Although August is just beginning, the weather this week has been reminiscent of cooler fall conditions. With several days of consistent rainfall, many park waters like the Lamar, Soda Butte, and even Slough Creek all became high and dirty, putting a damper on the fishing for awhile. After heavy precipitation, remember to keep an eye on the USGS Stream Charts
to avoid any high water, chocolate milk surprises.
Referencing the stream chart before heading out is always a good move, and water clarity should improve as we head into the weekend. As daytime temps ascend, expect the terrestrial fishing to improve once again. For grasshoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Pink/Tan Thunder Thighs, and Lightening Legs have all been tricking trout for us lately. Fishing larger attractor patterns/hopper-dropper rigs in the heavier water, then switching to smaller flying ant, beetle, or caddis patterns for the slower slicks is a good place to start. Cricket patterns are often overlooked and fool lots of trout as well.
The Gallatin has been productive during the afternoons this week running hoppers with size 14/16 perdigon-style droppers. If fish are refusing the gaudier foamy patterns, try a more subtle presentation with a Dave's or Parachute Hopper. There are many small creek tributaries to the Gallatin. With a little bushwhacking, anglers can find plenty of enthusiastic fish in these streams willing to crush a hopper first drift. Carry bear spray while fishing here and everywhere else in the park.
Even though last week got us excited for fall, it's still best to leave the Madison and Firehole alone. There are many other places to wet a line in the park, and the Barns pools and Fountain Flats will still be there come September when consistently cooler temperatures prevail.
Enjoy the warm, sunny weather this week!