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  • Monday, June 05, 2006

    FIREHOLE CANYON - HOT

    THEY'RE HEEERE !!
    Madison Sprouts Big Bugs Too
    early PMD's getting better

    <-- Jason Neuswanger Photo
    The Trout Nut



    -- As early as it is, the Stoneflies have arrived. The weather has been cooperative, (just a few snow flurries over the weekend,) and the forecast is for rapid warming into the mid-70's with afternoon thunderstorms.
    -- The one certain way to tell that the rivers on the west side of Yellowstone National Park are fishing well is when the feather merchants are on the banks. No names please, but most of the fly shop operators and their guides were in the park over the weekend. A couple of celebrated writers and fishing personalities were seen too.
    -- Early in the day - about 8:30 AM - (that's 2 hours after sun-up,) the PMD's are breaking the water. Some sections of the Firehole looked like the top of a popcorn popper on Sunday. There are a lot of small fish, (6" - 10",) and it looks like recruitment has been good during the last couple of years. The PMD's are about a size 16, and the fish will take a floating Hare's Ear Nymph, a sunken Yellowstone Badger, or a Pheasant Tail Nymph. Purists can select their favorite dry, they are all working right now. I saw fish to 18" taken on dry flies, and not just a couple. This is big for the Firehole River. The early morning clouds seem to help the hatch along, & should persist for the whole week.
    -- There is no best spot right now; however, the Midway Geyser Basin riffles are producing the densest hatches. The runs below the iron bridge are also producing hatches that twinkle in the low light of morning. Even the quicksand sections around Ojo Caliente and Pocket Basin had good flights of PMD's.
    -- The Salmonflies are just appearing at the water's edge in Firehole Canyon, and it looks like they are out on the Gibbon River and the Madison River as well. The fish are still taking big-black-hairy nymphs, but this will change by tomorrow or the next day. Then you can use Marcella's Trout Fly, or a Sofa Pillow, or just about any other big floater.
    -- There are sparse hatches of Baetis during mid-day, and they are thickest around Mule Shoe and Mattie's Pool. These should get better during the week and should appear very predictably at about 1:30 - 2:00 PM.
    -- The evening Caddis hatch is as regular as ever, but there are a couple of different flies hatching. In practical terms: -the little black ones & the medium-sized brown ones. In technical terms: the little one, (18 -22,) is probably Glossosoma, and the larger one, (12 - 16,) is probably Brachycentrus. These hatches are just getting started, and it's too early to predict if they will be "gobblers" as the locals like to call them.
    -- Hint for the middle of the week: try a riffle hitch on your Sofa Pillow.