UPPER MADISON RIVER FISHING REPORT
CDC Baetis Emerger # 18 & #16, Garrett’s Purple Death #16 & #14, Mega Gay Emerger #18. Tri-colored omelette #14, Pats’ Rubber Legs #6-10, Amber Stone #8-10, Pheasant Tail #18, Soft-Hackle Olive and Brown #16-12. Lightning Bug #18-14, RS-2 #18-20, Shop Vac #16, $3 Dip #16-18, San Juan Worm #12.
Parachute Adams #18-14, Purple Haze #14-18, X-Caddis Olive.Brown & Grey#16-12, Elk Hair Caddis #12-16, Sparkle Dun (olive) #18 and #12 .
Black and Olive Wooly Buggers #2-8, Black and Olive Wooly Bead Buggers #2-8. Sex Dungeon #4, Circus Peanut #4, Barely Legal, Sparkle Minnow #4-6, Bow River Bugger #4-6, Home Invader #2-6, McCune’s Sculpin#4. Be sure to have an array of colors represented in your streamer box including white, yellow, olive, natural/tan, and black.
The Upper Madison remains very fishable and productive. Stream flows at Kirby Ranch are currently around 1,700 cfs .
Right now, the snow pack for the Madison is only 86%.
The nymph and streamer fishing has been excellent. A wide variety of nymph patterns are taking fish right now, and fish are holding in a variety of water. Your typical nymphs for this time of year, such as pat’s rubberlegs, worms, eggs, caddis nymphs, baetis nymphgs, are all going to fish well. Take the time to tune into what the fish want.
The streamer bite has been much more consistent over the past week, and we expect that to continue. Fish are chasing aggressively at times and large, articulated patterns seem to be attracting the most attention. Black has been a top producer, but olive has been hot at times, as has white.
For dry flies, a good numbers of caddis will soon join the ongoing emergences of baetis, March browns, and midges. Despite the presence of all these insects, the dry fly fishing has been spotty. But it is good to be prepared for rising fish by having a rod rigged and ready for the possibility of dry fly fishing.
The upper Madison remains our most productive fishery in the region. The upper, walk/wade stretch of the Madison River will remain fishable throughout runoff. Water clarity will be diminished significantly at the height of runoff, but the fishing typically remains very productive with large nymphs and streamers worked along the banks. Some of our clients’ largest fish of the year come from this stretch of the Madison during May and June. Our shop is open and we are taking clients out fishing. If you are coming from out of state and would like to book a trip, there is a 14-day mandatory self quarantine you must go through before we are allowed to take you fishing.
YELLOWSTONE RIVER FISHING REPORT
Elk Hair Caddis (Grey/Brown/Dark Olive) #12-16, X-Caddis (Olive) #14-16, Sparkle Dun (BWO) #16-18, Purple Haze #14-18
Pats’ Rubber Legs #8, Mega Prince #8, Dirty Trixie (Red) #12, CDC Pheasant Tail #16-18, Pheasant Tail #16-18, Lightning Bug #16-18, Copper John #14-16, Beadhead Yellow Sally #14, CDC Emerger #14-18, Shop Vac #16
Black and Olive Wooly Buggers #2-8, Black and Olive Wooly Bead Buggers #2-8, Sex Dungeon #4, Circus Peanut #4, Barely Legal, Sparkle Minnow #4-6, Bow River Bugger #4-6, McCune’s Sculpin#4. Be sure to have an array of colors represented in your streamer box including: white, yellow, olive, natural/tan, and black.
The Yellowstone River near Livingston is at 14,300 cfs. A big bump that happened the last two days . The River is in fishable condition, but water is quite dirty. This simply means big nymphs and streamers, not much for the dry fly fisherman. The Snowpack for the upper Yellowstone river is currently at 100%.
If you have an itch to fish the Yellowstone, now is the time before the really high water and the BIG MUDDY comes. Mixture of rain and snow during the next week and warmer temps on the weekend. The Yellowstone will begin to rise swiftly in the coming weeks. Fish your larger nymphs and try dead drifting your favorite streamers. Fish flies in the #6-#10 range. As the water continues to clear before the big mud comes, try trailing smaller (meaning #14, #16) nymphs behind your large fly. For smaller nymphs, try your favorite caddis and baetis variations.
