November 18th, 2021
The Madison below Quake has seen some midge activity and there are some heads up between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm. Improved Zelon,Skittering and Twisted midges are perfect in this stretch. Along with the dry fly fishing nymphing is always a good way to go. Zebra midges in red and black #20's, Juju midges #20, and red Two bit hookers will keep you in the fish.
The Madison between the Lakes has fished strong this past week and there seems to be a very good number of fish in this little stretch. The flies mentioned above along with Pat's Rubber legs #8, San Juan's and a Prince Nymph #14 are what you'll want with you here.
Wherever you fish this time of year, please remember that it is brown trout spawning season. Please exercise caution when wading and if you encounter any redds or actively spawning fish, please leave them be so they can produce the next generation of trout in peace.
November 11th, 2021
The Madison below Quake Lake continues to fish well. Nymphs have been productive from mid-morning on once things have begun to warm up, with small Half Pints, $3 Dips, Shop Vac's and Micro Mayflies still producing well. Baetis activity in this stretch appears to be over for the year, but good midge activity has brought plenty of trout to the surface most afternoons. These bugs have been tiny lately, so make sure to have #22 and #24 Improved Zelon Midges if you are heading here.
The Madison in between the lakes is fishing well with nymphs and streamers. Try the same small nymphs mentioned above, as well as a black Rubberlegs stonefly nymph. If you're looking for a truly big brown, pulling a streamer through some of the deeper holes here can sometimes reveal a monster.
The Henry’s Fork below Ashton Reservoir fished quite well over the weekend for a few of us who decided to make the drive down. Fish were found rising to Baetis and midges both in the river and in the Chester Backwater. These fish were picky and we found dropping down to 5x (sigh) or dropping a #22 Foam Nymph Baetis brought moderate amounts of success. The better and more consistent bite was subsurface running nymph rigs consisting of a #8 Black or Coffee colored Rubber Legs with a red or purple Zebra Midge dropper. Small Baetis nymphs also produced well with #18 Radiation and Juju Baetis being good choices. The streamer bite was streaky but fun none the less. Sparkle minnows in Sculpin or Black Light were definitely some of our favorites, but don’t hesitate to play around with colors until you find what piques their fancy! It’s a pretty neat fall fishery which can provide some solitude on one of the areas more famous rivers.
November 4th, 2021
Fishing the Madison in the Park during it's final days of the season should be good the next few days. We haven't had any earth shattering reports on this section of river but we have been catching some nice fish coming up from Hebgen this past week. The weather looks like it's going to stay nice and cloudy so get out there and give it one last try. For nymphs have black rubber legs in size 6 and 8 or large Prince nymphs #4 and 6, Crystal dips #16-18, Guide Dips #16-14, Shop vacs #16, San Juan's and red copper johns #16. For streamers our best patterns of late have been Mini Montana Intruders, Mark's Goblin in Copper & Black and Purple & Black. For soft hackles Shakey Beeley's , Full Dressed Red's, Partridge & Ice and Blew on Blue's have been swinging up some nice fish.
There are still a few Baetis coming off the Firehole River around mid-day, making for some very good dry fly fishing. The bugs have not always shown up across the entire river, though, so you will want to walk a bit to find areas with the best activity. As usual, standard soft hackle patterns have been taking enough trout to fill in the rest of the day. Remember the small in the fall rule and have size 22 Baetis.
You may want to check out the Gibbon River one last time in the next few days! Gibbon Meadows or Elk Park could be a sleeper bet for Baetis this weekend. While the trout are not as plentiful as the Firehole, the chances of catching slightly larger fish is good.
Madison below Quake Lake is a great option right now. There are still Baetis mayflies hatching in the wade stretch as well as midges, so if you are willing to search them out, you can still find some rising trout here in the afternoon hours. Try #24 Baetis Sparkle Duns, #20-24 Improved Zelon Midges or #20-22 Scotty's Midges if you do run into fish feeding on top. Nymphing continues to produce plenty of fish in this area as well, so be sure to try a #10 black Rubberlegs or #14 Euro Stone with a #18 Radiation Baetis, Half Pint, or brown or crystal $3 Dip as a dropper and go catch some trout!
The Gallatin can provide some good nymphing this time of year, particularly in the canyon stretch downstream of Big Sky. Concentrate on the slower, deeper runs and try #10 black Rubberlegs, #14 Euro Stone, #16 Psycho Prince, #16-18 crystal Serendipity, and #20 Micro Madison Midge.
