October 13th, 2022
The Firehole is still proving to be our most consistent dry fly option with White Millers. Not much has changed as far as flies are concerned with White Miller Razor Caddis and White Miller X-Caddis both being great options on top. Soft Hackles continue to be the best way to go with #16 White Miller Soft Hackles and Micro Beeley's being good producers. If you find yourself in front of rising fish that you just can't figure out try a #20 Scotty's Midge, should do the trick.
The Madison in the park is a streamer lovers paradise right now, especially for the early birds. Fish smaller streamers lower and slower and bigger streamers higher and a little quicker. Montana Intruders, Fortune Cookies and Twin Lake Specials are all fooling fish. Be sure to cover water with the streamers, they know it's there, they will play if they are in the mood. For nymphs the junk food bite is there with #10 San Juan Worms and Otter Eggs. #16 Montana Bullets, #14 Guide Dips and #18 Radiation Baetis are go-to's on the natural side.
Slough Creek is a great option for those looking to get some late season cutthroat action. There are still some fall drakes around and cream baetis. Beetles and small hoppers are even tricking a few fish as well. If you head over that way bring some #12 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Duns and #16 Gulp Beetles. A good selection of Zebra Midges in sizes 18-20 should be well received as droppers.
Madison Between the Lakes is a great option with low outflows from the dam. It is one of the first places we see fish start to spawn so take care wading. Double nymph rigs generally get the job done here and we like to run a big stone like a #10 Black Rubberlegs followed up with something smaller like a #18 Red Zebra Midge or #16 Hot Vac. This is wonderful streamer water also and bumping a Sheila Sculpin, Karnopp's Space Invader or Creek Leech can be very productive this time of year.
October 6th, 2022
The Madison in the park been a great option during the morning hours but is definitely slowing down during the heat of the day. Swinging or stripping streamers has been pretty good for those willing to get an early start. Montana Intruders and Sculpin Sparkle Minnows have been great choices. Shakey Beeley's and Yellowstone Soft Hackles have also produced some nice fish this week. For nymphs try a Pink San Juan trailed by a #16 Guide Dip or #18 Shop Vac.
The Firehole continues to fish well with White Miller's and it's had some great Baetis fishing during our recent rains. Keep an eye on water temps as you get into the afternoon hours, these warm sunny days can start to push water temperatures towards 70 degrees. For flies White Miller Soft Hackles, Mint Hot Spot Soft Hackles and #16 Partridge and Peacock's have all fished well on the swing. If you happen upon a Baetis hatch tie on a #20 Upright Baetis or #20 Baetis Black Wing Cripple.
The Madison below Quake Lake is still mainly a nymph fishery with all this sunny weather we've been enjoying. Small caddis and beatis nymphs have been consistent producers for us. We've been using #16 and #18 $3 Serendipities, #16 Tungsten Poudre Pupas, #18 Split Case BWO's and #18 Black Zebra Midges. Fish the small nymphs behind something like a #8 Black Rubber Legs or even a #12 Twin Lakes Special. If you are looking to throw some dries try and wait for a rainy overcast day and keep your fingers crossed for baetis, a #20 Almost There Baetis or Sparkle Dun should do the trick.
The Gibbon has been fishing really well with streamers. Karnopp's Space Invader, Creek Leeches and Montana Intruders have all done well lately. If you get there early focus on transition areas like the head of a run or the tailouts. As the sun comes up look for deeper darker water. For nymphs Pink or Purple San Juan Worms followed by a #16 Crystal Dip or #18 Juju Baetis should do just fine. Don't forget your Prince Nymphs here either!
September 29th, 2022
The Madison in the park still has fish pushing in. The rain forecasted for this weekend should help with that as well. Look to swing streamers or soft hacklesearly or late in the day and for nymphing to pick up fish during the periods of high sun. For streamers try a Twin Lake Special or Grandmaster Flash, Monatana Intruders are a go-to as well. Caddis or Baetis nymphs will generally fish well this time of year with #14 Guide Dips and #16 Radiation Baetis being great choices. Junk food flies like San Juan Worms, Otter Eggs and #10 Coffee Rubberlegs are also great attractors on a two fly rig.
The Firehole is still offering up great fishing for those swinging #16 White Miller Soft Hackles. Partridge and Orange or Green can also be great choices or a Mint Hot Spot Soft Hackle. If you find yourself up there on a rainy or overcast day (we won't say snow yet) try swinging a #18 or #20 Baetis Soft Hackle. We are probably a few weeks out from heavy Baetis hatches but fish should respond well given good conditions.
The Madison below Quake Lake has picked up nicely from last week. Good reports have been coming in from customers and guides alike. Mainly a nymphing game with #18 Crystal Dips, #18 Red Zebra Midges and #10 Black Rubberlegs being good choices. There's a few fish still looking for hoppers like #12 Tan Donkey Kongs on sunny afternoons. The streamer bite should still be getting better by the day and should offer up some good opportunities for those willing to put in the time.
The Gibbon has been a good option for folks and has been giving up some fish on "Hopper Dropper" rigs. Try a Pink Thunder Thighs or Micro Chubby up top with a #18 Spanish Bullet or French TJ Perdigon underneath. This can be a good time to strip streamers though likely looking holes and flies like Creek Leeches, Prospectors and Sparkle Yummies can get the job done!
