As I was sitting on the bench behind the shop this morning, I almost spit my coffee out. Through what for the past few weeks had been a depressing murk, I was able to see the river bottom. I was so shocked I had to brave the the road construction on highway 20 and drive to the dam and see what was going on. While the flows are still well above normal, it appears the it has been reduced to the point where sediment is no longer being sucked off the bottom. Hallelujah! Lets hope this is a sign of good things to come.
BOX CANYON: The flows from IP res. are still above normal but have subsided this past week and are now below 1500cfs. This trend will hopefully continue over the next few weeks, making navigation a little easier. If the water continues to be clear hopefully the fish will turn their attention to the large number of golden stones which have gone un molested on the surface for the past few weeks. Smaller beadhead nymphs and stonefly imitations are the standard fare for this stretch. Don't forget your swift water rescue gear as the non fishing public has been out in force and they are reckless. Look for small children crying on the banks and adults making poor decisions. Be ready to throw some of the poor souls into your boat and give them a ride out.
LAST CHANCE - HARRIMAN RANCH: This section has been tough, but reports are improving. Evenings spinner falls have been reasonably productive and mid day PMD hatches have produced a few rising fish. Flavs, callibeatis, beetles and ants should be in your flybox. Luckily for those who go out they will see very few anglers so it doesn't take a lot of fish to provide enough targets for all who decide to venture out. The key here will be to look hard and be patient. Achieving a Zen state as you can scan the water will help any fish that may rise stand out against the static of the river's surface as well as keep your blood from boiling as you will no doubt be contemplating the state of the fishery. A new pair of sunglasses will certainly help.
CARDIAC CANYON: Fish have been excited about beadheads down here and the scenery is great and the inner tube traffic is pretty thin. Dry drop with Golden Stones and beadheads or rip your favorite streamer.
WARM RIVER TO ASHTON: This has been a very reliable stretch for those in need of some good action. Golden stones, caddis, hoppers , ants and beetles are the main course for surface activity. Fish them with bead droppers for more hook ups. Any type of cloud cover should have you reaching for a streamer.
THE LOWER RIVER: The water temps down here should have you limiting your fishing to early mornings and cooler evenings and be quick with your catches and mindful with your releases as the fish here are stressed already.
THE LAKES: Henry’s isn't dynamite yet, but there are some outstanding cutties being landed. Focus your efforts around springs, creek mouths and in deeper water. Present standard still water nymphs, bugger, leeches and chironomid patterns. Hebgen has had good callibaetis activity and caddis action in the evenings.
THE MADISON: The Madison just won't stop. The salmon fly hatch is done but good dry fly activity persists through the walk/wade water. PMD’s and caddis have been getting going mid morning, with Epeorus following later in the day. A golden stone with a dropper is still a good option if you find your self searching for fish.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK: The Northwest corner of the park has been a solid option for those in search of good surface activity as fish enjoy a diet of Green Drakes and PMD's. Get to the gates early to avoid the wildlife inspired traffic jams. The Yellowstone river is now open and fishing has been good. Be prepared for crowds