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  • Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    YELLOWSTONE RIVERS IN GREAT SHAPE

    BLUEBIRD DAYS & THUNDER NIGHTS
    Bring The Whole Box
    everything's working
    still no grayling


    <<-- Firehole River: running clear.




    -- The good news is that the rivers are in great shape and look to stay that way until a mega deluge. The bad news, (of sorts,) is that we have not caught our annual Grayling and it's week three of the season.
    -- Reports and news are in abundance; they are all good for a change as the weather has settled down, and it's beginning to look a lot like summer.
    -- First off: Yellowstone Lake opens for fishing tomorrow -- get in the boat, drag out the tube, or walk along the shore and stick some Lake Trout. There has been some progress made in the Lake Trout eradication program and the Cutthroat recruitment seems to be on the rise. Good News! The lake is high due to the rapid warm-up of a few weeks ago, and looks to stay that way for some time as we are experiencing some warmer than normal days, (87 F is just a tad too much in June.) The Yellowstone River at the outlet is running at just over 5,000 cfs. This is at least 1,500 cfs above the 76 year median daily average.
    -- The Firehole River is flowing at seasonal levels (about 400 cfs,) and is clear and highly productive. There is both an evening and morning Caddis hatch, PMD's are really popping, and "afternoon" is starting about 10:30 for the Mayflies. Baetis are available until dark, and there are lots of bugs on the water. During the overlap between the morning Caddis and the Baetis the fish are leaping into your waders - bring a small net to get them out. The river sections along the old freight road and those just below the iron bridge are fishing very well in the evening to the prolific Caddis hatch.
    -- The Madison River is just a bit below seasonal levels, (at about 700 - 750 cfs,) but is still bank to bank and surprisingly clear for this time of the year. The overnight thundershowers are keeping the flows in line with the running average and there are plenty of groceries. The Salmonflies are still emerging in places, and there are two kinds of smaller stoneflies as well. The mornings are still showing PMD's in good numbers, and the evening Caddis are showing up at about 5:00 PM. Depending on where you fish the afternoon may show some Baetis or the beginning of the Gray Drake hatch. The heavy Salmonfly concentration should be at the Barns Holes by today or tomorrow. The evening Caddis are especially thick in the mile below 7-mile bridge. Between National Park Meadows and the Talus pull-out the PMD's and Baetis are providing all day fishing if you can stand it.
    -- Nez Perce Creek, above the bridge at the Chief Joseph story board has provided excellent mid-day fishing with nymphs. Sizes 6 - 12; pick your flavor. We stick with Montana Dusters. You can do as well with Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, or Prince sorts as well. There have been some bear sightings above the wolf release pen area so be on the look out in the first open meadow. Sing a loud and stupid song - it'll keep both the bears and other fisherfolk away. The river section by the picnic area and down to the confluence with the Firehole has slowed down some. There are still piles of small Brook Trout, (down to 4",) and we saw one 13" Brown Trout taken in this section - both on the same fly - a size 12 Royal Humpy . . . . . go figure.
    -- The Gibbon River is beginning to show it's summer character. The canyon sections are still a little high for consistent good fishing, but large nymphs above tanker curve in the riffle and run sections are beginning to show where the fish are. Pick the biggest rocks in the stream that are visible. Fish the pillow and the seams. The meadow sections have cleared nicely and are beginning to fish in their typical tough fashion. As the water clears in the meadows the big fish will be harder and harder to fool. Some nice Rainbow Trout, (to 16" or a bit more,) sulk in this section and it's very satisfying to stick one - they leap like a salmon and fight hard. The campground meadows and the one-cast water above the Canyon Village Road have the usual assortment of eager Brook trout. There are Grayling here too. Several Grayling were taken on small dry flies during the last three days - just not by us. The action is continuous, and some of the Brookies are 10" long. We're going to pound it for another week in search of our annual Grayling. It'll happen.
    -- The Gallatin River is clearing at it's typical capricious pace. The meadows at the confluence of Fan Creek and The Gallatin River have some nice Brown Trout and they are still taking streamers. Fish the deep undercut banks and keep the flies down in the water column. Be careful of your back cast, there is a lot to get hung-up on in this section. The Mountain Whitefish seem to be thick this year, but that may be a function of temperature as well.
    -- How Do You Know The Fishing Is Good? - - - - - All of the feather merchants and their famous guests are fishing daily in the park. This spring has been fishing just the way we dream Yellowstone should fish. Those who hear about it, and have the means have flocked to the west side of the park for the opening weeks - and have not been disappointed. We hope it continues.
    -- Second Hand Reports: upper Firehole River, (above the closure by Old Faithful,) producing Brook Trout to 10" on Elk Hair Caddis and bead head Prince nymphs. Grayling Creek along the road producing many precocious Brown Trout and Brook Trout on Hare's Ear nymphs and small Wooly Worms. Lewis River clear but cold and high.
    -- JUST A REMINDER; 100% barbless. This is for gear, flies, and the kids and their worms in the Gardiner. Click HERE for regulations. And HERE for the fishing map.