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.