Fishing Reports

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Yellowstone National Park Rivers - May 24th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 62 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
Opening Day is tomorrow!  We are excited to be kicking off yet another fishing season in the Park.  It looks to be a great start.  Yes, it's been wet around here.  Has it been snowing in the Park, ummm, yeah.  But- looking like the sun is coming out and good conditions through the next several days.

What you might expect:  Firehole, Gibbon, Madison in the Park.  Peeps.  Yes, there is always a contingency of Park Afficionados who love to be here opening weekend!  That said, there's space for all.  Baetis should be in prime action.  Followed by possibility of caddis.  Chances are that nymphing will reign top dog to start, but by mid afternoon the hatch will be coming on and either swung flies or dries will pick up where the nymphing started.

Other areas of consideration: with the cooler weather, theres a decent chance that the Soda Butte may be fishable.  Not so sure on the Lamar, but it's a maybe.  The Stone in Paradise Valley is right on that edge, so why not the Lamar?  Gardener river is another to check too.

Feel free to stop by the shop for updates as well as licenses, gear, and a great Park fly selection.  We are open 7 days a week.

Madison River - Upper - May 24th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 66 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
Water.  That's one of the words this week.  Besides Wonderful.  Opening weekend last week through now has proven to be quite good!  Despite the abundance of water in the form of high, and well, yes, dirty water a week ago to the multiple inches of rain that has fallen over the course of the week, we've had water!  River has cleaned up in a big big way.  From 6 inches of viz last Sunday to almost 2 feet now, clarity has greatly improved.  And the flows, due to the cooler weather, have dropped.  Fish that were easy to catch last week in the less than stellar clarity however have become a little more challenging.  Turds and Worms are getting replaced with a little more technical fare.  But there's reports of fish eating on dries too, so we'll take the change.

What to throw: typical Upper Maddy spring stuff!  On the run be looking at Pat's Rubber Legs (turd), san juans in various colors, Bow River Buggers, Zonkers, and such as point fly.  Add a baetis sized BH mayfly nymph, or caddis pupa pattern as the dropper.  If you find a good run and want to post up on it, change that depth and weight scenario to make sure you get down.  Otherwise, same fly rigs will work fine.  Water stays or gets even more clear, lighten up on leader X and think smaller, techy fly patterns.
Madison River - Lower - May 24th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 68 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Lots of rain this week.  Soggy conditions on top of the burnout from last June is spilling a bit of silt/debris into the Lower.  Water is on the drop as well as runoff from the Upper river is dropping and working it way through.  Seems that after a week of blazing sun, a week of clouds and rain is a fair trade.  We need the moisture!  Road construction continues, but is not that big of a deal between Black's Ford and Warm Springs parking lot.  Overall, nothing WoW out there, but there are fish being caught.  Caddis, some stoneflies (mostly golden and yellow sallies, no salmonflies- give it a couple weeks) there's also baetis and maybe some callibaetis given the weather.  What to do to put a bend in the rod?  Nymph 'em up with  Crays, Bow Buggers, Zonkers, San Juans as good to great point flies.  Run a smaller dropper.  BH mayfly, caddis, or small stoneflies are good bets.   Under your Indy be running 3-6 feet of leader to said point fly.  Weight.  Add enough to get the bugs down in the zone.  If it ain't ticking every now and again, it ain't heavy enough.  Be ready to adjust as needed for different areas.  Deep buckets- add and lengthen that indy out.  Running weed bed edges- lighten up.  Want to be stealthy in those less than deep spots?  Run the short leash pro rig.... simple pinch on indies and tungsten headed point flies sized appropriately as needed to just get it in the zone.  Works!

