Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report – 11.1.13

Yellowstone National Park closes for the season this coming Sunday the 3rd, so now is the time to enjoy the superb Fall fishing for run-up Brown trout.  There are numerous trout in the Snake, Madison, Gibbon, and Firehole River below the falls.  Rainbows in the Madison system and Lake trout in the Snake follow these runs looking to feed off the eggs from these spawning trout. Lewis Lake also holds plenty of fall spawning Mackinaw and they are aggressive to the fly!

Mackinaw from Lewis Lake

Reynolds Pomeroy holds a healthy 21" Lake Trout

Yellowstone fly fishing report 10.19.13

Yellowstone has reopened! The crowds are minimal and the fly fishing is phenomenal…. Looking for a trout of a lifetime? The Fall Brown trout runs are in on the Snake, Lewis, and Madison Rivers. Throwing streamers is the best way to get into these aggressive trout. Olive, Yellow, Black, and Purple are good colors to try; keep switching until you find what they are looking for that day. Pattern size can make a difference as well. Not every trout wants a steak dinner plus all the fixings….

Darrell Ragan has a new favorite plce to fish in Yellowstone

Darrell Ragan and a Lewis Lake 8 lb Brown trout

Yellowstone fly fishing report 6.18.13

Fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park is well underway!  With warm Spring temperatures this year, all of Yellowstone’s waters have started to fish earlier than normal this year… Firehole, Gibbon, Madison Rivers – These three rivers are the main attraction in May/June in Yellowstone.  The Firehole is seeing epic Caddis hatches currently – White Miller, Glossosoma, Hydropsyche, etc.  The action starts around 8am below Midway Geyser Basin. Larger #16 PMD’s pop around 10am combined with a Spinner fall and keep the action going.  There are also a few Damselflies, and Craneflies beginning… The Gibbon River has a good Stonefly hatch, both Goldens and Salmonflies,  in its canyon below the falls and has been fun fishing for those in the know.  Look for Green Drakes in the meadow above Madison Junction. The Madison has been fun with PMD Spinner falls from 8-11am for some larger Browns and Rainbows. Evening Caddis are a blast and have all the trout in this river feeding from 7pm until dark. The Lewis Lake complex is fishing very well for large Browns and Mackinaw 16-24″.  The Brown Drake hatch is happening all over the lake and the Browns are psyched! Get there early to take advantage of cruising fish feeding off the surface.  When this action slows around noon, switch to a sinking line and leech pattern and work the shoals/dropoffs for Lake trout. Too much fun!

Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Report 10.24.12

Snake River brown trout

Pre-dawn 19" brown from the Snake River

The thermometer on my Tundra read 17 degrees as I pulled into the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.  It was 7:15am and still dark out.  The plan was to get to the Firehole/Madison/Gibbon Rivers early to fish for run-up Brown trout from Hebgen Lake.  Unfortunately the road was closed due to the snow we had been receiving with an additional 3″ overnight.  A quick search turned up an employee who said they were sanding the roads and were trying to get them open by 8am or so. I decided to make the most of my time and went ahead and rigged up and took the short walk to the Snake River. After all there were run-up browns from Jackson Lake in there too.  After a few casts with a dark colored streamer, I was quickly into the first fish of the day, a 19″ brown! By 8:30 am, I had released both 17″ and 18″ browns that looked to be pretty fresh from the Lake.  Not bad for a detour! I took off to get back on track with the original agenda, but Craig Pass was still closed, so I was forced to drive the long way east around to Canyon and Norris.  Along the way, I spotted a solo Bison trying to cross the the slow moving Yellowstone River, before I eventually made it to the Gibbon River below the falls.
Yellowstone Bison

A Bison swims the chilly Yellowstone River

The Gibbon’s low flows and spooky fish proved difficult, despite good cloud cover to shield my efforts. I finally landed a few good trout to 18″ near the falls after scaring off the rest of their breathren.  A #6 Natural Home Invader tied by Doug McKnight did the trick.  Soon the sun popped out from behind the clouds and all the low-light loving browns went in for a siesta around 1pm, so I decided to head down to the Madison to look for a Baetis hatch. I arrived at the Madison not too far below the junction to see a sporadic hatch already in progress. I pulled out the 4wt and strung up a #20 Pablo’s Baetis Cripple.  I managed to catch a handful of smaller rainbows and browns out of the long, slow-moving runs, but didn’t see any larger trout working the surface.  The same held true for the Firehole River near Fountain Flat before the bugs and rising fish subsided around 4:30pm. All in all, it was a great day with Browns being landed on both sides of the Continental Divide between 4 different rivers!
Gibbon River

Love the blue spots on the browns!

