There is much more concentration of trout in prime holding water types than there was a week and a half ago. Riffles, seams, side channels, banks, and bankside troughs are the key targets, especially on the lower river from Wilson Bridge down to Sheep Gulch. Banks with moderate currents can offer trout holding up to three feet from submerged structure. Mahogany duns, PMDs, October caddis, and blue-winged olives are the primary bugs on the water at the moment, with mahoganies and blue-wings being most prevalent on cloudy and wet days (although blue-wings dominate the scene no matter what the weather brings.
Surface action has been best from approximately 1pm until dusk. The best bet is to go with moderately sized attractors with droppers during the morning hours in search of grabby fish, primarily along banks, bankside troughs, and in riffle pools. By noon, it is worthwhile to switch over to single and tandem dry fly rigs and target riffles, seams, side channels, and bankside troughs.
Streamer fishing has picked up over the past week with large and moderately sized streamers fished with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines, as well as intermediate to 3ips sinking tips. Target riffle pools, seams, banks, and bankside troughs. Perform slow retrieves in slower currents, and speed it up in faster currents.
Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Turck’s Taratulas, Stimulator, Parachute Extended Body Drakes, Parachute Extended Cahills, Parachute Adams Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Soft Hackle Rubber Legged Princes, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Copper Johns in red.
Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Booty Call Minnows, and Chicklets.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are down to approximately 2650 cfs. There is decent fishing on just about every reach of the South Fork with the most productive sections being on the upper reach in Swan Valley and on the lower reaches from Kelly’s Island down to Lorenzo Bridge. You may not get into numbers, but you are sure to get into some size. Palisades Reservoir is in turnover, so there is not excellent clarity on the river. Thus, going subsurface is the best way to go much of the day. There will be some surface action in the afternoon as blue-winged olives and some mahogany duns emerge. October caddis will also be about in bits and pieces. Riffles, seams, banks, and flats are the best water types to target. Single and tandem dry fly rigs can be fished can be fished with at least respectable results from about 1:30pm onwards most days.
Streamer fishing is certainly better now than it was a couple weeks ago on the South Fork. Moderately sized streamers are working best when fished along banks, riffle pools, and seams. Use intermediate sinking lines or intermediate to 3ips tips. Vary your retrieval speed and hesitate your retrieves from time-to-time.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Stimulators, tent-Wing Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Mahogany Duns and BWOs, Parachute Adams, Pink Sulfur Emergers, Parachute Extended Mahogany Duns, Booty’s Mahogany Dun and BWO Emerger, and Quigley Cripples.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, LOF Pheasant Tails, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Redemption BWOs, Copper Johns in red, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Zebra Midges, and San Juan Worms.
Streamers – Chicklets, Galloup’s Stacked Blond, Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Bow River Buggers, SRA Double Bunnies, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – Decent fishing on the Firehole at the moment with blue-winged olives, PMDs, and caddis appearing almost every day and on almost every piece of the stream. Riffles, foamy seams, and undercut banks are the best targets. The best action has been on swung soft hackles and emergent patterns. Cloudy and colder days have been best, but with the temperatures up in that part of the park right now, even sunny days are worth fishing.
Yellowstone Lake – Flats with two to eight feet of depth in the West Thumb are fishing very well with streamers and slow retrieved damsel/dragon fly nymph patterns. In fact, flats have been so productive that it might be the only water you need to target. We have had a 60-40 split between cutthroats and lake trout respectively. Dry fly fishing for cutthroats is still producing in the same water with almost any pattern in the #10 to #16 range. Most of the surface action has been from approximately 11am to 2pm.
Lewis Lake and Lewis River – The Lewis Lake system has kicked into gear over the past few days. Browns are moving into the river in ever increasing numbers. On the lake itself, mackinaw are on the flats in Brookie Bay, the mouth of the inlet, and in the vicinity of Mack Point. These fish can be pretty spooky. Expect a lot of follows without actual eats. But it is pretty cool sight casting to them with the lack of wind we have been experiencing. Target these with moderately sized streamers and slow to moderate retrieves. Pausing your strips from time to time will help.
Snake River – the Snake above Jackson Lake is a good place to be at the moment with cutthroats taking dry flies and streamers fished along structure and in riffles, riffle pools, and seams. Browns coming out of Jackson Lake are most prevalent on the lower portion of the Snake below Flagg Ranch in the vicinity of Glade Creek and Polecat Creek. Fish for these in riffles and riffle pools where browns are pooling for their next runs upstream.