Call the fly shop for info 406-333-4401

Patterns du Jour
Clouser Cray, tan, dark tan
Pat's Rubberlegs (aka Turd)
San Juan
Flexi Juan
Hot bead stone
Copper Johns- red, copper, black
Lightning bug- mirage, purple, gold
Shop Vac- olive, PT
Wonder baetis, wonder PMD
Iron Sally
Copper Zonker
Bow Bugger in black/olive
Olive articulated fathead
Foxee Clouser
Granato's Sasquatch

Armstrong's, DePuy's and Nelson's Spring Creek - May 23rd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Scattered showers
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Cloudy, cool, and wet.  Those 3 words speak volumns in that we like these conditions, the fish like these conditions, and the bugs that have been hatching like these conditions. 

What is hatching?  midges for one.  Always or nearly always a staple on all 3 spring creeks.  And---baetis.  That's right, we still have some lingering blue wing olives.  Mind you, these little buggers are the more sensitive about weather conditions.  No dark clouds, cool weather- no baetis.  But given the week's worth of clouds and rain, they've been out.  And yes, the fish are in the know!
AM concentrate on a little deeper water.  Hatches won't be till midday or later. So deeper slots and runs will have the fish hanging till nymphs begin to stir before the hatch is seen on the surface.  Nymphing these deeper spots 3-4 feet below soft indies with heavier Sawyer PTs followed by midge pupa, baetis soft hackles or possibly even a caddis pupa are good starts.  Around midday, start to consider hatch time and fish moving to shallower/riffly spots.  Especially if the clouds stick around.  Once the bugs begin to roll, you'll be seeing fish on top.

Rainbows are all but done spawning now.  However, there are still spawning fish in the creeks.  Really you say? Well, yes, it's Mr & Mrs Cutthroats time!  And as we've been saying:
Do consider the Redds in the creeks.  You know, the places the Cutties are making the next generation of themselves that we would like to see get big?  There's really no need to fish to the fish that are actively spawning or are about to.  There are plenty of other trout in the spring creeks that are a)done spawning and are below the redds feeding b)other species :browns that aren't spawning at this time.  It's very helpful to not stress the fish that are actively procreating as well as not walking all over their spawning grounds.  Simple- leave them be.  Your courtesy and thoughtfulness will go a long ways to making more trout!
Short leash nymphing with a non-beaded yet weighted PT pattern like the Sawyer PT with it's copper wrapped body tied in tandem with either midge pupa or very small baetis softhackle patterns has been very effective at blind nymphing up fish.  Sight fishing to specifically feeding fish may require changing the flies around a bit until that fish takes. Yet another effective "search and grab" means is to work small to medium sized streamers in olive, black, or sometimes white coloration through likely looking haunts.  You may be well rewarded....

Flies to fish:
Sawyer PT 16-20
Tung Zebra Midge, black or olive 18-20
Natural Scud 18
Soft Hackle Scud 18
Split back BWO Nymph 18-20
MO softhackle baetis18-20
Micro May olive, brown 18-20
Flossy san juan 14

Black, olive buggers
JJ Special

Call anytime 406-333-4401
Yellowstone River - May 23rd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny, with rain
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Dropping, droppping, dropping....... cool, wet, and rainy weather has the Stone actually coming back around!  I'm not saying it's great or anything but it's close enough I'd bet that you can get 'er done out there right now.  Foot plus visibility along the edges is making me think that dark streamers dropped into the right areas will get whacked!

Beyond this- long term we're still very much not in the peak flow area at all.  As soon as the warmer temps and sun come back, it's a good bet that the Stone is going to jump again and be bank full.  Guessing peak to be around the first week in June.  Next guess is that we'll be on the river the last ween in June and ready for SALMONFLIES!

Feel free to stop by the shop anytime or give a call 406-333-4401 for any other information. 

Yellowstone River - May 7th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 74 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor
How things change in a hurry!  Weekend saw good to great fishing depending upon where you were.  Yes caddis.  And everything else too.  Today- crap.  Blown.  Chunky.  Cottonwood hatch in full force.  Time to turn focus to Madison for a bit before it goes.  Word is that the Gallatin is on its way out as well. 

Bye Yellowstone River.  See you in Late June.  Already looking forward to it.....

Feel free to stop by the shop anytime or give a call 406-333-4401 for any other information.