September 22nd, 2022
The Madison in the park is fishing well and has been the main focus of many anglers. Folks have found success swinging the big fall soft hackles like the Lucky Bucky, Shakey Beeley's and the Blew on Blue. Streamers such as Black Sculpzilla's and Spruce Flies have been consistent. For a little bigger profile on our forecasted rainy days try a Goblin or Chou's Fortune Cookie! For nymphs we tend to favor a two fly rig consisting of a bigger attractor followed by a smaller more natural fly. Think of something like a #10 Black Pat's Rubberlegs or a #12 BH Prince (San Juan's work great too!) followed by a #14 Guide Dip, #18 Black Zebra Midge or #18 Radiation Baetis.
The Firehole has been a great option and has been really pumping out the White Miller's. Swinging flies like the White Miller Soft Hackle, Micro Beeley's and Mint Hot Spot Soft Hackles has been very productive. For dry flies we would have a few X-Caddis White Miller's or White Miller Razor Caddis and we wouldn't hesitate to throw around a #16 Black Para-Ant or Arrick's Flying Ant if you happen to catch the river when not much is happening.
The Madison below Quake Lake has been a little off and on lately. Terrestrials are still producing but not as consistently as they were. If you are going to prospect with a terrestrial of some sort it would be tough to beat a #16 or #18 Arrick's Flying Ant. For nymphs we have had good success on #16 Montana Bullets in brown, #18 Crystal Dips and #18 Black Zebra Midges. Baetis nymphs like a #20 Galloup's Jigged BWO and #20 Terelya's Lightsaber can be quite good as we work closer to fall Blue Wings. With cooler water temps fish can be willing to chase a streamer and flies like a Karnopp's Space Invader or Flagler's Frozen Fox would be great choices.
Hebgen Lake is still a fine option although our fleeting moment of dry fly bliss is all but over. If you do find yourself in front of fish feeding on Callibaetis then a #18 Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinner or Callibaetis CDC Thorax Dun. The bulk of the activity has taken place sub-surface once again. This time of year it can be beneficial to fish those drop offs and weedbeds with a streamer. An Olive Bouface or Pine Squirrel Leech are good choices as is a Beadhead Seal Bugger. For nymphs a #16 Red Copper John, Ice Cream Cone or Split Case PMD are all stand out
September 15th, 2022
The Madison below Quake has fished best over the past week during the afternoon hours after the water warms up a bit, and while overall it has fished well, it can be a little spotty from day to day. If you fish the morning hours nymphing will be your best best. #8-10 Rubberlegs, Perdigon Nymphs in black or purple #16-18, #16-18 $3 Dips in brown or crystal, Radiation Baetis #16 and Juju Baetis #18-20 have been good go-to flies this past week. For dries in the afternoon, we are still using Morrish and Thunder Thigh Hoppers #10-14 in tan or pink. Attractor patterns such as a Parachute Adams, Royal Wulff or Royal Trude #14-18 are also worth fishing. Keep an eye out for Baetis, even on sunny days where the hatch won't last long but there will be fish up on these little mayflies.
As with the Madison, you'll find the best time to fish the Gallatin will be in the afternoon hours. Nymphing will be the most productive overall and you'll want to have Radation Baetis #16, Split Case Baetis #20, Zebra Midges in black #18-20, Little Green Machine #16, Lightning Bugs #16 in silver, and Perdigon Nymphs #16-18 in black. There is still a bit of dry fly action on the Gallatin, too, and terrestrials are still not out of the question. Try smaller Dave's or Morrish Hoppers and attractor patterns like a #16 Purple Haze or #16-18 Royal Wulff Cripple. Again keep an eye out for Baetis. #20 Baetis Sprout Emergers, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Duns or #18-20 Almost There Baetis will be excellent choices here.
On Hebgen Lake the window is closing fast on the dry fly opportunities. There are still a few bugs out there but they are coming later in the day and aren't lasting long. A few of the guys have been doing ok with black buggers and Barr's Boufaces up in the Madison Arm, where some fish have staged before they make their run up into the park.
On Slough Creek you'll want to let the water warm up a bit, but the fish are still willing to take hoppers, beetles and ants in the afternoon. Morrish and Thunder Thighs Hopper in pink and tan #14, Longhorn Beetles, Parachute Ants and Improved Killer Bees are what you'll want. The Drake Mackerels are still very much in play along with Baetis as well. Make sure to have with you Sparkle Dun Drake Mackerels #12 and Baetis #20.
The Madison in the Park has started to light up and folks that have been getting out there in the early morning hours swinging have been doing quite well with Blue on Blew, Shakey Beeley, Baker's Hole and September Song soft hackles. Streamers have also been good early and late in the days. Montana Intruders, Sheila's Sculpins and black and tan Super Buggers have been a few of our favorites as of late. If you're nymphing have #8 black Rubberlegs, #16 Shop Vacs, #14-16 Guide Dips, #16-18 Perdigon Nymphs in black and #16-18 red Copper Johns.
The Firehole is picking up and has been a great choice for anglers this past week and the soft hackle fishing has been the most productive for those that have ventured this way. #16 Micro Beeleys, # 14 Partridge & Orange, #17 Peacock & Starling and #16 White Miller Soft Hackles have been the flies of choice for soft hackles. White Millers and Baetis have provided some great dry fly action recently, as well as hoppers and beetles that remain prevalent to this great river. Fishing should get better and better with the cooler temps.
September 8th, 2022
Madison River in the Park. There certainly aren't crazy numbers of fish up in the system as of yet but enough to make it worth giving it a shot for a couple of hours during the morning. We have had a few of these fish eat hoppers and beetles so have Thunder Thigh Hopper's in tan or yellow #14. Also have Jake's Gulp Beetle #14-16. Nymphing has been the most productive with #10-14 Prince's, #14-16 Guide & $3 Dip's. Watch for more fish to run up with cooler weather and fall conditions rolling in.