The Madison between the lakes continues to fish well also. Try nymphing a #6 Hungarian Prince along with a #16 Shop Vac, #16 Radiation Baetis, #18 Half Pint, or #18 Micro Madison Baetis nymph. If you are looking for a really big brown, this is a great spot to strip or dead drift a Wounded Sculpin or copper Zonker as well.
October 28th, 2021
Madison, lower Firehole and lower Gibbon Rivers: With the recent rain and snow, we have seen a slight uptick in the number of lake fish in the system. While the numbers of fish are not heavy, it can still be worth taking a swing for a beautiful brown or rainbow. Shakey Beeley’s, Soft Hackle Streamers, Yellowstone Soft Hackles and Sheilas Sculpins have all produced for us. The overcast skies have also brought out good numbers of Baetis and the lake fish will get up on them. I would not head to the river without a few Upright Baetis or Black Wing Cripples in 20 and 22. For the nymph fisherman, rubber leg nymphs with a Shop Vac, Red Neck or Otter Egg pattern below will work.
Madison below Hebgen and Quake Lakes: Baetis and midges have been coming of in early to mid afternoon with cloudy days being most productive. The same Baetis as above along with a zelon midge in size 22 being a great choice. Black Zebra Midges in 22, Pheasant Tails in 20 and 22 dropped below a Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig or Frenchie are all good options. This can also be a great time of year for the streamer folks. Sculpzilla's, Kreelex or Sparkle Minnows are consistent patterns for us.
Gallatin River: The canyon section is going to be the best option this late in the season and we do not recommend getting too early a start to your day. Sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, take a nap, make some coffee and then consider heading out. The same midges, Baetis, nymphs and streamers will work here as on the Madison.
Firehole River: Baetis and midges are the name of the game for dry flies on this river. The cold temps have knocked the caddis fishing out for the season more than likely. As usual a variety of soft hackle patterns will work here. Baetis Soft Hackle, Hot Spot Soft Hackles, Tungsten Pheasant Tail Soft Hackles and the old reliable Peacock and Starling are all good general choices.
Henry’s Fork: Although the water is very low, Baetis have been coming off in good enough numbers to bring up some great fish. This is not easy fishing, but if you are looking for big challenging rainbow, look no further. Our Almost There Baetis is a favorite.
October 21st, 2021
The Madison River in the Park has fished ok and folks that have been doing best have been nymphing using black rubber legs in size 6 and 8 or large Prince nymphs #4 and 6 and then dropping off patterns such as Crystal dips, Guide Dips, Shop vacs, San Juan's and red copper johns. If you should be here on one of our rare cool, wet days make sure you are prepared to fish Baetis mayfly emergences with cripples and emergers like our Baetis foam emergers #20-22, Baetis Soft Hackles #20-22 and Sparkle Duns. The streamer fishing and swinging larger soft hackles has also produced a few and here you can't go wrong with a Shakey Beeley, Full Dressed Red or Mark's Goblin. For you streamer junkies give black and olive Sculpzillas and try as well as a black or tan Super Bugger.
The Madison River between Hebgen and Quake has been good, with nymphs and streamers. Small Baetis nymphs and midge larvae and pupae patterns have been the best. Downstream of the lake you can expect wonderful fishing all day long with the best times between 10am and 4pm. Black rubber legs #8, Crystal dips, #16 and JuJu Baetis #20
The Firehole River has been good for some and a little tough for others. These fish tend to get a bit more finicky as we venture later into the fall and your best bet is on cloudy and even snowy days. Have smaller Baetis with you like Sparkle Dun's #22 along with Baetis Sprout Emergers #20-22 which have proven to be great patterns this past week. Soft hackles are always a good way to go on the Firehole and Peacock & Starling #17-19 have been our choice recently along with Baetis Soft Hackles #20-22.
Baetis mayflies, on cloudy days, continue to bring up a good rise of trout on the Gallatin River downstream of Big Sky. These tiny olives will come off on any and all overcast afternoons all the way down the canyon from Big Sky to the Gallatin Valley. Nymphing has been ok on bright sunny days. For nymphs have #20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, Radiation Baetis and #16 Montana Bullets behind a #8 Black Rubberlegs or #14-16 Red Copper John's.
October 14th, 2021
The Madison in the Park is coming into fine shape with our recent weather! Good reports from anglers have been coming in on almost a daily basis. You can pick your poison here as far as fishing techniques go. Nymphs, streamers and soft hackles, oh my! Soft Hackle Streamers in Yellow/Brown, Super Squirrels in Yellow/Brown and Natural and Goblins in Black/Copper have been hooking some nice fish on the streamer front. The old reliable, Shakey Beeley has been our top soft hackle lately with Blew on Blues and Partridge and Ice Orange also pulling their fair share as well. For nymphs try a size 14 Guide Serendipity trailed by a size 16 Radiation Baetis or size 18 Red or Olive Two Bit Hooker.
