Report 6/14/24

Ahhhh, it’s good to be back. Happy Ranch Opener! We are very excited to kick off the opening of DRY FLY FISHING in Harriman State Park. It’s been a bit of a slow start to the season up here, but we are seeing more bugs daily and a few more fish up every day as early summer conditions have become the norm. We are just slightly behind on hatches, but things change daily.

As usual, Friday night’s opening party here at TroutHunter will be a hoot. Limited tickets are available here in the shop. Hog Roast starts at 5:00, several raffles at 7:30, and our very own Tail-Hooked Band kicks off at 8:00. 

Box Canyon (600 cfs out of IP dam, add another 200 below the Buffalo River) – Flows should remain steady (fingers crossed) for the foreseeable future as water being released equals water entering the reservoir. We might see a bump in flow in the next few days, but hopefully, nothing too drastic. The Box has been pretty consistent most days. Golden Stones and Caddis are flying in good numbers. Have the usual array of Rubberlegs and smaller bead heads like Zebra Midges, CDC PTs, Crackbacks, and Perdigon-type nymphs as a dry-dropper setup or under an indicator. There have been a few Gray Drake sightings on the lower end of the canyon that will make their way into the flat water. That’s fun stuff when it gets going. As always, have the streamer box at the ready.

Last Chance and Harriman – She is a little skinny behind the shop, and the fishing has been tough. There’s been a morning window until about noon-thirty, where we found a few fish eating Caddis and March Brown and Rusty Spinners. I’ve seen a few PMDs but nothing regarding a full-blown hatch. Same with the evening fishing… spotty. That being said, we are starting to see more Caddis out and about and are just waiting for the mayflies to kick it up a notch as water temperatures rise. I’m hoping the change in weather might kick off the PMDs and maybe some Drakes. Get out on the water and stalk ‘em in the deeper slots and flats. Anglers moving around have had the best luck. The fish we have landed have all been healthy and spunky as hell!

As far as the Ranch opener goes, I’d have black and tan caddis #14-20, PMDs #14-18, March Browns #14-16, Rusty Spinners #14-18, and the usual quiver of Ants and Beetles. We haven’t seen any Green Drakes yet, but it’s certainly worth having those in the box as well. I floated Osborne to Riverside the other day and, naturally, there were good numbers of fish up and a solid PMD hatch through the closed water in the morning that continued down toward Henry’s Fork Lodge. Let’s hope the same holds true for Saturday. Saturday’s forecast calls for lots of the W-word, and temps early next week will only hit the low 50s up here on the hill. Sounds fishy to me! I am looking forward to Saturday’s reports and will give y’all an update after the weekend. 

Warm River – Warm River to Ashton/Jump-Off has been producing pretty well if you’re willing to mix things up. There are Golden Stones, Caddis, PMDs, and a few sightings of Green Drakes. Your best bet will be running dry-dropper and nymph rigs if you’re not finding any fish actively feeding on the surface. Have some streamers as well, especially as the weather front moves in later in the weekend and early next week. 

Below Ashton (1570 cfs below Ashton, 2400 cfs at St Anthony) – Every day has been different down off of the hill. Bug activity has picked up considerably this week with good numbers of Golden Stones, Caddis, PMDs, some Green Drakes, and a smattering of Flavs. The fish, however, have been a touch persnickety. Take advantage of the windows when they’re up and feeding. I’ve been getting good reports of dry-dropper game when the fish aren’t up, particularly using PMD-type nymphs under a dry. And it sounds like early morning spinner fall activity has been solid for those wading around in the early hours. The Fall River is still off-color coming in at Chester Dam but should begin to stabilize soon. Be smart and kind to one another out there! 

Madison River (about 900 cfs out of Hebgen, 2500 at Cameron) – In a nutshell, The Madison is very fishable, but clarity will vary throughout the entire stretch. It’s mostly a nymph and streamer game right now. Don’t be afraid to fish water that is green and slightly off. The Caddis fishing should start picking up soon, and I’ll let you know when the big bugs start to show later this month/early next.

Henry’s Lake, Hebgen Lake, IP Reservoir – While all three fish differently, we’ve been getting fair to good reports for those stripping leeches, damsels, scuds, etc as well as bobbing chironomids under indicators. Be out early as afternoon winds and storms are forecast for the next few days. Be safe!

Yellowstone NP – It’s all about the Madison, Firehole, and Gibbon Rivers at this juncture. There are good PMD and Caddis hatches, particularly on the Firehole. Most other park waters are still a ways out or are closed. 

Stop in and say hello for your dry fly fishing updates. It’s Ranch time. Leave the beads, bobbers, and streamers in the vehicle. We are here from 7 am to 9 pm daily. We look forward to seeing you all. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.