The Madison below Hebgen has fished well this past week with terrestrials. # 14 tan & pink Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Jake's Gulp Beetle and Arrick's Parachute Ant #14-16 have been great dry fly choices. #14-16 TJ's Perdigons, #14-16 Guide and $3 Dip's, #18-20 black Zebra's, #8-12 Pat's Rubber Legs and #16 Copper Top Jig Duracell's have been the best choice's for Nymphs as of late.
The Madison below Quake Lake has been a little slower for most people over the past week but we expect this to pick up as cooler temps began to slowly take over. Towards the end of next week don't overlook the possibilities of Baetis coming off. Hopper's are still in play and our guides have reported some good fishing in the float sections with #14 Thunder Thigh's and #12 pink Donkey Kong's. #15 Missing Link Honey Ant's have also brought up some nice fish. On the Nymphing side of things #8-12 Pat's Rubber Legs, #16 Montana Bullet's, #14-16 Guide Dip's and Spanish Bullet's in olive & natural have got the job done.
The Gallatin River both in and out of the park has been a good choice for many and as with most of the rivers terrestrials are the name of the game. Thunder Thigh Hopper's in tan or yellow #14, Arrick's Parachute Ant's #14-16, #12 tan or pink Donkey Kong's, #14-16 Royal Wulff's and #16 Parachute Adams have been good choices for the surface. Underneath #12 Pat's Rubber Legs, #16 Montana Bullet's, #14-16 Guide Dip's, #16 Lightning Bug's and #16 Copper Top Jig Duracell's are what you'll want to have with you.
If you do plan to take advantage of the restrictions of Slough Creek being lifted you may want to wander up into the first or second meadow. These sections have fished much better than the lower sections below the campground. There are a few Drake Mackeral's starting to show up as reported by Patrick this past week so have a few #12-14 Drake Mackeral Sparkle Dun's and #12 Hi-Vis Drake Spinner's. Also have a few #20-22 cream Baetis with you as sometimes these fish can get just a little picky. Longhorn Beetles along with a few hopper and ant pattern's are also something you won't want to forget!
Hebgen lake fished well this past week, matter of fact it probably fished better on the surface than it has all season. The Callibaetis came off well in the Madison arm as well as with many other sections of the west side of the lake. #16-18 Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinner's , #16 Callibaetis Sprout Emerger's, and #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun's all did well for us this past week. There are also Damsel's about in certain sections and the fish have responded to them fairly well, so keep this in mind when your heading out.
The Gibbon River fished well with small hopper patterns and has been well worth spending a little time on. We should see the Firehole River start to fish in the weeks to come, but for now it's still just a bit to warm. Keep this one on the back burner for now but it won't be too long.
September 1st, 2022
A few of us shared a float on the Madison river this past Sunday and had an absolute blast throwing hoppers, beetles and ants. Our best hoppers were #12 Dave's and the #12 Donkey Kong Hopper. Arrick's Flying Ant in #16 was probably the best producer over the entirety of the day and a #12 Gulp Beetle fooled a couple fish as well. Jordan had consistent luck dropping a #18 Olive Spanish Bullet, especially when he fished in water deep enough for it to not snag the bottom instantly. If you decide to live by the hopper be sure to efficiently cover water and expect some stretches where no fish finds it interesting. The ones that do like it tend to make the day.
Hebgen Lake has had some good reports over the last couple days. Reports of fish gulping Trico's and Callibaetis along the Madison Arm and the south shore have been a lot more consistent. #20 Trico Hi-Vis Para Spinners and #16 Callibaetis Para Spinners have done well on top. Fishing a #16 Split Case PMD or #16 Driscoll's BH Callibaetis are still catching fish down below. As with the last few weeks, if you aren't finding fish working a hatch don't hesitate to make a move to find happier fish.
The Gibbon and Madison in the park have been great options lately. The Madison is a morning only option currently, but the Gibbon will fish all day. Ants have been great producers on both rivers, #15 Missing Link Honey ants and #18 Arrick's Fly Ants would be great choices. Smaller foam bugs like #14 Tan/UV Pink Water Walker's and #14 Peach Micro Chubby's are wonderful if you want tofish a dropper. Our top dropper choices would be a #18 Spanish Bullet, #16 Poudre Pupa or a #16 Montana Bullet. If you find yourself on the Madison closer to where it runs into Hebgen be sure to have a couple Trico's as well.
Slough Creek has been a great option for guide trips or those who have a "day use Pass." This especially holds true for the first and second meadows. If you find yourself up there be sure to have a few CDC Flying Ants in #16 and #14 Morrish Hoppers. Be on the look out for little cream Baetis as the fish can really key in on these when they are around. If this is the case #20 Sparkle Duns do a great job at fooling these fish. For droppers keep it small with #18 or #20 Zebra Midges or try a #18 Crystal Dip.
August 25th, 2022
The Madison river through the float section has really turned on with the terrestrial bite over the last week. Hoppers like a #10 Pink Thunder Thighs and #12 Parachute Hopper have fished quite well for us. Ants and beetles are still the more consistent option, with flies like a #15 Missing Link Honey Ant and #14 Gulp Beetle being good choices. For nymphs try #16 and #18 Spanish Bullets in Natural or Olive as well as #18 Crystal Dips. The peak fishing has been in that 11am-2pm timeframe.
Hebgen Lake has been putting out more bugs for the past few days however, it's still been a tough dry fly bite. Tricos have been plentiful on the Madison arm and fish have been eating them, but it's never and easy hatch to solve. If you decide to give it a go try a #20 Guide Winna Spinna Trico or a #20 Royal Wulff Cripple. Callibaetis have been hatching all along the southwest shore and still causing folks to scratch their heads when fish aren't up eating them. When you do find fish working #16 Deer Hair Spinners and #16 Last Chance Cripple Callibaetis have been working. The best reports are still coming from anglers fishing sub-surface with flies like #12 Pine Squirrel Leeches along with #16 BH Dricoll's Callibaetis Nymph or #14 Ice Cream Cones.
