With a season-shifting change in the weather forecasted for this week it’s time to put away our terrestrial boxes for the time being, and focus our efforts on the many fall fishing opportunities in YNP.
Of course, one of our perennial favorites is the nearby Firehole River, and both ideal water conditions (temps), and weather conditions (scuzz) will make for some fun fishing. Expect to see hatches of fall beats mayflies in the afternoons. These small (size#22) mayflies may take their sweet time emerging, especially on cold days. So, don’t go to early in the day if you’re looking for some challenging dry fly fishing. This is a great way to fill the afternoon hours after a morning chasing migratory fish on the Madison.
There will no doubt be a fresh push of migratory fish into the Madison River in YNP with this scuzzy weather, and it will be a great time to swing or strip soft hackles and streamers for big browns and rainbows making their way up out of Hebgen Lake. These fish will be most active when light levels are low, ie: mornings and evenings, or all day with cloudy, stormy weather.
The Gallatin River in YNP should produce good hatches of fall Baetis as well. Expect to see the best dry fly activity in the afternoons with consistent nymph action beforehand.
Other notable dry fly opportunities will be on the Caldera Stretch (Above Chittenden Bridge) own the Yellowstone River, and on the meandering waters of Slough Creek. Again, cold weather will delay the best action here to the afternoon hours.
Forecasted moisture will most likely bring muddy water to the Cutthroat Corner of the Park making Soda Butte Creek, and the Lamar unfishable for a few days. Once the storm system passes, flows and water conditions should improve in several days, and if temps warm again, we might see a bit more hopper and ant fishing here late next week.
Get out there and enjoy this first taste of fall fishing in Big Sky Country!