The Madison below Quake has been a Baetis factory the past few days! We've been fooling fish with #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns, Baetis Black Wing Cripples and Upright Baetis as well. For subsurface action tie on a #16 Montana Bullet in brown or cream, Micro Madison Hare's Ear #20's or a #18 Crystal Dip. If you like throwing streamers now is your time to get after it. Grab a spool of Maxima and tie on a Sparkle minnow in the JJ Special colorway or a Black Prospector and go have some fun!
The Firehole has been producing rather consistent dry fly action. Blue Wing Olive's have been bring fish up almost daily and there's also some midge fishing to be had. #20 Baetis Sparkle Duns, and #20 ICU Baetis have been fooling fish up top. If you're addicted to the tug on a swung fly try throwing a #19 Peacock and Starling or a #18 Baetis Soft Hackle. I also like swinging a #20 Pheasant tail Flashback if they're being a bit finicky. If you're nymphing in the canyon try a #16 Guide Serendipity and Black Rubber Legs combo.
If you're headed to or from Bozeman The Gallatin below the canyon can be a great option this time of year. Fishing Baetis nymphs like #20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, Radiation Baetis and #16 Montana Bullets behind a #8 Black Rubberlegs or #14 Red Copper John can produce great results. Fishing a streamer like a #4 Sculpin Sparkle Minnow, Kreelex in Gold/Copper or Foxee Clouser Minnow can turn some fish as well this time of year.
October 7th, 2021
The Madison Below Quake Lake has fished just ok this past week. With the weather coming in we should see fish get more active on the surface and just in general as the incoming clouds should bring some good Baetis emergences. For dries have Patrick's PFD Baetis #20, Baetis Sparkle Dun's #20-22 and for low light conditions a Baetis Black Wing Cripple #18-20 is a great choice. For nymphs have in your arsenal #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges, #14-10 Prince's and #8-10 Pat's rubber legs.
The Madison between the lakes has been one of the more consistent places to fish. On the lower end we have still been seeing just a few Tricos and Midges in the morning hours and while the fish have been up on the surface feeding, they haven't been super easy. We should see some Baetis this coming week in the afternoon hours so be prepared with the same dries we've mentioned above. On the upper stretches of this section nymphs have been the way to go. #18 Juju Baetis, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Foam Nymphs and Rubber legs #8-10.
The Firehole should fish well this week and along with the White Miller's keep an eye open for, yep you guessed it, Baetis. Some flies that you'll want to have in your box include #20-22 Baetis Soft Hackles, Soft Hackle hot spot's in #16 Mint and #16 Bronze, #16 Peacock and Partridge and #16 Micro Beeley's. For dry flies have #20 PFD Baetis Parachute, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's.
If your heading to the Madison in the park know that nymphing will be your most productive method. To start have a larger Nymph like #4-6 Hungarian Princes, #8-12 Bead head princes or #8-10 black rubber legs. For droppers off these larger flies have #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #18 Juju Baetis. If your swinging flies Shakey Beeley's, Light & Dark Spruce's, Mark's Goblin's in black and Yellowstone soft hackles are good bets. If you can pick and choose your day to fish this section of the Madison look towards this coming Monday or Tuesday as it looks like we have a bit of snow in the forecast.
September 30th, 2021
On the Madison below Quake Lake things haven't changed much since last week. Fishing has been best from the late morning hours until about 4:00pm and even with our beautiful sunny fall days we are seeing some Baetis emerge each day. While you won't see a heavy hatch without cloud cover don't be afraid to do a little searching with dries. A #16 Parachute Adams with a # 20 Baetis Sparkle dun or #18-20 Baetis Razor Mayfly are great flies to fish the Madison with this time of year. By taking your time and methodically fishing every bit of water you'll be surprised what you'll find! Nymphing has also been good on the Madison and a few flies you won't want to be without include #16-18 Guide dips, #16-18 $3 dips, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges and #16-18 Spanish Bullet's. Our guides have also picked up a few fish on streamers lately and Mini Montana Intuders, Sparkle minnows and Mark's Goblin's have all been productive choices.