The Yellowstone river in the park has slowed down a bit lately. Anglers who take their time prowling the high banks and looking for sight fishing opportunities have brought back the best reports. Flies of choice have been #16 Gulp Beetles and #18 Para-Ants. Twitching #12 Pine Squirrel Leeches during the low light hours has also been productive. This is not uncommon for the Yellowstone as we get later into the season, try to cover water with your eyes and locate a fish. Sneak into the best position to make a cast, and remember, your first shot is generally your best chance.
The Gallatin river has been fishing fine since last week. Not as many great days reported, but there's still some nice fish being caught. Just like many of the other local area streams ants and beetles are your best bet. Size 16 Arrick's Flying Ants and #14 Gulp Beetles are go-to's. If you're looking for "that" fish then tie on a big hopper (no dropper) and stay persistent with it. A #10 Pink or Tan Thunder Thighs or #12 Donkey Kong would be good choices. If you're throwing nymphs be sure to have #16 Montana Bullets in brown and #16 FKA Princes.
August 18th, 2022
Our guides have reported seeing the fishing pick up on the float sections of the Madison river and they have had some great days with hopper patterns. It's been kind of a day to day occurrence with the hopper bite and ants as well as beetles have produced more fish, but not the quality that the hoppers have. It's well worth giving it a try! We've seen that over the years that it's sometimes a good idea to fish the hopper by itself, no dropper, this allows for a better drift and the angler has less to deal with. In your arsenal of dry flies have #14 tan or pink Thunder Thighs and Morrish Hoppers, Elden's hopper #8 has also taken some nice fish. #14 Stubby Ants and #15 Missing Link Honey ants have been good. If your nymphing have #8 rubber Legs, #16 Jig Perdigon in Quill/Fl. Orange, #18-20 $3 Dip's and #16 Spanish Bullets.
Hebgen Lake has been driving people to an earlier cocktail hour these days with the inconsistent fishing that we've been experiencing. One day will be pretty good then the next, not so much. This could have some to do with the recent rain that we've received in the area creating a lesser consistency with the weather which has been known to put off the fishing in the past. Whatever the case if you plan on fishing Hebgen and want to catch a few gulpers don't try to do it in one day. Hopefully you can set aside a couple days to dedicate to it to increase your chances at hitting a good one. Josh has started therapy sessions here at the shop for those in need of a little counseling! There are Callibaetis throughout the lake and both Callibaetis and Trico's in the Madison arm. We've got some good weather for Hebgen until Sunday so give it a shot keeping in mind you may have to move around the lake to find the best fishing opportunity. Have #16-18 Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinners, #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Duns, #16 Callibaetis Cripples and #20 Hi-Vis Trico spinners for the Madison Arm.
Many of our guides have traveled over to Slough Creek and the fishing there has been good. The upper meadows have fished the best, number wise and size wise. If you draw a permit and head over this way be sure to have #10 Pink Thunder Thigh Hoppers, #10 Longhorn Beetles, #15 Missing Link Honey Ant's and #18-16 Jake's Gulp Beetles. Also take along a few black X-Caddis #20 and black Zebra Midges #18-20.
The Yellowstone river in the park is well worth going to, both above and below the falls. There are still some PMD's in the upper section so have a few PMD Sparkle Dun's #16 as well as Hi-Vis Rusty Spinner #18-16. Hopper pattern's like an Elden's Hopper #8, Thunder Thighs Pink #10 and a Morrish Hopper #10 have worked well this past week. Purple Chubby's #10-14 have also taken some nice fish. If you like streamer fishing both a Mark's Goblin in Black/Copper and Tan Super Bugger's #6 have been deadly here.
The Gallatin river has fished well both in and out of the park. As with most rivers this time of year terrestrials are king. #14 Pink and Tan Thunder Thigh Hopper's, #10 Longhorn Beetles, #14-16 Royal Wulff's, #14-16 Parachute Adams. For nymphs have #16 silver Lightning bugs and TJ's Perdigones #14-16 in olive and French (black).
July 28th, 2022
The Madison below Quake has fished well this week with hoppers and ants during the day, and there are still a few PMDs around in the late mornings, along with caddis and Epeorus in the evenings. Try #14 tan or pink Thunder Thighs and Morrish Hoppers, #14 Stubby Ants and Arrick's Flying Ants, #16 PFD Parachutes, #16 Purple Haze, #16 Epeorus Black-Wing Cripple and #16 Epeorus Spinner on top, with a #16 Jig Perdigon in Quill/Fl. Orange, #16 Red Butt Darts and #16 Spanish Bullets for droppers.
Dry fly fishing on Hebgen Lake has been a little up and down for the last few days. Some anglers have reported good numbers of Callibaetis and plenty of feeding fish, and others have seen much more sporadic activity. The fishing is getting better and better each day, but if you don't see much happening, don't be afraid to move around a bit in search of pods of feeding fish. Try #16 Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinners and Sparkle Duns, and don't be afraid to throw a size 14 ant as well if fish are rising sporadically, as there have been a few ants showing up and fish will sometimes go out of their way to take one.
