This is an exciting week in Big Sky Country. Drakes are rolling on the Railroad Ranch. Salmonflies are beginning on the Madison. And, our 3rd Annual Grand Opening Party is this Saturday.
We haven’t had a single day without some sort of moisture since our last report, and temps remain on the cool side of average. We saw snow on the first day of summer with some locations in the upper elevations picking up 6-8”. However, if the forecast is to be believed, this may finally be the first week of consistently nice weather this season. Highs in the 70’s with very slim chances of precip are predicted through the week.
Cool temps and wet weather kept snow melt below average this past week. The Black Bear Snotel site, south of West Yellowstone, still reads 30 inches of snow remaining on ground. Carrot Basin Snotel, in the southern Madison Range, has dwindled down to 6” of snow. Warm weather this week should accelerate the snow melt again, and bring runoff closer to it’s finale.
If you’re in the area this Saturday, June 29th, swing by the shop and help us celebrate our 3rd Annual Grand Opening. We have a fun filled day planned with special guests, industry sales reps, a casting competition, and special sales. Check out our recent blog post for more info. We hope to see everybody there!
Read on to see our take on this week’s fishing, and check out the links below to stay current on area forecasts and flows.
Stay tuned as we report each week on hatches, flows, weather, and more. For the most up to date info stop by the shop, give us a call, or drop us a line.
If you have been lucky enough to fish the Henry’s Fork over the past week you know it doesn’t get much better than the dry fly fishing we have seen there. Green Drakes, Gray Drakes, Flavs, PMD’s, Caddis, and Golden Stoneflies have brought an epic number of fish to the surface on the lower river.
The Green Drake hatches on the lower river have been especially prolific, and fish have fed especially hard on the big, clumsy duns and emergers.
Green Drakes are also rolling up in the caldera from Wood Road through the Ranch to Last Chance. With warm weather in the forecast, look for Brown Drakes to make an appearance in the evenings this week as well.
Warm River to Ashton has seen more sparse hatches of Green Drakes. Though, the fishing remains consistent, as always, with nymphs and a few Golden Stones.
Golden Stones are also producing some fun fishing in the Box Canyon, both with dry flies and nymph imitations. Flows in the Box have been steady around 700cfs, but they were bumped slightly yesterday to 775cfs to maintain Island Park Reservoir level at full pond until water is needed for irrigation demand downstream.
Yellowstone National Park
Yep, you guessed it; the Firehole, Madison, and Gibbon Rivers are all still the best bets for fishing in the Park. As the weather gets nicer this week, you can expect to see the best dry fly fishing in the mornings and evenings with rusty and olive spinners, and caddis.
This will also be a good week to check out Yellowstone Lake. Warmer weather may produce some calm mornings, and the first Callibaetis Spinner falls of the season. If the bugs don’t materialize and fish aren’t rising, try stripping black leeches from the shore around places like Gull Point for cruising Cutthroats.
We’ve been waiting patiently, and it’s finally go time on the Madison. With snowpack dwindling in the Madison Range, runoff is nearly complete, and the river is in prime shape for Salmonflies. The big bugs have been spotted in fair numbers throughout the lower valley. With warmer weather in the forecast, we expect to see them pop and begin making their way upstream over the next few days.
In addition to stoneflies look for caddis to provide some good dry fly fishing as the water warms this week too.
Unsettled weather has yielded some unreliable fishing on Hebgen over the last week. Cool weather disrupted the daily routine of Chironomid emergences, and daily storms made the lake an inhospitable place to fish. Change is coming, though. And, the red hot Chironomid action should return as soon as conditions warm back up. In the meantime stick to stripped leeches and buggers, and keep experimenting with depths until you find where they’re hanging out.