Fishing Reports

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Madison River - Lower - June 30th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 73 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
The Lower Madison has been a decent bet as of late.  Hot, windy weather has hit us the past couple days making a bit more challenging and just when we thought we were seeing the flows drop considerably, the heat has brought more runoff into the river.  We've seen a spike in flows upwards yesterday and today and the clarity has definitely diminished once again.  Reports this morning from guides were that it was down around 6-10 inches.  A tougher day most likely.  Good side?  Hopefully this is IT for actually hitting a peak in flows and from here out, we'll be on the downslide with improving conditions every day.  The fish ARE there and they're fat & strong.  With the high water, there's been a ton of food for them to eat upon.

The Rig:
9-10 foot leader with 7-9 to the big Indy
Big Rubberlegs & other stonefly nymphs
San juans all colors
BH Hare's Ear
BH PT
Caddis Pupa
Crayfish
 
Be sure to add plenty of weight and get it down in their face.



 
Yellowstone River - June 30th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 73 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor
The Yellowstone is truly a sight to see, but NOT fish right now!  Definitely the latest into June that most any of us have seen water of this magnitude over here.  We didn't quite hit 30 grand today at Corwin but it was pretty darn close.  The downright hot weather of the past 2 days (almost 90 and sunny!) while welcome from the standpoint of making it feel very summer like, has brought with it another round of almost record breaking flow levels.  Hopefully this marks the end of the biggest flows.  Not sure how much gas is left in the tank as you look around at the highest peaks and can visually see the difference in snow up there.  It's really coming out--fast!  We're hoping that this is it and from here out we can see the river starting to fall.  Reality?  We're at least a month out from fishing on the Yellowstone.  Once it does come to shape, watch out!  It's going to fish like gangbusters!!!!

So we've been getting a lot of questions lately about WHERE are we fishing then.  OR- geez, your guides sure must have a lot of time on their hands with all the days off not fishing the Yellowstone.  Frankly, we've been really busy AND fishing every day with guests with good results!    The spring creeks have been excellent and we're there just about every day.  We also have a number of private lakes in the area that fish very well during June and July.  Park trips are picking up as well as the waters there start to really come into their own right now. And, even with BIG, Big water, there's fishing to be had on the Madison and Missouri rivers. So, no, there really hasn't been a slow time.  We're hopping! 

Feel free to call us any time or stop by the fly shop to get up to the minute reports on where to go as well as the bugs and gear to get 'em.  We're here every day.  Thinking about a guide for July, August, or Sept??  It would be in your best interest to get on the phone with us now.... not kidding.

 
Yellowstone National Park Rivers - June 23rd, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 66 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Yellowstone Park rivers are fishing decently enough.  Flows on the Firehole remain higher than optimum and have taken a little bump upwards the past 2 days likely as more high elevation snow continues to melt with the warmer, sunny weather we have had as of late.  Gibbon River waters are maintaining their slow drop making for improving conditions.  Upper Madison in the Park is starting to see some action as well.

Look for primarily PMDs and caddis on the water and on the lower Firehole as well as uppe Madison sections there are reports of salmonflies.  We had some folks saying they got a number of good fish on salmonfly dries yesterday!  With the high flows, nymphing continues to be the most effective means to catching fish. 

In other parts of the Park, we had some reports that the Garner was fishing decently in the pocket water.  This may not be the case today or for the next few days, however, as the flows have once again bumped up due to runoff.  Keep an eye here however as the Gardner starts to drop again hopefully it will clear to some extent and become another option.  Trout Lake is another area in the NE section of the Park worth the hike into.  Nice cutthroat can be had stripping smaller buggers and beads.  Take some time to check out the Lamar in the Narrows on your way up.  It's hugely impressive to see how much water is careening through here!
 
Paradise Valley Spring Creeks - June 23rd, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 78 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
The spring creeks in the valley (Armstrong, Nelson, & Depuy) are all experiencing good to great fishing right now and offer area anglers some excellent opportunities to fish on cyrstal clean waters where it seems that other local choices have challenging conditions either with water clarity or higher flows or both.  The creeks are not affected by snowmelt runoff and have consistently clear, cold waters chock full of healthy trout.  The hardest part is getting a reservation as all 3 are limited by the number of rods that can fish on any given day.  There have been some single rods and an occasional pair of rods available so calling ahead is a must.  Rod fees are $100/angler/day

PMDs are the name of the game right now and the hatches have continued to be quite good.  A little cloud cover as well as a light breeze, just enough to take the glassy effect off the water all help an angler with making the fish a little less difficult to fish to.  These are by no means easy fish to catch.  You'll earn your fish that come to hand out here.

Before the hatch gets going and again later after the hatch subsides, short leash nymphing with the "spring creek rig" works great.  Cress bugs, scuds as well as Sawyer PTs & thin bodied PMD thread nymphs and the like are great first flies to have on 6X tippet about 3 feet from a small pinch on indicator.  Follow these with a dropper midge pupa, or soft hackle PMD nymph of choice should get you in business.  Once the hatch starts, switching to a PMD emerger just under the surface as the bugs first start and then to a PMD dry with an emerger dropper is the go-to as the hatch intensifies.

Happy hunting....
 
Madison River - Upper - June 23rd, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 78 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Upper Maddy fans continue to be putting some fish to hand.  Hebgen releases are flat line at a bit over 2600 cfs which is a lot of water so be prepared for some heavy flows.  Word for the coming weeks is that the higher flows will continue.  Hebgen Lake managers are working to keep the flow around Kirby Station in the 3500 cfs range, but with the amount of water still possibly coming, it may prove a difficult task.  

Above the West Fork water clarity is considerably better than below.  With the warmer weather, a couple of the feeder creeks coming in like Beaver Crk and Cabin Crk are throwing more dirt in again as more rapid snow melt is occurring.  Had a report that this is diminishing the almost 2 feet of visibility that the waters above West Fork were experiencing. 

Pounding the banks with heavily weighted rubberlegs followed by droppers of San Juans or beadhead mayfly nymphs and caddis selections has been a top producer.  Streamer fans are also doing fairly well.  While maybe not putting a bend in the rod as often as the nymphers, the fish are quality. 

Below the West Fork it's been a bit more hit & miss.  Water clarity is still an issue as are the huge flows.  Until the West Fork quits pumping in as much color, things are a bit limited.  You can still catch a few down this way but it's not easy.  If you are looking to float, be aware that because of the high waters, the low bridge at Wolf Cr is going to pose an obstruction to navigating through.  Better scout ahead!
 
Madison River - Lower - June 23rd, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 80 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Lower Madison flows have come back up again, just slightly from the past few days.  Fishing is definitely happening out there, but it's not the 'unknown' as word travels fast in these here parts!  With the higher than normal flows for this time of year, you may be looking at a two float day.  I think your wade fishing chances are pretty limited so a double down from Warm Springs parking lot to Black's or to Greycliff even is a good bet. 

Word on the street is that salmonflies are out and about.  The hatch is never all that big or predictable on the Lower Maddy, but there are fish that will eat the big fly.  Caddis and PMDs are more consistently what's happening.  Look for yellow sallies to be coming on soon as well.  Keeping the big Indy on with a lot of weight and going with your big ugly of choice along with a smaller beadhead caddis or smaller mayfly as a dropper or the ubiquitous San Juan and fishing it tight on the bank is the proven method.