September 28th, 2023
The Firehole White Millers and Baetis are flying and bringing fish to the surface. The millers will probably take a back seat to the blue wings once the weather hits this weekend. Swinging a soft hackle like #22 Baetis Soft Hackles and #16 Hot Spot Soft Hackles in Mint should be good choices. When the rain and clouds hit a #20 Rs2 Grey, #20 Improved Sparkle Dun Baetis or #20 Klinkhammer Baetis will fool them.
The Madison in the valley was dealt a windy hand the past few days but has continued to fish well. Most of our best fishing has been with nymphs but there have been a few fish still looking up for ants. I imagine you could also throw some streamers with a high level of confidence down there right now. A #10 Black Rubberlegs with a #16 Crystal Dip or #18 Green Machine underneath an indicator would be a solid choice. A #10 Space Invader or #6 Sparkle Minnow Sculpin stripped along should help move some fish as well. If the rain hits this weekend be sure to have a few #20 Improved Sparkle Dun Baetis!
The Madison in the park has some fish in the system right now and most days folks are able to find a fish or two. Big soft hackles like #10 Shakey Beeley's or #6 Lucky Bucky's have been favorites. Two nymph rigs have been productive mid day and we have been liking a #10 Rubberlegs in Coffee with a #16 Hot Vac or #18 Radiation Baetis behind the stonefly nymph. If streamers are more your speed a #6 Copper Zonker has done well as have #6 Soft Hackle Streamers in a variety of colors.
Northeast Corner if you're not set on the fishing the Lamar you will be in good shape. The weekly rains have kept the main river off color for the last while but both Slough Creek and Soda Butte have remained clear and fishable. Fish are still looking up for #10 Longhorn Beetles on occasion but small blue wings have fished better lately. We have had good success with #20 Improved Sparkle Dun Baetis, #20 Mimic May's and #20 Upright Baetis. Dropping a small nymph like a #20 Zebra Midge in red or a #20 Juju Baetis can help with a few more fish when they aren't looking up consistently.
September 21st, 2023
The Firehole should be a great option the next couple days with all the rain in the forecast. If we had to take a guess there will be some good blue wing fishing. Look for #20 Baetis Soft Hackles and #17 Peacock and Starling to be good choices for swinging. On the surface a #20 or #22 Upright Baetis or #20 Improved Sparkle Dun Baetis will do the trick. If you're fishing below the falls try a #10 Black Rubberlegs followed up with a #16 Guide Dip or #18 Radiation Baetis. There will probably be quite a bit of traffic on the river this weekend so be sure to give one another space and watch what direction people are fishing before hopping in.
The Madison in the valley had some good hopper fishing before the rain. Better late than never, maybe it picks up again after this front works its way through? If you're heading down this weekend go prepared with Baetis and midge nymphs along with a selection of streamers. We would start with a #10 Black Rubberlegs followed by a #18 $3 Serendipity or Crystal Dip. If they aren't chewing on that switch up to a #20 JuJu Baetis or #16 Montana Bullet. If you feel like throwing some bigger bugs try a #8 Black Bouface or #10 Space Invader stripped along your favorite bucket or drop off. When this weather clears we'll give an update on the terrestrial fishing.
The Madison in between the lakes can be a busy place this time of year but can offer up some good fishing. It's mainly a nymph fishery for us but don't be surprised if you see some fish rising to blue wings this weekend. Start with a #10 Red San Juan Worm trailed by a #16 Poudre Pupa or #18 Radiation Baetis. If you see fish up on the surface a #20 Klinkhammer Baetis oughta do the trick. Streamers can also be productive in this stretch and a #8 Sheila Sculpin or #10 Super Bugger can help move some fish.
Northeast Corner had some spotty fishing this past week but overall is still fishing well. We will probably see Lamar go dirty once again this week but Slough and Soda Butte should be fishable for a majority of it. #10 Longhorn Beetles have been helping us hold on to the terrestrial bite but #12 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Duns or #20 Improved Sparkle Dun Baetis have been more productive day in and day out. As always Zebra Midges of various sizes and colors are tough to beat subsurface and we'll probably see that trend continue as we cool down.
