Fly fishing in Yellowstone Park has been pretty fun lately! There are a few venues worth visiting at this point – Firehole River – All of this rain has produced great BWO and PMD hatches on the Firehole recently. Good fly fishing begins around 9am with Spinner Falls and lasts into the early afternoon or possibly later if it’s cloudy. Your favorite PMD or BWO cripple pattern with a traditional presentation should produce trout. If it’s warm and sunny, think Caddis. Swinging soft hackles is a fun way to catch trout on these days. Remember that if you see splashy rises or trout jumping out of the water for something, they are looking for Caddis. Tan X-Caddis are always good here, but don’t forget about White Miller Caddis patterns as well… Madison River – there are Salmonflies flying here! As always, the Madison in Yellowstone can be a fickle fishery, so be prepared to fish the big dries, nymph, or swing soft hackles/streamers. Don’t forget to cover some ground, the determined fisher is rewarded here.. Lewis Lake- this has been a very consistent fishery for us recently with both spin and fly gear. Best fly tactics on the lake consist of sink-tip and full-sink lines with leech patterns and streamers that imitate brown trout fry. Try ledges/drop-offs, and the inlet and outlet areas for the most consistent fishing for Brown and Lake trout 14″-22″. Hatches are starting up here and the Browns are following the bugs to shallower water, making them more visible and bringing the sight-fishing game more into play. Stay tuned for further details.
The South Fork of the Snake has been the best river in the region as of late. Flows are steady at 10,100 cfs and the trout here are in their feeding groove. The Bureau Reclamation has stated that once the rain mellows and our soils drain the excess moisture we’ve received, they will bump up flows to meet irrigation demands. Most likely this will occur in a week or so… As for now, nymphing has been the main game still. Double nymph rigs with a #6-10 Rubberlegs as a point fly, and then various droppers. We are still seeing some BWO hatches with all of this rain, so #18 Flashback PT’s or Rainbow Warriors have been good producers. Midge pupa such as #18-20 Red or Black Zebra Midges are still great options. The Caddis larva are moving about in anticipation of Summer weather, so #14-16 Green Soft Hackles have been good as well. Both PMD and Yellow Sally nymphs are staging for their emergences and can be good choices for droppers, especially on sunnier days. These sunny days also have seen a little dry fly activity, mostly for mid-sized Cutthroat trout eating #12 Black flying ant patterns in the riffles. Afternoons are best, so no need to rush to the river at the moment. The streamer bite picks up as the evening draws close, so be prepared. Clouser minnows, Dungeons, JJ’s Specials, and black leeches are always good bets. Flow increases on the South Fork will slow the fishing a little bit, but not for long if the sunshine stays with us. Expect to see the beginnings of a Stonefly hatch towards the end of this month….