It’s hard to believe that the month of June and the 4th of July have both come and gone already. Summer is officially in full swing around Yellowstone country, and for the first time this season we’re looking ahead at a week of true summertime conditions.
Forecasts for the upcoming week look warm and sunny with daytime high temps in the 80’s, nighttime lows in the 30’s-40’s, and little chance of significant precipitation.
With warmer weather more fishing options will develop across the area. Our July hatch schedule is rolling right along. It’s a buggy (the good kind of bugs…that trout eat) time of year in Yellowstone Country, and new hatches are starting on different stretches of water each day. Give the shop a call anytime for the latest updates on your favorite piece of water.
We had a busy week of events at the Big Sky Anglers world headquarters in West Yellowstone. Our second annual Grand Opening event was a blast. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped us celebrate our first full year of operation at 39 Madison Ave. We also had a great turn out for an evening of films and talk about striped bass and false albacore fishing with filmmaker Jamie Howard of Howard Films, and Capt. Arthur Cortes. If you missed either of these fun events, and wish you hadn’t, fear not; we have a busy summer planned with more exciting events on the horizon. So, stay tuned to the newsletter, blog, and our social media accounts for info on upcoming events.
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.
It’s always sad to see June come to an end on the Henry’s Fork. The first big hatches of Stoneflies, Drakes, and Flavs are like a shot of adrenaline at the start of the season. But, we’ve settled into the groove now, and some of our favorite fishing of the season on the Henry’s Fork is yet to come.
The Last Chance, and Railroad Ranch sections have been fickle, but Brown Drakes, PMD’s, Caddis, and Flavs are providing good opportunities for dry fly fishermen to experience the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”that only a Henry’s Fork rainbow can give you.
The Lower River has fallen out of the limelight somewhat with the craze of Brown Drakes in Last Chance, and Salmonflies on the Madison. Though, it continues to produce great emergences of Caddis, Flavs, and even a few Gray Drakes. Hot weather this coming week may slow things here, but mornings and evenings will still have some technical, rising fish.
The Box Canyon has fished well with the usual assortment of Rubberlegs and small Midge and PMD nymph imitations. Flows here were bumped up to around 1,000 cfs this week, and are expected to bump again as irrigation demand increases this week.
The Warm River to Ashton stretch had some fun dry fly fishing this week. Cloudy, cool afternoons brought out great PMD hatches, and warm afternoons had Caddis and Golden Stones. Warm weather this week may slow the dry fly game, but this section is always a great bet for consistent nymph action.
Yellowstone National Park
Salmonflies are making their way up the Gallatin towards the Park waters. The river is still big and moving fast, but clarity is good.
Warm weather will help the hatch cycle on this fishery break that moment of inertia, and really start to move. Golden Stones, Caddis, and PMD’s are around, and Green Drakes are imminent.
Look for the Park stretch of the Gallatin to fish better and better as things warm up.
Firehole, Madison, Gibbon
These three rivers have done all the heavy lifting so far this season for Park waters that are producing good fishing. With hot, dry conditions forecasted, we might begin to see a shift in seasons here as water temps start to climb. Keep an eye on these temps. It might be time to start venturing out into other fisheries in the Park this week.
The Northeast Corner (Slough, Lamar, Soda Butte)
Water conditions are improving in the Northeast corner of the park. Lamar and Soda Butte are still big and green, but dropping and clearing quickly. Slough has better clarity, but is still flowing up in the grass.
It’s not quite time for these fun fisheries, but it’s close. Water years like this can give us great hatches of Gray Drakes, and more importantly their spinner falls, on Slough Creek. So, it’s worth watching the flows, and checking with us in the shop for the latest reports.
The Fifty Mile Riffle came alive this week. Every bug that we look forward to seeing and fishing this time of year is active on the Madison right now. The Salmonflies are flying all the way up into the wade stretch, but cool weather stalled the hatch last week in several sections and big bugs can still be seen throughout the valley.
Along with the big bugs we are seeing great numbers of Caddis, PMD’s, Goldenstones, Little Yellow Stones, and a smattering of Green Drakes.
The river is flowing bank full in the valley with the gauge at Kirby showing around 1500 cfs, and water clarity is perfect.
As warm weather comes our way this week, expect to see good evening Caddis emergences, and morning spinner falls along with afternoon stonefly, caddis, and PMD action.
Subsurface action has been consistent on Hebgen with leeches and chironomids being the main game. However, early Callibaetis mayflies are hatching, and if conditions are right (warm, calm, glassy) in the mornings this week, we could see some of the first good gulper action of the season. It’s still early, and these first gulping events are sporadic, random, and short-lived at best. But, they’re still a ton of fun if you can find them.