The Madison in the Park has been good for some and not so good for others. If your swinging flies you'll want to be on the water early it is the early hours that have brought about the best bite. Shakey Beeley's, Blew on Blue's, Lucky Bucky's, Light Spruce and Full Dressed Red's have been getting tugs this past week. Nymphing has still been the best way to go with #8-10 black rubber legs, #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #6 Copper Zonkers. If your wanting to strip streamers, Sparkle Minnow, Montana Intuders and Sculpzilla's are great patterns to use.
Over on the Northeast part of the park, Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are still seeing some Drake Mac's and Baetis. Don't be in a rush to get there to early as the best fishing time will be from noon to 4:00pm. For dries have Drake Mac Sparkle Duns #12-14, Baetis Sparkle duns or Baetis Razor Mayflies #20-22. Also have a #14-16 beetle pattern with you as these fish can be sucker's for them this time of year.
The Firehole has fished pretty well but has also been a bit tricky for some. Your best bet here is to swing soft hackles like #16 Micro Beeley's, #16 Starling and Peacock, #16 White Miller soft hackles and #16 P.T soft hackles. White Millers have been out and the best dry fly bite has been late in the afternoon into the evening hours. #16-14 White Miller Razor Caddis, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's will cover you for the main hatches we are seeing now but also don't be afraid to throw a small hopper pattern or a beetle at these fish.
September 23rd, 2021
The Madison below Quake Lake has fished pretty well this past week but with some of our morning lows in the teens it's been somewhat of a slow start until around 11:00am to noon. It's after this time that we've been seeing a few fish up on Baetis and even a few Caddis. Nymphing has been good with #16-18 Guide dips, #16-18 $3 dips, #16-18 Radiation Baetis, #18 Perdigone in black & purple, #18-20 Zebra Midges and #16-18 Spanish Bullet's. Streamers have been also moving some fish down in this section and Mini Montana Intruder's, Super Bugger's in black and Tan and Scupzilla's have been great go to choices. As we mentioned earlier, there has been some Baetis and Caddis out so make sure you have #16-18 X Caddis and #20-22 Baetis Sparkle duns. The Terrestrial bite has tapered way down and while the fish haven't been looking up to hoppers all that much it's alway worth a try late in the afternoon.
The Lamar river was muddy for a few days after the rain and snow that we received last Sunday but is now back in shape and fishing fine as are Soda Butte and Slough Creek. As with most rivers this time of year son't expect a lot of action in the morning hours. Your best window will be after 12:00pm. We've been still seeing Drake Mackerals and Baetis on all three of these bodies of water in the Northeast corner. Have # 12-14 Drake Mac Sparkle Dun's, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's and #14-16 Gulp Beetles with you for dries. For droppers have #18-20 Zebra Midges, #16-18 Radiation Baetis and #16-18 Perdigones in black.
The Madison in the park has picked up a bit and we're seeing a few more fish move up into the system. As we mentioned earlier the recent weather has sure helped and the runners have much more receptive to swinging flies. While the numbers are getting greater you'll want to move around to get the best results. We have had some great fishing on the scuzzy days as you might expect but also on the sunny days as well. Totally opposite of many of the rivers in this area you'll want to be on the water early as this has been when the runners have been the most active. Make sure to dress warm as the morning hours have been pretty cool lately. If you swinging have Shakey's, Blew on Blue's, Lucky Bucky's, Light Spruce and Soft Hackle Streamers. For Nymphs #8-10 black rubber legs, #18 Little Green Machines, $16-18 Guide Dips, #18 Shop Vacs and #6 Copper Zonkers. If we get some clouds in the next few days don't forget to have a few Baetis Patterns with you #18-20 Baetis Sprout Emergers and #20-22 Baetis Sparkle duns will do the trick.
The Firehole has been good and the water temps have stayed cool throughout most of the day. We have been seeing good hatches of both Baetis and White Miller Caddis up on the Firehole and the soft hackle fishing has been consistently good over the past week. Have #16-14 White Miller Razor Caddis, #20-22 Baetis Sparkle Dun's and a few #20-22 Zelon Midges just in case. For soft hackles have #16 Micro Beeley's, #17 Starling and Peacock, #16 Hot Spot soft hackles in Mint, orange and Bronze.