September 14th, 2023
The Firehole has been fishing consistently well in the morning hours with a swung fly. There have even been a few blue wings on the rainy days. With our upcoming forecast look for the river to fish longer in to the afternoon with cooler water temps. It's tough to beat a #16 White Miller Soft Hackle in there right now but #16 Partridge and Peacocks and #16 Micro Beeley's have also been good choices. If you're looking for some dry fly action try tossing a #18 Arrick's Flying Ant along some of the undercut banks.
The Madison in the valley fished very well last week and we're looking forward to another good week of fishing. Like most of the summer the ant bite was king but there were some good hopper eats the past few days. With the cooler weather rolling in look for the terrestrial bite to slow way down, but I bet we have a few more solid days of dry fly action in store. There have also been some blue wings hatching on the snotty days and fish have responded to a nicely drifted #18 Radiation Baetis or #20 Juju Baetis. #16 Cinnamon Glitter Ants and #18 Arrick's Flying Ants have been fooling a lot of fish sitting in the slicks.
The Madison in between the lakes Tricos, ants and blue wings have been the ticket. Fishing small nymphs has also been very productive for those not in love with fishing the tiny dries. For the trico's we've still been liking the #20 Cdc Para-Spinner or #20 Guide Winna Spinna. For nymphs #12 Red San Juan Worms and #18 Crystal Dips along with #18 Green Machines. Blue wings can show up on the crummier days and a #20 Upright Baetis can be just the ticket. Throwing a streamer like a #10 Space Invader might not be a bad idea either.
Northeast Corner Slough and Soda Butte have been running clear and fishing well. The Lamar has been touch and go with the rain. If it's clear it is well worth fishing. Look for drakes, blue wings and the remaining terrestrials to get fish looking up from the mid morning hours and on. For dries a #12 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Dun, #20 Baetis Sparkle Dun or Upright Baetis and #14 Pink Morrish Hoppers should be good choices. Zebra Midges, #16 Montana Bullets and #16 Frenchies will cover the underwater work.
September 7th, 2023
The Firehole has been a hot topic lately. Water temperatures have been good the last few days but be sure to keep an eye on afternoon temps if you head that way. Early mornings are the safe bet and then move somewhere cooler in the afternoon. There have been a few caddis around including White Millers. Small hoppers and ants should also convince a few fish into making mistakes. Swinging a #16 White Miller Soft Hackle should be productive or prospecting with a #16 Saliga's Epoxy Ant could be an option. It won't be long until we're back in prime time, but it's not happening quite yet.
The Madison in the valley is starting to show some signs of fall. With the rain last week we saw a few days of blue wings hatching, while no fish really keyed in on the duns the nymph fishing was quite productive. Ants have still been the best choice for the dry fly bite and I imagine that will continue until we see a freeze. With cooler water temps we should see the streamer bite start to pick up as well, so if you like the big flies now may be your time. If you're heading down that way be sure to have some #16 Arrick's Flying Ants, #16 Brown Montana Bullets, #18 Green Machines and #20 Juju Baetis.
The Madison in between the lakes has been quite good the last few weeks. There are still some trico's and fish looking up for them in the morning. Fishing a small hopper or ant has been good during the afternoon hours for those looking to stick with the dry. Nymphing is as consistent as always. We've been liking a #20 Cdc Para-Spinner Trico for the mornings and a #12 Donkey Kong Hopper or Arrick's Flying Ant in the afternoon. For nymphs a #16 Hot Vac or #16 Lite Brite Perdigon have been good choices. We generally fish a smaller nymph behing a #10 Black Rubber Legs or Red San Juan worm this time of year just to help them get down.
Northeast Corner is fishing just fine at the start of fall. There are bugs flying and terrestrials are still fooling fish. Last weekends rain colored up the Lamar and Soda Butte, but they should be in fine shape for this weekend. #12 and #14 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Duns should have a spot in everyone's box right now. The same could be said about #18 Zebra Midges for the sub surface game. There have been Baetis around as well so it would be beneficial to have a few #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns. It can be busy over there so be sure to be courteous and give other anglers space and have fun!
