Here’s a link to a Big Sky Journal article about the Boo Boys at Sweetgrass Rods. What an amazing, inspirational group of bamboo artists. We are proud to have partnered with Sweetgrass Rods to create a Firehole Ranch bamboo rod!
It’s hard to believe that I just scraped ice off my windshield and stomped snow off of my boots coming in the door, considering that just four days ago I got a sunburn on the river. Spent two amazing days post Thanksgiving fishing the Bighorn River with Josh. It’s always good to take a trip – I caught fish, I watched other people catch fish, then I caught a few more fish. Had good company to enjoy a few left overs with and stayed up way too late before getting up way too early to fish. My fading sunburn and memories of those days will get me through till temperatures rise. Inevitably once again I will find myself amongst great friends, flowing waters, and hopefully a few leaping trout.
Firehole Ranch Guide
Record heat across some parts of Montana has brought temperatures into the 90’s around the greater Yellowstone region, a rarity at 6500 feet. The hot weather, equals the heat of the fishing options in the area as well. The Salmonfly craze is in full swing, with the big bugs making their annual appearance on the Madison, Gallatin, and Yellowstone rivers simultaneously. On the coattails of the salmonfly are the rest of the “bugs of summer”, including, but not limited to; Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes, big caddis, little caddis, medium caddis, yellow sallies, and goldenstones. As is often the case, despite what seems logical given the sheer size of the salmonfly, trout sometimes prefer the more numerous and smaller bugs that are present concurrently with the salmonfly. Yet the lure of the salmonfly is sometimes too strong for some of the bigger residents of our local trout rivers. So where are the salmonflies; well they are slightly above Palisades on the Madison, around Yankee Jim on the Yellowstone, and quickly approaching Big Sky on the Gallatin. However; we are far enough along with this hatch, that fishing behind, in the middle of, and ahead of the hatch, are all effective strategies at this point.
The Henrys Fork continues to fish very well with a plethora of bugs emerging in the Ranch water, including the Brown Drake in the slower sections around Millionaires and Osbourne. The Box shows its consistent strength with good nymphing with smaller beadheads. The lower river around Warm River to Ashton remains a good bet as well with the higher flows presently.
High water temperatures means the Firehole and Madison in the Park ought to be avoided. Give the fish a break, and try the colder streamin the north east corner and Gardner river. Drakes and goldenstones are present on all of them. Make sure to have some bug spray with you!
Good Luck and Jumping Fish
Senior Firehole Ranch Guide and Photographer at www.fishonphoto.com
One of the great things about flyfishing in Montana is how quickly things change. The challenge for fisherman in this area is being able to anticipate change and understand how it might affect the tremendous diversity of fishable water that this area offers. With that being said, expect some quick changes in the next few days as we ease out of run-off conditions and hit the summer wave train full force. I have been spending most of my time on the Henry’s Fork from the Box Canyon to St. Anthony. The entire river is in prime shape with a plethora of bugs to keep both fish and fisherman quite content. Green Drakes and Goldenstones in the lower river keep the big fish tuned to the surface, but don’t overlook PMD spinners and emerging caddis. The Firehole has slowly been warming up way to soon. But spinner falls in the morning and caddis in the evening can be quite entertaining. More to come soon, as things change and get fired up for our summer ride!!!
There’s something about a boy, a dog and a fish. Every time I post a photo like this on our Facebook page it generates a huge response! After all, what a perfect way to spend a day – on the water, fly rod in hand, dog at your side, enjoying another perfect day in paradise. This photo of Josh and Brady’s dog Jake was taken on the Madison River between Quake and Hebgen Lakes. The fishing there has been phenomenal this spring! Be sure to check out the Firehole Ranch Facebook page for many more photos throughout the year.