Firehole River Yellowstone National park

The Firehole River on day one of the 2017 Yellowstone fly fishing season

Yellowstone Fly fishing report – Firehole River

The Yellowstone fly fishing season opened yesterday! Opening day typically means dry flies on the Firehole River, but this year nymphs and wet flies were the best. We began our day in the Firehole Canyon with flows around 500 cfs. Flows had dropped from 1000 cfs a few days earlier with cooler weather and some light rain. Word was that the Stonefly nymphs were already on the banks, so we had to see for ourselves.

Yellowstone fly fishing - Firehole canyon

Salmonfly and Golden Stone nymphs in the Firehole Canyon

The Stonefly nymphs were there and the trout were looking for them! We fished #4-10 Rubberlegs with varying droppers – #12 Prince nymph, #16 Pheasant Tails and Red Copper Johns. We found several willing trout in the slower moving runs close to the Gibbon confluence. A few Brown trout even ate big foam dry flies in the pocket water closer to the falls.

Fish on Firehole River

Fish on!

After lunch we moved upstream to look for some more dry fly fishing. We were deterred by the crowds at Fountain Flat. We kept going to the Mallard Creek area and found fewer people. The long runs in this area looked promising for finding trout rising to dry flies, but we only found a few fish looking up. They were willing trout and smashed a #16 Yellow Film Critic on first pass.

Upper Firehole River

Good dry fly water

Yellowstone brown trout

Yes, I do like dry flies!


The water was still a bit high, and as a result nymphs and wet flies were more consistent. Red Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails were really all you needed. Swinging small yellow soft hackles through the riffles was also very productive.

All in all, it was a solid day on the Firehole. The flow drop definitely helped the fly fishing. Weather for the next week is forecast to remain in the 50’s, so it looks like flows will remain consistent in the 500-600 cfs range. We will be run guided Yellowstone fishing trips here for at least the next three weeks.


Yellowstone fly fishing – Lewis Lake

Lewis Lake Yellowstone

Is that a boat ramp?

I drove through the Lewis River drainage on my way up to the Firehole and stopped to see how Lewis Lake looked. It looked great, if you were going to ski across it! The parking lot was plowed, but the boat ramp and lake itself were still under a couple feet of snow and ice.

Frozen Lewis Lake

Got skis?

What a difference a year makes! On Opening Day in 2016,we motored all the way to the Lewis Channel and caught numerous trout. Lewis Lake should thaw out by June 10th, but it all depends on the weather!

Call us at 307-690-1139 for the latest Yellowstone fly fishing report and to book your trip!