #14 Gulp beetles fished along the deeper banks should bring a few fish to hand as well. Soda Butte has gotten the worst of this hot and dry summer and is flowing around 22 CFS at the time of this writing. Although it is still open to fishing we would recommend giving the fish still residing there a break. Like all the other rivers and streams in the park anglers must be done fishing by 2pm, so head in early and enjoy some fun and challenging fishing in one of the most beautiful areas of the park during the cooler parts of the day!
July 15, 2021
The Madison below Quake Lake is starting to see a bit of a tapering off of aquatic bugs, but there are still enough caddis, Epeorus and Yellow Sallies flying around to keep fish looking up. Don't hesitate to shop around spot to spot with a Hi-Vis Rusty Spinner in the morning or a Chili Stone in the afternoon. The terrestrial bite seems to be getting better by the day, with Thunder Thighs in size 14 and size 12 Donkey Kong Hoppers turning more heads after the wind starts to pick up. If nymphing is more your style tie on a #14 Crystal Dip trailed by a Montana Bullet or Spanish Bullet and hang on! You'll weed through some whitefish but there'll be enough trout eating that rig to make a heck of a day. As a happy accident, all three of those nymphs make excellent droppers on a "hopper dropper" setup as well. Water temperatures at the Kirby gauge are hitting the mid to upper 60s most days by 4pm, so try and be off early, grab a slice of pizza or a burger then head back out a bit before dark.
The Gallatin River is still producing some great hatches of PMDs, caddis and little yellow stones. The fish aren't as gullible as they were a few weeks ago, so careful wading and accurate casts will be your secret weapon here. We like a Chili Stone here as well since it does a great job of imitating a little stone or a hopper. Try dropping a size 16 Split Case PMD about a foot underneath.
The Yellowstone River above the falls opens today! Green Drakes, PMDs and caddis should all be on the menu for the next little while. You may even see a few Salmonflies and Golden Stones around though the peak of those hatches has past. Green Drake Sparkle Duns, Last Chance Cripple Green Drakes, size 16 PMD Sparkle Duns and size 16 tan X Caddis should all have a place in your box while heading this way. We wouldn't expect to find solitude on the Yellowstone but we would expect to have a great day of fishing in a truly special place!
Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte continue to fish well. Water levels are low and reports are that the fish are spooky but not impossible. There have been good hatches of PMDs and caddis, so come prepared with size 16 Sparkle Dun PMDs and tan X Caddis in the same size. Midday when the hatches taper off try prospecting good looking lies with Longhorn Beetles or a Thunder Thigh Hopper in tan.
July 8, 2021
The Madison below Quake Lake is still going strong with caddis, however we are seeing fewer Drakes and PMDs. The Salmonflies are all but over, but with some patience and the ability to cover some water you may still find a few fish willing to come up for the big bug. In the morning if you find yourself with fish rising to PMDs, try a PFD Parachute in brown/yellow or the PMD flavor and hang on! Aaron's Razor May in the PMD variety has also been turning heads. For any and all of your caddis fishing, whether it's morning or evening, a tan Iris Caddis in size 17 or a Missing Link in size 16 will treat you well. We would also recommend having a few little size 20 black Iris Caddis or Razor Caddis for when the fish are being picky on the Glossosomas. Our temperatures have been mostly managing to stay in a healthy range for trout, but do keep an eye out for rising temps throughout the day, especially on days where we get little to no cloud cover.
The Gallatin River continues to fish well, particularly throughout the park stretch. PMDs, caddis and Yellow Sallies are all still emerging, along with a few Green Drakes. PMD and Green Drake Sparkle Duns and Razor Mayflies, Missing Link Caddis, Jake's Yellow Sallies and yellow Summer Stones will all be productive here over the next week. Hatches have been picking up just before noon most days, so there is no need to be on the river too early!
If you are up for a hike to somewhere a little off the beaten path, check out the Yellowstone River in the Black Canyon. Salmonflies are out in this stretch along with PMDs and caddis, making for some great fishing for 12-14" cutts. Try hiking in at Blacktail Deer Creek, Hellroaring Creek, or walking upstream from the boundary at Gardiner, and be sure to try a big #8 Salmonfly Chubby Chernobyl or orange Sunken Stone! Feel free to stop in or give us a call for more info on hiking into this area.
