We are having a nice mild transition into the fall months, as we have had some rain last week followed by warm days towards the end of the week. Next week’s weather forecast looks like unsettled weather until the end of the week with overcast days and 50% to 60% chance of rain showers. This will translate into great dry fly fishing in between the scattered storms. As we progress into fall, we look forward to Mahogany Duns, Callibaetis, as well as our terrestrial fishing to continue.
Upper Henry’s Fork
Henry’s Lake Outlet has not produced good fishing this season because the stream flow from the dam has remained very low. There have been some good hatches of Caddis on the upper river below Mack’s Inn. This is good water to take less experienced anglers. You can usually catch fish with Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Renegade and other standard patterns.
The flow through the Box Canyon is 983 cfs and has been holding steady. This is average flow for this time of year and has been holding steady at this rate for the last five days. Stable water temperatures will really help the fishing over the next few weeks. Your best bets are to use a double nymph rig with the Two Bit Hooker, Cocktail Nymph, Red Copper Johns and the Electric Caddis the best go-to nymphs.
The Hopper fishing has started in the Last Chance section of the Henry’s Fork. You can find some success with small hoppers and beetles right now. In the Ranch, Callibaetis and Tricos will be the power hatches moving forward into next week. The fish have really moved towards terrestrials, so I would be sure to have ants, hoppers and beetles in your arsenal. Ants are showing up on the lower portion of the Ranch as well as Tricos below Osborne Bridge. The fish are super selective! Best bets are; Tricos, Trico spinners, Mystery Midges, floating nymphs, Ants and Hoppers are also good for targeting tough bank feeders.
With the drop from 1385 cfs to 983 cfs the canyon section access for wading will be an option. If you want to get away from the crowds you should use the same patterns and methods described above for Box Canyon as well as Hoppers with Cocktails Nymphs and Two Bit Hookers dropped below. If you want to really experience this neat part of the river you should consider a trip down Cardiac Canyon with one of our experienced guides.
Warm River to Ashton
The section from the Stone Bridge access below the confluence of Warm River downstream to the County Boat Dock at the Ashton Reservoir has been very productive. This is a great section to float and consequently there are a lot of recreational floaters drifting down the river in everything from inner tubes, rafts, and the like. Normally they don’t hinder the fishing crowd but you still need to keep your eye out if you hear a bunch of screaming teenagers upstream to avoid getting run over. Use the same techniques and patterns described for Box Canyon. The best place to look for fish right now in this section is along any shelf or shallow depressions in the river bottom.
Ashton Dam to St Anthony
It has been warm down in the valley the past couple of weeks and the fishing on the lower river has really slowed down but I wouldn’t write this water off. Recent cool wet weather has dropped water temperatures and fishing has been good with hoppers. You will likely have to put up with a lot of floating aquatic vegetation but it can be well worth the effort. There are also Tricos starting to show up on some of the backwaters like the Fun Farm area. You’ll need to get on the water first thing in the morning to hit the best Trico action.
St Anthony to Confluence
Fishing has really dropped off in this section of the river but you can still get good fish if you get out early in the morning or late at night just before dark.
The Madison has been fishing well. There have been decent caddis hatches in the morning and evening hours just before dark. There are several species of caddis ranging from as large as a size 14 down to tiny size 20 micro caddis. The upper section below Quake Lake has also been producing Callibaetis, Tricos and ants are your weapons of choice. The river is low making wading a little easier but the fish spookier. The hopper fishing should start anytime now.
South Fork of the Snake
You can find good trout rising in the riffles as they feed on Pale Morning Duns and Pink Albert mayflies. Pale Morning Duns have a pinkish cast on the South Fork and they look almost exactly like Pink Albert’s. Use size 16 pink No hackle, Pink Parachute, Pink Split Flag, and Pink Parachute. Cripples and Emergers are also very productive. There have been reports coming in of good hopper fishing along the banks through all sections of the South Fork.
Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone River is now open above the lake to fishing. The water has come down and the fishing is starting to really pick up. Fishing on the Madison and Gibbon has slowed down due to warmer water temperatures. You can still get into some nice fish on the riffle section of the Madison from the Barns Pools near the West Entrance upstream to Nine Mile Bridge. We received a report that Gibbon Meadow was fishing well with small Morris Hoppers, Black Ants and foam Hi-vis beetles. Slough Creek and Lamar river have been fishing well with Hoppers, Cocktail Nymphs, Copper Johns, Hotwire Princes and beadhead Pheasant tails. There have also been good hatches of Golden Stoneflies and caddis flies on the Gallatin River downstream to Taylors Fork.
Henry’s Fork Tributaries
There is good access to lower Warm River near the campground. Warm River is a good option with attractor dry flies, and nymphs. Warm River is stocked with catchable trout near the Warm River Campground and is a good option for young anglers. Fall River has fished very well in the upper reaches from Cave Falls downstream to the national forest boundary. The best action has been with a dry/dropper rig. Use a large attractor like a Royal Trude, Stimulator, or Chubby Chernobyl for the dry fly with a bead head Prince Nymph or Tungsten Pheasant Tail Nymph as a dropper. Our guides have also been experiencing some very good hopper action on some of the stretches of the Teton River.
We’ve had great reports from Henry’s Lake as well as Island Park Reservoir. Best action has been to use a small wooly bugger, leech or Chironomid pattern with an indicator. There have been some really nice Cutthroats caught on up to 24 inches, but there have also been some nice Brook Trout and Hybrids landed in Henry’s Lake. It is mostly a rainbow trout fishery in Island Park Reservoir with the occasional large trophy coming to the net. Gulper fishing has also started to roll on Hebgen Lake. Normally mid-July through August are the best months to fish the great lakes of our area.
Gulper fishing has been productive on Hebgen Lake. Best action is during calm mornings when large trout cruise the surface feeding on Callibaetis mayflies. It is possible to catch trout from shore on the north side of the lake but in most cases you’ll need a float tube, pontoon boat or boat. Best action is to use a dry fly that is easy to see like a Parachute Adams with a size 16 Sawyer PT Nymph as a dropper about 8 inches below the fly.read on