The Gallatin has been good both in and outside of the park. If you're fishing the park waters you don't need to get there super early, let the water warm up just a bit and get started around 10:00am. The salmonflies are pretty much done on the Gallatin but there are still some golden stones. The main hatches have been PMDs, caddis and a few green drakes. Some of our guides have been fishing the Park section and they have caught some very nice fish. Parachute Adams #14-16, Royal Wulff Cripples #14-16, Rogue Golden Stones #12, Green Drake Sparkle Duns #12, yellow Stimulators #12-16, Improved PMD Sparkle Duns #16 and tan X Caddis #16. For nymphs have Pheasant Tails #16, Hare's Ear's #16 and silver and gold Lightning Bugs #16. Be sure to bring bug spay and even a head net if you're heading to the Gallatin! The biting bugs have been getting pretty bad here.
Cliff and Wade Lakes can fish very well this time of year, especially if the Spruce Moths show up. We haven't gotten any definitive reports of anglers seeing them just yet, but they could show up any time. Focus on the steeper wooded banks in the morning hours and use a #14 Elk Hair Caddis to catch those trout cruising the banks in search of moths. Once the wind comes up in the afternoon, drifting along those same banks and casting a #10 pink Thunder Thighs Hopper or Longhorn Beetle can also be deadly.
July 21st, 2022
As we mentioned the evening caddis hatch on the Madison below Quake Lake has been superb! If you're heading down for some evening fishing make sure you have #17 Iris Caddis, #16 Missing Links and #16-18 Rusty Spinners. During the heat of the day some of the larger trout have been laying low but we've able to entice a good number of these guys with #14-16 Royal Wulff Cripples, #12 Chili Stone's, #16 Purple Cripples and #16 Royal trudes. For nymphs have #16 $3 dip's in brown, #16 Spanish Bullets and Sally Quills along with #16- #18 Shop Vacs. Fish have also been looking up pretty well in the early morning hours from about 7:00am to 9:00. Have some #16 Guide Winna Spinner's or some Hi-Vis Rusty Spinner's with you if you opt to fish the morning spinner fall.
As you can see by the opening photo the Yellowstone River has some great fishing to offer. The water is still a little high but seems to drop just a bit with each passing day. We have had Green Drakes, Salmonflies, PMD's and Caddis as well. Have a few Water Walkers #8, #10 Chubby's in purple and royal, # 12 Green Drake Sparkle Dun's # 12 Green Drak Spinners, # 16 Hot Spot PMD's and #16 Missing Link Caddis.
Hebgen Lake is picking up each day and while we've seen some Callibaetis we haven't as of yet seen fish get on them super well. Several "one and done" rises with no established pattern as of yet. We are still a little ways away from prime gulper time but it still well worth getting out on Hebgen. Angler's who have had the best luck are fishing underneath, chironomid style. # 12 Ice Cream Cone's, Driskill's Midge #12, #16 Red Copper John's and #16 Black Zebra Midge's have been working well for this. For dry flies have # 16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun's, #16 Grey Hot Spot Para wulff's, and #16 Callibaetis Deer Hair Spinner's
The Gallatin continues to fish well both in and out of the park. If you're fishing the park sections don't get there super early somewhere between 10:00am-11:00am will be just fine. If your wanting to start early head down towards Big Sky then work your way back up. #16 PMD Sparkle Duns, #14 Tan X-Caddis, #12 Chili Stones #14-16 Royal Wulff Cripples and even a couple Green Drake and Salmonfly patterns as these bugs are still hanging around a bit.
As we said last week and earlier in this newsletter Park small streams are fishing well. The upper Gardner, Straight Creek, Solfatara and Cascade are all good choices. #14 Peach Micro Chubbies, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #12 Gulp Beetles and #16-14 Royal Wulff Cripples will be what you want to have.
If your looking for something a little different take the 2-3 mile hike into Cascade Lake where you can expect to find some beautiful Cutthroat trout and grayling. Have with you some #14 Deer Hair Damsel, # 12 Living Damsel's #14-16 Royal Wulff Cripple and #18 Spanish Bullet's for a dropper.
July 14th, 2022
The Madison below Quake still has plenty of good dry fly opportunities even with the salmonflies all but done. Caddis, Yellowsallies, PMD's and Golden stones are all giving anglers chances at great dry fly eats. #16 Rusty Spinners have been the ticket most mornings and #20 Black Razor Caddis should trick the ones that won't eat a spinner. #12 and #14 Yellow Stimulators and #12 Water Walker Golden stones if you feel like prospecting with a bigger bug and #14 Missing Link Sallies for the smaller stones. For subsurface work #16 Spanish Bullets and Sally Quills along with #16 and #18 Shop Vacs have done quite well.
The Yellowstone is still high but coming into shape nicely. There's been a few reports of big bugs starting to show so bring a few #8 Water Walker Salmonflies or #8 Sunken Stones. We would also have a handful of your favorite drakes like a #12 Green Drake Sparkle Dun or a #12 Missing Link Green Drake. Pale Morning Duns and Caddis are rounding out the bugs, #16 PMD Sparkle Duns and #16 Missing Link Caddis will take care of those for you. Take care while wading and have fun!
The Gallatin is really showing off right now. Salmonflies, Drakes, PMD's, Caddis, Yellowsallies you name it. There's not a bad section to fish, in the park or out should treat you well. Flies like #8 Sunken Stones, #12 Green Drake Sparkle Duns, #16 PMD Sparkle Duns, #14 Tan X-Caddis and #12 Chili Stones will take care of your surface work. If you're running a dropper or a nymph rig try a #14 FKA Prince, #16 Spanish Bullet or #16 Sally Quills and hang on!
Park small streams should be on your radar going forward. Fan, Obsidian and Blacktail Deer, just to name a few of the many will all be great options. Bring some #14 Peach Micro Chubbies, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #12 Gulp Beetles and #12 Royal Wulffs will cover your flies. Grab a buddy and some snack and have a great day picking apart some of the best waters in the park!
