Greetings, all. Short and sweet this week! We hope your summer is rolling along nicely. It’s been a busy busy summer around here. It remains very warm around these parts and, unfortunately, much of Southwest Montana and all moving water in Yellowstone NP are under “hoot owl” restrictions (you can fish sunrise to 2pm). So that kind of sucks! We aren’t there yet, but it won’t surprise me if Idaho Fish and Game makes the move soon. Please land fish quickly and give them extra love before releasing them. That said, flows out of Island Park Reservoir dropped considerably this week and have remained steady about 1150 cfs. The water is crystal clear; so you might need to drop down to 6x tippet in spots particularly the flat water in Millionaire’s Pool and on down to the Wood Road. As far as the Upper Henry's Fork drainage, Island Park Reservoir is at 53% full, Henry’s Lake is 96%, and Grassy Lake is 60%. We need rain! Despite the heat, fishing remains decent early and late and running Hoppers and Golden Stones mid day.
BOX CANYON (approx 1150 cfs): There are still Golden Stones around during the afternoon, and fish are looking up for them. We’ve had some success on a few cloudy mornings fishing streamers. Other than that, it’s the usual fare under an indicator: Rubberlegs, Perdigons, PTs, Rednecks, HotSpots, MicroMays, Zebra Midges, etc. The Box remains one of the more consistent stretches right now and should continue to produce in the coming weeks.
LAST CHANCE - HARRIMAN: Meh, she’s been okay over the last week. It’s still just spotty in terms of locations and times. The current banter around the shop: “the Log Jam was great yesterday morning”, Wood Road was good around 1pm”, “I didn’t see a damn thing all morning”, “The fish I did find wouldn’t let me get close enough to cast”, “Shoulda been here yesterday”, etc etc. It’s summertime y’all and not uncommon for things to slow down on these bright, hot afternoons. The Spinner and Caddis windows are shrinking, so be out early and stay until dark. I’ve found some good fish up right at dark out behind the shop. Have PMDs, Caddis, Callibaetis, Tricos, and be sure to load up the Terrestrial box; there are still a few Flavs around, but it’s definitely about done. Still no word on Honey Ants, but it’s an any day now thing. You can find fish, friends, it’s just a bit more work these days.
ASHTON AREA (approx 2420 cfs @ Ashton, approx 1000 cfs @ St Anthony): We are still fishing a bit below Ashton, but it’s really best to leave them alone down there until water temperatures drop back down to the upper 60’s to 70. Warm River to Ashton will be your best bet for the coming months if you're fishing off of the hill. WR-A has been fishing quite well the last week or two. This is a great run to take beginners fishing as there are good numbers of 10-14” trout with the occasional tank thrown in. 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: Not getting many recent reports out of Henry's, but as the heat and bright skies continue, you’ll be better off getting out there at the crack of dawn. I’ll do some more digging from some locals that fish Henry’s pretty regularly. 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 1250 cfs @ the dam, 1500 cfs @ Kirby): HOOT OWL RESTRICTIONS in effect. It’s PMDs, Caddis, and Epeorus Spinners in the mornings, as well as Terrestrials and foam. Standard fare on nymphs and bead heads. It’s been pretty smoky in the Madison Valley as the Goose Fire continues to burn up by Hidden Lake.
Gulpers are going on Hebgen… Have your Tricos, Callibaetis, and Terrestrials.
YELLOWSTONE PARK: HOOT OWL RESTRICTIONS in effect. Most of the park waters are very low for this time of the year. It’s a Northeast Corner, Gallatin, Yellowstone game these days. 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. Several of the shop crew and a couple of guides fished the Yellowstone opener and subsequent days with pretty decent success. If you’re fishing any of the park water, have Salmonflies, Golden Stones, PMDs, Caddis, Drakes, Spinners, and small attractor patterns. Don’t forget about Yellowstone Lake and the bounty of high mountain water in the area.
Stop in if you need anything or just to say hello. New inventory is beginning to arrive for Fall. We're open daily from 7 am - 8 pm. Stay safe and get outside!