August 31st, 2023
Hebgen has actually fished almost kinda halfway decent-ish(?) this week. I know that's a hard sell after previous reports but it may be worth a visit if you haven't been on it in a few weeks. I won't sit here and tell you it's the greatest fishery in the area right now but it has been surprising a few folks lately. One thing I will say is to keep an eye on water temps, especially in the Madison arm come late morning/early afternoon. Fishing a #16 Driscoll's Callibaetis Nymph either solo or under a #16 Adam's Para-Wulff has been good. We've also seen some good success with #18 Cdc Para-Spinners.
The Madison in the valley still has fish looking up for your favorite terrestrial patterns. We've been throwing lots of ants most days along with grasshopper patterns. #18 Arrick's Flying Ants, #16 Glitter Ants and #17 Missing Link Honey Ants have all been good options. #10 Yellow or Tan Thunder Thighs and #14 Morrish Hoppers have done well lately. This time of year fish seem to like to hang out on shallow bars with good drops back in to deep water, so be sure to break those areas down. You'll still find fish tight to the bank early and late in the day or during overcast days. Our top nymphs have been #16 Crystal Dips, #16 Hot Vacs and #18 Purple Perdigons.
The Madison in between the lakes is a good place to search around with a terrestrial like a #12 Yellow Donkey Kong Hopper or #14 Arrick's Flying Ant. There may be a few trico's around as well so keep an eye on the slicks for fish sipping spinners, a #20 Trico Guide Winna Spinna is a good choice in the mornings. If you're running a dropper or a nymph rig be sure to have a few flashier nymphs like a #16 Lite Brite Perdigones or #14 Blowtorch. Small nymphs like #16 Montana Bullets, #18 Jiggy Micro Mays or #18 Red Zebra Midges should also be fishing well.
Northeast Corner Drake Mackerel's, Baetis and terrestrials! Keep a well stocked fly box if you're headed that way as you could hit multiple different bites. There's been reports of ant swarms so it's no surprise that a #16 Arrick's Flying Ant has been a good producer. #10 Longhorn Beetles have been a good choice for doing some prospecting and so have #14 Drake Mackerel Sparkle Duns. If you run in to a hatch of the little cream Baetis try a #20 Pmd Guide Winna Spinna. We do have some rain on the menu this weekend so keep an eye on the Lamar gauge. If it spikes plan on it coloring up.
August 24th, 2023
Small streams We have a couple weeks left of prime small stream fishing. If you haven't made your way up one of these little bodies of water yet now is the time. Grab a couple #14 Thundergrass Hoppers or #14 Arrick's Para-Ants and go have a blast. They are a perfect change of pace from some of our busier fisheries and ofter offer up many willing fish willing to come up and eat a dry fly.
The Madison in the valley Has fished pretty well lately, especially with ants. With the smaller dries focus on the soft water along the banks or the big slicks behind rocks. During the afternoon hours feel free to toss around some hoppers and don't dismiss the heavy water when fishing the big foam bugs. The nymph bite has remained better with small flies both as droppers and on dedicated nymph rigs. Some of our favorite flies in the valley right now are #15 Missing Link Honey Ants, #10 Yellow Thunder Thighs, #12 Skippy Hoppers and #16 Montana Bullets.
The Madison in between the lakes Is a great spot to fish a dry dropper right now. There are still some spruce moths around and the hopper bite is getting better by the day. Running a little caddis dropper like a #16 Poudre Pupa under a #14 Elk Hair Caddis or #14 Tan Thunder Thighs has been extremely productive most days. Much like the river down in the valley, focus on calmer water with the small dries and heavier water with the bigger bugs.
Northeast Corner Should be cleared up after last weekends rain. Terrestrials like #10 Longhorn Beetles should still be on the menu along with #16 Black/Cinnamon Para-Ants. Keep an eye out for the little cream Baetis and maybe even some fall drakes. A #20 Guide Winna Spinna Pmd should do the trick and so should a #12 Drake Mack Sparkle Dun should you run into either of these hatches. If you find yourself in a tough bite don't hesitate to put a little #18 Red or Purple Zebra Midge underneath a dry, they can be day savers.
August 17th, 2023
Hebgen Lake has had some Callibaetis action the last few days. The hatch still isn't heavy most days nor is it getting fish to look up consistently, but it is a step in the right direction. Fishing a dropper about 6" below a dry has been productive while fishing to the scattered risers. We've been using a #16 Adam's Parawulff with a #16 Driscoll's Callibaetis Nymph or #16 Feather Duster underneath it. The same nymphs along with a #16 Red Copper John should treat you okay for pure subsurface work. There are also some trico's still around and a #20 Trico Cdc Para-Spinner should help you play the game.