Paradise Valley including the Yellowstone River has come back into fishing shape lately as they have been able to restore access points and boat launches. It's still a little off color but the fishing reports have been very good with streamers and nymphs still being the best producers. If you find yourself in this spectacular area of the state be sure to have some #4 JJ Sparkle Minnows, #6 Sculpin Sparkle Minnows and #8 Tungsten Sparkle Yummies should cover you for streamers. For nymphs flies like #8 Black Rubberlegs, #14 Tungsten Poudre Pupas, #14 Duracells and #16 Purple Lightning Bugs will treat you well. Have fun fishing a well rested river and enjoy supporting some communities in need.
July 7th, 2022
The Madison below Quake: The great Toby Keith once said of the Madison River, "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was." Meaning, pick a day in July to fish the Madison and you can bet it will be a great day...Okay so maybe the first part of that isn't true but the part about great fishing on the Madison is. If you're heading out early bring some #16 Guide Winna Spinna's in the brindle flavor and a few #20 Black Razor Caddis. Afternoons warrant prospecting with #14 Missing Link Yellow Sallies or a #8 Sunken Stone. Evenings are all about the caddis with #14 or #16 Tan X-Caddis and Missing Link Caddis in the same sizes. For nymphs #8 Black Rubberlegs and #16 Spanish Bullets along with #16 Crystal dips should have you covered.
The Yellowstone above the falls opened to fishing July 1st this year. Anglers were greeted with high water and very cold water temps. A few Gray Drakes were spotted the past few days but not many fish up looking for them yet. If you decide to make the trek we would recommend a #6 Sculpin Sparkle Minnow or #10 Yellowstone Soft Hackle for subsurface work. #12 Gray Drake Sparkle Duns and #12 Adam's Para-Wulff's should do the trick if you find rising fish.
Hebgen Lake has started to see some Callibaetis action this week and chironimid fishing has stayed quite solid. With the lake full expect to be able to launch a craft at any of the marked boat ramps. Damsel nymphs like the #14 Ultra Damsel Nymph have been quite productive stripped along or just above the weed beds, #16 CDC Para Spinner's have done well on the early gulpers and #12 Chironimid Bombers along with #10 Bruised Balanced Leeches have taken care of the subsurface work. Both the Madison and Grayling arms have fished well and so has the main body of the lake, it's pretty easy to find some good fishing and solitude out there right now.
If you find yourself anywhere along the Gallatin right now it's definitely worth a stop. There are salmonflies near Big Sky and through the canyon. In the park stretch we've seen good caddis, pmd's, drakes and even a few big stones. With the water still being cooler we would recommend a dry dropper rig with flies like a #12 Green Drake Razor May, #14 Tan X-Caddis or #14 Royal Wulff Cripples for a dry then dropping either a #16 Spanish Bullet, #10 Black Rubberlegs or #16 $3 Dip.
June 30th, 2022
The Madison below Quake is getting ready to go nuts! PMDs and caddis have begun to hatch throughout the river, and Salmonflies have begun their annual emergence around Ennis, and will march their way upriver over the next week or so. With the water still just a bit off color the nymphing has been very productive as well, and a dry-dropper rig is a great way to go right now. In the days to come try #16 PMD Sparkle Duns and Cripples, #14-16 tan X Caddis and Razor Caddis, and # 8 Water Walker's, #8 Salmonfly Chubby Chernobyls and #6-8 orange Sunken Stones on top, with a #6-8 black Rubberlegs, #14-16 Spanish Bullet, #16 Split-Case PMD or #16 OCD Caddis dropped underneath. One last item on the Madison, the evening caddis fishing has been great over the last few evenings so if you can get out there do so and try to stay til dark!
The Gallatin still has a greenish color to it but is very close to providing some great dry fly fishing as well. A few Salmonflies and Golden Stones have shown up on the lower river, along with a handful of caddis and smaller stoneflies. The water has dropped and cleared to a fishable level, and just needs a few more warm days to help raise the water temperature a few degrees. Try a #8 Salmonfly Chubby Chernobyl or #6 orange Sunken Stone with a #8 black Rubberlegs, #14 Pheasant Tail Prince, #14 Golden Stone Two-Bit-Hooker, or #14-16 crystal $3 Dip. If you're heading to park sections of the Gallatin the water is gin clear but needs a little time to warm up so don't worry about getting there til late morning or even noon.
We have had some good reports from the Firehole River and we are still finding a few PMDs hatching early in the morning around Biscuit Basin along with Caddis. Temperatures have been coming up into the mid 70's at the gauge station so if your heading this way you may want to keep to the sections above Midway Geyser Basin as the temps will be much cooler there. With more warm weather on the way this could be the last couple of good days on the Firehole until September.
Hebgen Lake has been ok the past week. The chironomid fishing slowed down for our guides but we are still getting some through this style of fishing. Look for Hebgen to produce some great dry fly fishing in days and weeks to come. Have with you Chan's Chironomid Bomber #12, Ice Cream Cones #14 and Driscoll's Midge's #12. Make sure you also have a few dry flies as the arm's of the lake come back into shape.
The Gibbon River has been fishing well and folks that have fished this river over the past couple of days have had very good success with attractor patterns such as Royal Wulffs, Parachute Adams and Stimulators, and small Chubby Chernobyls with a Pheasant tail dropper.
The fishing is heating up and we will be in prime time before we know it. Conditions are changing daily so we will try and keep you up to date on all the latest fishing news.
