Happy Fourth of July!
As expected, draft from IP Reservoir began this week. We should see flows peak at normal summer outflow of 1500 cfs in the coming days. Water clarity has been quite good the last week, but turbidity should increase with the push in flows, at least for a few days. The river will remain very fishable, but definitely expect angling to be touch and go immediately following flow bumps, particularly through the flat water. Weather pattern looks warm and sunny with variable winds. Yellowstone Park Service opened the North Loop July 2nd which is great news! Mammoth to Gardiner remains closed as well as Tower to Cook City. There is no longer an alternating license plate system in effect, at least for now.
It’s been a great week to be on the caldera – perfect weather and good/great fishing.
Box Canyon (approx 1000 cfs): We’ve been seeing good numbers of Golden Stones throughout the canyon and the cabin end. Look for Gray Drake Spinners, Green Drakes, Caddis, Flavs, and PMDs on the bottom end as well. The nymph game remains pretty consistent throughout the float. Standard fare here – Rubberlegs and bead heads: Perdigons and other tactical jig nymphs, PTs, Crack Backs, Shops Vacs, etc. I’d have some streamers as well, especially if the river takes on some color. Be ready for the rubber hatch in the afternoons, especially on weekends.
Last Chance Area - Harriman State Park: The Ranch is beginning to heat up. We’ve had some quality fishing the last few days particularly morning to lunch time and then again in the evenings. Morning spinner falls have been very consistent: Have your Rusty and Flav Spinners in #14-16 and make sure to walk slowly and with purpose; spinner sippers can be very tough to see in choppy water. I’ve started seeing better PMD emergences as well this week #16-18 in the Last Chance area. Green Drakes have been funky this year, but they are around. We aren’t seeing many Flavs just yet which isn’t too surprising given the lateness of hatches this year. Caddis are hatching all day most days, #14-20, and there are mucho Yellow Sallies around. Ants and Beetles are in play, especially if you’re on a picky fish. Lastly, yes, they are here. We had a great night of fishing Friday night around Osborne, and saw several Brown Drakes #10-12 at Millionaires the night before. It should really get cranking the next few days as the weather pattern looks consistent. Once again, make sure to have your bug dope – the mosquitoes are biblical in places. Just an FYI – I’ve found Natrapel to be an excellent non-DEET repellent.
Slide Area - Warm River to Ashton: Pete and repeat. Dry-dropper rigs are paying dividends. Look for Golden Stones, Caddis, PMDs, Flavs, and Ants and Beetles. This stretch is well worth it if you’ve never floated here; very scenic and user friendly for anglers.
Below Ashton (approx 1800 cfs @ Ashton, 1110 in St Anthony): The “Lower” continues to produce daily for our guides and shop staff. Our shop newbie, Garrett, has been spending a lot of time walking around down there, and is learning the ropes in fine fashion. We are still seeing PMDs, Caddis, Gray Drakes, Flavs, Golden Stones, and Ants and Beetles. Things will start to slow down below Ashton as summer temperatures climb, so be sure to get your licks in down the hill soon if you haven't already. Please take time to revive fish and pinch barbs. Please. We’ve seen some pretty beat up fish this summer, and I’ll be honest, I really hope IFG closes some of these sections in the winter again just to give the fish some respite.
Henry’s Lake: Things have slowed considerably on Henry’s as fish are moving to deeper and cooler water. Best bets will be around springs and creek mouths. Have your usual menu of Chironomids, Leeches, Scuds, Renegades, Mighty Mouse, Damsels, etc.
Madison River (923 cfs @ Hebgen, 1270 @ Kirby): The Madison is shaping up nicely and is fishing well. Clarity is still a bit off, but it’s very fishable. Reports of Salmon Flies down low and Caddis and PMDs throughout the system. Rubberlegs and beads have been getting them down deep.
Yellowstone National Park: The Park is kind of in limbo now as the Firehole and Madison are beginning to get too warm to fish. Opening reports from the upper Yellowstone were not good as it’s simply too high right now and borderline dangerous to wade. We should start seeing the Gallatin clear soon.
Stop by and say hi and for an up-to-the-minute report as things are happening quickly around here. We are open daily 7am - 8/9pm. Please be safe out there this weekend; I’ve heard three EMS vehicles whiz by just while writing this report.