It’s an amazing time of year to explore and fish the greater Yellowstone area in search of trout. The weather is generally favorable, the terrestrials are out in force and the angling options are too many to count. If one particular water isn’t fishing up to expectations, a quick change of venue will likely produce pleasing results. From the area lakes, which are really starting to heat up, to the scheduled arrival of trico, callibaetis and honey ants on the ranch, middle August is prime time to be packing around the long rod. Here’s what to expect on the Henry’s Fork and her surrounding waters.
BOX CANYON: Flows in the Box are currently fluctuating between 1350-1450cfs. At the these flows, the walk wade option is sketchy at best, but floating is awesome. Deep nymphing will produce fine results, and there are still many days when big foam fished around middle river boulders and bank side structure will bring good fish up. The streamer bite is awesome both early, late and on cloudier days.
LAST CHANCE AND RR RANCH: This stretch has slowed considerably since our last report, but a diligent angler can still locate a few big heads to fish to. It pays to be flexible and mobile. If you’re not seeing targets, walk a little further and keep your eyes peeled tight to the bank for those sneaky skinny water sippers. The lower end of the Ranch through wood road is most certainly a stronger option than the higher reaches.
WARM RIVER TO ASHTON: If you’re looking to catch a lot of fish, this stretch is you’re huckleberry and fishing a double nymph rig is the way to go. Concentrate your efforts on deeper middle river seams, eddies and slicks. Another sure fire tactic is dropping a bead head off a large foam hopper and casting around bank side structure. Pulling a streamer around in low light conditions will move those bigger trout that call this stretch home.
LOWER RIVER: Best to fish elsewhere, but if you must, fish early and late with terrestrial and streamer patterns.
THE LAKES: Henry’s lake continues to improve with good fishing around the springs and creek mouths. Present still water nymphs, leeches, buggers and chironomid patterns. The gulper fishing on Hebgen is hot. Look for fine fish to be up on callibaetis duns and spinners though mid day or whenever the wind gets crankin’. Mid day lolls can be filled by patrolling wind protected areas in search of cruising trout. A hopper or ant pattern will usually turn the trick on these fish.
THE MADISON: The Madison is still fishing well. Golden stones, caddis, PMD’s and terrestrials are the bugs to have. We’re still receiving good reports of strong spinner falls both early and late and the sunset caddis fishing is outstanding. Nymphing with small bead head combo’s will bring many a fish to the net and the Madison rainbows and browns love to chase to big streamers, so have a few of those around.
Stop by the TroutHunter fly shop to get the skinny on what’s what in the area, to pick up the perfect flies or to shop for the finest gear and tackle available. See you soon.