Archive for June, 2011

June 25th 2011-Fishing Notes

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

A beautiful summer day greeted us this morning and it looks like we have finally settled into our typical summer weather pattern, lots of blue sky and warm sunshine. Run-off has been the talk of the town in Yellowstone country as many of our area’s rivers have just reached peak run-off. up to 3 weeks later than most years. For example the Madison below Quake is as muddy today as I have ever seen it, and the mud continues to roll in from Cabin, Beaver, West Fork and Indian creeks. It could be a week or more before we see fishable water in the float stretches. The wade water around the slide, $3 dollar and Pine Butte has about 6-12 inches of visibility. The good news is that trout like the following have been caught on a regular basis for those dedicated to the worm.

Further good news is that both the Henry’s Fork and the Firehole are in great shape and are fishing very well. Daily PMD spinner falls and emergences are occurring from biscuit basin to fountain flats. Be on the lookout for a variety of caddis species as well. I also keep a few yellow sallies on hand especially if I am concentrating on the upper Firehole. The Henry’s Fork is fishing good in the Box with nymphs as usual, but both salmonflies and goldenstones are gracing the boulder strewn runs of this fabled stretch. The lower fork is shingin bright with good catches from Warm River to the Fall river. be on the lookout for green drakes, goldenstones, PMD’s and a bunch of caddis. A goldenstone trailed by a beadhead nymph such as a shop vac, lightning bug, or BBB PT emerged in #14-#16 can keep you smiling from ear to ear right now.

Despite higher than normal water flows and lots of muddy water, the Yellowstone area is unique in its variety and scope of available fishing, and its many blue ribbon trout streams can be fished under almost any conditions. So while other areas are completely blown out, rivers such as the henry’s Fork and the Firehole provide a clear option for anglers looking for a little dry fly heaven.

Tight lines and Jumping Trout


Number 9-The only Salmonfly you will ever need

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Morning FHR Junkies,

I thought it well past time to get back to our list of the top 10, err.., top 11 dry flies an angler needs for Yellowstone country in the summer. So lets get back into it.

Number 9–Sunken Stone #6: This fly goes by several different names, Sunken Stone, Razorback, HedgeHog, but I stick with the creator’s (Nick Nickalus) name of Sunken Stone. Like the names, the actual fly can look a little different from each person’s vise. I trend toward the version that I first started fishing over 20 years ago. I have fished many different patterns for the Salmonfly hatch, and while I have caught fish on most of them at one time or another, it comes down to the simple fact that the Sunken Stone works, when other do not. It is also easy to see, durable, and most importantly accurately represents what a salmonfly looks like, and behaves like on the water. Now that is an efficient and creative fly that does the job its is supposed to do-catch fish.

To tie this fly you need only a few materials. Start with a short tail of black poly yarn, ep fiber, or as the original, dark moose. This is tied to imitate the black egg sac of the females, so keep it short. Next dub a small amount of orange rabbit dubbing. This should only cover a fifth or sixth of the hook shank to start. Now tie in a clump of deer hair, tips extending beyond the end of the tail just slightly. Wrap your thread through the butt ends of the deer hair to cinch the wing down more securely. Repeat this step 4 to 6 more times going forward to the eye of the hook. The last clump of deer hair should be tied off and trimmed like an elk hair caddis, and you are done. With all this deer hair, this fly floats like a champ, but it does ride flush in the surface film like the naturals do.

I enjoy seeing all the creative salmonfly patterns out there, with there unique names, rubber legs, goggly eyes, and articulated joints, but in the end there has only been one pattern that catches fish throughout this region year in and year out for as long as I can remember so I tend to reach for it first.

Good tying, and soon we will be fishing theses bad boys on the Madison.


First Day of the Firehole Ranch Season

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Morning Folks,

Welcome all, to our summer blog. We hope to keep this regularly updated all summer with the comings and going, high’s and low’s, and general antics of the fishing in the greater Yellowstone region. Today is the first day that guests from the Firehole will be out on our area’s rivers. Now we are currently in the middle of some major run-off, but we are lucky at the Firehole in that we have such a broad spectrum of available fishing to us. From the countless rivers in Yellowstone National Park, to the mighty Henry’s Fork in Idaho, and last but not least, the famous blue ribbon trout stream of south western Montana. So where are we fishing right now?

The Firehole River in YNP has been fishing well with both baetis and Pale Morning Dun mayflies making strong appearances on cloudy days, and we have been having our fair share of those. This legendary and beautiful trout stream is a pure pleasure to cast a dry fly on every June. From Fountain Flat to Biscuit Basin, this river is one of our strongest assets early season.

The Madison has been touch and go in the wade stretch as high water and muddy flows have made the float stretches near impossible, but the slightly cleaner water above the West Fork in the wade stretch has been fishable. In the odd colored water it is a big and nasty game of large nymphs (i.e. woolly buggers, rubber leg stones, and SJW’s) cast tight to the banks and drifted into every piece of semi quiet water an angler can find. This is classic chuck and duck Montana style, but if you can look past the less than clear water, major success can be had with a well presented big nymph.

The strong option early season for us is the numerous stretches of the Henry’s Fork. Starting with the Box Canyon and going the length of the river (other than the Ranch stretch which opens soon), the Henry’s Fork is my favorite option right now. Although salmonflies have worked through most of the lower river, various other bugs are riding its coattails. Look for stronger and stronger hatches of PMD’s, Goldenstones, Green Drakes, various caddis, and yellow sallies to keep the fish eating all day. High water here can translate into great dry fly fishing along the banks , so keep an eye out for risers in the slack water. Nymphing is a consistent producer with a plethora of different imitations. I prefer Shop Vacs, BH Princes, small rubberlegs, BH Pheasant Tails, BBB PT Emergers, and Copper Johns, but mix and match a variety of nymph imitations if something is not working.

Well, it is very exciting to start another season of Firehole Ranch fishing. I, and the rest of the guides (Alice, George, Allan, Trey, Scotty, and Josh), are looking forward to fishing with as many of you as possible this year.

Tight lines and big smiles for all of us.