The Madison in the valley The hopper bite has really come on strong this past week with some nice fish coming to hand daily. While tossing big foam or deerhair hoppers is the main draw don't discount fishing ants, beetles or even bee patterns. If you're throwing any type of terrestrial be sure to cover water, this isn't a traditional "hatch" were fish will sit in a good lie and eat everything that floats by. It's more like streamer fishing, some fish will be willing to play and others won't. Some of our favorite dries right now are #14 Thunder Thighs, #10 Thunder Thighs, #14 Dave's Hopper, #18 Royal Wulff Cripple and #16 Arrick's Para-Ant. Smaller droppers have continued to produce and we've been using #18 Olive Spanish Bullets, #16 Jig Napoleon's and #18 Crystal Dips with good success.
The Gallatin is seeing some spruce moth's down around Big Sky, so be sure to have some #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis. There has also been a good bite with ants and beetles, #16 Black Glitter Ants, #12 Gulp Beetles and #14 Peach Thundergrass Hoppers have all done well. Nymph fishing has also been consistent both in and out of the park. We have been liking a #14 BH Prince Nymph or #16 Hot Butt Hare followed by a smaller nymph like a #16 Tj Perdigon or #18 Shop Vac. With nymphing just focus on the deeper holes, but any of those nymphs dropped under a small hopper should work along the whole river.
Northeast Corner has been fishing very well after the rain earlier in the month. Keep an eye on the radar if you're heading this way over the weekend as another storm may muddy up the Lamar again. Until then feel free to prospect with your favorite terrestrial pattern. A small pink grasshopper like #14 Morrish Hopper or #14 Thunder Thighs are generally good choices. A #10 Longhorn Beetle is a pretty solid bet as well. There can be some small bugs starting to show as we roll in to late August and we will normally carry a few #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns this time of year just in case. Soda Butte will be Closed from Ice Box Canyon to the Park Boundary from August 14-18th for non native fish removal.
August 10th, 2023
Hebgen Lake still saw trico's through the rain last week and that should continue as our weather improves this weekend. Callibaetis, much to everyones dismay have still been quite spotty. There have been isolated pockets of success with the hatch but overall I would say chances of hitting the Powerball are better. The subsurface bite has been good with #16 Red Copper Johns, #16 Beadhead Callibaetis Nymphs and #16 Split Case Pmd's. If you find fish on the surface a #16 Tilt-Wing Callibaetis or #20 Trico Hi-Vis Para Spinner depending on what they're eating. #18 Cdc Flying Ants can also start fooling some fish this time of year.
The Madison in the valley has been fishing very well with nymphs, especially during the rain. Fish have been looking up during the clearer times and that should continue with our sunny 10-day forecast. General attractor dries can be overlooked sometimes but don't discount Royal Wulff's, Humpy's or Chubby Chernobyl's. We fish these from #10's down to #16's with good success when not much else is happening. Nymphing has been very consistent with #16 Beadhead Crystal Dips, #18 Olive Spanish Bullets and #18 $3 Serendipities have all fished well. Now that the sun has kicked back in we would definitely carry some #14 Yellow Thunder Thighs and #14 Dave's Hoppers. #16 Arrick's Para-Ant's should fool plenty of fish also.
The Gallatin has continued to be a good option both in and out of the park. Hopper/dropper set ups have been the way to go most days. There are still a few caddis and yellow sallies around but terrestrials have been turning more heads as of late. Try a #14 Thunder Thighs or #12 Donkey Kong in pink or tan with a #16 Spanish Bullet or Hot Vac underneath. We're still looking for that good spruce moth bite to show up so it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a few #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis on hand in case you run into the moths.
Northeast Corner The Lamar has been off color due to all the precipitation but should start to clear in the next couple days. Soda Butte has stayed relatively clear as has Slough Creek. Look for fish to start keying in to more terrestrial going forward with the new sunny outlook. #16 Black Para-Ants, #10 Longhorn Beetles and #14 Thundergrass Hoppers would be good choices during the next week. You may see the odd Pmd or Epeorus flying around so a #16 Rusty Spinner would be a good one to have in the box as well. Soda Butte will be Closed from Ice Box Canyon to the Park Boundary from August 14-18th for non native fish removal.
