Summer has finally arrived in Yellowstone National Park! Temps in the low 70’s and sunny skies have the fish and bugs active on a number of streams and rivers. The Firehole River continues to fly fish well during PMD emergences beginning arond 9am. PMD Spinner falls coincide with the emergence so be prepared to fish both. I like floating PMD nymphs and Rusty Spinners #16-18. Caddis flies are in abundance during the evening hours and look for Damsel flies mid-day. Fly fish the water upstream of Fountain Flats as below here is getting warm and alot of the fish will move upstream in search of cooler water temps. The Madison is fishing similarly to the Firehole with Yellow Sallies flying in the areas where there is broken water, especially near the junction. Now is also a good time to explore some of the Park’s smaller waters such as Nez Perce Creek, the Gibbon River or lakes such as Grebe or Wolf Lake. Lewis Lake has been good in the West Bays and Brookie Bay for Lake trout and Browns with Clouser Minnows and Black Leeches on sinking lines. This week should see the Callibaetis hatching on the lake and also in the Lewis channel. The Lake outlet down to the waterfall will have hatches of Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies and a few Caddis and the brown trout will line up to feed on them all!
The Green River near Pinedale, WY is fly fishing well! Water temperatures on the lower stretches below the Warren Bridge have finally increased enough to get the fish feeding. Water clarity is at about 3 feet and improving. Guide trips have produced good numbers of browns, including the 23 incher shown below. Nymphs and streamers have been the ticket. Best bugs to use are – #6 Yuk Bugs and Rubberlegs, #12-14 PT’s and Princes, San Juan Worms, JJ’s Specials, Black Leeches, and Olive Sculpins. We did see adult Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies actually on the water, so this means dry fly fishing should crank up in the next few days!
Yellowstone National Park has been the place to be recently! The Firehole River has been lights out through the entire length of river with amazing hatches and consistent dry flyfishing. Baetis, PMD’s, and several species of caddis are all abundant. Yes I said Baetis… Mother Nature is in full effect with lots of rain and a few snow showers. Forecasts are calling for sun and temps in the 70’s this weekend. Bring it! Morning PMD spinner falls, mid-day hatches, and evening egg-laying caddis make this tour a full day event. Job, What job? Watching the evening caddis swarm is mind boggling and a hoot to fish! I enjoy swinging a White Miller soft hackle through this mess and watchin ’em leap! You gotta love Salmonflies! This prehistoric giant of the bug world has been out in the lower Firehole canyon and near the Madison Junction. Water Walkers and Sunken Stones are my go to’s when this is on. Skate these flies across the surface for the most fun. There are reports of a few Gray Drakes as well. Let’s hope this hatch is stronger than in recent memory…. The next three weeks should prove to be great action on these rivers….
A new website designed specifically for Aquatic Invasive Species information in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has been launched! It includes maps of current infected waters in the region and the latest data from recent surveys on local waters plus much more! Greater Yellowstone Area Aquatic Invasive Species
Wyoming is the newest state to implement mandatory invasive species boat stickers for all boats on WY waters. As of May 17,2010, all watercraft over 10 feet in length are required to purchase a sticker. Funds generated by these stickers will pay to educate the public about AIS,and fund prevention efforts to keep AIS from being introduced into Wyoming, such as watercraft inspections, enforcement, and implementation of AIS regulations. The Wyoming legislature also appropriated $1.5 million in general fund monies to fund AIS prevention. Costs are as follows - Motorized watercraft registered in WY - $10 Motorized watercraft registered in another state - $30 Non-motorized watercraft owned by WY resident - $5 Non-motorized watercraft owned by a non-resident - $15 Stickers can be purchased on WGFD website or any automated license selling agent across Wyoming. Stickers are valid until December 31 of the year purchased.
Fish the Fly guides and friends participated in the annual Snake River cleanup sponsored by the Snake River Fund. We picked up trash along the river at Astoria boat ramp and 2 miles of road near the ramp and down to Pritchard boat ramp. FTF is proud to give back to the resource that gives so much to us!
Wyoming Game and Fish held its annual Kids Fishing Day this past Saturday at the Jackson Hole National Fish Hatchery. It was well attended by 96 kids and their parents! Kids from ages 6-13 years are welcome and taught about river ecology, bug life, and tying knots. Then they get to fish the hatchery pond for free. It is very encouraging to see so many kids get excited about all things fishing!
Yesterday I attended the Summit on the Snake, a day-long watershed education conference that provides all river enthusiasts with education that inspires them to care for and connect with the Snake River. One of the hot topics for this year’s event was presentation by doctoral candidate Kris Homel on the Spawning, Distribution, and Movement Patterns of the Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat in the Snake River below Jackson Lake. In 2007 and 2008, Fish the Fly guides participated in the catching and tagging of cutthroat trout for this study. Fish were implanted with radio transmitters and returned to the river. Migratory patterns and spawning habits were then recorded over the past three years. Interesting findings included that one fish moved over 110 km from the Upper Snake to the Greys River! Another fish swam over 45 km during January when most cutthroat were thought to be dormant. Over 57% of tagged fish made spawning migrations while some cutthroat spawn in the river. Stay tuned for more findings from this study…
Yellowstone National Park opened to fishing last weekend! Fly fishing was very good on both the Madison and Firehole Rivers. The Firehole saw hatches of Caddis, BWO’s, and PMD’s and both rainbows and browns ate these bugs off the surface readily. Swinging soft hackles was productive during non hatch periods. Salmonfly nymphs are migrating to the shorelines in the canyon stretch currently and look for them to hatch in the next week! The Madison fished well in the afternoons during BWO and PMD emergences. Also look for Salmonfly nymphs to be effective in any riffle areas… Heavy rains this weekend have blown these rivers out, but look for fishing to be good as this surge subsides. Lewis Lake is now ice-free!