I decided to give the Henry’s Fork a rest this week and headed over to Montana to sample the fishing on the Gallatin River. I chose that portion of the river that flows through Yellowstone National Park. If you are not familiar with this section of the river it runs through high country meadow land where it offers miles of swiftly flowing shallow riffles, medium depth runs and a few deeper pools. The river is home to rainbows, browns, a few cutthroat and whitefish. On the day I fished the river there were yellow sallies and caddis hatching. Both bugs were hatching simultaneously but the fish preferred a yellow sally imitation during the afternoon and a caddis imitation later in the afternoon and on into the evening. During the early afternoon I managed to fool several nice rainbows and browns on a special yellow sally imitation that Henry Ramsey, a well known Pennsylvania fly tier and author, had just sent to me. Later in the day I took several beautiful brown trout on a tan X-Caddis. All in all it was a very successful day of fishing in a beautiful setting. I am happy to report that this weeks fishing report for the “Ranch” section of the Henry’s Fork is a bit more optimistic than last week. There were a few more PMD’s hatching this week and combined with an already strong caddis hatch and a few flav’s fishermen experienced better fishing than it has been over the past several weeks.
Box Canyon:The “Box”, like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going and going.No one knows exactly why but this section of the river has been producing excellent fishing for several weeks now. Maybe the higher than average flows are keeping things stirred up and providing lots of feeding opportunities for the fish. The most surprising thing about the fishing in the “Box” has been the consistent dry fly fishing. Normally at this time of year the “Box” is thought of as primarily a nymph fishing proposition. However, over the past few weeks, the dry fly fishing with adult golden stone imitations has been outstanding. I wouldn’t suggest leaving your nymphs at home but fishing a dry/dropper rig through the “Canyon” has been a fun and productive way to cover the water.
Last Chance:This section of the upper river has been providing a lot of nice fishing opportunities. Recently there have been a few PMD’s hatching and you will find the fish working the hatch. These afternoon hatching PMD’s are then producing some nice spinner falls in the evening. There are still a few flav’s hatching on this part of the river producing some decent spinner falls in the evenings. The caddis have been the main focal point over the past few weeks and they are still going strong in the mornings and evenings.
The “Ranch”: There have been a few more PMD’s showing up on the “Ranch” lately and you will find the fish working them but boy have they been tough to catch (isn’t that the “Ranch”?). There are also a few flav’s still around providing some evening spinner fall action. And, like the Last Chance section upstream, there are plenty of caddis out mornings and evenings. Although, the fish don’t seem to be on the caddis as well down here like they are up above.
Wood Road:Pretty much the same can be reported about this section as the “Ranch” section.
Cardiac Canyon: For the adventurous this section of the river continues to produce good fishing mostly with nymphs and streamers.
Warm River to Ashton:This section of the river experienced a bit of a slow down over the past week. Fishermen were reporting decent enough fishing with nymphs and streamers but the dry fly fishing fell flat. Maybe it was because of the bright sunny weather we have been experiencing and the hoppers, ants and beetles are not quite in the mix yet.
Ashton to Chester and Chester to the Fun Farm and below:High day time temperatures producing warm water temps in the afternoon and later make this pretty much an early morning to noon proposition.
Other area waters:The Madison (Montana):Fishing on the Madison continues to be very good to excellent with dry flies, nymphs and streamers.It’s not as crowded now as it was during the salmon fly madness so don’t expect to see a hundred boats on the river on any given day (well, maybe on the weekends).
The Gallatin (YNP): Fishing has been excellent on this section of the river especially with dry flies.Adult caddis, yellow sally and golden stone imitations are all producing fish.
Hebgen Lake (Montana): The lake has been slow to turn on but we are starting to see some callibaetis hatching so things should be picking up soon.