Madison River

An nymphing angler lands a nice brown on the Madison River

Yellowstone Fishing report – Firehole River 6.23.12

Summer is here and the time is right to get some fishing done, especially in Yellowstone National Park.  Crowds are at a very reasonable level at the moment. The Firehole River is fishing well currently, mostly with Caddis and Yellow Sally patterns in the afternoons and evenings.  White Miller soft hackles and adults are a good choice, but green caddis pupa are a great option. There are a few PMD’s left on cloudy mornings, but for the most part this hatch is done. As the day warms, don’t be afraid to try an adult Damselfly or nymph pattern.  With our warm temperatures and sunny skies, these patterns have produced some good trout.  Adult Damsels can draw explosive strikes! Best Flies: #14-16 Olive Emergent Sparkle pupa, #14 White Miller Soft Hackle, #14 White Miller Cripple, #14-18 Prince Nymph, #14 Headlight Sally

Rainbows and browns do get along on the Firehole!

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report 7.15.11

Got Caddis?  Well, you should be fly fishing both the the Firehole and Madison Rivers in Yellowstone Park!  Evening caddis action on both these rivers has been great, from about 6pm until dark.  Midges are the morning ticket on the Firehole and then try adult Damsel Fly patterns through the day.  Yellow Sallies are hatching on the Madison, so be prepared with #16 Yellow Stimmies as well there.  Look for Gray Drakes around Talus Slide and Nine mile hole. These bugs have made for great fishing on the days they pop, typically with our afternoon thunderstorms recently. My favorite is the #12 Foam Gray Drake Spinner, for the bigger, pickier fish.

Matthew Foster casts on the Madison River.

Don’t forget off the beaten path places like Grebe Lake!  This lake holds beautiful Grayling and Rainbows that love to eat Damsel Fly nymphs and adults….

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report 6.30.11

Sight fishing for big browns is great on Lewis Lake after ice-out.

Summer is here in Yellowstone country! We are psyched to see it, no more whining from us about the weather! The Firehole continues to fish well during evening caddis hatches.  This is a great time to be on the river as crowds are typically less and the fish are rising to White Miller imitations and soft hackles.  Don’t forget to have a #20 Black Caddis as well!  This has saved many an evening through the years. The upper river is seeing PMD’s and a few Baetis above Old Faithful and don’t forget about the Little Firehole… The Madison in the Park is also  fly fishing well during evening caddis events.  Cream colored imitations like X2 Caddis  have produced well up and down the river.  PMD’s and Gray Drakes are showing mid-day, and don’t forget the morning spinner falls from 9am-noon.   Look for Salmonflies to still bring up a few fish around Riverside and 11 mile run. Lewis Lake has slowed down with our summer high pressure, but action can be good on cloudy days and in the evenings for Calliebaetis and a few Caddis.  Look to other streams and lakes for more consistent action.

Wildlife viewing has been awesome lately!

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report 6.3.11

Yellowstone is open to fly fishing! We were out this past holiday weekend sampling the Firehole River near Fountain Flats.  Since it was the “beginning of summer” it dumped snow all day 🙂  The trout didn’t mind though, every fish in the river was up eating off the surface.  The action started around noon and lasted until 6pm. Swinging Baetis soft hackles were really good until 3pm and then PMD soft hackles and cripples were the ticket to catching. As temps warm this week, we expect to Caddis begin to emerge in the afternoon and go until dusk.  Also, look for Salmonflies in the Firehole Canyon by the beginning of next week. Lewis Lake is still frozen, but we expect to be running trips here by the 12th.  Yellowstone Lake opens June 15th! Best Flies: #18-20 Baetis soft hackles, #20 BRF Baetis Cripple, #18 PT Soft Hackle, #16 PMD Cripples, #10-12 Wooly Buggers

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Season opens 5.28.11!

It’s been a long winter here in Jackson Hole and we’re excited that Yellowstone will open to fishing this weekend!  The Firehole River will be the spot ( fly fishing only) to fish.  Most other rivers will still be too cold or in the middle of runoff to offer any good fishing.  We expect to see Baetis, PMD’s, and a few Caddis popping on the Firehole.  Flows are currently 515 cfs and the river will likely be tannin colored and bank full, but will still fish. The outlet of Lewis Lake may produce a few browns or lakers, if you’re willing to walk through the snow to get to it. Stay tuned for a fishing report from this weekend…

Fly Fishing Report Yellowstone National Park 11.8.10

Yellowstone National Park closed yesterday for the 2010 summer season.  The weather has been amazing with temps reaching into the lower 60’s!  Not the best for BWO hatches, but very enjoyable.  The Madison drainage has been stuffed with run up browns, with nymphs and streamers the best way to catch them.  The Lewis River drainage has been stellar as well with fish up to 24″ being landed.  Flies are the same as the last report.

Fly fishing in Yellowstone has been great this year!  We’ll have to wait until Memorial Day weekend 2011 to see these magnificent fish again….
Yellowstone Brown trout

A nice Brown from the Lewis River.