Well, we made it through the 4th of July weekend without any major hitches (kitchen grill motor failure aside). It was busy but not too crazy with no firework shows, high water, etc. Irrigation demands downriver bumped the outflow to 1700 cfs the other day for a spell, and it’s sitting at about 1650 at this writing. Actual flow is probably a bit lower as weed growth will often mess with the gauge a bit. Regardless, it’s high and a bit off-color, and unfortunately, I don’t think much is going to change for the better in the coming weeks. That said, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom out on the river. Please land and release and revive fish as quickly as possible with these higher water temperatures. It’s going to be one of those summers to throw a dart at the map and go do some high mountain lake and creek fishing.
BOX CANYON (approx 1650 cfs): The Box is still producing some excellent fishing opportunities. It’s mostly a nymph and streamer game, but there are still a few fish looking up for Golden Stones. Guides have been doing well nymphing under an indicator using Perdigons, Crack Backs, Zebra Midges, Rubberlegs, etc. Don’t forget your split-shot! There are still excellent hatches of Grey Drakes and Grey Drake Spinners in the evening coming down below the Cabin Run and into the flatter water. I realize most recreational floaters don’t read fishing reports, but please be careful out there with these flows. Our guides had three rescues over the weekend with flipped kayaks and tubes, and please wear a life jacket if you're recreating; it’s no joke up in there right now if you’re inexperienced.
LAST CHANCE - HARRIMAN: One word. Spotty. I went out behind the shop two evenings in a row this week without much luck finding quality rising fish, so I took last night off and TJ and shop newbie Cheese went out, and naturally, they had excellent fishing. That’s just how it’s been, kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s obviously not ideal conditions up here, but they haven’t been jumping and dumping flows in the hundreds of cfs and are using relatively small increments which helps in terms of fish settling back in. In trying to find some positives, the Grey Drake hatches and spinnerfalls have been very impressive this week. There has been some Flav action, PMDs, Calibaetis, and Caddis. The Flav and Rusty spinnerfalls in the mornings have been most productive. As always, have your Ants and Beetles. No sign of any Honey Ants yet (it’s still a bit early) but with everything happening early this year, I’d be ready. Just keep plodding along, friends. There are fish to be had. Somewhere.
ASHTON AREA (approx 2750 cfs @ Ashton, approx 1000 cfs @ St Anthony): Below Ashton is about done for the summer. Morning spinner falls have been good, but afternoon water temps are getting up there to where it’s best to just leave them alone until the Fall. Warm River to Ashton will be your best bet for the coming months if you're fishing off of the hill. Have Golden Stones, Chubbies, Hoppers, Caddis, assorted small attractor patterns, Ants and Beetles, and the usual array of bead heads for droppers.
HENRY’S LAKE: I haven’t heard much positive out of Henry’s this week, but as the heat and bright skies continue, you’ll be better off getting out there at the crack of dawn. It’s definitely time to start focusing on the springs and deeper water. I prefer slow stripping smaller flies like Scuds, Damsel Nymphs, Renegades, Thin Mints, and Mighty Mouse this time of the year, but I would definitely have a selection of Leeches as well.
MADISON RIVER (approx 1270 cfs @ the dam, 1550 cfs @ Kirby): There are still a few Salmonflies flapping, but that hatch has come and gone. There are Golden Stones, Caddis, and PMDs around in good numbers. I wouldn’t hesitate to start throwing some Ants and small foam patterns on the banks. It’s the usual on bead heads and nymphs.
Gulpers are going on Hebgen...
YELLOWSTONE PARK: It’s a Northeast Corner, Gallatin, Yellowstone game these days. The Yellowstone River below Fishing Bridge will open July 15th. It’s getting close and should be very fishable. If you’re heading to the Lamar River, check the gate fly shops for updated info on storms and river conditions; it doesn’t take much rain to blow it out. If you’re fishing any of the park water, have Salmonflies, Golden Stones, PMDs, Caddis, Drakes, Spinners, and small attractor patterns.
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m.john stinchfield 111
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