Hebgen Lake has been starting to fire on all cylinders. Callibaetis have been seen far and wide, although not in huge numbers, but the fish have been looking for them on a pretty consistent basis. Try throwing a Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinner in size 16 or a Last Chance Cripple Callibaetis in size 16 as well. If you're seeing the larger variety of Callibaetis out there, don't hesitate to throw a bushier fly like a size 14 Adams Para-Wulff. We would definitely recommend still having a few Deer Hair Damsels in blue or tan for prospecting when not much else is going on with surface activity, and stripping a Living Damsel or Marabou Damsel Nymph along the weed beds can yield some excellent results as well.
The Northeast Corner is a great option and Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are all still fishing well. The Lamar got a little off-color from a storm early in the week but looks to be coming back in shape, but keep an eye on the gauge or give a shout at the shop for current conditions. As far as bugs go, caddis and PMDs should cover a majority of the menu right now. A size 16 tan X Caddis or Missing Link will take care of the caddis and a PMD Razor May or Sparkle Dun in size 16 will cover the mayflies for you. There's a good chance to catch some Green Drakes popping over there so take a Green Drake Cripple or two with you as well. Also, don't be afraid to bust the foam bugs out, those fish seem to have a weakness for anything remotely resembling a hopper, beetle or ant. Some of our favorites are the Stubby Ant in size 12 or 14 and a pink Thunder Thighs Hopper in size 10 or 14.
July 1, 2021
Excellent is the only word you need to describe how the Madison below Quake Lake is fishing right now! With multiple hatches happening on the river, the fish are looking to the surface and we've been taking advantage of this. Depending on the time of day, you could find yourself throwing several different variations of flies. Caddis have been good in the morning hours, along with PMDs and Green Drakes. Around midday the fish have still been coming up for Salmonfly imitations, along with caddis. During the evening expect to see fish again up on the surface to caddis. Fishing from dawn til dusk is certainly not out of the question. The fly patterns haven't changed much since last week, with Sunken Stones #6-8, Golden Sunken Stones #8-12, PMD Sparkle Duns #16, Iris Caddis Tan #17, Hot Spot Para-Wulff PMDs #16, and X Caddis Tan #16 all being great choices.
The Gallatin River as we mentioned above has been seeing Salmonflies up into the Park stretches and there are lots of them. If you're driving up this way make sure your vehicle has plenty of wiper fluid! Caddis and PMDs have also been coming off in good numbers. If you're fishing the Park sections you'll have no need to get there too early as the water has been running quite cool in the morning hours. Have with you Missing Link Caddis #16, Missing Link Green Drake #12, Sunken Stones #6-8, PFD PMDs #16, Rogue Golden Stone #8 and Jake's Yellow Sally #16.
If you're looking for a little solitude and some great fishing for westslope cutts take the two-mile walk into Cascade Lake. A couple anglers took our advice on this and had a great time catching these 10-12 inch fish all day long. These fish aren't picky right now and you can fish dries, nymphs or strip small leeches and streamers.
The Gardner River has been very good and you can fish this at the top end near Sheepeater Cliffs for brookies or down below Mammoth where you'll find several different species including brookies, rainbows, browns, cutthroat, whitefish and cuttbows. Have #8 Sunken Stones, Missing Link Caddis #16, PFD Parachute PMDs #16, Jake's Yellow Sally #16 and Stimulators #14-16. Just in case add in a Spanish Bullet #16 and a Micro Mayfly #14-16 for a dropper.
Hebgen Lake has been great as long as the wind stays down long enough for the bugs to get going. The Callibaetis activity has been pretty good on both the Madison and Grayling Arms. Have with you Callibaetis Sparkle Duns #16, Callibaetis Foam Spinners #16 and Cripple Callibaetis #16 for dries. For nymphs have Driskill's Midge #12, Ice Cream Cones #12, Traffic Light Diawl Bach #14 and red Copper Johns #16. Keep a close eye out for damsels!
The Northeast Corner is a great option and Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte have all been fishing. As with the Gallatin these rivers are still running a bit cool so don't expect the fishing to be great until at least mid to late morning. Missing Link Caddis #16, PMD Sparkle Duns #16, Rogue Salmonfly #6 and Golden Stone #10 and Grey Drake Sparkle Duns and Spinners #12.
June 24, 2021
If you were waiting for the dry fly fishing to start, wait no longer, the rivers are now all in prime condition and the hatches are out in full force! Starting with the Madison below Quake Lake we currently have both Salmonflies and Golden Stones up past Ruby Creek, and there have been some fish on them. We've also seen plenty of caddis and PMDs on the river. This is the time of year we dream about throughout the winter and whether you're fishing from a drift boat or are wading the Madison, you can expect that you'll get some good dry fly fishing in during the day. The evening fishing has also started up and we've seen some great emergences of caddis and have had some great spinner falls also. A few flies you'll not want to be without include Sunken Stones #6-8, Golden Sunken Stones #8-12, PMD Sparkle Duns #16, Iris Caddis Tan #17, Hot Spot Para-Wulff PMDs #16, and X Caddis Tan #16.
