Well everybody, I hate to admit it, but I missed that one day every year where you wake up and know that the Fall season has arrived and the summer season is in the past. It happened 5 days ago, and I fell into indian summer complacency, and didn’t mentally prepare for what is now going to be some actual fall weather. It is raining as of this morning, and is forecasted to rain for the next 3 to 4 days. The high temps tomorrow are only going to dip into the low forties, and there are vicious rumors of, wait for it…..snow! At least snow on the peaks above 8000 feet. Actually I love the fall, it is my favorite season of the year, and we get a great fall in Yellowstone country. The signs are everywhere that fall is here with a vengeance. Elk have gathered their harems and are already bugling. There is several species of low ground cover that is turning yellow and red,a few aspens and cottonwoods are following suit. Baetis are popping on several of the area’s rivers. Fall is here Babee! So how is the fishing? We are definitely making the move into fall conditions as the mornings can start out a little slow. So sip that morning cup of coffee a little longer, and prepare for late morning and afternoon fishing to be the best time to tackle the area’s rivers. The Madison continues its season long solid fishing. Baetis are now vital down here, and nymphing their imitations before the hatch can provide some fast and furious action. The dry fly fishing is also still quite good, but if it is cloudy prepare to fish size 20 and smaller bugs. As the week progresses and hopefully a return to Indian Summer, terrestrials and caddis will make for some eye relief for the dry fly enthusiast. The NE corner of YNP has been great but look for this rain to possibly put these rivers out of commission for a few days. We will update this as the week progresses. The Fork is fishing well, especially in the Box as the large rainbows here seem to relish Baetis nymphs. What a beautiful place to float a fly, or sink a fly, as the case may be for the Box. Look for Warm River to Ashton stretch to come back into play this week. I love floating this section in the Fall, as the fishing is quite good, and the crowds-well there isn’t any crowds! The Gallatin is also a great place to fish in the fall, but I wouldn’t plan on getting there early-hit it late and look for Baetis! Anyway, time to put on waders again, and a rainjacket, and maybe even a fleece or two!
Archive for August, 2008
Good Morning everyone. It is the beginning of another week here at the Firehole Ranch. Last week we had a ranch full of guests who have been returning to the Ranch for many years. It was great to visit and fish with old friends, and the fishing treated everyone pretty good. This week we have a ranch full of first time visitors and we are hopefull that in the years to come they also will become annual guests and we will get to share many awesome fishing memories with them. Today’s weather forecast is for “beautiful”- sunny, 82 degrees, and light winds. We have our fingers crossed that it will remain so for the rest of the week. We have dipped below freezing for a couple of nights last week, and soon that will be a nightly occurrence. Fall is coming, but we are holding out for a few more weeks of summer. As for the fishing, it has remained solid, on all the area’s rivers. The Madison is going strong from Quake to McAtee Bridge, with good hopper, beetle, and ant fishing. Same holds true for all the rivers in the Park-Gallatin, Gardner, Lamar, Snake, Soda Butte, and Slough Creek. Look for Baetis to begin to play a prominent role this week, especially on the Madison, Slough Creek, and the Box Canyon of the Henry’s Fork. PMD’s are all still important on the Ruby and Soda Butte, and Heptagenia could be a All Star this week as well. Hebgen is on tilt with Callibaetis for the soup fisherfolk, gulpers galore! So let’s get ready to rumble-fish on everybody!