August 3rd, 2023
Hebgen Lake was getting good trico's on the Madison arm before this colder, wetter weather. We may see that continue, although a bit later in the day or maybe when the warm weather returns. Callibaetis are still spotty but offer good fishing when you find them in numbers. Your best bet will be in either the Madison Arm or Grayling Arm for hatches. Try a #20 CDC Para-Spinner Trico or #16 Deer Hair Spinner for your surface work. #16 Split Case Pmd's and #16 Red Copper Johns have still been the most consistent subsurface flies.
The Madison in the valley has fished well over the last week and it seems as though the afternoon hopper bite is starting to pick up. Fish have been looking up for spinners in the early morning hours so be sure to have a few #16 Hi-Vis Rusty's with you. If you stay on the surface through the afternoon try a #14 Pink or Yellow Thunder Thighs. #16 Black Para-Ants have also fished well. For droppers or nymph rigs we would definitely have #18 Olive Spanish Bullets and #16 Hot Vacs right now.
The Gallatin is a great option as we roll into August. Water temps remain nice and cool providing comfortable habitat for trout to feed. There's still some bugs flying around but look for hoppers, beetles and ants to be the main course during the day. Depending on where you're fishing you may want a few spruce moth's as well. With the current forecast there may be a few pmd's about so be sure to have some #16 Mimic May Pmd's and #16 Hi-Vis Rusty's. When the sun is out try a #16 Black Bionic Ant or #12 Tan Donkey Kong. For nymphs #16 Sally Quill's and #16 Shop Vac's have been good choices.
Northeast Corner may have a bit of color to it after this weeks rain. Keep an eye on the gauge if you're heading over that way. Terrestrials have been tough to beat for surface eats, but there are still a few pmd's and caddis around. #12 Pink Donkey Kong Hoppers and #14 Pink Thunder Thighs along with #10 Longhorn Beetles should have all your foam needs covered. #16 Sally Quills and #18 Red Zebra Midges should fish well underneath.
July 27th, 2023
Hebgen Lake We're starting to see some more consistent action as far as surface activity goes. It's still not prime time but it is becoming a better option for those willing to wait for the bugs and the fish to show. Trico's have been making an appearance early in the Madison Arm with some Callibaetis beginning to show late mornings across the lake. Look for a dry dropper rig to be a safe bet when chasing scattered risers. Try a #16 Adams Parawulff with a #16 Split Case Pmd dropped about 4" underneath. If you're brave enough to chase fish on trico's a #20 Trico Cdc Para-Spinner should do the job.
The Madison in the valley is seeing some good caddis and spinner fishing in the early morning hours and slowing down a bit in the afternoon. The evening caddis bite has still been quite good but not until about 8pm through dark. We're still fishing a #16 Missing Link Caddis, #16 Yellow Stimulators and #12 Chili Stone almost daily. For nymphs #18 Olive Spanish Bullets and #18 Black Perdigon's have been good producers. If you hit that mid-day lull try a #12 Mimic Hopper or #16 Black Para-Ant.
The Gallatin has been a really solid choice for a majority of the day here lately. Look for a #16 Rusty Spinner to fool those morning risers and turn to a #16 Tan X-Caddis once the caddis start to hatch around noon. There are still quite a few yellow sallies flying around as well so let's add a #16 Yellow Stimulator to the box as well. It can be beneficial to add a dropper mid-day and we're big fans of a #16 Pmd Quill or Sally Quill right now.
Northeast Corner has fished well with caddis, pmd's and smaller terrestrials. Look for fish to be in the riffles early and moving towards the pools and cut banks as the sun gets higher. We've been tossing #10 Longhorn Beetles, #15 Missing Link Honey Ant's and #14 Morrish Hoppers with good success. If you happen to hit a good hatch of pmd's a #16 Pmd Sparkle Dun is always a good choice.
July 20th, 2023
The Yellowstone has been pretty consistent this week. It's been a bit tough to recommend flies as there's a little bit of everything going on depending on where you're at. A well prepared angler would have a solid selection of caddis, pmd's, yellow sallies, golden stones, salmonflies, green drakes and terrestrials. Some of the solid producers have been #8 Salmonfly Skinny Chubbies, #10 Golden Skinny Chubbies, #12 Chili Stones, #16 Sally Quill and #16 Olive Spanish Bullets.