The Gallatin River is also alive with several different hatches and fishing doesn't get much better! Salmonflies, Golden Stones, caddis, PMDs, Yellow Sallies and even a few Green Drakes have all begun hatching here. The big bugs have worked their way up past Big Sky and we've even seen a few within the park stretches. If you're in the park stretches keep a close eye out for Green Drakes as it only takes a few of these awesome bugs to get the fish looking up hard. While the Gallatin isn't really known to be a BIG FISH river, this is the time of year when you have the best chance to see a few of these guys! Fly selection is almost identical to the Madison, with Sunken Stones #6-8, Golden Sunken Stones #8-12, PMD Sparkle Duns #16, Iris Caddis Tan #17, Hot Spot Para-Wulff PMDs #16, X Caddis Tan #16 and Green Drake Sparkle Duns and Green Drake Spent Sparkle Drakes #12.
The wind finally calmed down for a few days, and with this Hebgen Lake was on fire. A few of our guides found themselves into an abundance of fish over this past weekend. While there are a few early Callibaetis out, mainly during the mid-morning hours, the fish have been keyed in on Chironomids. Driskill's Midges #14, Traffic Light Diawl Bach #14, Ice Cream Cones #12 and Split Case PMDs #16 produced the best results.
It's seems a little early to be putting this in the fishing report, but keep an eye on the Northeast Corner of the park. With lower water conditions this year and no precipitation for the last few weeks, we expect that this is going to get going a little earlier than usual. While this is still just a bit of a gamble, making the drive over could be well worth the risk. Grey Drakes, Stoneflies and PMDs aren't out of the question and you could perhaps see all three coming off this coming week. Lower Slough Creek is probably the best bet but don't count out the Lamar and Soda Butte, too.
June 17, 2021
The Firehole and Madison Rivers inside Yellowstone have experience some high water temperatures lately, and it looks like the fishing on these two bodies of water will be put on hold until most likely September, when colder nights will help cool things down.
The Gallatin is coming into great shape and you'll want to watch this one closely. As the water levels drop and temperatures rise, this river is bound to "POP" with caddis, PMDs and stoneflies. For right now, don't be in a huge rush to get on the water. If you arrive by 11:00am or even a little later you should be good. The water above the Taylors Fork is clear and in the afternoon hours consider fishing a large attractor like a Royal Wulff #12, Ausable Cripple #12 or a Micro Chubby with a #12-14 Prince, #12 Rubberlegs or #14-16 Spanish Bullet as a dropper.
Hebgen Lake has been a bit tough this past week due to the high winds, which have kicked us off early in the day. Looks like the wind may calm down this coming weekend and when it does, look to find a few early season Callibaetis along with midges on the surface. Chironomid fishing has been the most productive way to fish as of late, and Driskill's Midges #12, Zebra Midges #16-18 and 3D red Diawl Bachs #12 have been great for this.
The Madison below Quake Lake is currently flowing at 1060 cfs at the Old Kirby Place and has been fishing extremely well. The dry fly bite is just getting started and our guides have been doing well both on and below the surface. There have been clouds of caddis along the river, and we've also been seeing some PMDs and yes, even a few Salmonflies on the lower portion of the river. Yep, things are progressing a little early this year, and with water levels approximately 500 cfs lower than the long-term average, expect this trend to continue until we see some rain in the forecast. If you're nymphing have #8-10 Rubberlegs, #14-16 Spanish Bullets, #14-16 Guide Serendipities, P.T. Hot Spot Jigs #14-16, $3 Dips #16 and Plan C Caddis #16. For dry flies make sure you have #14-16 Missing Links, PMD Sparkle Duns #16, Iris Caddis Tan #17, and tan X Caddis #16. It's also a good idea to have a few attractor patterns such as Parachute Adams #14-16, Royal PMX #12-14 and Royal Trudes #14-16.
As we mentioned last week the Gardner River is also a great option and you can expect to see caddis, PMDs, and in the days to come most likely Salmonflies!
For our sleeper bet of the week, take a look at Cascade Lake. An easy two mile walk will get you into some nice little Yellowstone cutthroats and grayling. So, if you're looking for something a bit different give this a shot!