There are Caddis out and about, but we have not seen much for surface activity from the trout. The Yellowstone changes daily, so it’s not a bad idea to have an extra rod rigged up in case you come across a pod of rising fish. If you do find fish rising to Caddis, try a larger X-Caddis (#12 or #14). Trail a smaller, more natural caddis, such as a standard elk hair behind it. If that’s not working, try a dry dropper setup with a caddis emerger.
If you don’t like playing in the mud, Depuys Spring Creek is always a good way to have some good clean fun if you’re willing to pay.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK FISHING REPORT
Patterns to have on hand for the opener:
Adams #18-20, Sparkle Dun (olive) #18-20, Purple Haze #18-20
Pheasant Tail #18-20, Soft-Hackle Pheasant Tail #18-20, CDC Emerger #18-20, Partridge & Olive Soft Hackle #18-20, Lightning Bug #18-20, WD-40 #18-20, RS-2 #18-20, Pat’s Rubber Leg #8
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK’S FISHING SEASON IS CLOSED AND IS SET TO REOPEN ON THE SATURDAY OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND (May 23rd, 2020). Normally but not this year for those of us living in Montana.
As of now
We (The state of Montana) still have the 14 day quarantine in place for anyone arriving from out of state. And with that Montana has all three of our entrances to Yellowstone National Park closed due to Covid-19. As of Monday, May 18 the South entrance and the east entrance on the Wyoming side are open. The regular fishing season starting the third Saturday in May will be on time for the southeastern portion of the park. See Map below.
So the big question is what about Montana?
When is Montana going to open their entrances to Yellowstone Park.?? After staring at my crystal ball my guess will be on June 1, 2020. My guess is that on the same day (Hopefully) our governor well drop the 14 day quarantine for out-of-state visitors. With that said our season opener for Montana-based guide services will have to wait. There is a small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and keep your fingers crossed and hopefully our guides and clients will be able to enjoy Yellowstone Park starting June 1, 2020
Don’t forget, fishing in Yellowstone requires a special fishing license that is different from your Montana fishing license. Starting next week we will have them for sale at the shop.
Normally but not this year
The Saturday of Memorial Day is opening day and will greet anglers with opportunities for quality fishing. Opening weekend typically finds most of the park’s streams and rivers swollen with snowmelt. Many river systems such as the Yellowstone and its tributaries (the Lamar, Slough Creek, etc.) are virtually unfishable during the early portion of the park’s fishing season. The portion of the Gallatin River within the park is typically fishable from a clarity standpoint, but the river and its tributaries will be flowing high and water temperatures will be cold.
Some of the best early season fishing opportunities in the park can be found along the Madison River and its two primary tributaries. The Firehole River and the Gibbon River. These fisheries are located near the park’s West entrance and are go-to destinations for most of our guide trips in the park. The Firehole is a popular opening weekend destination for anglers, and for good reason.River flows are typically moderate and it’s a fairly safe bet that trout will be found rising to hatches. Both caddis and baetis in the classic meadow water above the falls.
Below the falls on the Firehole, anglers may still find a few large, holdover fish that migrated up from Hebgen Lake during the fall spawning run. These fish can be taken on large stonefly nymphs imitating the giant salmonfly, a hatch that occurs in early June on the lower Firehole due to its thermal influence. Should opening weekend find the Firehole flowing high and turbid, anglers can still find success, but may need to shift gears and trying swinging soft hackles or nymphing.
The Gibbon River
This is a very diverse fishery that provides less reliable fishing for opening weekend.Some years it fishes very well on the opener, and during other years it is too high and off color to be productive. If conditions allow, anglers will do well nymphing below the falls with stonefly patterns, or with baetis imitations along the river’s upper meadow reaches.
Opening weekend in Yellowstone is a tradition for many anglers, give us a call (800-423-4742) to discuss planning your own trip.