First Day of the Firehole Ranch Season

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.


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