Report 7/16/23

Box Canyon
The river is rising! This week the flows out of the Box Canyon increased from 800 cfs to 1350. I would guess that the bump will kick the golden stone hatch into high gear! While the fishing in the Box has been good, look for fishing to improve day by day. I am not 100% sure if the river will continue to rise but irrigation demand is always at its highest the first two weeks of July. This year precipitation has been a big help. To date demand has been on the low end and Island Park Reservoir is still 98% full. If you find yourself in the Box, make sure to have the usual bead heads. I would add foam stone Goldens to the mix. Don’t forget the early morning streamer run! Be on the water at first light and fish streamers.
I had the most amazing day on the upper ranch yesterday. I have never been one to brag and hopefully what I am about to tell you does come off as such. I was not the angler I was merely the guide. We started at Last Chance around 9am. I tied on a #10 foam golden stone for my guest and walked above the ramp. We fed a few but it was a little slow. Everything changed around 9:30ish. The flav spinners hit the water and it turned on. Everywhere we looked we could see fish up. I don’t want to say numbers but we put plenty of large healthy trout in the net and lost even more. Mornings like that are rare up here as we all know. As we proceeded into the Railroad Ranch things started to slow down and by the time we got down to Bonefish it was mostly over. We found a few more fish that were willing to eat spinners on hopper bank. Things slowed down around one but PMDs popped around three and we had more targets. It was the best day I have ever been a part of on the Ranch.
Lower Henry’s Fork
The lower river is still holding up well. The hatches have been consistent but not lasting as long as they were earlier in the summer. I like to start my mornings in the Chester or Fun Farm backwaters and row around looking for fish sipping spinners. This will usually last until around 1-130ish. During the heat of the day the dry fly activity slows some, but you can still get fish to eat a golden stone and if you drop a olive dagger or a tan zebra midge the fish will continue to put a bend in your rod! The fishing in the evenings has really been great. Look for trout up eating Caddis and Flavs. The PMDs are still hanging on as well. Fishing on the South Fork and Madison has heated up with the arrival of Salmonflies, so the crowds on the Henrys Fork have dispersed somewhat. Fish early, fish late and have a great time down there!
The big bugs are on the Madison! Look for them around Windy Point at present but that will change daily. I like to get ahead of the hatch or come in behind it. Keep an eye out for Green Drakes and caddis as well. With the Salmonflies come the crowds, so let’s try to be good to one another!
Yellowstone Park
Things are warming up in the Park, so look for the fishing to do the same! Depending on who you talk to, the Yellowstone river is either really good or the fish are all dead and it’s not near what it was in the 60s. I am a glass half full guy, so I am thinking it’s probably pretty good and should only get better! Salmonflies and Green Drakes are on the menu! The Yellowstone is a great river and the folks dedicated to keeping that way have done a great job. Between floods and invasive species it’s a wonder that there any fish, but there are and there are some really big ones! As it continues to warm up consider getting off the Firehole until things cool back down in the fall. The water conditions are improving in the Northwest section, so consider a trip to the Lamar, Soda Butte or Slough Creek over the next week or two. Please don’t pet the wildlife.


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