September 16th, 2021
Like last week the Madison below Quake Lake has been a little on and off both in the float and wade sections of the river. The best fishing has been between 10:00am and 4:00pm the early morning bite hasn't been great due to cool water temps. Once the water warms up there's been a noticeable difference. The best dry fly patterns have been ants over the past week and a Arrick's Para-Ant #16 and Shimazaki CDC Ant #16 have been our best patterns. The fish are still looking up to hoppers a bit and it just seems to depend on the day. #14 Dave's Hopper, #14 tan Morrish Hoppers and #12 Parachute hoppers have brought some success. With a change in weather coming make sure not to forget to have some Baetis with you as well. Nymphing has probably been the most reliable method on the Madison and #16 Guide Dips, #18-20 Juju Baetis, # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16 Spanish Bullet's and #8-10 Rubber Legs have been our go to flies over the past week.
The Firehole is currently flowing at 198 cfs which is down from it's average of 260 cfs for this time of year. Water temps continue to drop each day as we have had some cool nights but if your below Midway geyser basin your window of opportunity will most likely diminish around 1:00pm. White Miller Caddis are out and you'll want #14-16 White Miller Razor Caddis along with a few Baetis Sparkle duns #20 just in case. Swinging flies has been the best bet overall on the Firehole and #16 Micro Beeleys, #16 Orange and Partridge, #17 Peacock & Starling and White Miller Soft Hackles have served folks well.
The Gallatin has been pretty good this past week and if your heading this way, particularly in the park sections, don't be in a rush to get there too early. The water is quite cool in the mornings and it needs a bit of time to warm before the fish start to feed well, especially on the surface. If your there by 10:30-11:00am that's about right. The dry fly bite has been best in the afternoon and evening hours. They are still taking both hoppers and ant but also have a few smaller #18 Parachute Adams and #20 Baetis Sparkle duns along with you. For nymphs have #18-20 black Zebra Midges, #18-20 Juju Baetis, # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16-18 Little Green Machine's and #16 gold or silver Lightning bugs.
The Madison in the park has been picking up and has been pretty darn good for some folks. With each passing day we are seeing more and more fish move into the system and we are hoping for a little weather to get these fish fired up. While many anglers have been getting fish on the swing and by stripping the most productive method has been Nymphing. If your swinging Blew on Blue's, Yellowstone Soft Hackles, Lucky Bucky's Shakey Beeley's and September songs have been great choices. For streamers Prospectors in black, Mini Intrduers #8, Mark's Goblin and Olive Sculpzilla's have been the way to go. For Nymphs # 16-18 Radiation Baetis, #16 Spanish Bullet's, #8-10 Rubber Legs and #16-18 Guide Dips are what you'll want to carry with you.
As we expected Hebgen has started to slow down quite a bit. There are still some Callibaetis in certain areas with fish on them but the window is getting narrower and narrower by the day. Launching a larger boat is also pretty tough right now with the low lake conditions. Looks like we have a few warm days left so if your wanting to get out on Hebgen do it now!
September 9th, 2021
The Firehole has been fishing well over the past week. The cool overnight temps have kept the river in good shape and there have been quite a few White Miller's out with fish on them. Water temps have stayed good below Midway geyser basin until about 1:00pm then after this it's been time to either move upstream or to a different stream. Next weeks weather cools down quite a bit and by this time next week temps shouldn't be an issue as we will have some low temps in the 20's. Have White Miller Razor Caddis #16-14, White Miller Iris Caddis #18, Hot Spot Soft Hackles in Mint and Orange #16 and Micro Beeleys #16.
The Madison in the park is producing a few fall run fish. More Hebgen Lake fish are running up the Madison but the run is still just in its beginning stages. Anglers are catching a spawner here and there, but no one has gotten into a willing pod of them yet. If you'd like to get some early fishing in with them, go ahead, but don't expect to catch big numbers of runners just yet.
The Madison below Quake has been a bit on and off over the past week. One day they'll be up on the surface taking ant or hopper patterns like crazy and the next day the fish want nothing to do with them. The nymphing has been the most consistent method of fishing and we are starting to see the smaller nymphs be the most productive. Radiation Baetis #18, Spanish Bullet's #18, $3 dip #18-20 and black Perdigon's in #18.
The Northeast Corner has been fishing and there have been Drake Mackerels on Slough, Lamar and Soda butte. Along with the Drake Mac's make sure that you are prepared with a few #22 Cream Baetis patterns. The fish especially on Slough creek have been keying in on these bugs as of late. Terrestrial's still play a major role on the menu so have a selection of ants, beetles and hoppers.
I hope I'm wrong about this but it looks like we're getting into the last days of gulper fishing on Hebgen Lake. The emergences of Callibaetis have been pushed back until at least 11am on the colder mornings, but it's still possible to find a few fish up everyday. Most of the Callibaetis that are hatching now are size 18. Be sure to have some flies that aren't too big and ants have still been a great bet.