Good Morning Folks, it is a nippy 32 degrees this morning, and the annual speculations of fall are in the air. I believe, we are still a week or two away from making any overall conclusions of the beginning of Autumn, it does however begin an angler thinking of Baetis, brown trout, and bugling elk! Thoughts of the Firehole are not too far away either, maybe those pesky Drake Mackerals, the golden yellows of turning aspens, the glories of Fall are coming to a theater near you. Not to jump the gun too much, lets talk about fishing in the here and now. August has been very good this year with consistent dry fly fishing throughout the month. If you can escape the winds of the past couple of days, hopper and beetle fishing has been very good throughout the upper half of the Madison. Wow is there a lot of small fish eating in the float stretches-it bodes well for the next coming years. But there is also plenty of small fish from 4 to 5 years ago that have reached maturity, and there 16 inch forms are slurping in chilly dogs and flying ants. What a year so far in Yellowstone, very few days have been lost due to dirty water from afternoon thunderstorms, or hordes of biting bugs, or overcrowding. PMD’s, Heptagenia, Epeorus, and Baetis have been seen on the Lamar, Slough and Soda Butte rivers. Fish are tuned into the surface, although it can taken persistence and several fly changes before hitting on the right candy for each fish. Wolf and bear sightings have also been numerous, making the drive to the river even more enjoyable. The Gallatin is fishing strong, with Spruce Moths still dive bombing the icy pocket water of this gorgeous mountain stream. After the Moths have gone the way of the ghost, try hoppers, and flying ants. Make sure to cover those banks, as sometimes the fish in the Gallatin need a little coaxing to be tempted out from their hidden domains. Callibaetis are peppering the surface of almost every still body of water in the region, look for gulper action to continue for the next couple of weeks. It is never too early to begin tying Baetis patterns, as I will bet, that this coming week, we will see their importance increase significantly.
Happy Monday Morning, it is another glorious day in the greater Yellowstone area. We are on quite a streak of stunning sunrises to start each day out, followed by temperatures in the 70′s and light winds. The fishing has remained solid as the rivers are full of clear, cold water, and happy fish. Terrestrials, like hoppers and beetles, have really taken the leading role in the cinematic event, “The Trout Must Rise”. Look for these upcoming stars to perform well on all the area’s rivers, but especially in Act 1 Madison River, Act 2 Gardner River, and Act 3 Soda Butte Creek. Some very large supporting cast members have taken the bait and have put on quite an aerial performance lately. If I was a attendee of this fishing scene, I would be haunting the wade stretches of the Madison with Sir Chilly Dog, and Foxi Beetle. Work the shallows and all likely looking holding water, as Brown Trout love the banks and skinny riffles this time of year. Despite some heavy pressure the NE corner of Yellowstone, it is fishing very well indeed. PMD’s and Heptagenia continue to emerge in good numbers, and when the fish refuse or are missed on those imitations, give em’ the land based insect options. The Hopper invasion on the Gardner is quite eye popping, and the fish are on the prowl for them. See if you can catch 5 species of trout on this little gem. Anyway it is time to fish, so off we go!
Good Morning fellow fly anglers. Another beautiful day is on tap for today, and if the 5 day forecast is correct, look for this spectaculor weather to continue. I cannot say enough about this weather, it might be the best we have had here in a long time. Wow! With so little wind this summer, I think this has contributed to the good fishing this summer. But the mass amounts of Spruce Moths this past 2 weeks may also have something to do with it. Every year it seems that this terrestrial insect gets more and more intense. From the Lamar to the Madison these furry #14 moths have been dive bombing the area’s rivers and lakes. The fishing has remeined solid just about everywhere, with the Madison continuing to lead the pack. Along with Moths; grasshoppers, flying ants, and beetles have been keeping us tangled with the fiesty trout of the 50-mile riffle. Nymphing is also good, with $3 Dips, PT’s, Crystal Dips, Shop Vacs, and Ghost Face killa’s doing their usual business. The NE corner of Yellowstone is a hot bed of activity, with daily emergences of both PMD’s and Heptagenia, helping to fill out the menu of terrestrials that keep the Native Yellowstone Cutty’s over here very happy. Keep an eye out for Moths in any area where spruce and pine trees are near the rivers. A hike into the Yellowstone canyons, can be awesome at this time of year, and once again an angler better have a few moths with them. Any foam and rubber pattern is also mandatory! Look for the Box Canyon to really begin to heat up in the next week or so as Baetis begin to get more active. The big rainbows of the Box love Baetis! Grab a moth, a rod, and hit the water!