The Madison in the valley has lost a bit of that all day dry fly bite, but it is still fishing very well. We've seen a better bite running a dry dropper rig most days but if you're willing to cover some water and stick to the dry you should still do well up top. Yellow Sallies and Caddis have been our best dries with either a Missing Link Sally #14 or #16 Caddis, on the general attractor side try a #12 Chili Stone or #14 Hi-Vis Micro Chubby Peach. For a dropper try a #16 Sally Quill or #16 Purple Psycho Prince.
The Gallatin has had some up days and some down days this week. Overall it's been a good option most afternoons and evenings. Green drakes have arrived in the park and have mixed in with the daily dose of caddis, pmd's and yellow sallies. A Missing Link in the correct flavor should fool fish up top. So #10 Green Drake, #18 Caddis, #16 PMD or #14 Yellow Sally. For nymphs look to a #10 Prince Nymph, #10 Coffee Rubber Legs or a #16 Sally Quill. Still not an early morning fishery due to cold water, expect surface activity to start between 11am to noon.
Northeast Corner has been a great choice for angling opportunities this week. While the hatches have been a bit inconsistent the dry fly fishing has still been quite good. #16 Tan X-Caddis, #14 Chili Stones and #16 PMD Sparkle Duns should have you pretty well covered for your general patterns. If you have nothing going on as far as hatches go try tossing a #14 Gulp Beetle or a #16 Black Para-Ant. One thing to keep in mind is that all the biting insects are out so be sure you go loaded with bug spray!
July 13th, 2023
The Madison between the lakes is starting to see some big stoneflies. Both golden's and salmonflies have been seen flying around. This is a great time of year to set up a dry-dropper rig with something like a #8 Salmonfly Skinny Chubby or #10 Golden Skinny Chubby with a #14 Olive Spanish Bullet or #16 Little Green Machine hanging underneath. If you're fishing two nymphs then add a #8 Coffee Rubberlegs in front of one of the aforementioned nymphs.
The Madison in the valley Yellow is your color right now. golden stones, yellow sallies and pmd's are out and about. #12 Water Walker Golden's, #16 Yellow Stimulators and #16 Razor May's have all been catching fish. Of course you can't forget about the caddis, #16 Missing Link Caddis and #16 Tan X-Caddis are our current go-to's. For nymphs a #10 Coffee Rubberlegs and #16 Sally Quill Spanish Bullet have been good choices along with a #16 Crystal Dip.
The Gallatin fished well this past week but it's not prime time quite yet. Look for fish rising to caddis and spinners in the evening. A #16 Tan X-Caddis and #16 Guide Winna Spinna Brindle will be good choices. Fishing a #8 Improved Sunked Stone with a #16 Spanish Bullet or Kryptonite Caddis under it would be a great way to cover water during the midday hours. Keep an eye out for green drakes soon!
Northeast Corner has come into shape and is fishing well. As always keep an eye on that radar before you go as a good afternoon thunder boomer will blow out the Lamar for a day or two. Slough has caddis, pmd's and gray drakes flying around. #12 Gray Drake Spinners, #16 PMD Sparkle Duns and #18 Missing Link Caddis should be in everyone's box. If you can't find any fish looking up try dropping a #18 Red Zebra Midge.
June 29th, 2023
The Madison inbetween the lakes will be probably be all over the place as we see flows increase over the next few days. Plan on nymphs to be the name of the game until flows and water temps stabilize. Rubberlegs in black or coffee #6 or #8 will be solid choices over the next couple weeks. Hot Butt Hare's in #14 and #10 Jig Nation Green Drakes are a few other good choices for heavy flies that should help you catch some fish. Pmd's and caddis should be the first to show followed by salmonflies and drakes. Once water levels are set we'll see the dry fly action pick up with #16 Pmd Sparkle Duns, #16 Tan X-Caddis and #8 Sunken Stones.
