The Ranch continues to fish very well. Lots of happy anglers coming into the shop. Some folks having good days blind fishing hoppers while others have reported find rising fish and feeding them no-hackles or rusty spinners. There are a few honey ants starting to show up and the guy’s fishing with ant patterns are starting to get a few fish. Personally, I think we are in way better shape then I thought we would be in. While July was hotter and drier than average the reservoir is still close to half way full. 48% of capacity compared to 35% in 2016. Flows out of the box canyon are 845 cfs. I think the peak irrigation is behind us but the issue I see is American Falls Reservoir is only at 15% capacity. There is still water in Palisades and Jackson Lake so we will see what happens. The water here is warming up so if you are hopper fishing, I would use 2x tippet and see how quick you can get these trout landed and released. I would say to heck with the hero shots. Keep those fish wet. I think in the water pics are cooler anyway. Look for honey ants, trico’s and pmds. Of course, have hoppers and beetles. I would have peach-colored hoppers in your selection. Size 16 and 18 pmd no-hackles are a good idea.
The golden stone bite in the box continues to be productive. Try fishing a henrys Fork foam golden stone without a dropper. With the water coming down so the banks may not be as good but the dumps and troughs are worth a shot. I think there are a ton of crawdads in the box. Try fishing a copper zonker under and bobber. This time of the year is also worm time so a big red san jaun might be the way to go.
The weather this last week has been great for fishing dries on the lower Henry’s Fork. There is a lot of salad in the river so trying to nymph or streamer fish is a bit of a challenge but well worth the trouble. You may need to clean your streamer every cast but the morning streamer bite is worth the pain! Right around 2 or 3 in the afternoon the hopper bite has been turning on. Tan hoppers in size 10 and 12 seem to be the ticket. Please once again get them in quick and get them released water is getting warmer.
The South Fork has started to come down a little and the rumor is it’s going to keep coming down. I guess we will see what happens. The river continues to fish well. No sign of the mutant stones yet but if it drops again I bet we will see them soon. Fish goldens and hoppers on the South Fork. Plenty of may flies around and don’t forget about the evening caddis hatch. Swinging a caddis emerger can be really fun!
Plenty of smoke on the Maddy but hopefully the goose fire is about out. Remember the Madison is hoot owl hours. Fishing on the river has been pretty good for the most part, but it remains a lot more difficult in the wade stretch between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge especially in the mornings. The float stretch has been a little more consistent and we should see a more consistent hopper bite if the smoke continues to clear. As with most anglers hitting the Upper Madison, we have been getting on the river early. While the nymph and dry fly fishing doesn’t seem to be getting going until 9:30 – 10:00 am, the streamer fishing has actually been really good. Double Screamers, Smaller Sculpin Imitations, have been some of our better patterns over the last week, and they have been chasing a pretty fast retrieve right out of the gate. You can also get into them by throwing nocturnal stoneflies or nymphing a small zonker or sculpin under and indicator until things start to get going later in the morning.
The entire park is under hoot owl restrictions. That means off the water at 2:00pm. The Yellowstone River in the park continues to fish well. Rusty spinners, gray drakes and golden stones have been the trick. Slough creek continues to fish well and when it’s not raining the Lamar has been good. I would avoid the fire hole all together. The Gallatin is worth a look. I would have sallies and hoppers.