June 23rd, 2022
The Madison below Quake Lake has been dropping quite nicely this week and has been a very consistent fishery despite the color and high flows. Expect to see the flow to continue to drop as NWE tries to match the inflow to Hebgen. #6 Rubberlegs and #10 San Juan Worms have been top producers but flies like a #14 Prince Nymph and #16 Spanish Bullet have done very well trailed behind a big stonefly or worm. As the water continues to drop and clear keep an eye out for fish looking up for caddis, a #16 Tan or Olive X-Caddis should do the trick. For those of you looking to float we still wouldn't recommend floating from Lyons Bridge to Palisades as the water is a bit too high to float under the bridges at Sun West and Wolf Creek.
Hebgen Lake really came back into shape this week and has been a staple among our guides. While the arms are still a bit out of shape the main body of the lake should treat you well if you decide to give it a go. Chan's Chironomid Bomber #12, Ice Cream Cones #14 and Red Copper John's should be in every box right now. Find the drop off and keep adjusting your depth until you find what level they are holding at. Maybe a few Callibaetis start showing up in the next 7-10 days if we're lucky!
The Gallatin through the park section is starting to drop and clear. It should be a great option from here forward. Be on the lookout for caddis and pmd's. If you fish it sooner rather than later be prepared with some nymphs like a #8 Black Rubberlegs and #16 Spanish Bullets. For dries we would have a good selection of X-Caddis in Tan #16 and Olive #14 along with #16 PMD Sparkle Duns. The Taylor Fork is still bringing in quite a bit of color in to the river but if you head down that way over the next week be on the look out for Salmonflies as the river continues to drop and clear.
Early reports on the Firehole have been good. Fish were found rising to a multitude of caddis and even a few yellow sallies in spots. Keep an eye on water temps if you find yourself fishing here as some days they are creeping into the low 70's in the afternoon. For flies we would still have #16 Razor Caddis in Tan and White Miller flavors. We would also bring a #Jake's Yellow Sally.
June 16th, 2022
The fishing report will be a little short this week as we have not been able to access many of the surrounding waters and the ones that are accessible have been very out of of the shape.
The Madison below Quake Lake saw quite the increase in flows as the managers at the dam tried to match the extreme increase of inflow to Hebgen. That being said, as we see water levels down there stabilize we expect fishing to pick up quite quickly. There probably won't be many dry fly opportunities if any but nymph fishing with #6 Black Rubberlegs, #10 San Juan Worms and dropping flies like a #14 FKA Prince or #16 Black Perdigon. Streamers like a #8 Olive Sparkle Yummy or #8 Frozen Fox will also be a good option, both dead drifted deep or stripped.
Parts of Hebgen Lake are currently off color from the tributaries but should start to fish once the water settles and the sun warms it a bit. Both Cliff and Wade Lake should be good options for those looking to fish stillwaters. We would bring Callibaetis dries and be prepared with #16-18 Red Copper John's, #16-18 Zebra Midges and have a few leeches and Crawdad imitations with you.
As the intro suggests we have not been able to access any of the park waters, however once the gate opens back up we'll be in to check on the Firehole, Madison and the Gibbon. We will keep you updated on this as best we can.
June 9th, 2022
The fishing has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride over the past couple of weeks with the water conditions constantly rising and falling. The Madison River below Quake Lake as well as between the lakes has probably been the most reliable and consistent fishing around the area. On sections above the West Fork of the Madison we've had some great Baetis and Midge fishing in the greenish colored water. When clouds have been present, which has been most days, we have seen the bugs come off in good numbers and have been very willing to eat a dry off the surface as well as a high riding Baetis nymph. For Dries have Razor Mayflies #18 Baetis, #16-18 Griffith's Gnat's and Madison Buzzer's #18. Below the West Fork and specifically the float section the fishing has also been very good but we have seen very little to no dry fly fishing below Lyons Bridge. Nymphing and streamers in the float section is what you'll want to focus on. Have Scupzilla's or prospectors in black for the cloudy days and Montana Intruders and Sparkle Minnows for those brighter days. If your fishing nymphs have Pat's Rubber Legs #8 black, San Juan's #10 Pink, Prince Nymphs #14-12, Radiation Baetis #16, Glass Bullet #16 in Brown, Zebra Midges #16-18 and Spanish Bullet's #16. This selection will work well in both the wade and float sections.
The Firehole River has fished well when the water falls down to 450-550cfs beyond that it's been just ok fishing. We most likely will see a good drop towards the weekend and you can expect to see PMD's, White Miller Caddis and some Baetis. As usual soft hackles are always a great choice on the Firehole and White Miller Soft Hackles #16, Micro Beeley's #16 and Hot Spot Soft Hackles in Mint & Orange have been some of our go-to flies. The PMD's have been coming off later in the day when we have had overcast conditions so stick around for a bit during those cooler mornings. As the temperatures warm up this week starting Friday, we should see the Caddis start to pour off the river. For dry flies have White Miller Razor Caddis #16-14, Mimic PMD's #16, Hot Spot Parawulff PMD's, and Sparkle Dun Baetis #18-20. If your fishing the lower section of the Firehole you may want to also have a #8 sunken stone as we predict that we should see a few Salmon flies start to pop in the canyon.
Keep a close eye on the Gibbon and Madison rivers in the park as the levels of these two rivers should drop over the next few days. With this drop we should see some good fishing out of both of these bodies of water. Come about Saturday I wouldn't be afraid to throw Salmon fly imitation on either river, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Hebgen Lake continues to rise and is currently at 92% full. The fishing has been sporadic on the lake and while we've been catching some here and there it certainly hasn't been up to it's full potential this past week. Look for that to change with the high pressure moving in where we are predicted to see temperatures in the 70's on Friday and Saturday. Have Diawl Bach's in Traffic Light & 3D Red #12, Ice Cream Cones # 14 and Red Copper John's # 16. For Dries Grey Hot Spot Parawulff's #16, Parachute Adams #16 and Griffith's Gnat's #16.