The Madison in the valley has started to fish well with dries over the last couple days. Caddis, Pmd's and even a few Salmonflies down low. The powers that be have decided to start releasing more water from the dam so the fish may be moving around a bit day to day but warm days and hatching bugs should have them looking up for a meal. Take your favorite #14 or #16 X-Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis or Missing link, tie it to a 9' 4x leader and go have some fun! If you find yourself on the river early in the day or when the fish just aren't looking up then tie on a #8 Black or Coffee Rubberlegs trailed by a #16 Tungsten Poudre Pupa, #14 Olive Spanish Bullet or #14 TJ Perdigon and fish those bankside drop offs.
The Firehole should have a few more good days left above Midway Geyser Basin. We've seen water temps hit 70* on the lower gauge below Midway. Go early armed with some #16 Rusty Spinners and your "A" game. There will be some caddis and sallies around so be prepared to imitate those with a Missing Link in the appropriate color. We had a darn good run this spring and are looking forward to what fall on the Firehole has in store!
Hebgen Lake has finally found it's footing. While the dry fly fishing is still a day to day deal, the subsurface bite has been good. The water temps are still on the cool side so look for fish to be on or near the bottom most days. Fishing two nymphs has still been the best bet and while the flies haven't changed much the fish have been responding to them better. Bruised Balanced Leeches and #12 Ice Cream Cones are still solid choices and Driscoll's Midges had a pretty good week too. The whole lake should be an option so let the wind dictate where you launch from.
June 22nd, 2023
The Madison in the park has been experiencing some good caddis hatches in the evening. Look for the bugs to start around 4pm around the upper end below the confluence. For flies a #16 or #18 Tan X-Caddis should fool those picky meadow fish. Tie that onto a 9' 4x leader but don't be scared to add a few feet of 5x if you're getting snubbed. This won't always be a numbers game but a fun and challenging way to spend an evening without having to drive down to the ranch.
The Madison in the valley is running very low currently and running clear in between storms. Whether it's clear or not nymphing has been good. Caddis nymphs, stonefly nymphs and jigs have all been effective. Some of our favorites currently are #16 BH Prince Nymphs, #8 Coffee Rubberlegs, #16 Spanish Bullets and #16 Shop Vacs. While we would love to say the dry fly bite has started, that's just not been the case. We are still looking at a cooler than normal long range forecast, but with the low water a few warmer days could really get it going up top.
The Firehole beyond all expectations is still pumping out great pmd and caddis hatches. Sunny days should be all about the caddis and sallies with #16 Missing Link Caddis and White Miller X-Caddis being the gold standards. #16 Mini Hots are also a great choice right now. On days when the clouds take over look for Pale Morning Duns to start anywhere from 10am-12pm depending on temps. PMD Sparkle Duns in a #16 continue to fish well and a #16 PMD Guide Winna Spinna is a good one for those who have trouble finding a Sparkle Dun on the water.
Hebgen Lake is perfectly content with being inconsistent. Chironomids have still been the best choice of fly, especially in larger sizes like #12 and #14 Ice Cream Cones. Most days fish seem to be hugging close to the bottom with the occasional period of surface or near surface activity. A good stretch of warm weather should help expedite fish moving into the shallower arms to feed but until then focus on the drops into deeper water. If you're out there on a warm calm day be sure to have a few #14 Adam's Parachutes incase you hit the jackpot.
June 15th, 2023
The Madison down in the valley has really come into great shape over the last week. It's actually running just a touch below average flow for this time of year. There's been a few caddis in the air but we are probably a week to ten days away from fish looking up consistently if we were to take a guess. Streamer fishing has remained solid with #6 Sparkle Minnows and Space Invaders being great choices to strip down a bank. Nymph fishing will be the best bet for pure numbers though. We've been fishing a two fly rig with a #8 Black Rubberlegs followed up by a #16 Prince or #16 Tungsten Poudre Pupa behind it. #14 or #16 Crystal Dips are also a wonderful choice this time of year. One important thing to note is that the Montana State "Bird" (aka mosquitoes) have taken up residence in the valley so be sure to bring your Skeeter Skat!
The Firehole is still hanging in there with great water temps thanks to this cold front that's been hanging around. It's not every year we get to fish it for this long and are we sure enjoying it! Cloudy days have been offering up some great pmd hatches and when the sun pops out look out for the caddis! We've had good success swinging a #16 White Miller Soft Hackle or #16 PMD Soft Hackle pre hatch and switching to a #16 White Miller X-Caddis or #16 DOA Cripple PMD or #16 PMD Sparkle Dun when the fish start looking up. The river is fishing well from top to bottom so don't be scared to spread out and fish some different water.
