Another successful Ranch Opener has come and gone. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to host our annual hog roast and band thanks to Covid, but were still able to catch up with old friends on the back porch here at TroutHunter or at The Overlook or Gravel Pit.
The fishing has been to good to great over the last week or so, and the river shows it. Yellow Sally has been running record numbers of shuttles, so expect to see a lot of people on all sections — particularly on weekends. Hopefully, crowds will start to thin out in the coming weeks as other watersheds in the area start coming into shape. Flow out of the Box Canyon is around 800 cfs at this typing. They’ve been slowly raising the flow in 50-60 cfs increments depending on the weather pattern of the week, and I anticipate this trend continuing until more water is needed downstream for irrigation.
Box Canyon: The Salmonflies have come and gone, and now we’re on to Golden Stones, Green and Grey Drakes, and Caddis on the surface. A Golden Stone on top and running a variety of small beadheads on the dropper has been very productive. Have a variety of Zebra Midges, PT’s, Hot Spots, Quill Nymphs, etc in sizes 14-20. Don’t be afraid to fish a tandem rig of small nymphs if you’re not getting them on the standard Rubberleg and dropper game. Streamers early, late, and under clouds have been moving some nice fish.
Last Chance - Harriman State Park: The hatches have been pretty solid, but the fishing has been a bit spotty at times with windows of excellent rising trout followed by the normal lull. Mornings have been good with PMD Spinners, followed by good hatches of Caddis that have lasted throughout the day. We are seeing Green Drakes, Flavs, and Yellow Sallies in some numbers and are waiting on Brown Drakes to start up as well. Have some small Baetis patterns with you as well if it looks like you might see some nasty weather in the forecast; trout are still keying on them at times. As always, don’t forget your Ants and Beetles. All in all, it’s been a solid opener on The Ranch.
Ashton Area: Bread and Butter. Fishing continues to be excellent on the lower river. There are Golden Stones, PMDs, Caddis, Green Drakes, Flavs, and Grey Drakes hatching in excellent numbers. Dropping small beads off of a Golden Stone dry has been very productive prospecting banks and sight fishing to rising trout. As I mentioned earlier, it’s been very busy down below Ashton; think about launching later in the day to find more open water.
Madison River: Looks like things are shaping up nicely. The river is clear and around 1200 cfs out of Hebgen Dam. Look for Caddis and PMDs throughout the day. Still not much in the way of Salmonflies below Ennis quite yet, but with the warmer weather this week, we should start seeing some big bugs working their way up the system. Dry-Dropper game has been good when the trout aren’t rising regularly.
Yellowstone Park: It’s still primarily a Madison, Firehole, and Gibbon game until the Yellowstone opens July 15th and the Northeast Corner clears up. Prospecting with attractor dry flies, PMDs, and Caddis will get the job done.
Stop in and see us. We’ve some some cool new TroutHunter Logo stuff from Yeti. We are stocked up on flies and tying material, as well as new gear from Simms and Patagonia. Have a great week!