June 2nd, 2022
Water levels have come back down this week and with the the fishing has taken a turn for the better. Over the past couple days we have had some very good reports from the Firehole River and the PMD's have shown up in good numbers over the last couple of days. Keep an eye out for White Miller Caddis as their numbers will grow in the days to come. make sure you have a few Baetis as well. The Firehole has come back down to 428 cfs and it's doesn't like we have any BIG rain on the way. Have with you Razor or Sparkle Dun PMD's #16, White Miller Caddis #16, Sparkle Dun or Razor Baetis #18-20 along with a Mimic May PMD #16 for dries. If your swinging soft hackles have Micro Beeley's #16, White Miller Soft Hackles #16, P. T Soft Hackles #16 and Soft Spot Soft Hackles in Mint and Orange. The Firehole should fish quite well this upcoming week and the Memorial Day crowds have subsided.
The Madison and the Gibbon in the Park are still running just a little high which has made fishing a bit tough the past couple of days. Give these two rivers just a day or two to get back into shape and they should fish like a champ!
The fishing on Hebgen Lake has picked up very well with the weather stabilizing the last couple of days. We are starting to see the big Midges show up and there's been fish on them. As we mentioned earlier the lake level has come up nicely and continues to rise. With a little luck we might see full pool. Keep your fingers crossed for some more rain to help make this happen. Chronomid fishing has been good, have Diawl Bach's in Traffic Light & 3D Red #12, Ice Cream Cones # 14 and Red Copper John's # 16. Balanced Leeches have also been a good choice on Hebgen. Keep an eye out for Callibaetis on Hebgen as we should see some of these guys come off in the next couple of weeks.
The Madison between the lakes has fished well. The river has color to below Cabin Creek so nymphing is the name of the game in this section. Above Cabin Creek we have seen some Baetis activity. Have with you Pat's Rubber Legs #8-10, Zebra Midges in black and Red #16-18, Jig Duracell #16 and TJ's Perdigone in olive and red #16. The water is low in this section coming out of the dam at 371 cfs. Be sure to watch for Redds in this area as the Rainbow are still in the spawn.
The Gallatin river is currently on it's way back down from about 2500 cfs last weekend to 1390 cfs currently. Your best bet is north of Big Sky in the canyon section. The Taylor's Fork is pumping in some mud so it will be off color. For now your best bet is nymphing. have with you Pat's rubber leg's #10-12, Lightning Bugs #16, Zebra Midges black #16-18, TJ's Perdigone in red #16 and Euro Stone #14.
May 26th, 2022
If you're heading to the Firehole River for the opener this weekend make sure you have Sparkle Dun PMDs #16-18, Sparkle Dun Baetis #18-20 and White Miller Razor Caddis #14-16 for dry flies. If you're fishing soft hackles, which can often be the most effective way to approach the Firehole, make sure you have Micro Beeleys #16, Ephemerella Emergers #16, Hot Spot Soft Hackles in mint and orange #16 and Nick's Soft Hackle Caddis #16. If you're looking to do a little streamer fishing, the Firehole also lends itself well to this method, especially during opening weekend. Try a white Sculpzilla or Sparring Partner.
The Madison inside Yellowstone should also fish well this week. As with the Firehole be on the lookout for Baetis, PMDs and caddis. It may still be just a bit early but also keep an eye out for stoneflies. Swinging soft hackles and nymphing should also be productive. Be prepared with the same flies as listed for the Firehole along with a few stonefly imitations like a Chubby Chernobyl and a black #6-8 Rubberlegs just in case.
The Gibbon is also a great option to check out for the opening and the sections below the falls should fish well. Again the patterns listed above will work well along with general attractors such as #16 Royal Trudes and Wulffs. Streamers can also be productive here, with olive/white and black Prospectors being great choices.
While we have seen some fish rising on Hebgen Lake, the cool wet weather has kept the major midge hatches that we have come to expect to see this time of year at bay, for at least for the time being. With the weather outlook becoming warmer over the next week, keep an eye on Hebgen as we expect this to come alive. Fishing under an indicator has been good on Hebgen and patterns like the Driskill's Midge, #16 red Copper John and black Zebra midge #16-18 will serve you well.
The Madison between the lakes is currently flowing at 422cfs which is very low for this time of year. They cut the flows back last week in an effort to raise the level of Hebgen Lake, which currently sits at 77.7% full. The fishing has been very good in this section but expect the water below Cabin Creek to be off color. Flies to have with you include Pat's Rubberlegs #8-10, Half Pints #18, $3 Dips #16-18, Spanish Bullets #16-18, Green Machines #16, Juju Baetis #18 and Radiation Baetis #16-18.
While the Madison below Quake does have color to it but it has been fishing well. The fishing has been better in the afternoon hours as of late and the water levels are low for this time of year, currently flowing at 702cfs at the Old Kirby place. Again runoff has just begun so we expect many of the tributary's to swell up in the coming week. There has been a little bit of dry fly action in isolated areas but nymphing and/or streamer fishing has been the best bet. For nymphs, Pat's Rubberlegs #8-10, $3 Dips #16-18, Spanish Bullets #16-18, Green Machines #16, Juju Baetis #18 and Radiation Baetis #16-18 have been working well. Black Super Buggers and Montana Intruders have been our go-to streamers over the past week.