Hebgen Lake has become a bit more consistent over the last few days from the reports we've been hearing. Jordan and a buddy fished it late into the evening a few days ago and were rewarded with some great fish eating chironomids. It's still mainly a subsurface game but on calm afternoons and evenings you may find fish up eating on the surface. #12 Ice Cream Cones and #12 Diawl Bach 3D's will be good choices on a two fly rig along with Black or Olive Pine Squirrel Leeches. If you find fish up working on the surface try a #16 Royal Wulff Cripple or a #18 Griffith's Gnat.
June 8th, 2023
The Madison is fishing well both in and out of the park. In the very upper reaches just below the confluence of the Firehole and the Gibbon you may see some caddis or PMD's bringing fish to the surface during late morning into early afternoon. A #16 DOA PMD Cripple or #16 Missing Link Caddis should do the trick. This will be a viable fishery for as long as water temps stay cool enough. Down in the valley at Raynolds or $3 Bridge the river is starting to come into shape quite nicely. Flows out of the dam continue to drop and clarity improves by the day. It is still purely a subsurface game, but dry fly season will be here before we know it. Not much has changed down here for fly selection, #8 Black Rubberlegs, #10 Pink or Red San Juan Worms, #16 FKA Prince Nymphs and #14 Hot Butt Hare's are all fishing well.
The Firehole is offering up some great dry fly fishing currently. During the course of a day you may see Blue Wings, PMD's, Yellow Sallies, and White Millers. Below Midway the hatches have been starting around 10:30am and up above the basin we've been seeing bugs start around 1:00pm. Soft hackles have still been a solid bet when they just aren't eating off the surface. If you find yourself heading in to fish the Firehole you'll want to be prepared for anything but here's a few flies we wouldn't be without, #16 Firehole PMD Sparkle Dun, #14 Missing Link Caddis, #16 Missing Link Caddis and #16 Micro Beeley.
Hebgen Lake is everyone's worst enemy right now...until the next day when it is your best friend. It's been a tough one to pattern this year but it is giving up some great days and nice fish when it wants to! Don't be scared to bounce around to a few different areas until you find fish. Just because they were in a spot a few days ago doesn't mean they will be there your next trip. Much like the Madison not much has changed for flies. When you locate fish they should eat #14 Ice Cream Cones, #12 Pine Squirrel Leeches, #12 Driscoll's Midge and #10 Emerging Buggers.
June 1st, 2023
The Madison is still high from top to bottom. The river below Quake lake is still very off color but we should start to see it drop as the "flushing flow" is now over with. Keep an eye on the Kirby Gauge to drop and as the water drops look for the river to start to clear just a bit and for the fishing to pick back up. You'll want to focus on the calm water tight to the banks still with #8 Black Rubberlegs followed by something like a #14 FKA Prince or #16 Crystal Dip. Streamers like a #10 Space Invader or #8 Bouface can be fun to fish in the high water, change up your retrieve until you find what the fish like and don't be scared to dead drift them.
The Firehole is still running a tad high but is fishing quite well. Swinging soft hackles throughout the morning has been productive and warm afternoons have brought fish up to the surface. There's been a mix of Baetis, PMD's and White Millers although none have necessarily been the dominant hatch. Micro Beeley's and White Miller Soft Hackles have been great choices along with #16 Tungsten Pheasant Tail Soft Hackles for swinging. If you see fish rising a #16 Firehole PMD Sparkle Dun or #18 Baetis Sparkle Dun will do just fine depending on which mayflies are coming off. If you find fish on White Millers then a #16 White Miller X-Caddis should be all you need.
Hebgen Lake the midge fishing has arrived (kinda)! Afternoons and evenings with calm winds should provide some dry fly activity for those patient enough to wait out the chironomid eaters. This fishery is still improving by the day and as the lake level stabilizes we should see the fishing do the same. Black or Olive Balanced Leeches in tandem with a #14 Ice Cream Cone or Diawl Bach Traffic Light #12. Driscoll's Midge #12 can be a great spring time bug too!